Curly Hair Care 101

The best styling solutions for wavy hair. 

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Curly Cues


Stash your straightener—texture is back in a big way. Ride the wave with the best cuts, innovative products and simple styling solutions.

Mane Masters

Christo Curlisto, global artistic director of Curlisto Systems and Christo Fifth Avenue

Tippi Shorter, Aveda global artistic director for textured hair

Cynthia Alvarez, Dove Hair curl expert and celebrity stylist 

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5 Ways to Care for Curls


It's a wash. Limit shampooing to once or twice a week—just to remove product buildup and keep scalp healthy, says Christo. If you want to wet hair in between, try a cleansing conditioner (or co-wash) to detangle and hydrate.

Frizz no more. Prevent the halo effect: As soon as you exit the shower, squeeze out excess water with a microfiber towel or cotton T-shirt—these are much softer than terrycloth and won’t rough up the cuticle. Hydrate with a few drops of hair oil after styling (look for one with coconut, argan, macadamia or buriti oil), and apply a deep-conditioning mask weekly.

Sleep on it. Twist sections away from your face and clip them to your head with duckbill or butterfly clips, says Christo. Alvarez also suggests sleeping on a satin pillowcase, which is gentler on hair and helps maintain moisture.

Brush up. Or down, that is, and only when hair is wet. Try a paddle brush if you have waves and a wide-tooth comb if hair is curly or kinky, says Alvarez.

Make it last. Dry shampoo should be used only to soak up excess oil and add volume. Refresh curls a day or two after washing by mixing one to two capfuls of conditioner with water in a spray bottle and misting all over, says Shorter. This will reactivate hair and bring back the bounce. 

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Try the rake-and-shake technique to put extra spring in your curls. After applying product to one section, rake fingers through strands and shake the section, holding at the ends. 

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Style Like a Pro: Step 1

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Cleanse and Condition 

For all curls: Wash your hair once or twice a week with shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for curly hair. Use a co-wash (aka cleansing conditioner) every two or three days to refresh and detangle curls. Try OGX Coconut Curls Shampoo and Conditioner, $8 each, and Aveda Be Curly Co-Wash, $24. 


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Style Like a Pro: Step 2

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Prep Tresses

For all curls: Apply a leave-in serum to condition hair and prevent frizz. Try Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Creme Serum, $6. 


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How to Style Curly Hair

How to Style Curly Hair

Tips from celebrity stylist Cynithia Alvarez.  

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Style Like a Pro: Step 3

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Choose Your Styler

Wavy: Light mousse creates fullness. Try John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Air Dry Styling Foam, $10. 

Curly: A curl cream adds separation. Try Living Proof Curl Defining Styling Cream, $28. 

Kinky: Look for a creamy butter to elongate spirals. Try Pureology Curl Complete Taming Butter, $28. 


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Style Like a Pro: Step 4

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Get Glossy 

For all curls: Spritz a shine spray all over to add luminosity to your curls. Try Curlisto Glow & Shine, $19. 

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Style Like a Pro: Step 5


Treat Yourself

For all curls: Coat strands from root to tip with a moisturizing mask once a week. Try Dualsenses Curly Twist 60 Second Treatment, $19.