Curly hair can be complicated, and what works for one does not work for all. Yet there’s no disputing that the right products are key for gorgeous curls—and SEEN is here to ensure the health of your skin at the same time with non-comedogenic products that won’t clog pores and are safe for sensitive skin. To help you make the most of your natural texture, we reached out to New York City-based freelance hairstylist and educator Bronwen Robinson (@bronwenrobins) for her shampooing, conditioning, styling, sleeping, and between-wash advice.
Rethink your pre-wash regimen
To prevent over-drying the hair, Bronwen suggests applying a mask from the mid-lengths to ends before shampooing. Because the oils produced by the scalp have a harder time making their way down curly hair shafts, this creates a barrier that helps prevent stripping the hair of its much-needed natural moisture.
Wash your hair upside down
When shampooing, it’s best to start at the roots. However, those with curly hair may find it more difficult to get their fingers into the base of the hair to work shampoo into a lather—and it’s especially important for those who wash their hair less to effectively cleanse the scalp. According to Bronwen, “Curly hair may be more dense, so flipping over long hair while shampooing can help increase access to the scalp.”
Make sure hair is wet when styling
Bronwen says it’s best to start styling curly hair when it’s really wet—which means you may want to have a spray bottle on hand to add water as you go.
Section, section, section
Start the styling process by applying a leave-in conditioner and/or hydrating styling product for curly hair section by section. As a general rule of thumb, Bronwen shares, “The looser the curl, the bigger the sections—and the tighter the curl, the smaller your sections should be.”
According to Bronwen, the ideal way to work with your natural texture is the “wash-and-go” approach—which involves washing and conditioning your hair, detangling before rinsing conditioner, applying leave-in moisture and styling products (section-by-section), and allowing hair to dry on its own without disturbing the natural curl pattern. She’s is a fan of this styling technique because it preserves moisture while helping to define and elongate curls (if you want) without using potentially drying or damaging heat. However, it may take a little experimentation to find the best wash-and-go routine for your unique curls.
Protect your curls as you sleep
Two curly hair concerns when sleeping are flattening curls and creating frizz. For longer hair, Bronwen recommends loosely securing the hair on top of the head—often referred to as the “pineapple top” (it looks just like it sounds). For even more curl preservation, she suggests wrapping a silk scarf around the base of the head, leaving curls free on top.
Embrace your curls’ evolution
If you only wash once a week or so, your curls are going to change as the days go by. You may see more volume or airiness, and they might become looser, bigger, and less defined. It’s OK!
Use water to refresh mid-week curls
If your curls get wind-blown or just need a pick-me-up, redefining them can be as easy as misting them with water to restore their natural pattern. Remember, you already have product in there (but you may wish to add a little Magic Serum for extra smoothing and shine), and the higher your hair density, the more water you’ll need. Redefine or shape with fingers, then just let your hair air-dry again.
Bronwen’s SEEN favorites
As SEEN’s go-to stylist for photo shoots, Bronwen absolutely adores the Deeper Conditioner for extra-dry and curly hair. When it comes to styling, she’s a huge fan of SEEN Curly Creme. “It’s so forgiving. I can use tons of it and still get soft, touchable, natural-looking curls that have beautiful volume. My advice is to be generous as you apply from section to section—there’s nothing scary about it.” Bronwen also loves using SEEN Magic Serum before and/or after styling for protection against humidity, enhancing shine, and leaving curls extra-soft and touchable.