beauty

HAIR GUIDE: Everything you need to know about managing, styling and cutting curly and textured hair.

When it comes to learning how to style and manage different hair types, the beauty industry has generally focused on anglo hair, with little to no mention of curly, textured hair types. 

And because of this, many women have spent years trying to conceal their curls rather than actually learning how to style them.

Here are five ways to life your hair game. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

So with some help from Rumbie Mutsiwa, the owner and director of Sydney-based salon Rumbie & Co, and Edwards And Co hairstylist Natalia Humphrey, we're giving you an in-depth guide to curly, textured hair. 

You'll learn how to manage, style and get your hair cut, and hear from three women with curly, textured hair on how they take care of their locks at home.

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How do you find out what type of curly, textured hair you have?

"The curly hair typing system created by Andre Walker is very helpful," Rumbie told Mamamia.

Andre Walker, Oprah Winfrey's hairstylist created the hair typing system. It is the most widely used system to classify hair types. 

According to the system, there are four different types of hair: straight, wavy, curly, kinky. Each hair type also has multiple subsections. 

Image: Andre Walker. 

Natalia suggests that the best way to prepare your hair before you figure out which hair type you are is to wash it first.

"I would suggest washing your hair, combing in the conditioner, rinsing and scrunching your hair dry naturally. See how much it bounces in its most natural form and go from there," she explained.

Once you know which hair type you are, it will be much easier to understand what your hair needs.

What are your best tips for styling curly, textured hair?

The number one tip that both Rumbie and Natalia insist upon, is that you need to make sure your curls are jam-packed with hydration.

"100 per cent hair health," Natalia insisted. "The best tip I have for curly hair is hydration, hydration, hydration! Curls will always sit frizzy when dry. So depending on how fine, coarse, wavy or tight your hair is will determine how heavy you need to go with your products. Also, SHINE! Dull, dry hair won't reflect as much light and will make the curl frizzier.

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"Curly hair is about shape, so remember to add bounce to the root for the ultimate bodied curls. This can be done with products or defuse drying. Virtue and Shu Uemura have some incredible products that provide a high-end finish while locking in intense moisture and repairing hair," she said.

Where should you get curly, textured cut and how should you get it cut?

"Look up curly hair specialists in your area and get a good old-fashioned referral," Natalia said. "If you see someone with curly hair you like, just ask them! 

"There is a big shift occurring in the hair industry at the moment and we are seeing more and more salons educating themselves on working with natural, curly hair."

An example of that, Rumbie & Co.

"We’d love to have you at our new flagship salon," Rumbie told Mamamia.

She also explained that an important tip for wherever you get your hair cut is to always make sure the hairstylist is cutting your hair when it's dry.

"We are dry cutters all day every day. Wavy, curly or Afro, we never cut curly hair wet," she said.

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How do you look after curly, textured hair?

"Now, not all curls are the same so there’s not really one generic answer. But what I can say is that my team and I pride ourselves in simplifying people's curly hair routine to get great results," Rumbie said.

Natalia also suggests some easy tips that you can implement at home.

"It all starts with hair health and method," she said. "Invest in good shampoo and conditioner, plus hydrating leave-in treatments and masks. From there you will use your styling products. 

"The more you give the hair what it's thirsty for, the better it'll behave," Natalia added.

Are there any general products that you recommend?

"Yes, now depending on how curly and the texture this all varies! So, if you have curly but fine hair, something hydrating will be amazing. Eleven Australia Sea Salt Spray will also really help give it the body and fullness to hold the curl, without drying like a lot of other sea salt sprays tend to do.

"When you have denser, thick curly hair you need your heavier, shea butter products to really hydrate and add shine to those dull, unruly bits. You can also use an anti-frizz paste," Natalia suggested.

"I suggest the Rumbie & Co product line. All the products are hydrating and scientifically designed with the right pH and ingredients to give us consistently great results. And a little product goes a long way," Rumbie said.

Is there anything we should avoid?

