Believe it or not, roughly 65% of the U.S. population has textured hair. And, just like we all have individual skin types (think dry, combination, oily, etc.), curly hair also falls into various categories and requires customized care. Yep, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. Yet, all types of textured hair have one major thing in common—they’re more fragile than straight strands. Here’s why: According to a L’Oreal study, the curlier the hair, the smaller the curve diameter and, given that very curly hair stretches less under stress, it is more likely to break.
Which is why moisture is imperative across the board, regardless of where your hair falls on the texture scale. (A simple breakdown: Type 1s are straight, Type 2s are wavy, Type 3s are curly and Type 4s are coily.) To help you understand and enhance your unique texture, we’ve crafted a quick explainer (plus product recommendations) for wavy, curly and coily hair.
“Wavy hair is pretty easy to straighten and has a looser and sometimes softer texture,” says celebrity hairstylist Nelson Vercher (who works with stars including Kelly Rowland, Carmen Ejogo, Tamia, Sylvia Rhone and Naomi Campbell). “Typically, the texture is flatter at the crown.”
Common concerns for wavy hair include lack of volume (this hair type can be on the finer side), frizz, flyaways from damage and maintaining definition. “Wavy hair should stay away from very heavy products as they can make the hair too greasy,” emphasizes Vercher. “Look for ingredients containing rice protein, since it won’t weigh the hair down.”
In terms of stylers, those with wavy hair should opt for lightweight products including leave-in conditioners or curl creams. “Lighter products like gels, light creams or mousse work great with loose, wavy hair. My favorite product for wavy hair is Oribe Curl Shaping Mousse,” says celebrity hairstylist Cheryl T Bergamy, who works with Ashleigh Murray, Ruth Carter, Essence Atkins, Kat Barrell, John Legend and Leslie Odom Jr. “It’s featherlight and will add moisture. It is also excellent for keeping both waves and curls in place.”
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