Curly hair comes in many shapes, lengths, and textures, but identifying curl patterns can be a little tricky. There are a limited number of words to identify hair and texture.
From kinky textures to beachy waves, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to care for your locks. In fact, you may need a completely different curly routine based on your lifestyle and hair length.
Shop TODAY spoke with curl experts to unravel the intricacies of naturally curly hair. We’ve also found some shopper-loved products to help get curly hair on the right track.
Why does my hair curl?
From afro-textured hair to wavy hair, the curl pattern in your hair is a result of the biology and chemistry of your hair follicle. A 2019 research study found that curl type is related to the structure of the hair follicle and how the fibers grow on the scalp.
Although there are still no definitive conclusions for the various follicular components, evidence has demonstrated that curled fibers are produced by curved oval follicles. Straight hair, on the other hand, grows straight from the scalp at right angles.
The degree of hair curl is also correlated with fiber characteristics such as elasticity and diameter. Curvature in hair is more complex than it looks and is usually the product of environmental factors, genetics and molecular mechanisms.
How to distinguish curl patterns
Hair experts disagree when classifying the difference between curls and patterns.
“Technically, there are nine categories of curl types, but I think that’s very limited,” says Alex Munneuh, a curl expert based in Los Angeles. Hair products are traditionally categorized in his four different ways of curly, wavy, kinky and coily, but even that may not be a sufficient categorization.
“These categories don’t tell you what your porosity is [or] How the hair reacts to moisture/protein. At the end of the day, it’s best to consult with a curl specialist to determine your textural needs,” adds Mouneu.
But to make your curly hair easier to break down, curl expert Marilyn Rose suggests three categories with subcategories that indicate whether your hair strands are “wavy, curly, or spiral.” We divide it into main types. Wavy hair types are divided into 2A, 2B, and 2C groups. Curly hair is classified into types 3A, 3B, and 3C. Coiled hair is classified as types 4A, 4B, and 4C.
How to care for curly hair
Wavy hair goes between straight and curly in an S pattern. What makes this hair type different from traditional curly hair is that the wavy strands do not form spirals. Instead, the hair fibers usually straighten out and form waves when air-dried.This type is also prone to frizz and is difficult to maintain volume. It is important to provide texture and texture.
There are different ways to care for wavy hair, depending on which category your follicle pattern falls into.
- Type 2A “still has a lot of natural oils in your hair. If you have 2A and the pattern is wavy, you know your hair has a lot of natural oils,” says HairStory’s curl expert. said colorist Mattie Calloway. Salon in Dallas.
- Type 2B has less natural oil. This type of wavy hair is “mostly straight at the roots, resulting in a more defined S-shaped wave for him. As you continue moving to the left side of the 2A, the natural oils in your hair become less and less.” ,” said Hairstory’s head of product. Developed by Jackie Gilbert Bauer.
- Type 2C is identified by thicker curls. “S-bends are well defined and start at the root,” he added Bauer.
Mouneu also recommends using a clear shampoo over time to minimize frizz and then styling while your hair is wet. It means you need water. “Putting the product on wet hair locks it into that definition that’s already there,” she adds.
L’Oreal Paris Dream Length Curl No Build Curl Micellar Shampoo
This lathering shampoo from L’Oreal Paris removes hair buildup with a rich lather. It also contains hyaluronic acid and castor oil to achieve a firm and moist curl texture.One reviewer said this shampoo “helps give both shape and volume to curls.” [her] Naturally curly, unruly hair! I can’t brag about how much this product has made a difference to my hair!”
Alodia Curl Enhancing Butter Cream
Strengthen and moisturize your waves with this butter cream made with vitamin E. This cream is ideal for controlling the texture of frizzy hair and softening curls thanks to cupuaçu butter that improves elasticity and durability over time.
Amica Curl Corpse Curl Defining Cream
Mouneu recommends this signature cream from Amika for wavy to curly hair. If your waves get out of hand, this product will control frizz and add more bounce to your waves.
Widad Advanced Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel
The secret to beautiful curls is closing and moisturizing the cuticle. This gel does just that while creating a barrier against humidity thanks to anti-frizz nanotechnology. there is.
