Frizzy, out of control and full of tangles. Curly hair can be unpredictable. Sometimes it just has a mind of its own. Luckily, there are a few curly hair products that can help prevent your curls from looking frizzy and undefined. Some are more expensive than others. Considering the fact that I’ve dealt with curly hair my entire life, I’d say I know a thing or two about taking care of it. Because curly hair routines can be lengthy, I’ve decided to break this guide down in terms of controlling frizz and getting defined curls. That said, let’s get down to the basics: shampoo and conditioner. I can give you a list of all the products in the world that would help your curls look the way you want them to. However, if you don’t use the right shampoo and conditioner then nothing else matters. Think of curly hair care as a domino effect — if the first step is incorrect, then nothing else will work correctly. By that logic, there are four words I believe every person with curly hair should follow: sulfate and silicone-free. Check out our tips on how to care for curls.
Sulfates and Silicones
Sulfates are found in shampoos and silicones are found in conditioners. In basic terms, sulfates are chemicals that strip your hair of dirt, oils and product buildup to give you that “extra clean.” They give shampoos a “rich creamy lather” effect when you wash your hair. Silicones are synthetic materials that cover the hair shaft with a waxy-like substance to give the hair a lot of “slip” and makes it easy to detangle.
This all sounds good, right? Not for curly hair. It’s all based upon how hair is biologically designed. Curly hair in its most basic form is naturally dry and brittle. This is because the hair is shaped in an s-like pattern or in ringlets. Our bodies produce natural oils from the scalp that nourishes the hair. These oils, in my opinion, are better than any hair product you could purchase. However, curly hair is so dry because of the way the curls are shaped, which traps the hair at the top of the scalp. Whereas people with straight/wavy hair, the oils easily move down the hair shaft, hence the need to wash their hair every two or three days. This is ideal for how to care for curls.
Stay clear of shampoos that have sulfates and conditioners that have silicones. Although lathering shampoo can make your hair feel clean, sulfates are extremely damaging to curly hair. Because of the way our hair is designed, we need those natural oils more than anyone. Using a sulfate shampoo strips those away and we are left with dry and frizzy hair. Silicones are bad for curly hair as well because of the waxy layer of materials they leave behind on the hair shaft. This prevents any sort of moisture from entering the hair; locking in frizz.
Finding these products in your shampoo and conditioner isn’t difficult. Look for keywords like “sulfate” or “silicone free” when buying shampoos or conditioners. Try to stick to brands that only make products for curly hair.. They specialize in curly hair and know how to make it healthy from both inside and out. Try this for how to care for curls.
What To Try
For shampoo, two of my favorites are the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Shampoo, and the DevaCurl No-Poo Original Zero Lathering Cleanser. Shea Moisture is cheaper than DevaCurl and you can buy it at Ulta, Walgreens, Walmart or Target. The shampoo is available in-store or online. DevaCurl is a little more difficult to find and can be purchased in-store or online at Ulta, Sephora, or on DevaCurl.com. The price varies from location to location but in general, Shea Moisture products are a little more budget-friendly than DevaCurl. This is great for how to care for curls..
For conditioner my two favorites are the Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl and Shine Conditioner and the DevaCurl One Condition Original Daily Cream Conditioner. Shea Moisture is a little more accessible and budget-friendly, but DevaCurl works just as well to justify its price point. All of the products in the Shea Moisture line can be purchased at the same locations listed above, and the same applies for DevaCurl.
I am not an expert in curly hair, but in my personal experience, I have found that products from both Shea Moisture and DevaCurl work the best for my hair. If you haven’t tried them yet, I’d recommend you do. These brands make some of the best curly hair products on the market.