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10 Curly Hair Tips That Will Change Your Life

The be-all-end-all guide to getting your best curls -- period
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Curly hair can be your best asset or your biggest nightmare, depending on the day. Blame your shampoo, straightening iron, pillow or, hell, even the weatherman. More so than any other hair texture, naturally curly hair can turn a bad hair day into a don't-leave-the-house one. No matter how thin or thick your mane is, curly hair is extremely sensitive to environmental and styling factors, and its naturally dry texture means it needs a little extra loving care each day.

So what's the key to sporting bouncy, frizz-free curls seven days a week? We tapped celebrity hair stylists and natural hair experts to get the best curly hair products, hair styling tips and coloring techniques for your best curls ever.

Image via Imaxtree

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Curly Hair Tip No. 1: Ditch the Shampoo
According to Shari Harbinger, VP of Education for DevaCurl, you should never, ever use conventional shampoo. The reason: traditional shampoos contain sulfates, foaming detergents that are harsh and dehydrating. Harbinger says they are especially damaging to coils' naturally dry and brittle texture. The result: dry and frizzy locks.

Instead, choose a cleansing conditioner -- a shampoo alternative developed specifically for curly hair. "They cleanse the scalp, stimulating and invigorating cells while removing dirt particles and build-up, which is essential to hair health," says Harbinger. Though you won't get any lather, you will be rewarded with bouncier, healthier curls.

Aveda Global Artistic Director for Textured Hair Tippi Shorter says the gentle formulas are suitable for everyday use, if need be. Still, try to skip shampooing as much as possible to allow your scalp's natural oils to condition your hair.

Try: DevaCurl No-Poo Conditioning Cleanser, $18.95, or L'Oréal EverCurl Hydracharge Cleansing Conditioner, $6.99

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Curly Hair Tip No. 2: Never, Ever Pick Up a Brush
The other item you shouldn't own: a brush. Never give in to the urge to brush your hair, warns Harbinger. The hair shaft of curly hair has bends in it, making it more susceptible to breakage with every twist and turn. Dragging a brush through your curls, wet or dry, is a recipe for breakage, says Maria Mavostomos, Curls Marketing Director at Dippity Do Girls with Curls.

"This is especially true when it's wet, as this is when it's most fragile," explains Harbinger. Avoid stretching the hair in this fragile state in order to preserve elasticity and avoid frizz.

Instead, use your fingers in the shower to detangle your curly hair. "Doing this forces you to isolate the tangles so that you can gently loosen them without raking through them," says Harbinger. Or, use a wide-tooth comb in the shower while your hair is still soaked in conditioner.

Try: Ouidad Wide Tooth Comb, $8

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Curly Hair Tip No. 3: Keep Your Hands Away From Your Hair
To keep your curly hair texture at its most defined, avoid manipulating it, period. Touching your hair with your hands while it's drying breaks up your curl pattern, adding frizz and an unkempt wave.

The secret to styling your curls without creating frizz really depends on your curl type, says Harbinger.

Supercurly hair should be prepared with a styling product when wet, and then left alone.

Wavy hair, she says, doesn't frizz as much and typically needs extra coaxing for volume and definition. To give your waves more lift as they dry, use a curl cream and scrunch up your hair vigorously while it's damp. Then, avoid touching your hair at all costs until it's at least 75 percent dry, says Shorter. This will give you frizz-free volume all day.

For any type of curl pattern that falls flat while drying, try this trick: Section off the top portion of your hair just around the crown. Pull it back and clip it loosely with a jaw clip during the drying process. This will help give hair more volume once dry, she says.

Try: Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer, $24, or Pureology Curl Complete Uplifting Curl, $32.

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Curly Hair Tip No. 4: Make These Hair Products Your BFFs
From cleansing to styling, the best curly hair products should contain natural oils that nourish the hair with moisture, explains Harbinger. Because moisture affects the look, feel and texture of curly hair, your curls need moisture every step of the way.

After washing your hair with a cleansing conditioner, follow with a traditional conditioner, then rinse. Once you've lightly toweled off your hair (scrunch, don't rub, to avoid frizz), run a curl cream or other detangling product through your hair, working the it through with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. Look for products that contain shea, jojoba or coconut oil.

Try: KinkyCurly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner/Detangler, $12, or KMS California Silk Sheen Leave In Conditioner, $19.

Curly hair can be your best asset or your biggest nightmare, depending on the day. Blame your shampoo, straightening iron, pillow or, hell, even the weatherman.

More so than any other hair texture, naturally curly hair can turn a bad hair day into a don't-leave-the-house one. No matter how thin or thick your mane is, curly hair is extremely sensitive to environmental and styling factors, and its naturally dry texture means it needs a little extra loving care each day.

So what's the key to sporting bouncy, frizz-free curls seven days a week? We tapped celebrity hair stylists and natural hair experts to get the best curly hair products, hair styling tips and coloring techniques for your best curls ever.

BY KELLY SEARLE | JAN 15, 2016 | SHARES
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