All curls aren't created equal. Some are loose, some are coarse. Some veer beachy, and some fall into perfect ringlets with little to no effort, and we're totally not jealous at all. But there's one thing that all curls types have in common: They crave hydration. Most of the new hair products for curly hair do just that, along with providing volume, definition, and shine.
Hydrated hair helps with making curls easy to style, whereas styling dry hair can prompt breaking and frizz. But a quick fix to quenching your dehydrated curls is one that stylists have sworn by for years. “Use conditioner more and shampoo less," Mia Santiago, a celebrity hairstylist who counts Giuliana Rancic, Mariska Hargitay, and Ayesha Curry as clients, says. "Using shampoo every other time you wash will keep your curls more hydrated." Which is a rule that most people with natural hair already abide by, as shampoos with sulfates and harsh surfactants tend to strip curls and coils of their natural moisture.
Since conditioning curly hair provides styling benefits, Takisha Sturdivant-Drew, a celebrity hairstylist who works with Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, and Ashley Graham, suggests deep conditioning with a heated cap or underneath a hooded dryer. “It’s an excellent way to make sure the moisture and nutrients go directly into the shaft," she notes. “It allows the cuticles to open up and receive the extra love and most importantly, keeps it all healthy."
Ahead, see the gentle shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that will bring the best out of your curls until it's wash-and-go season.