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How to Handle Curly Hair

June 07, 2024

How to Handle Curly Hair

Wavy and curly hair can be the most enchantingly gorgeous, but for some people it can be a beast to manage. Here we go through the whys and the wherefores to understanding your hair type from straight to coily. It's the basis of getting better results. 

Straight hair has a cylindrical hair shaft. Wavier hair has a more ovular cross section. The flatter the oval the curlier the hair. Hair isn’t normally one type all over the scalp and parts are likely to have more wave or kinks, even on visibly straight hair. This can also change during life through hormonal fluctuations or drug treatments.


Types 3a-3c can generally respond well to different styling say if you wanted the hair smooth. 4a – 4c are fragile and drier, so regular heat processes are not recommended.

Chemical straighteners may help lessen the need for heat styling, but an easier life will be had by relying on the the haircut to give shape and form to the natural beauty more often.  Rich conditioning and styling products that smooth the curl but allow more natural drying are best.

Generally the curlier the hair, the more dry, coarse and fragile. This will mean richer products for condition and different techniques and products for styling. 

Choosing Your Products

LifeSaver Pre-wash is so good at controlling thick dry wavy hair that many people apply this and then don't wash it off for days. 

LifeSaver Pre-wash Treatments work for all hair types because everyone wants stronger vibrant flexible hair that shines with life. This non-oily treatment slows down the ageing process so you keep more of your fresh flexible root hair further down. Less frizz, less thinning, less breakage. More shine, more flexibility.

Shampoos & Conditioners

Choose your shampoo based on the root hair type or scalp condition, and choose the conditioner based on the mid-lengths and ends. Use a rich and gentle shampoo for dry wavy or curly hair. A high quality shampoo may use some gentle sulphates in the right quantity for cleansing, balanced with lots of nutrients for hair.

Poor quality shampoos most likely use too much of a harsh sulphate cleanser and no healthy nutrients to counterbalance the cleansing. Sulphates in themselves are not the devil despite much misinformation on the web and in print.

Find a level of moisturising that works for your length and style. Not all curly hair needs heavyweight moisturising. 


Cashmere Protein Moisturising Shampoo is sulphate free, Cashmere Protein UV Protective Shampoo has just enough of a gentle sulphate to cleanse and still be very moisturising and protective for colour treated hair. For finer curly hair Cashmere Protein Angelica Rose Shampoo is lighter.

Avoid silicones and other plasticisers in shampoos. Whilst they will reduce frizz today they can dry the hair out further meaning you will work harder next time as the hair becomes more fragile and brittle.

Don’t swirl the hair around when shampooing. Use your fingers to gently comb through and keep in line whilst massaging gently.

Use the best conditioner spread evenly across palms and applied to hair. Comb thoroughly for even distribution. Rinse enough. Comb through again. 

Styling Products

Choosing the right products to match the hair type and texture will make home styling a joy. All our products are designed to move the hair towards healthy shiny flexible natural feeling hair.

Styling products for curly hair need to have an emphasis on moisturising and feeding. Avoid high alcohol-content products. LifeSaver UV,  Magic Oil, Ten Second Transformation and Volumising Mousse all help feed, control, and moisturise.


LifeSaver UV Leave-in Styling Treatment

This hero product helps defrizz and define waves for natural drying. It also gives heat protection and hydration for smooth blowdrying. LifeSaver UV Leave-in Styling Treatment is the most popular for giving soft beach waves. On very curly hair you can add a little LifeSaver Ultra to this which will give it more weight.


Magic Oil

Magic Oil will help keep hair smoother, looser, silky, and less likely to tangle.


Ten Second Transformation

You can pump all the goodness into the hair, but once dry, the surface cuticles may be too damaged and lifted making the ends still feel rough and dull. Ten Second Transformation has enough weight to feed, seal and smooth those rough ends on short or long textured hair. It gives styles definition and shine in an instant whilst feeding suppleness and protection.


Volumising Mousse

Smooths and thickens more textured mid-lengths and ends. Works well mixed with LifeSaver UV to give more hold to waves.


No.1 Brush

A problem for curly hair is combing and brushing which can be difficult and cause a lot of breakage. This cult hairbrush is so gentle it minimises any tension on the hair so is safer and easy to use. It glides through hair wet or dry and is great for kids too.

The Haircut

More than any other hair type the haircut is so important. Whilst you may not obviously see clumsily cut or chewed tips on curly hair, the overall shape is much more 3-Dimensional than straight hair so doesn’t respond well to one-length haircuts that only work when killed flat with hot irons. Skillful layering is essential.

This is where our unique Diamond Dry Cut comes into its own as a way to organically and precisely sculpt a 3 Dimension shape that looks better, lasts longer and is easy to manage  

General tips

Curls and coils may zig-zag, the surface cuticle is often less smooth, and the hair is more prone to go into different directions leading to more frizz, snagging and tangling. 

Keeping the hair flowing in the same direction will make the curls and waves look healthier and more defined. Think cotton in the form of cottonwool or cotton thread. This is particularly important when washing the hair not to create unnecessary tangles.

Silk pillowcases can help reduce friction on the surface of the hair and hair rubbing against itself. Both will leave curly hair more fluffy and frizzy-looking. Try a loose plait at night before bed to avoid the beginnings of dreadlocks in the nape.

Further Reading: Do You Know Your Hair Type?

 Michael Van Clarke

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