Curly-haired women constantly battle frizz and breakage. No two curls are the same, so here’s help defining yours, and ways to give them the care they deserve.

To understand your curls, it’s important to know the texture you’re dealing with. Curly hair tends to suffer from dryness as the cuticle layers are open at the point where the hair bends or curls, making it vulnerable to breakage.

Hairstylist Saadique Ryklief says: ‘The main issue with curly hair is that you need to control frizz with hydration. Curly hair always needs to be nourished, conditioned and moisturised, so using products like leave-in conditioners is key.’ We take a look at the three different types of hair textures so that you can personalise your haircare routine.

1. WAVY

The wavy curl type is determined by the size of the wave and how closely to the root it starts. A wavy texture falls into either the Type 2A, 2B or 2C curl pattern.

Type 2A has straight hair close to the roots, leading into a loose, slight bend in the hair at the ends.

Type 2B also has straight hair at the roots but the bend in the hair starts at mid-length.

Type 2C has a more S-shaped curl with the wave in the hair starting right from the roots and extending to the ends.

Curl Care 101: ‘Limp’ is wavy hair’s middle name because of the difference in weight between the hair at the roots and the curls at the ends. Use lightweight products such as creams and mousses to retain movement in the hair. Blasting the roots with some volumising product will also help to elevate those waves.

2. CURLY

Bouncy, spring-like ringlets are probably the most common idea people have when thinking about curls. This curl type is most enviable when the curl is well defined and looks healthy, but they can turn into
a frizzy mess.

Type 3A has large, spiralled curls that are defined from root to ends.

Type 3B has medium-size curls that take on a ringlet shape.

Type 3C has smaller ringlet curls with a slight spacing between each curl bend.

Curl Care 101: Your biggest concern with this curl pattern is frizz, and ensuring the curls remain defined and slick can be a difficult task. Use products such as curl activators that will help to preserve the curl. The more the hair curls, the more it is prone to dryness and breakage so add in strengthening conditioners and moisture masks to protect your hair.

3. COILY

Most commonly found on black women, coily hair texture has curls that are very compact and dense, making up the 4A, 4B or 4C patterns.

Type 4A has curls resembling a corkscrew that are loosely coiled.

Type 4B is smaller in size and tightly coiled.

Type 4C curl pattern is very tightly coiled with a lot of density. It’s more susceptible to shrinkage.

Curl Care 101: Coily hair needs a lot of moisture to retain its elasticity and prevent breakage. This hair type is fragile, so rich conditioners, masks and treatments are essential. These products will soften the hair coil, prevent shrinkage and increase manageability.