Great curly hairstyles start with gorgeous natural curls. So today, we’re taking you back to basics and showing you the essential tools you need to style your hair. From shower to styling we’re breaking down the curly hair tips you need to know: including how to use a diffuser, why you need a hair towel, and more. Let’s jump in.
HOW TO DEAL WITH CURLY HAIR: THE TOOLS YOU NEED
Wearing your natural hair requires some…patience (especially if you’re transitioning to curly hair). But there are a few things that can help, namely products and tools.
Here a few of our favorite essentials:
1. A microfiber towel (or a t-shirt)
2. A paddle brush (for detangling wet curly hair)
3. A diffuser (for those days when you don’t have 8+ hours to air dry)
4. A sulfate-free shampoo
5. A lightweight styling product
WHAT IS MICROFIBER? AND WHY I NEED A TOWEL MADE OF MICROFIBER?
Many curly-haired humans have touted their love for microfiber towels. But why is everyone raving? What is microfiber? And why does it matter?
We’re glad you asked. Most people turn to microfiber as an alternative to terrycloth towels. Why? Because terrycloth fibers are super thick and very rough, and can disturb your natural curl pattern. The fibers are so rough that they actually tear up your hair’s cuticle layer and exacerbate frizz.
Microfiber on the other hand, features super thin fibers that are ultra soft and absorbent. They’re much more gentle, and can be used to squeeze or scrunch water from curls, without disturbing your natural curl pattern.
Another alternative to squeezing water out of your curls with microfiber, is to use a t-shirt, as cotton fibers are softer than terrycloth. The only downside? A t-shirt isn’t nearly as absorbent, so you won’t get as much water out (or you’ll need several t-shirts to do the same work) and thus your hair could take
Everyone always wants to know: should you brush curly hair? And unless you’re going for a Diana Ross inspired look, the answer is no when it comes to brushing dry curls.
However it’s totally okay to brush your curls when they’re wet. In fact it’s a great option for detangling curly hair in the shower.
We’ll be honest, the least damaging way to detangle is to finger detangle, but sometimes you just don’t have the time for that (especially if you have a lot of hair). And that’s where a good detangling brush can be key. Our pick? The Dream Smooth Paddle Brush. Just be sure to be gentle, and not rip through those knots. Work your way from the bottom up, slowly.
Now you might be thinking, couldn’t a brush disturb my curl pattern? It all depends on exactly when you choose to brush your hair in the shower. If you want to know how to brush curly hair without losing curls, keep this in mind:
Post cleansing, while you condition, you can use a brush to comb through your strands and ensure you’re conditioning all of your hair. Then as you rinse out conditioner, you can finger comb your detangled hair to get your natural curl pattern back. Your curls will naturally re-clump when wet. So you’ve saved time on detangling, but you still bring back your natural curl pattern.
HOW TO USE A DIFFUSER
Perhaps the most alien-looking of all curly hair tools is the diffuser, but if you’re going to blow dry your curls, it is an absolute essential.
A diffuser works by evenly distributing the airflow from a dryer, making the heat flow more controlled and less intense on your curls. Diffusers that feature a bowl like shape are great for cupping your curls and scrunching them up as they dry.
Our favorite diffuser? The collapsible one from The Curly Co. Why? It’s collapsible and easy-to-store. Plus it’s flexible nozzle lets it fit almost any blowdryer.
To use a diffuser on wet curls, simply cup the ends and gently lift your curls up towards your root. Hold the dryer in place for about 30-45 seconds, then gently lower and release, moving to a new area. For extra volume, you can diffuse with your head flipped over.
CURLY HAIR TIPS: CHOOSING THE RIGHT PRODUCTS
The last, and possibly most important thing you need to manage your curly hair? The right products. A sulfate-free shampoo is absolutely essential. Why? Sulfates (especially sodium-laurel-sulfate) is known for dehydrating and stripping hair of its natural moisture, which is essential for curly hair. You can learn more about sulfates here.
The other piece that’s important? A lightweight styler that helps keep hair moisturized. The lightweight piece is key, as heavy products can weigh curls down - minimizing volume and potentially leaving curls feeling crispy and crunchy. Our pick for a light-as-water styler? Dream Coat For Curly Hair. Learn more about why you need a lightweight styler for curls here.