Bring Out Curl in Hair

Girl with long curly hair wearing a turtleneck sweater
Photo: Dephositphotos
Q: I have a natural curl/wave in my hair, what should I be using to bring out the curl in my hair?
A: You're lucky in that the hair care industry has developed a variety of products specifically for the purpose of enhancing naturally curly hair. There are shampoos and conditioners that are lightly acidic to help balance the pH levels in the hair, smooth the cuticle layer and strengthen the curl found naturally in the hair.
There are also spritzes, gels and serums designed to give you smooth looking natural curl. These products can be used separately or in tandem, depending on your hair's condition and the style you wish to achieve. For good results try the following:
Shampoo and condition your hair with products that specifically state they are for curl-enhancing. After rinsing out the conditioner, be sure to do a final rinse with cool water to seal the cuticle layer. Add a curl-smoothing or curl-defining serum to your hair while it is wet and work it through the hair evenly. Blot your hair by wrapping a towel around the hair and squeezing it with your fingers.
Don't rub as this can cause tangling of the curly hair. Once you've removed the excess moisture from the hair, spray the hair with a liquid gel, or spritz and run your fingers through the curls to distribute the product evenly. If the hair feels too wet after the product is applied, continue blotting it until it feels only damp.
You can then allow the hair to air-dry naturally or use a blow-dryer with a diffuser attachment on low heat and fan settings. Gently lift the hair with your fingers or scrunch it between your fingers as you dry it. Avoid pulling at the hair to prevent removing the curl you are trying to achieve.
Depending on how curly your hair is, you may find the need to add another light mist of a spritz or hairspray to the hair once it is dry, to minimize any frizziness and give your curls more definition. Simply mist the dried hair lightly and scrunch with your fingers. The finished look should be the mass of natural curls or waves that you were after.
See also:
Curly hair Q&A
Building a better curl
Coca Cola to enhance curls
Curly hair and hairstyles