When it comes to looking after our curls, there are some things we should avoid doing. 

"Avoid heat styling where possible, never over process your hair and avoid sulphate shampoos. These things will strip your hair of natural oils. Brushing when dry and sleeping with your hair tied up are also big nos, as they cause breakage," Natalia said.

Now, after you understand the basics of how your curls work, it's time to introduce some products in. These three ladies all have curly, textured hair, and after years of trialling and testing products, they have found which products work best for them.

Nanayaa Ramírez

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"I am currently using the Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner from Virtue Labs. It’s amazing because it smooths out any frizz without compromising my curl. It’s also super hydrating, which is great for my hair, which tends to get very dry. I also use the Restorative Mask to repair any damage," Nanayaa said.

"And to define my curls, I love the Moisture Whip. It's lightweight and super hydrating so it doesn’t leave my curls feeling crunchy. I also like to add serum through my ends as that is my frizziest area. It keeps my curls tame without weighing them down too much, as I like my curls to look as natural as possible," she said.

"I also sleep on a slip silk pillowcase every night to avoid hair breakage and to stop my curls from matting up. This is essential for any girl with curls!" Nanayaa added.

Nanayaa's favourite products:

Virtue Labs Smooth Shampoo, $54 and Conditioner, $56.

Image: Virtue.

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Virtue Labs Restorative Mask, $92.

Image: Virtue.

Virtue Lab Create Moisture Whip, $51.

Image: Virtue.

Iles Formula Performance Finishing Serum, $78.99.

Image: Iles Formula.

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Slip Silk Pillowcase, $95.

Image: Slip.

Jessica Vander Leahy

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"My hair is that delightful (read: difficult) combination; fine but lots of it. As a model, healthy hair is a major factor for my work so despite it being heated, pulled and combed every which way for different photoshoots, I use my downtime to make sure my curls are healed and as healthy as they can be to protect it going forward," Jessica said. 

"When I was younger, I wanted long Barbie hair. I think the only way you can love your curls is when you figure them out, so that’s why our curly hair gang’s gotta stick together and share our secrets.

"To be honest, I switch up my products a lot but using sulphate-free and alcohol-free as much as I can is important. Also, something I’ve done over the past 12 months is not put as much aggressive heat on my hair. As someone who’s experimented with less heating, I can say avoiding the iron has made a wild difference. My locks are so much fuller, it’s crazy," she continued.

Jessica's favourite products:

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner, $24.99.

Image: Shea Moisture.

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The Body Shop Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Hair Mask, $25.

Image: The Body Shop.

Kee Reece

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"My curls are 3C and quite dense which means lots of natural volume baby. It's really prone to frizz, which I don’t mind, but sometimes it can be a little crazy," Kee said.

"I sleep on a silk pillowcase and it helps, but I know it's time for a wash to reset the curls when it gets out of control. I used to wash my hair two or three times a week, but in winter I usually drop down to once a week... it’s too bloody cold to be washing this mane. 

"I double shampoo and add conditioner, which I leave on for a few minutes while I shave my legs or do a face mask to let the product loosen up the knots. I grab my trusty Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush, section my hair into two or four parts and brush. I then rinse out the conditioner, turn the water to cold and rinse my hair again. I find this helps with frizz. I towel dry, but leave damp - then it’s time for product!"

"I usually start at the top and work my way down, making sure every surface of my hair has some product on it. Then, I scrunch from the ends up and again at the root and then air dry. It usually takes an hour give or take to dry, depending on how warm or windy it is. A good tip I've picked up is using any kind of lotion to add moisture to my hair when I'm travelling or don't have my products nearby. A Cetaphil moisturiser or even a Sorbolene cream will make the curls pop," she said.

Kee's favourite products:

Aveda Dry Remedy Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, $50 each.

Image: Aveda.

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Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream, $49.95.

Image: Moroccan Oil.

Oribe Deep Treatment Masque, $92.

Image: Oribe.

Image: Supplied and Andre Walker.

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