From S-shaped waves to spiralled coils, there is a broad spectrum of shapes, textures and styles to consider when it comes to curly hair, and no matter where you fall on the hair type chart, your natural pattern deserves to be celebrated.
'Some of the biggest misconceptions that I hear about curly, coily, and kinky hair relate to how it performs versus straight or wavy hair', says celebrity Hairstylist and curls expert Vernon François. 'Myths like, the more intense your curls are, the harder they are to manage, that kinks and curls are harder to style, that at-home upkeep is more intensive and that the range of hairstyles on offer is limited. But in fact, the the reverse is true.'
If you feel as though you're constantly contending tangles and knots, it's time to change your haircare routine - from shampooing to conditioning, and treatments to styling, we've compiled a rundown of the best products on the market, suitable for every curly hair requirement going. Dry, damaged hair? We've got you covered. Oily scalps? No sweat. Hair feeling lacklustre and loosing its shiny definition? There's a serum for that. So for professional recommendations, team Grazia favourites, and the high street's bestsellers, keep scrolling.
Finding the best products for your hair type all begins with knowing your curl pattern. Use the link below to decipher yours:
The Best Shampoos For Curly Hair
Just like any other hair type, curly hair needs to be thoroughly washed to get rid of the grime that can build up on the scalp. However, choose your products wisely. Over-washing and the wrong shampoo can dry out porous hair, and thirsty curls love hydration, it's what helps them hold their shape. Look out for shampoos that have essential and natural oils in the ingredients list.
Amika, Normcore Signature Shampoo, £14
Best For: Curly Hair Shampoo On The High Street**Types: All Hair Types** Infused with coconut acid to gently break down grease and impurities and omega 7-rich sea buckthorn for elasticity, this delightfully scented shampoo is perfect for colour-treated, Brazilian-treated and keratin-treated hair.
The Best Conditioners For Curly Hair
Curly hair can easily lose shape and definition without a good conditioner, and the key to bouncy, defined curls with minimal static is detangling gently. Hydrate hair by following up your wash with a hardworking conditioner, and while the hair is still damp, comb through with a wide toothed comb to tease out knots, and gently scrunch back to encourage shape. Particularly dry or type 4 afro hair can also benefit from a leave in conditioner, massaged in and left and to naturally dry.
Briogeo, Curl Charisma Rice Amino and Shea Curl Defining Conditioner, £54
Best For: Curl Definiton Types: 2 and 3 Waves and Curls An ultra-hydrating conditioner to define and de-frizz with moisturising shea butter and sweet almond oils without weighing down hair.
The Best Styling Products And Treatments For Curly Hair
Once washed, conditioned and refreshed, keep curls glossy and defined with nourishing masks, cremes, serums and gels, that will hold your shape throughout the day. Don't forget to add a layer of heat defence before using styling tools too, as direct application of heat can weaken the hair shaft. Heat caps and steamers used used sparingly, though, are a great way to open the cuticles of your hair and help products better permeate, resulting in happier, healthier curls.
Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector, £26
Best For: Damaged and Dry Curls Types: 2 Waves, and 3/ 4 Curls Olapex is known for its salon quality strength, and this weekly at-home treatment softens the texture of particularly dry and damaged hair by rebuilding bonds. into your wash routine for shiny, smooth results.