Hair Care

Hair Files 101 // Best Products For Your Hair Type

Words by Naturally Curly

Man's textured hair.

Words by Naturally Curly

Most guys wouldn’t mind soft, moisturized hair. The only question is, how to go about achieving that soft coif? Well, the answer may lie in knowing your hair type.

Textured hair tends to cling to products that provide moisture. And truth be told, you won’t fulfill your moisture quotient by using commercial products designed for straight hair, or worse yet, if your hair is dry and damaged. A basic hair care regimen should always include a cleanser, conditioner, and moisturizer. If the hair on your face requires an unconventional razor for shaving, then it certainly has unique needs for maintenance! Let’s walk through how to figure out your hair type and the best products to get the look you want.

Know Your Hair Type

man touches his hair
Most curly hair makes a loopy pattern ranging from the circumference of sidewalk chalk to a Sharpie pen. When dirty, layered or weighed down with too much product, it can look pretty dull.

Coily, afro-textured hair tends to feel springy, sometimes wiry or tight, like a crochet needle. It gets bonus points for defying gravity by growing outward instead of downward, with a cotton-like texture that is prone to frizz. When short and extremely tight, it’s often described as “hard” because the strands can appear compact. If you’re rockin this texture, proceed with caution as strands tend to tangle easily and break when handled roughly. No one wants dry, uneven hair, so here’s how to keep your mane hydrated and soft.

Detangle First

Never douse hair in shampoo! The rule of textured hair is to condition twice and shampoo once. Always detangle hair [using your hands works here!] before cleansing with a shampoo. Using shampoo without removing tangles first will only cause matting.

Instead, dampen hair with a water, then saturate with a cheap conditioner. Holding the hair taut, start combing from the ends and working up toward the roots using a wide tooth comb or your fingers. The key here is to take your time.

Found a stubborn knot? Add even more conditioner and proceed with the same amount of caution. Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner is a $5,16 oz. bottle of goodness that allows the comb to glide through any tangle and is loved by all hair types.

Skip the Wash Everyday Thing

Man showering
Washing your hair everyday can be damaging to highly textured hair. At minimum, wash once a week. After detangling and rinsing thoroughly, apply a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are harsh on textured hair — avoid them. Always apply shampoo in strokes and never in heaps and gobs, as this tends to cause mounds of unwanted tangles.

If your hair’s attracted to dirt and grime, try Alikay Naturals Moisturizing Black Soap Shampoo which breaks down any buildup and residue. For color-treated hair, stick to something like SheaMoisture’s Mongongo & Hemp Seed Oils High Porosity Moisture-Seal Shampoo. The baobab protein is restorative and the apple cider vinegar smooths strands.

Never Skip This Step

Forgetting to condition after you shampoo is a straight road to dryness and breakage. So following up with conditioner is mandatory, not optional. You can apply the same conditioner you used to detangle and leave it on the hair for at least five minutes while you wash the rest of your body or use a deep conditioner.

For hair that experiences a lot of buildup, Oyin Handmade’s Hair Dew is your best choice because it’s protein free, which may be drying to your texture. For hair that is always dry, consider Giovanni Organic Hair Care Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture. This actually does contain protein to help strengthen hair and maintain moisture.

Styler (optional)

This step is all about preference. The amount of hold you want depends on your hair type and desired results; the tighter your texture, the stronger the hold you may want in order to prolong the style. For a light hold, consider a styling cream like Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea All Natural Pudding Soufflé. For a stronger hold, think gels like Camille Rose Naturals Aloe Whipped Butter Gel.

Detangle, cleanse, and condition regularly, and in that order! This routine along with trimming when necessary will help you maintain healthy, moisturized hair for more length and less breakage.

NaturallyCurly is the largest haircare platform and trusted thought leader inspiring millions of multi-cultural beauty enthusiasts through original content geared at educating and empowering women to embrace their natural beauty.