The best way to wash curly hair is with a 100 percent sulfate-free shampoo. Sodium lauryl sulfate, the key ingredient in most traditional shampoos, is both a salt and a detergent—an effective cleanser that's too harsh for most curls. Without enough conditioning agents, it can lift the hair's cuticles, leaving hair dry and frizzy. For those looking for even more hydration, consider a so-called "co-wash" formula. Co-washing (the curly community's term for washing hair with conditioner) has resulted in the rise of cleansing conditioners. Try Biolage Cleansing Conditioner by Matrix
CONDITION, CONDITION, CONDITION
Did we mention condition? The curlier the hair, the longer it takes for natural oils to travel from the scalp to the ends, causing the lower half to appear dry and frazzled. Start adding moisture in the shower. Then protect and hydrate every inch with a styling product that doubles as a leave-in conditioner. Just be sure to pick the right formula to deliver moisture without weighing hair down. We recommend sprays for soft curls, thicker gels for medium to big curls and denser creams for crimpy coils. DevaCurl has just the right products to help.
STYLE YOUR HAIR WHEN IT'S SOPPING WET.
Hands off your bath towel for just one more minute—you can stave off frizz and prevent a stiff, sticky feeling by applying products before you've even stepped out of the shower stall. Use your fingers to rake products through from roots to ends, then scrunch and squeeze upward toward the scalp.
DON'T BLOW-DRY WITHOUT A DIFFUSER
A regular nozzle disrupts the curl pattern and focuses hot air on one small section at a time, while a diffuser dries curls evenly for a full, uniform look. After applying a heat-protecting product, flip your head upside down and diffuse right at the roots and mid-length, making sure to dry the area completely to lock in volume. Do the ends last and leave them only semidry. Because the ends tend to be more damaged, let them air-dry more.