Whether you’re a habitual heat styler, teaser or messy bun wearer, we all do things to our hair that consequently damages it. That’s why the hair-care portion of your beauty routine is so important. From special detangling brushes to hair masks and leave-in treatments, there are a variety of hair products on the market designed to keep your stands in tip-top shape — or at least try to reverse the damage you cause to it. But we believe there is always room for improvement, which is why we talked to three hair experts to find out the best way to care for different hair types, ahead.
First things first, if you want to get your hair to its healthiest state, “you should speak to your stylist and properly identify your hair texture and understand its needs,” says Feisal Qureshi, RAINCRY Founder and Creative Director. And possibly the most important hair-care tip you can ever receive: “Be gentle with your hair in its wet state,” adds Qureshi.
How to Care for Curly Hair
Curly hair is often thick and a little more coarse than other hair types. “Curly hair needs moisture as this hair type is naturally dry and frizzy but with the right products, you can make the hair shiny and bouncy again,” says Linda de Zeeuw, Rob Peetoom Salon Master Stylist. Because curly hair tends to be on the drier side, you want to reach for products that put moisture into the hair and be careful how you let your strands dry after you wash it.
“Generally it requires less frequent shampooing but also is in need of more conditioning,” says Qureshi. When you over-wash curly hair, it strips it of its natural oils which help nourish and enhance the curl. After you wash it, “follow up with a mousse, gel or cream to help style, define and hold curls,” says Julie Norton, for HAI Beauty Concepts and House of Harper Salon. “Let your hair air-dry to avoid frizz and maintain control of your natural curl.”
How to Care for Natural, Kinky Hair
The most important hair-care tip to remember for natural, kinky hair is to keep it moisturized. “Deep condition, use hydrating hair masks, leave-in conditioners and moisturizing products that can help lock in moisture,” says Norton. “Ideally, cleanse only once or twice a week with a sulfate-free shampoo to maintain the natural oils.” When it comes to styling kinky hair, it’s best to do so when hair is still damp. If you want to create spiral curls you can twist little locks of hair when they’re damp and finish with a product especially created for kinky hair,” says de Zeeuw.
How to Care for Color-Treated Hair
Color-treated hair requires special products that won’t harm your delicate color. According to Norton, using a color-treated shampoo and conditioner duo that is sulfate-free is key. “In addition, it is important to rinse the hair with cool water to maintain the vibrancy and shine of your hair.” Depending on whether you dyed your hair lighter or darker also affects what products you use. “Just remember, the lighter you go, the more treatments you’re going to need to make your hair healthy again,” says de Zeeuw.
How to Care for Straight Hair
Some of the biggest concerns that come with straight hair are split ends, oiliness and flatness. In general, Qureshi says, “fine or limp hair requires less conditioning and regular cleansing.” To help with body, reach for lightweight products that won’t add oil or weigh hair down. “In addition, using a dry shampoo is a good tool to add volume and for in between washes,” says Norton.