A Quick and Easy Guide to Taming Waves, Ringlets, and Coils

Curls can be really beautiful, until they hit the humid air and meld together into one enormous ball of frizz. That can all be avoided, though, by careful deployment of the right products. Beat the heat (and keep your brilliant curls) with the help of a pro's advice.

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The weather's warming up and that means it's time to style your curls for a number of outdoor occasions, including, but not limited to, backyard barbecues and countryside wedding receptions. All of these events have the potential to distress your precious curls, because with summer comes more exposure to humidity, dry heat, and sun rays—the harbingers of frizz.  

Take care of frizz before it has a chance to appear by adopting a routine that will help curls stand up against the climate. Marc Mena, hairstylist to Mindy Kaling and Jordana Brewster, among others, has a list of things that curly haired girls should always keep in mind.

Model Hadassa Lima and her curls backstage before the Tibi fall/winter 2016 runway show. Photograph courtesy of Christian Vierig/Getty Images
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Read Mena's tips below and learn how to maintain your curls, despite the elements.

DO: Have a Schedule

Mena suggests giving your hair a mini spa service on a weekly basis: deep condition your hair for about 30 minutes. Additionally, Mena says it's good to use a leave-in conditioner a couple of times a week. 

Product Recommendations:

  1. Shusu Sleek Smoothing Treatment Masque, $68, shuuemuraartofhair.com.
  2. Leave In Condish, $11, missjessies.com.
  3. Moisturizing Hair Treatment, $20, curljunkie.com.
  4. Curl Recovery Melt Down Extreme Repair Mask, $44, ouidad.com
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DON'T: Use These Chemicals

Watch out for detrimental chemicals that can dry out your hair. "Stay away from any straightening or keratin treatments," Mena says, adding "curly hair should avoid sulfates such as alkylbenzene." And as we've been saying for a while now on Sweet: beware of sulfates! They strip hair of natural oils, which your curls need to thrive.

DO: Use These Ingredients Instead

Mena notes that coco betaine and sodium cocoamphoacetate are great for curly hair—if you haven't already guessed based on the "coco" in the words, both of these ingredients are derived from coconut oil—one of the most nourishing oils in nature. A product with coconut oil is bound to keep waves and coils smooth and bouncy.

Product Recommendations: 

  1. Coconut Souffle Light Moisturizing Hairdress by Mizani, $21, ulta.com.
  2. Coconut Curls by Earth's Nectar, $24, sephora.com.
  3. Don't Despair, Repair! Gel-to-Oil Overnight Repair Treatment, $28, briogeohair.com.
  4. SuperCream Coconut Curl Styler, $28, devacurl.com.

DON'T: Pick Up the Brush

Although Mena says to "avoid over-brushing," it's even better to simply skip using a brush altogether. Instead, use your fingers to gently separate curls or invest in a wide-toothed comb that will glide easily through wet, conditioner-drenched hair, so you can detangle strands in the shower.

DO: Accessorize

Some days, your hair just won't cooperate on its own. Tame frequent flyaways with pretty clips, combs, and silk scarves.

Product Recommendations:

  1. Golden Leaf Headband, $28, urbanoutfitters.com.
  2. Festival Paisley Hair Tie, $13, asos.com.
  3. Mini Maximas Hair Clips by Ficcare, $34, nordstrom.com.
  4. As You Purr Hair Pin Set, $15, modcloth.com
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