Whether you're blessed with ringlets, waves, or something in between, stop fighting your natural texture. Curls will shine when you embrace them—and these tips.
Quick hair lesson: Light reflects naturally off flat surfaces (like the closed cuticle of straight locks), so to get your curls to catch light you need to give your hair what it's lacking—essential oils, proteins, and amino acids. In other words, lots of moisture to smooth the surface, says Michael Dueñas, a celebrity stylist and founder of Hair Room Service in NYC.
Skip a Shampoo—or Two
Sudsing can strip your strands, so don't do it every day—just rinse with water and use conditioner. "Your hair will still take in the moisture it needs without losing any essential oils," says Dueñas. For an even creamier conditioner, do like the pros and add a pinch of baking soda to the mix. And when lathering up is a must, choose a sulfate-free shampoo, which is less harsh.
Get in Condition
Bet you never thought working with your curly texture could mean using fewer products. While hair is soaking wet, finger-comb conditioner through strands so they're soft and slippery, says Dueñas. Don't rinse. Afterward, scrunch hair with a cotton T-shirt, paper towel, or microfiber—never terry cloth, which can create frizz. Then air-dry.
For more defined curls, rely on the trusty diffuser. Aim the prongs upward from underneath to keep the curls intact and give them lift, says NYC stylist Jeanie Syfu. Hair will fall into its natural curl formation.