How to Style Curly Hair: Tips & Tricks for Styling Natural Curls

Posted by Verb Team on

Does the unpredictability of taming your curls leave you feeling less than thrilled? Feel like you don’t know how to style curly hair anymore? Embracing and loving your curls comes down to a proper haircare routine. 

Regardless of how strictly you follow the popular "Methods”, finding the right products and hairstyles for your unique curl pattern can simplify styling and promote healthier locks. In this guide, we'll offer helpful tips for maintaining healthy, happy curls. We'll also showcase our top-rated hair products for curls and easy curly hairstyles that you can effortlessly recreate at home.

How to style naturally curly hair

Styling naturally curly hair involves embracing its unique texture and working with it to enhance its natural beauty. Here are some of our favorite tips for styling curly hair:

1. