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5 Tips for Styling Curly Hair

woman with very curly hair

There are few things more eye-catching than a mane full of curls – but we all know that cultivating beautiful curly hair is nearly impossible without the right haircut, curly hair products, and maintenance. 

At Mill Pond Salon, our stylists take pride in providing expert hair cuts, color, and styling for all hair textures – including wavy and curly hair. Make an appointment with us today to find out for yourself! 

Blonde woman with curly beautiful hair smiling on gray background.Tip 1: Discover Your Curl Type

It is best to examine your curl pattern while your hair is sopping wet. Most people have several kinds of curls on their head, so make sure to check the top, back, and sides. 

Consult this handy guide that illustrates the different types of curls, ranging from levels 1-4:

woman with curly hair in the sunlight

  1. Straight – often shiny and nearly impossible to curl 
  2. Wavy – in between wavy and straight, prone to frizz
  3. Curly – definitive S-curve pattern
  4. Coily – very tight curls or zig-zags that are fine and prone to breaking

Identifying your curl type(s) will help you select the right cut, style, and products for your hair.  

Tip 2: Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Young woman applying cream on long hair in bathroom

Your curly crown, regardless of curl type, needs a TON of moisture to achieve its full, glorious potential. Creams, lotions, conditioners, oils, and serums are a curly gal’s best friends. 

Mill Pond Salon’s professional stylists are happy to recommend curly hair products at your next appointment – just ask! We love our Aveda products and are happy to go over each of them with you, as well as how to use them.

The Be Curly line from Aveda has everything you need for beautiful curls without the frizz.

Young woman applying oil on her curly brown hair.

  • Be Curly Shampoo and Conditioner is the best way to start your curly routine. Using this shampoo and conditioner set will cleanse your curly locks and condition them, allowing your natural curls to look their best.
  • Be Curly Style Prep adds moisture to your hair, especially at the roots. The Style Prep allows easier styling of your curls and helps those curls last longer.
  • Be Curly Curl Enhancer helps enhance your natural curls while boosting shine and minimizing frizz.
  • Be Curly Intensive Detangling Masque provides deep conditioning and fights frizz, as well as separates your curls for a beautiful look.
  • Be Curly Curl Enhancing Hair Spray locks in your curly look.
  • Be Curly Co-Wash is a sulfate free addition that helps you rinse out buildup from using products over time.

Portrait of woman with long curly beautiful ginger hair.

When to moisturize?

  • If your hair is coarse, dull or brittle, apply a hair mask or deep conditioner a few hours BEFORE you get in the shower and shampoo. 
  • After you shampoo, just like your mom taught you! Try to leave it in for at least three minutes, or longer if you can. 
  • If you wear your hair down for a day, make sure to refresh your curls and give them an extra spritz of moisture.

close up of hairdresser combing wet hair of a woman

Tip 3, Get Regular Trims

How many times have you heard your stylist say, “Come in for a trim more often!”? And yet, you probably don’t go every 6-8 weeks as you should. 

It may seem counter-intuitive, but trimming just the ends of your hair regularly actually makes your hair grow faster! Split or frayed ends encourage continual damage to the hair cuticle, and cutting them off is the only way to fix them. 

Hairdresser's scissors with comb and strand of blonde hair on grey background

Because no two curly heads are the same, cutting curls can be tricky. Hair shrinks as it dries and your stylist has to be confident that the cut will look good when 

It’s important to find trained professionals who can confidently cut all types of hair. Cutting curls while they are wet can be tricky, as the hair doesn’t shrink up uniformly as it dries. 

Young woman in shorts with very curly hair

Tip 4, Wash Less

Washing your hair less might freak you out at first, but trust us, it will make a HUGE difference for your curls. 

If you’re used to shampooing every day, start challenging yourself by adding a day in between washes, and then two, and so on. Depending on your activity level (i.e. how often you get super sweaty) and the hair’s moisture needs, it is easy to go 3-8 days without shampooing while still looking fabulous.

woman washing her hair in shower

When you DO decide to suds up, it’s absolutely essential to choose a shampoo that is free from sulfates. Sulfates are a common additive to many shampoos; it acts as a detergent to strip away your hair’s natural oils and moisture – the exact opposite of what you want. There

Tip 5, Protect Your Crown

Now that you know how to keep your hair properly moisturized and maintained, you have to protect all your hard work! Curly hair tends to be more fragile and more prone to breakage than other hair types, especially if it is under-moisturized, damaged by heat tools or bleaching. 

Ways to Be Kind to Your Hair

  • If you’re an outdoors enthusiast or someone who loves tanning on the beach, consider investing in a cute hat to protect your tresses from the intense sun and heat. 
  • Use scrunchies (hello, the 80s are calling!) instead of plain elastic bands.
  • Always detangle wet hair with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb. 
  • When combing or brushing, start from the bottom to prevent knots and snarls. 
  • Limit heat styling (curling irons, straighteners, blow dryers, hot rollers, etc.) to a few days a week or less.
  • Use a soft old t-shirt to dry your hair instead of an abrasive towel. 
  • Save super tight hairstyles for special occasions. Best to leave that daily high n’ tight ponytail to Ariana Grande! 

Young woman with beautiful curly hair near the river

For people who rock natural hair, protective styling is essential for maintaining hair health and length. A protective style is simply any style where the hair is safely tucked away and doesn’t need to be touched or manipulated throughout the day. 

There are hundreds of gorgeous protective styles to choose from – think braids, twists, rolls, buns, etc. Just make sure that whatever style you choose isn’t tight enough to pull your scalp. 

Repeatedly putting your hair in a too-taut updo can result in breakage, headaches and traction alopecia (thinning or receding of the hairline or small bald spots). 

Make an appointment at Mill Pond Salon today for all of your curly hair needs!

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