Want Tips on How to Keep Curly Hair Hydrated? Keep Reading!

Although there is no definitive number of people who have curly hair in the United States, we all know at least one person who has curly or even wavy hair in our lives. We must understand how curly hair functions to maintain healthy, hydrated, and frizz-free curly hair. Here’s how to keep your curly hair hydrated all year long!

How Does Curly Hair Form

Simply put, curly hair forms when hair follicles grow in the shape of an oval instead of a round one (perfectly round follicles produce straight hair). If you want to know how tighter or coiled the curls will be, you have to look at the follicle; the flatter the oval, the tighter your curls will be; the more round, your hair will be straighter.

Who is More Likely to Inherit Curly Hair

Yes, if you’re born with curly hair, it is actually your parents' fault. Curly hair is considered to be a dominant gene trait. Dominance refers to the inheritance of traits that are typically passed vertically from parent to child. So, if you have one parent with curly hair and another with straight hair, you're more likely to inherit curly hair.

Types of Curly Hair

Photo by Godisable Jacob

There are currently three types of curly hair — type 2 (wavy), type 3 (curly), and type 4 (kinky and coily). Within each of these hair types are additional subtypes. They’re distinguishable based on the curl’s shape and diameter.

Type 2 - Wavy

Photo by Monstera

This hair type ranges from loose beach waves to s-shape waves. The hair is usually flat around the roots and starts to show waves further down the hair cuticle. These waves are the easiest to curl because they’re usually not too oily or dry. It’s recommended that for this hair type, use airy sprays and volume-boosting foams so as not to weigh down the hair.

Type 2A

This hair type can be categorized as barely-there waves with a tousled texture. A hair spray can easily straighten or bump up the curl factor.

Type 2B

This hair type is described as defined beach waves without help from heat styling tools. These waves form an S-shape and can become frizzy. A leave-in conditioner can help tame flyaways and boost shine.

Type 2C

This hair type is considered to be extremely wavy but not yet curly. This hair type has a lot of deep waves and some loose curls. It’s also more prone to frizz. A lightweight curl creme is recommended to help boost the waves/curls.

Type 3 - Curly

Photo by Jermaine Ulinwa

This hair type starts with formed and defined ringlet curls ranging from loose loops to corkscrew curls. With this curl pattern, the hair cuticle is more open, and natural oils have a harder time going down to the roots. This hair type is more frizzy and is prone to losing curl definition - properly moisturizing each hair strand is vital!

Type 3A

This hair type can be defined by large loose curls. It’s typically reactive to humidity and doesn’t have much shrinkage (coily appearance). For this hairstyle, it’s recommended to use products that hydrate and clearly define curls, such as a curl activator.

Type 3B

This hair type has ringlets closer to the size of your finger and creates shrinkage - 1-2 inches. With this hair type, it’s important to keep it hydrated with medium-weight curl creams to help with frizz and moisture.

Type 3C

This hair type is where you start to see the tight, corkscrew-like curls. The curls are densely packed, creating lots of volume, but they are also frizzy and easily break if not properly moisturized. It’s recommended to use heavier creams and curly hair shampoos.

Type 4 - Kinky and Coily

Photo by Tomaz Barcellos

This hair type features ultra-tight S-shaped or Z-shaped curls, often called zigzag curls; they don’t wrap around themselves and have the most shrinkage- up to 75% of the hair’s length. Due to its high texture, this hair type is considered the driest and most delicate of the curly hair categories. It’s recommended to use gels and conditioning products to help protect the curls and maintain hydration.

Type 4A

This hair type is defined by tight corkscrews with a diameter the size of a toothpick. Using extremely hydrating hair oils, gels, and leave-in conditioners is recommended.

Type 4B

This hair type is notable by the curl shape, a “z” shape. Since this hair type is closer to the end of the wavy/curly hair spectrum, it can be fragile and prone to losing moisture. Experts recommend using hydrating leave-in products and deep-conditioning hair masks!

Type 4C

The last type of curly hair is 4C which is the coiliest hair type. This hair type can be described as extremely dense and fine. If you have this hair type, use hydrating products and oils to ensure your hair stays moisturized all year round!

How Often Should You Wash Curly Hair?

Now that you have a greater understanding of what it is actually means to have curly hair and wavy hair, wash days also vary. For looser waves, you can wash your hair 2 - 4 times a week. For people with coily hair, it’s recommended to wash fewer times and do a weekly hair mask to ensure the hair stays hydrated.

Photo by Armin Rimoldi 

Hydrating Products for Curly Hair

Here are the best hydrating products to keep your curly hair healthy, hydrated, and happy!

Cab’s professional - Moisture Repair Hair Mask $19.80

Infused with argan oil and enriched with proteins and keratin, Cab's Argan Oil Moisture Repair Hair Mask instantly transforms the texture of your hair, leaving it soft, silky, and easier to manage. Repairs and strengthens weak, damaged, and over-processed hair to give your hair a healthy look.

cab's professional argan-oil-moisture-repair-hair-mask

Source: Cab’s

Shea Moisture - Curl & Style Milk $ 12.49

SheaMoisture's Coconut & Hibiscus nourishing styling Curl Milk for thick, curly hair conditions, detangles and provides curl control.


Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk


Source: Ulta

Moroccanoil - Curl Defining Curl $36

This argan oil-infused curl definer features an advanced heat-activated technology that provides a curl memory factor to fight frizz and create well-defined, natural-looking, bouncy curls that last.

Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream

Source: Moroccanoil

We know maintaining curly hair is a mission, but when the right products are used, you can keep even the coiliest hair hydrated all year round!

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