"In an era where natural beauty is truly celebrated again, it's no wonder curls are beginning to steal the limelight".
Rather than running to the old, reliable hair straightener, many women opt for curling wands to create curly hair styles with volume and texture. However, If you're one of the many blessed with a head of naturally textured hair, it's no surprise you might be finally leaning towards embracing those bountiful locks that perhaps you once despised.
And good for you! We, as a society have certainly evolved over the last 50 years, and with this glorious acceptance, curl education has come a long too! Over 65% of the population having naturally textured hair; that's a large portion of the world's population needing some guidance on mastering the art of looking after curly hair!
"Since the revolution of the curly girl movement, curls have become widely more accepted and embraced".
The curly girl movement happened in two waves.
The first wave, The inaugural wave of the natural hair movement, took form during the culturally transformative 1960s. A period marked by the rise of the "black is beautiful" ethos.
The second wave began when Lorraine Massey published "Curly Girl: The Handbook." 2001 marked a significant milestone in the natural hair movement; this "bible" for curl education lit the fuse for the movement's second wave, equipping men and women with textured hair with an invaluable resource.
This evolution created a playground where stylists could experiment with hair styles for curly hair, and from that we have a plethora of styles to choose from in salons today. As curly hairstyles evolved, they became more refined, and the education around styling and cutting curls has become an industry all on its own.
Embrace the Beauty of Your Natural Curls
Before we launch into photos and styles, don't worry, we'll get there! It's important to understand a few basics.
The cornerstone of any captivating curly hairstyle is a deep-rooted acceptance and celebration of your natural texture.
Curls manifest in an astonishing array of patterns. In fact, each curly head of hair can have up to 4 different curl patterns!! From wavy to coily, it's also not uncommon to lack consistency in your "curl type". This is completely normal.
Waves, Curls, and Coils: Decoding Your Unique Curl Type
Curly hair defies one-size-fits-all classifications. It spans a broad spectrum, from gentle waves to spring-like coils. Understanding your curl type is crucial when choosing the most flattering hairstyle for curly hair.
There are four primary curl types: Straight, Wavy, Curly, and Coily.
But the nuances don't stop there; sub-classifications further refine each of these primary categories denoted as A, B, and C.
These letters indicate the tightness or looseness of your curls within your specific curl type.
- Type A curls are generally looser and wider
- Type B curls have a medium tightness
- Type C curls are the smallest and most tightly wound.
Based on the width and diameter of your individual waves, curls, or coils, these sub-classifications offer invaluable insights into optimising and caring for your hair's unique texture.
So whether you're captivated by subtle waves or enticed by dramatic coils, this guide aims to unlock the infinite styling potential of your curly tresses. Let's take a quick look at curly hairstyles trending in 2023.
Trending Curly Hair Styles for 2023
Effortless Everyday Glam
- The Shag: Whether you're rocking a short-shag or a long-shag, this "shaggy" new curl hairstyle is HOT in 2023
- Beachy Waves: Classic beach waves they're timeless and so easy to create. Capture the essence of a beach holiday within the bounds of your hair. This relaxed, tousled style encapsulates casual elegance—braid techniques to accentuate this everyday go-to look.
- Curly Lob, AKA the long bob: The epitome of stylish ease, serving both practicality and elegance. This chic haircut accentuates your curly hair texture and perfectly frames your face.
- Curly Pixie Cut: Make a statement with this short and spirited haircut for curly hair. Perfect for those wanting a shorter hairstyle, this playful and bold style is effortless to maintain.
- Voluminous Afro: This is not just a hairstyle; it's a tribute to your natural coils. The voluminous afro amplifies the grandeur and intricacy of tight curls. Afro's have been around forever, and when styling and cutting afro-textured hair, it's super important to find a curl specialist who knows her (or his) stuff!
- Fluffed-out curls: 2023 is about making a statement in curls, and "fluffing out" your curls after they've been styled is red carpet hair-worthy. (Think Beyonce or Gigi Hadid). Fluffing out your curls creates extra volume and improves the look and feel of your hair for those days you want a bit more."
Where Elegance Meets Curly Hair
- Curly Updos: Gone are the days of the "mum bun"; the messy bun is now a chic up-and-go style for curly hair. The Messy bun wins by offering a dash of glamour with a touch of practicality for busy days!
- Half-Up, Half-Down: Marrying elegance with casual sophistication the half up, half-down style is versatile enough for everything from Sunday brunch to a gala event. Easy to create with a soft elastic, scrunchie or claw clip, the half up, half down is simple looks good for an array
Haircuts That Elevate Your Curls
Selecting a haircut that compliments how your natural curls conform is crucial to feeling confident and enjoying the curly cut you decide on.
Haircuts for curly hair can be trickier. However, options like layered cuts, long bobs, and shaggy styles are engineered to synergise with various curl types. These haircuts add structure and dimension, allowing your curls to have maximum volume and definition.
Mastering the Art of Curly Hair Care and Styling
- Cleansing and Conditioning: Lay the groundwork for healthy curls with a curated cleansing and conditioning routine designed for curly hair's unique needs.
- Product Essentials: Discover the indispensable leave-in products like curl creams, gels, and oil for curly hair that will enrich your curls with definition, combat frizz, and provide vital nourishment.
- "Squish to Condish" Apply your favourite product to your hair and brush through it with a flexi brush. As your curls clump together, scrunch them towards the scalp. You'll hear a satisfying squish, signalling your curls are locking in hydration. For optimal volume, diffuse dry your hair.
- "Wet Plopping":Simply put on a shower cap with your hair still wet for about 10-15 minutes. This sets the stage for the styling that follows.
- "Praying Hands" method rub a small amount of styling product between your palms and smooth it onto your hair as if your hands were in prayer. This can be followed by a gentle scrunch for enhanced curl definition.
- Another technique to try is "Raking In" Coat your palms with a styling product and rake your fingers through small sections of your hair. This works great for looser curls, especially if you end the technique with a scrunch.
- "Roping Method" Divide your hair into small sections, apply a dab of product to your palms, and squeeze each section from root to tip as if you're holding a rope. Finish by scrunching your hair for bouncy, beautiful curls!
Pro tip 1: you don't need an expensive hair dryer; however when looking for a hair dryer for curly hair, a diffuser attachment is a must!
Curly Hair Maintenance
Proper hair care is uniquely essential for curly hair types. Sulphate-free shampoos, deep conditioner for curly hair, and silk pillowcases are just a few must-haves to minimise frizz and optimise curl health.
Pro-tip 2: To keep your curls looking their best, indulge in regular deep-conditioning treatments, and steer clear of excessive heat styling. (Regular heat styling causes damage to your curls, and if you want them to look their best, steer clear as much as you can- for diffusing hair, low heat, high volume is best!).
Celebrity Inspirations for Curly Hair Styles
Celebrities have been pioneers in embracing and glorifying their natural curls, serving as trendsetters in the curly hair movement. From Zendaya's red-carpet elegance to Lizzo's vibrant stage charisma, get inspired to recreate their signature hairstyles for curly hair.
Embrace the myriad possibilities that the realm of curly hairstyles offers. As you enter 2023, remember that your curls are as singular as your fingerprint. Their true potential can only be unlocked when you embrace their inherent charm and beauty.