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Curly Hair Saviors

Curly strands are a lot like fingerprints—nearly every coil has its own unique pattern. While it helps the tendril-ed set stand out in a crowd, it also makes it tricky to find the right combination of products.“Curly hair is not just different because of the size of the curl, but also the texture,” says Nelson Vercher, a stylist at New York’s Rita Hazan Salon. “You can have coarse hair with big wave or fine hair with super tight spiral curls.” The solution? Whip up a customized curly concoction, says Michelle Breyer, president of NaturallyCurly. “People with curls and kinks may need to layer or mix products—a leave-in mixed with a styling cream, for example—to get the results they desire.” Here, our tried-and-true cocktails for smooth, defined coils.

If you have waves…

You need a volumizing product plus something that defines your curl pattern. A little of any product goes a long way for this type of texture, so apply sparingly.

Try: A root booster like Oscar Blandi Hair Lift + wave enhancer like Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray = luxurious, beachy tresses

If you have big spirals…

Your goal is to emphasize texture, while hiding frizz. Gels tend to provide the perfect amount of control for bigger curls, while pomade takes care of flyaways. After styling with gel, rub pomade in your hands and pull your hair back as if you're putting it in a ponytail. This helps set the curls and reduce the crunch factor.

Try: A frizz-fighting gel like Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel + a pomade like My Honey Child Honey Love Pomade = defined curls

If you have small coils…

To get definition you need to boost moisture and hold. Styling creams work well layered or mixed with leave-in conditioners.

Try: Conditioning cream like Miss Jessie’s Original Quick Curls + styling aid like Amika Obliphica Curl Defining Cream = shiny, defined curls

If you have kinky curls…

Your hair is prone to breakage, so moisture is a mandatory. Oils (think jojoba, argan, and coconut) are very good for this hair type. Layer styling puddings and custards over oils to provide hold and definition.

Try: Oils like L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil + custard like Miss Jessie's Original Curly Meringue = luscious kinks

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