Curly Tops Have More Fun: Top 5 Tips for Curly Hair

Just look at these lovely curly red locks. Who would want to straighten them?
Just look at these lovely curly red locks. Who would want to straighten them?
Digital Vision/Photodisc/Thinkstock

In the movie "The Princess Diaries," the film's heroine, who discovers she's royalty, is made over from a frumpy girl with curly locks to a beautiful princess with long straight hair. Does Hollywood think the pathway to beauty is a hair-straightening iron? It takes a lot of energy, money and time to tame waves and ringlets into unnatural stick-straight strands. So why do it?

Rather than think of your curls as an adversary, think of them as an asset. With the right cut and hair care regime, a head full of curls will look fantastic. Let's take a look at few ways you can embrace your curls!


Get a Layered Cut

Curly hair looks best when your stylist layers it and cuts it with a razor or texturizing scissors. Layering your hair will give it some shape, help it to frame your face and make your curls look as long and full as possible. Be sure that none of the layers are too short, because this might make your hair look poofy.

Curly hair looks great long or short. So don't feel obligated to keep your hair long, (especially if you're likely to pull it up into a ponytail every day). Curly bobs are also cute. And while we're on the subject of cuts, make sure to find a stylist who's comfortable cutting curly hair. He or she could make or break your look.


Air Dry or Use a Diffuser

Use a diffuser to bring your locks to life.
Use a diffuser to bring your locks to life.

Blow dryers can destroy a beautiful head of curly hair. So for curly hair, air drying may be your best bet. After you shower, squeeze out excess moisture and carefully blot your hair with a towel. Don't overdo it; if you touch your hair too much, you may break up the curls.

If you're too short on time to air dry, use a diffuser to blow dry your hair. Diffusers operate at a low speed and high heat. The diffuser will circulate the air flow while blow drying to bring out your natural curl. The important thing to remember about using a diffuser is to not stop until your hair is completely dry. It'll become frizzy and fuzzy if you stop midway.


Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

In general, curly hair tends to dry out more easily than straight hair, and many stylists recommend shampooing curly hair as infrequently as possible to avoid drying it out. If your hair is super fine, shampoo every other day. If you have very thick curly hair, shampoo a few times each week.

On days when you don't wash your hair, you can rinse it with water and condition it. Some stylists recommend conditioning curly hair twice a shower. When conditioning your hair, start at about an inch away from your scalp and work the condition down into the tips of your hair. You can also use leave-in conditioner to lock in moisture, which prevents frizz.


Use Curly-hair-specific Products

If it's raining outside, let the moisture in the air bring out your natural curl.
If it's raining outside, let the moisture in the air bring out your natural curl.

When shopping for hair care products, look for the products specifically designed for curly hair. These products, which are usually the same price as products for straight hair, will help to moisturize and reduce frizz. Sulfate-free shampoo can be especially good for curly hair, and lightweight mousse, gel or other styling products designed for curly hair can help to add body and shape to a head full of curls. When applying these products to your hair, gently work a small amount of product through a small section of hair so as not to break up curls. A friend of mine with gorgeous curly hair recommends the Be Curly line by Aveda. One of the products in this line is a hair lotion, which might sound scary, but actually does wonders to control frizz and smells great!


Don't Fight the Curl

Curly hair doesn't have to be straight. Think of it as an asset, not a burden. Remember that people spend tons of money on expensive perms to get the curl nature gave you for free. While you might think that you have to fight curly hair on humid days, humidity can actually make your hair look curlier, which definitely can be a good thing. Sure, you can use a hair ceramic hair straightener when you want to go for a different look, but don't feel pressured by fashion magazines to straighten naturally curly hair. Because, after all, curly tops do have more fun!


Awesome Hair Takes Over Atlanta at Bronner Bros. Hair Show

Awesome Hair Takes Over Atlanta at Bronner Bros. Hair Show

The Bronner family held their February 2018 hair and beauty expo in Atlanta. HowStuffWorks captured some great pics from the Bronner Bros. hair show.

Related Articles


  • "Curl Like a Pro." Aveda.
  • Curly Hair Care Tips. Hair Care Guide.
  • Flahive, Elizabeth. Styling Tips for Curly Hair." Marie Claire.
  • "Hollywood Misperception: Curly Hair= Messy Life." Divine Caroline.
  • Paynch, Sophia. "The 10 Best Tips for Curly Hair." Allure Magazine.
  • Tips for Curly Hair. Curly Hair.