Here’s your A to Z for curly hair care, from the ultimate, step-by-step curly hair routine to easy styling for effortless chic and the best tips for keeping your curls bouncy and happy.

Curls, curls, curls – naturally straight-haired folk spend hours and good amounts of $$$ trying to score the captivating beauty of a head of curly hair. But you, you lucky girl, were born with hair that can instantly become the center of attention. Alluring, mysterious, or playful, curly hair is always in fashion.

But along with the natural volume and movement that comes with gorgeous curls, there are also a number of challenges that you may have to manage. From frizziness to split ends and curls that have lost their bounce and luster, you might find that your curly mane requires a lot of TLC.

Here’s the complete A to Z guide on caring for your curly hair, with curly hair tips, the best routine for curly hair, and the ideal way to style your mane, whether it’s short or long.

Your perfect curly hair routine

Let’s break down the ultimate curly hair care routine for a heart-turning, gorgeous mane.

Strengthening your curly hair is priority number one. Products enriched with Keratin and other vital nutrients can help protect your hair from the elements and enhance your mane’s charming natural shape. Make sure that you use hair care products for curly hair, as other products may be formulated for straight hair and could potentially negatively affect your mane.

The best shampoo for curly hair will be specially formulated for your hair type. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for curly hair; instead, you need to embrace shampoos and conditioners that were crafted especially for your mane.

Wondering how to wash curly hair? First things first, don’t wash your hair everyday. Even if you use a gentle shampoo and conditioner, washing too frequently strips your hair of its natural oils and dries out your scalp, which can lead to split ends and breakage.

Be brave and use a cold rinse in the shower when washing out shampoo or conditioner. Hot water is linked to your color losing its radiance more quickly. If you can’t handle the cold, lukewarm or room temperature water is still better than hot.

The last step in your hair routine for curly hair is locking in moisture. Use leave-in conditioners, serums, and deep conditioning masks to ensure that your hair and scalp both stay nourished and hydrated, which encourages further growth and strengthens your mane.

Tips for amazingly healthy curly hair

Detangle, but gently. If your hair is knotted, never yank forcefully to break up a tangle – you can cause serious damage to your mane. You may want to use a detangling creme to help ease the process, and make sure to work from the ends upwards.

It might sound silly, but try drying your hair upside down. That’s right – when you’ve just stepped out of the shower and your hair is wet, look downwards and use a towel to gently scrunch water out of your mane. Apply products like leave-in conditioner and curl creams while your head is still angled downwards, then flip upwards when you’re finished.

Avoid hot tools as much as possible. If you must use a curling iron, flat iron, diffuser, or blow dryer on your mane, make sure to slather on a liberal amount of heat protectant spray or serum before using heat for styling.

How to avoid frizz for curly hair

Curly hair doesn’t have to mean frizzy hair. If you’re looking to tame frizz without weighing down your curls, there is a solution.

Frizzy hair often stems from dry hair. Moisture can be extremely helpful for taming frizz, so make sure that you’re giving your mane plenty of hydrating TLC with leave-in creams, deep conditioning masks, and serums.

Reduce friction to help reduce frizz. Invest in a silk or satin pillowcase, which prevents your hair from getting caught and tugged by rough fabric. You can also wrap your hair in a satin or silk scarf, which helps it stay moisturized.

Trim your ends regularly. Split ends can evolve from being a problem relegated to the tips of your hair to a bigger problem, as they can expand up your strand. That can make frizziness worse, so make sure to go for regular trims.

How to style naturally curly hair

The key to achieving the best look with your naturally curly hair is embracing what you have and rocking your natural assets. That means emphasizing the amazing movement, volume, and natural curly beauty that you were lucky enough to be born with.

Switch up where you part your hair. Instead of parting your mane in the middle, try a dramatic side part that instantly adds volume to the crown. With your curly hair, this will give you instant volume and drama.

Always, always, always comb your hair from the bottom up. It might seem counterintuitive not to start at the crown, but it can have a huge impact on keeping your curls looking lively and energetic.

For everyday styling, make the most of your curls. Try a pineapple-shaped top knot by pulling your hair up into a messy bun, securing it with an elastic, then wrapping a bit of loose hair around the base. Voila! An instant put-together (but not trying too hard) chic look.

If you don’t have a ton of time on your hands, a simple mermaid or side braid is a wonderful, instant fix. Simply braid your hair to the left or right side of your head — or you can start off small, by braiding small sections of your hair and working your way down.

Identifying your curl type

Another critical step for creating the best curly hair care routine for your unique mane starts with identifying your curl type. If you have type 2 – wavy hair – then you’ll need to take a different route than type 3 (curly hair) or type 4 (kinky, coily hair.)

Stay tuned for more unique advice for curly hair broken down by curl type.