Curly hair, don’t care? Well, not exactly. If you’re blessed with natural curls, you probably know that styling them isn’t the easiest thing in the world. So we chatted with Chaz Dean, celebrity stylist and founder of Wen Haircare, to get the secrets to bouncy–soft curls. His first tip? Ditch the towel!
“Use a paper towel to pat your hair dry,” he told us. “Using a towel depletes too much moisture, which curls need. You should also apply styling products to soaking wet hair. Rake, twist, and push them into your curls to fully infuse your hair with product.”
For defined curls, nothing does the trick like a little post–shower movement: “Shake your head up and down after you apply product—this helps separate your curls,” says Dean. The rest of the day, hands off. “Don’t touch your curls,” he cautions. “The more you play with them, the more they tend to frizz.”
If there was one thing we took away from our chat, it was this: Moisture and body go hand in hand. Stay away from products that strip hair—Dean told us to avoid lathering shampoos and products with high levels of SD alcohol. Another unlikely culprit is protein. “Your hair is already made up of proteins,” he explains, “Adding more increases breakage and frizziness.”
Dean’s own line includes several products that are particularly good on curly hair: styling crème to reduce frizz and protect against heat, alcohol–free nourishing mousse for touchable texture, and a glossing serum to smooth down flyaways. Shop his recommendations—plus a few of our personal favorites—in the slideshow above.