How to Figure Out Which Curly Method is Right For You
Curly hair can be complicated. Yes, it usually means inherent bounce and volume, but it also comes with its own set of styling rules. First things first, it’s a good idea to identity your curl pattern.
In general, there are four types of hair: Type 1 is straight, Type 2 is wavy, Type 3 is curly, and Type 4 is coily-kinky. But did you know you can classify your hair even further? Prose Director of Education and veteran stylist Faith Huffnagle explains it like this: Subcategory A encompasses fine curls, C is a coarser texture, and B is somewhere in between—or a combination of A and C. So for example, if you’re a 2A, your hair is wavier and finer compared to the 2B’s and 2C’s. Keep in mind that it’s possible to be a combination of textures, too, like a 3BC.
Finding the right product
Now that you’ve figured out your curl type it’s time to determine the ideal regimen. There can be multiple ways to style one curl type, so keep in mind that finding the right routine may take some trial and error.
All hair types can work with leave-in conditioners, oil, or mousse. If you have Type 2, 3, or 4 you can try a curl cream. But sometimes, the best option is to layer. Huffnagle says Types 3 and 4 can try a leave-in conditioner followed by oil then cream (LOC) or leave-in conditioner followed by cream then oil (LCO), or leave-in, cream, oil, then gel (LCOG).
“Depending on hair porosity and texture, layering can help seal in the necessary balance of moisture and proteins in between washes,” she says. “Some hair types can go up to one week without needing a full rewash but can touch up dry hair or frizz with water-based moisturizers, like leave-in conditioners.”
Tips for all curly hair types
Regardless of which product you use, Huffnagle offers some info on curly hair best practices:
- Be careful of clarifying shampoos, which can sometimes zap moisture.
- Post-shower, detangle hair gently from the ends up to the root. Damp hair is best for coarser hair types because it’s more elastic than dry hair.
- Read the back of product labels. The first five ingredients are the bulk of the formula and water should be close to number one.
- Not all silicones are harmful, but you can find plenty of info online—the EWG is a great starting point—for any ingredient that causes concern.
- Steer clear of sulfates, which can cause frizz and irritation, and strip hair dye.
- Use high-quality hair oil to soften and lubricate the hair (and to protect from split ends).
- If your hair is color-treated, it’s best to find a colorist that specializes in your curl type. This is crucial for maintaining a healthy curl pattern, especially if your hair is coily-kinky.
- Only diffuse hair 80% of the way and air-dry the rest to prevent frizz and overly dry curls.
Looking for hair care that’s as unique as your curls and coils? Get started with your custom formula by taking the Prose consultation here.