How to care for curly hair
The frizzy hair pattern is identifiable by its spirally rolled up into a tight corkscrew shape with defined springs. This type of hair holds its shape easily, but because it doesn’t lay flat, it’s prone to broken cuticles and frizz. As a result, you will need a lot of moisture to keep your hair from tangling.
Mouneau shared some additional ways you can identify specific curl types.
- Type 3A hair is mostly wavy and slightly curly. “Usually this type of hair will be flatter, but with the right layers you can see bigger barrel-style curls.”
- “Type 3B hair is more helical to the curl than 3A. It’s a tighter curly strand that tends to pile up on top of itself, giving it more volume.”
- For Type 3C hair, this is the most spiral. “Clients using this texture have found it to be a little drier than usual. Protein is great, but be aware that too much protein will make your hair brittle and eventually break.” please.”
“Types 3A-3C are tighter curls that may require more product to get curls. .
On how to care for Types 3A, 3B, and 3C, Callaway says: seed oil and serum oil. “
Invue curl liberating sulfate-free shampoo
Refresh your hair in your next shower with this sulfate-free shampoo. The formula is infused with natural oils, including coconut water and cupuaçu seed butter, which are harvested from cupuaçu trees native to the Amazon rainforest. is sealed.
werel curly set
This special set from Verelle comes with shampoo, conditioner, and an all-in-one cream to control frizz and style curls. The brand focuses on custom hair care rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. It also makes you feel better knowing that you are maintaining your natural hair with vegan ingredients.
“With just one wash, I’ve definitely noticed that my hair is softer and has more defined wavy/frizz,” added one verified reviewer who gave it high marks across the board.
Kurulay Deep Conditioner
If you have dry and damaged curly hair, it’s time to hydrate your strands with this conditioner. contains ingredients.
Twist by Widard Strengthens Bonds
Do you have colored hair? Then this hair mask works its magic.This product is made with TeraBond technology that fights breakage and repairs hair structure.
How to care for curly hair
Among all hair types, types 4A, 4B, and 4C are the most curly. They tend to form a compressed Z-pattern and are even denser, requiring creams, gels and custards to hold their shape and reduce volume. Coiled hair also needs extra moisture. These hair types tend to shrink in more compact styles, making them appear shorter than they actually are.
- Type 4A is the loosest of the coil family, and “at the end of the curl, it’s considered a hybrid: a combination of curl and kink,” says Callaway.
- Type 4B has a coiled pattern that resembles the shape of a spring, “stretched so that there is a small amount of space between each bend,” Callaway added. “This pattern appreciates the application of water and lightweight, penetrating oils, such as jojoba and sunflower seed oils.”
- Type 4C “has a tightly wound Z pattern that is present in varying amounts in all textures. This pattern (affectionately known as kinky) is a mixture of water and castor oil or avocado. We appreciate the application of highly penetrating oils such as oil.”
miel pomegranate and honey curling definition mousse
A favorite of the curly community, this product boasts incredible results and hold thanks to a blend of shea butter, pomegranate, honey, apple, aloe and jojoba oils. It has also become a TikTok favorite for its defining features and incredible scent.
Design Essentials Almond and Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse
If your 4A hair type needs extra shine, use this mousse for frizz-free, bouncy locks. This mousse is designed to separate curls and dry them quickly. With over 8,100 glorious five-star ratings, one buyer said, “I have his 3C/4A/4B texture and it separates curls.” [PERFECTLY].”
Invue Coil Awakening Sulfate-Free Cream Cleanser
For 4A to 4C hair types, I recommend using a creamy cleanser like this one from Imbue. The light, silky texture unravels the stiffest coils, while a blend of baobab oil and cupuacu butter moisturizes curly hair while reducing frizz.
“We made the coil very soft without feeling heavy.
Bomba Curl Dominican Forbidden Hair Mask
Bomba Curl is the first Afro-Dominican hair care brand created by women with curly hair and marketed at Target. What makes this product special is its vegan and cruelty-free formula with a completely natural whipped banana blend. , according to the brand, combines traditional Dominican hair secrets.
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