Winter is a particularly challenging season for curly hair, which tends to be drier than its straighter counterparts. Cold air, wind and indoor heating can leave curls parched and rough; raw, wet days can cause frizz.
So several companies are introducing products aimed at curly-heads, all designed to cleanse, hydrate or style with their specific needs in mind.
These offerings combine moisturizing oils with targeted ingredients for hold and conditioning. Although each product can be used on its own, combining several at once is a popular strategy.
“Not every woman has the same curl, so not every product is going to work on every woman,” said David Babaii, a hairstylist whose clients have included curly-haired celebrities like Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker. “It’s a matter of mixing one curl product with another to make the right little cocktail.”
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Some of the products in Bumble & Bumble’s Bb Curl collection lend themselves to that type of blending.
For example, there is a gloppy gel-oil hybrid designed to prevent frizz in very curly hair. A small dab mixed with the line’s less-intense Defining Creme offers an effective amount of hold and smoothness. The six-product collection includes a patented blend of exotic moisturizing ingredients like cupuacu butter and the oils of pracaxi and babassu nuts.
The L'Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Extraordinary Oil Curls Collection, which includes three curl products, also incorporates a variety of oils into its formula. The standout, about to reach stores, is a dense mask with a coconut-heavy scent that looks like a creamy mousse dessert. A thick application for a few minutes helps replenish hair’s moisture.
For some women with curly hair, the goal is simply to control and define locks without making them look and feel limp or overly stiff. Oribe Curl Control Silkening Creme, introduced last year, shapes curls with a light touch. Its formula includes hydrating avocado, jojoba oil and Oribe’s distinctive fragrance. Kevin Murphy Killer Curls, a new item in a popular line sold in salons, is a lotion that adds contour to waves and coils without being heavy.
Co-washing – cleaning hair with conditioner alone – has become a routine for many curly-heads. Sachajuan Hair Cleansing Cream is nourishing and particularly gentle on curls, although it is appropriate for all hair types.
The key to using many of these products is moderation.
“When it comes to products, less is always more,” Babaii said. “A woman with curly hair should moisturize and hydrate her hair, but if conditioner builds up, after a while it snaps your hair. Using the right amount is great. Overusing really isn’t.”