Visually, curls can be described as spiral- or spring-like. It’s important to note that the texture (and size) aren’t always uniform—curly hair types can be a mixture of “true” curls and/or waves ranging from the circumference of your finger to as tight as a pencil.
Common concerns for curly hair include reactivity to dry or humid weather, dryness, breakage and frizz. With curly hair, “the main objective is frizz control,” says Bergamy. “You want to find the right product that will keep your curls defined all day. I love using products that won’t weigh hair down, so I often use light curl creams and mousse. I tend to search for products that contain shea butter, as it is formulated to be water-soluble and is great for anti-frizz and moisture retention,” she adds.
Vercher is also a fan of hydrolyzed protein (to give both waves and curls good elasticity) and keratin protein (which humans naturally produce). “Our skin, hair and nails are made up of keratin, so using it as a hair treatment will seal, smooth and repair hair strands, making them stronger and thicker,” he adds. “When applied to the hair, it coats and penetrates the cuticle layer of hair, making it healthier and more manageable.”
Additionally, Bergamy recommends looking for ingredients like coconut oil, jojoba extract and avocado oil. “These are incredible to add to your routine for extra moisture and shine.” She suggests trying Oribe Styling Butter Curl Enhancing Créme to leave your curls loaded with shine and moisture and to eliminate frizz. You can also leverage hair oils—Vercher calls out these are great for both the follicle and scalp, too. Try picks like Olaplex Bonding Oil or Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Oil.
Although they may seem similar, there are differences between curly and coily hair. “Curly hair usually retains more moisture, leaving the curl more silky in texture,” explains Bergamy. “Coily hair is likely to have more defined ringlets.” And some types of coily hair “can be identified with a zig-zag formation which is prone to shrinkage. Coily hair or Afro-textured/kinky hair is naturally dry and spongy in texture.”
To build on Bergamy’s definition, coils are typically super small, tightly curled and spring-like. Like curls, coils aren’t always uniform and can have zig-zag patterned curls that don’t form ringlets. Because coily hair has fewer cuticle layers than other hair types, it is often the most delicate, which makes it more susceptible to breakage. “Coily hair needs moisture at all times,” emphasizes Bergamy. She suggests using a sulfate-free cleanser to wash your hair, followed by a hydrating conditioning treatment to lock in moisture. “Using a leave-in detangling conditioner (like Living Proof Leave-In Conditioner) after treatment will work wonders!” she adds. “Protective styling techniques (like braids, twists and bantu knots) are another great way to prevent the hair from shedding.”
In terms of ingredients, top picks for moisture and shine include shea butter, almond oil, olive oil and coconut oil. “Butters are also a great way to manage dry hair, as it will allow you to separate your hair with your fingers, so you can style however you like,” Vercher says.
You can also up the ante on frizz control with flake-free gels. “Oribe’s Curl Gelée for Shine & Definition is great for frizz and dryness and gives a definition to curls without stiffness that other gels have,” explains Bergamy. Other faves include Briogeo Curl Gel and Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Styling Gel. No matter your type, well-cared-for curls are always in style.