On a curl scale of one to 10, with 10 being an all-out spiral, your hair's slight twist barely registers. There's movement, but it's more like little ripples than waves.
Body, softness and separation are the stuff that perfectly imperfect tousled hair is made of, says Brandy. "With the right combination of products, you can get the most out of those beautiful bends." Choose a body-boosting, lightly hydrating shampoo and conditioner. "You don't want anything too heavy, but your hair should be soft and supple looking," Brandy says.Try Pantene Pro-V Full & Strong Body Building Shampoo ($4) and John Frieda Beach Blonde Smooth Seas Detaining Conditioner ($10). Comb conditioner through your hair with a wide-tooth comb and rinse. Gently blot excess moisture with a towel.
"Mousse is a great way to add fullness and bring out any natural wave," Brandy says. Use one that's formulated for wavy or curly hair, such as L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Curve It Elastic Curl Mousse ($5), which will keep strands soft while coaxing out curves. Work it through wet hair from roots to tips.
Tuck your hair behind your ears. Now, hands off! "The less you mess with this texture, the better it looks," Brandy notes. Once dry, turn up the tousle factor with a sea salt spray. If it's too drying, mix equal parts beach spray and water in a separate spray bottle. Mist it on (the extra water keeps the look soft). Try Suave Professionals Sea Mineral Infusion Texturing Sea Salt Spray ($5). If your hair is damaged, opt for a salt-and-oil spray. We love Bumble and Bumble Surf Infusion ($29).
Not too straight, not too curly, rarely frizzy: This is the hair texture that everyone covets.
The waves of the moment have fullness, bounce and just enough gritty definition to make them look beachy, not cheerleadery, says Brandy. Lather up with a mild shampoo designed for wavy or normal hair. Skip anything for dry strands or curly hair. "These can weigh down your hair, and you won't get the movement you want," Brandy says. Try Tresemmé Perfectly (Un)Done Shampoo ($5). Apply a lightweight conditioner like Garnier Fructis Full & Plush Conditioner ($4) from the ears down, combing it through before you rinse. "Use a scrunching motion as you towel dry," Brandy says.
Your Styling Secret
Get bounce and separation from a new hybrid mousse like R+Co Aircraft Pomade Mousse ($29), which is a combo of foam and pomade. "It goes on like a traditional mousse but texturizes the hair," Brandy says. Use your hands to work it through from roots to tips, scrunching and twisting as you go.
Your Heat-Free How-To
With your fingers, twirl sections of damp hair into rope like coils. When it's almost dry, mist hair at the roots and mid shaft with a sea salt spray and then scrunch. Try Redken Fashion Waves 07 Sea Spray ($19). Smooth ends with a hair cream to add polish. We like Ecru New York Acacia Protein BB Cream ($30).
Curly Hair: Your Plan
The curls may be soft or coarse, loose or tight. For springy but smooth spirals, you need to amp up hydration. "Curly hair is the driest hair type," says Brandy. "There are so many curls, the natural oils from the scalp don't make their way down to the ends," she explains. Start with a shampoo for curly hair. "This kind of product tends to have a high moisture content and contains ingredients that reduce frizzing," Brandy says.
Choose one that also addresses your hair's other needs, such as heat or chemical damage. Try Pureology Curl Complete Shampoo ($27) for color-treated coils. (Girls with fine curls can cleanse as often as every day, while those with thick, coarse tendrils should suds up every four to five days.) After you rinse clean, apply a rich conditioner.
"Some buzzwords to look for on labels are smoothing, hydrating, moisturizing and detangling," Shorter says. A good one: Carol's Daughter Mirabelle Plum Healthy Growth & Max Hydration Biotin Conditioner ($11).
Once a week, give your hair a more intensive treatment: Apply a deep conditioner like Kinky-Curly Stellar Strands ($13). Avoid your roots if you have fine, curly hair; spread the product from root to tips if you have thick, unruly ringlets, Brandy says. Slip on a shower cap and then wrap a hot hand towel (heat it in a microwave for 10 seconds) around the cap and let it sit for 10 minutes. "The heat helps the conditioning agents penetrate the hair shaft," Brandy says. When the time is up, uncover hair and detangle it with a paddle brush before rinsing. Loosely ring out hair with your hands and apply a leave-in conditioner such as KMS California Curl Up Leave-In Conditioner ($19).
Your Styling Secret
If your goal is to smooth or elongate tight, springy spirals, go with a styling cream like Alterna Bamboo Smooth Curls Anti-Frizz Curl-Defining Cream ($25). To enhance a looser curl, opt for a gel such as Oribe Curl Gloss Hydration & Hold ($36). Apply a generous amount while your hair is still very wet. "The water helps the product distribute more evenly," Brandy says.
Your Heat-Free How-To
Don't do anything else. Really. Scrunching and fluffing wet, curly hair will only disrupt the curl pattern, creating frizz, Brandy explains. "The goal is to get it dry and keep each curl smooth and free of frizz," she says. "You can always shake your hair out and make it as big as you want after it's dry." At that point, you can also boost shine and soften tendrils with a few drops of hair oil. Try OGX Moisture + Vitamin B5 Weightless Oil Mist ($8).
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