When it comes to curls, it can feel like there’s an overwhelming amount of information out there. To heat style or not to heat style? How often should you be washing? And what even is plopping? We’re here to set the record straight: Taking care of your curls should not only feel simple, but it should also be fun and luxurious.
Nexxus’s new Curl Define collection, which includes a first-to-market ProteinFusion blend with silk protein and marula oil, does just that. The blend’s silk protein is rich in the specific amino acids—Glycine and Serine—that make up curly strands. By infusing these key building blocks of curly hair into their formulas through the addition of silk protein and alongside nourishing marula, Nexxus has introduced a shortcut that makes treating and styling curly hair a cinch. We spoke with Lacy Redway, Nexxus’s Style & Trends Curator, to discuss all things curls, from ingredient innovations to embracing frizz.
For readers who may not be familiar, can you explain what the curl chart is? How can it help them identify and care for their specific curl type?
Lacy Redway: A curl chart is designed to help you figure out your curl pattern. Most of us genuinely don’t know our curl pattern or how to care for our hair in the right way. The chart is set up for you to identify what your curl pattern most closely resembles and ranges from 2A to 4c. By understanding your curl pattern, it will help you choose the appropriate products to care for your strands. If your hair is on the looser end of the spectrum of curls, closer to 2A, the products you use will be different than someone with a tighter 4C hair type.
For example, 2A types may need products that won’t weigh their strands down, while 4C may require super-moisturizing products to assist the curl pattern.
Can you explain what density and porosity are when it comes to curly hair?
LR: Density refers to how thick your hair is based on how tight your curls pack together in their natural state. It’s best to observe this while your hair is dry. Understanding your hair density will help you choose the most appropriate products for your hair type. If you can easily see your scalp when your hair is dry, you have finer stands and should use lightweight products that won’t weigh down your hair. If it is difficult to see your scalp when your hair is dry, your curls are tightly woven together, and you will need products that are heavier to penetrate your strands.
Porosity is based on how well your hair can absorb and retain liquids and therefore moisture. Most of your porosity is based on genetics, but porosity can also be altered based on what you have done to your strands—chemical treatments or heat damage can play a role.
You can test your hair’s porosity by submerging a strand of hair into water: High-porosity hair typically sinks, low-porosity hair floats, and hair that’s somewhere in the middle will sink very slowly. Having this understanding will help you find the right products your curls need.
What are the main differences in how different curl types should wash and condition their hair?
LR: The real difference in how all curl types should wash their hair is mainly based on the product choices. If your curls are tightly coiled together, you may require more detangling time and heavier conditioners. I recommend finger detangling on all curl types before wetting your strands to minimize any additional tangling. I also typically suggest leaving in conditioners and masks longer than the recommended time on the product instructions for hair types in the 4 range than I would with 2 or 3 hair types.
LR: I love geeking out on new discoveries. What I’ve found that sets the Nexxus Curl Define line apart from other curly products is the science that went into it. The products are infused with a ProteinFusion blend of silk protein, which Nexxus has discovered through research to be rich in the same building blocks as curly hair, plus marula oil, which provides moisture.
I recommend this line to my clients because you can incorporate at least one product to enhance your existing curl routine. The cost makes it low-risk to try and it’s widely available at stores near you.
What’s the best way to define curls without getting a crunchy or stiff effect?
LR: Choosing the correct products will prevent your strands from being crunchy or stiff. Also, when your hair is completely dry, use a light or dry oil to help soften up any products that may have dried crunchy or stiff. You can define your curls by massaging the product in and finger coiling your strands. I like to rub the products in, and then let the curls bounce back up into their normal formation. If I choose to diffuse, I try not to disrupt the shape and be very careful not to manipulate them too much with my hands or tools to avoid any unwanted frizz.
LR: A pre-wash treatment can help detangle and add moisture back into your strands by providing a protective layer before shampooing. The pre-wash treatment is my favorite product in the Curl Define line because it does just that and then some. The understanding that Nexxus’s silk protein specifically speaks to curly hair is what makes this product unique. It is also infused with marula oil, shea butter, and castor oil. It helps me detangle my strands and leaves them feeling soft, making it easier for the other steps in my haircare routine.
How does the Nexxus Curl Collection help those who struggle with frizz?
LR: When used correctly and with the right amount for your hair type, this line minimizes frizz. If you have finer strands, use less product. For thicker and coarser strands, use more. But keep in mind that some frizz is good. I think we have this negative perception of our hair. If we see any frizz, we associate it with something negative. I enjoy some frizz, as it brings life and character to each person’s unique look. Even while trying to improve our curl routines, it’s also essential to keep our uniqueness that we sometimes express with our hair in our overall results.
How can curly hair types redefine curls without having to wash again (especially after sleeping)?
LR: Get a good leave-in conditioner (like Nexxus Curl Define Leave-In Conditioner) to help refresh your curls. Reactivate your curls after sleeping by misting water all over, flipping your head upside-down, and then using your hands to shake and loosen them up.
People with curly hair know getting their hair wet is the worst. How can they minimize or fix the effects after an intense workout or going out in the rain?
LR: If you are constantly in the gym like me, use a barrier, like a sweatband, to keep sweat from traveling all over your strands and to keep your hairline from reverting. I also use a bandana to prevent my hair from expanding while wet.
For more tips and tricks for using Nexxus's Curl Define collection, follow Lacy @lacyredway and Nexxus @nexxushaircare on Instagram.