Not all curls are created equal – a fact that our first #GreatBritishBeauty haircare brand founder set out to bring attention to with her natural and organic range of curl-friendly hair products. Formulated for curls of all types, textures and porosity, we asked Bouclème founder and curl expert Michele to share her top tips for getting the most out of the range and the secret to understanding and managing your curls once and for all. Over to Michele....
Understanding Your Curls
There are many variants on curl typing and it can be confusing. You can have a mixture of curl types on any one head. At Bouclème we like to keep things simple - the key to fabulous curls is understanding the particular needs of your hair.For example:
- How much moisture do your curls need?
- Do your curls lose moisture quickly?
- Is it difficult to form and hold your curls?
Loose - Wavy loose S shaped curls or straight at the top with a slight bend down the length. Can be fine, medium or thick in texture. Concerns with this hair type are creating volume, curl formation and hold.
Styling loose curls
- Avoid weighing down roots by applying the Curl Conditioner from mid section to ends.
- Create volume by grazing Curl Defining Gel over the canopy of hair and underneath. Scrunch hair up towards head and hold each section for 10 seconds. This helps encourage curl formation.
- Drying curls with a diffuser makes curls curlier and gives greater overall volume to hair.
- When drying, use duck bill clips at roots for added lift.
- Achieve 2nd day curls by spritzing hair with a mixture of cool boiled filtered water and gel. Scrunch and style as normal.
Medium - These curls loop more and are well defined. Often there is a mixture of different curls and textures on one head within this type. Medium curls have body and volume. Without enough hydration these curls will be dry and frizzy. Due to their spring factor they can also experience some shrinkage when drying. Weekly deep conditioning treatments recommended.
Styling medium curls
- Moisture is key to retaining defined frizz free curls.
- Leaving some conditioner in hair boosts curl hydration. If you suffer from greasy roots apply the conditioner 1-2 inches from scalp.
- Spritz curls with a mixture of cooled boiled filtered water and conditioner to refresh curls throughout the day and is perfect for restoring 2nd day curls.
Tight - Curls are smaller, tightly curled and dense. Tight curls tend to be thicker in texture but can be fine or mixed. They are the most porous and fragile of all the curl types. They experience a lot of shrinkage when drying (up to 75% of hair length) and need plenty of hydration to prevent dryness and frizz. Styling techniques can be used to manipulate, define and elongate curls.
Styling tight curls
- Due to the density of tight curls, care needs be to taken when cleansing. Ensure the Curl Cleanser is applied to the scalp and take time to thoroughly rinse out.
- Moisture…… Deep conditioning treatments are essential to maintain curl hydration.
- Section and rake gel through hair from root to ends to help elongate curls and prevent too much shrinkage.
- Avoid too much movement when drying, the more movement the more frizz is created.
- Twists and Bantu knots are great for adding definition and length to very tight curls.
Hair texture is determined by the circumference of the individual hair strand. There are three main textures, however it is quite common to find a mixture of different textures on any one head.
Fine - The strands of fine hair are thin and very fragile. Fine hair feels light and can be oilier than other textures. It falls flat to the head and can become easily weighed down. Fine hair has difficulty holding styles, curls are prone to dropping and hair requires extra volume and root lift.
Fine texture tips
- Apply your conditioner from the mid section towards ends to avoid too much weight and oily roots.
- If you have super fine loose curls you may find them perfectly hydrated with the Curl Cleanser alone.
- Place duck bill clips at roots for extra root lift.
- Dry hair upside down with a diffuser to help build volume and scrunch!
Medium - the most common hair texture. Individual strands are middle range and look and feel thicker than fine hair. This texture is easily styled and curls hold well. Medium hair tends to need more moisture due to being bigger in diameter.
Medium texture tips
- Leaving some or all of your conditioner in ensures smooth and defined curls.
- Experiment to see how much works best for your curls and pay special attention to the driest sections.
- Weekly conditioning treatments help to maintain optimum moisture levels and keep frizz at bay.
- Refresh second day curls with a mixture of 1 part conditioner and 1 part cooled boiled filtered water.
Thick - this has the largest circumference of all the hair textures and is prone to being porous and losing moisture easily. Thick hair is denser and looks full. It is stronger than other textures and holds styles well. Due to the density it can take longer to dry.
Thick texture tips
- Maximise moisture by leaving conditioner in. If your hair is damaged or porous, apply your favourite oil to drier areas to lock and seal in hydration then follow with the curl defining gel.
- Weekly or bi- weekly deep conditioning is essential for keeping thick curls soft and supple.
- Adding 1-2 tbsp of argan, olive or coconut oil to your conditioning treatment gives an extra moisture boost.
Porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and hold moisture. This is determined by the condition of the hair's cuticle layer (overlapping scales) and can be described as low, normal or high porosity.
How to test your hairs porosity - Start with clean, dry, product-free hair. Comb a section of hair, hold and spritz with a fine mist of water from 6-8 inches away. See how the water reacts – if it is absorbed immediately then the hair is porous. If the water beads up or rolls off the hair then it has low porosity.
Low - Cuticles are compact and lie flat. Moisture isn’t easily absorbed and is more resistant to chemical processes. Using heat, a steamer or hooded dryer with deep treatments helps the cuticle layer to open up, so moisture is more readily absorbed into the hair shaft.
Normal - Cuticles are raised slightly and can absorb moisture more easily. However, unlike high porosity, hair will retain moisture.
High - Cuticles are highly-raised, so the hair absorbs and loses moisture quickly and easily, can become dry and damaged easily. Chemically treated hair is often highly-porous due to damaged cuticles. Protein treatments help repair, strengthen and replenish hair by filling in the damaged holes on the hair shaft to reduce porosity. Layering products will help retain moisture for longer. Leave conditioner in, then apply a pure oil before using the gel.
Now that you are armed with this curl-formation, start adjusting your hair routine to better suit your type and celebrate those curls!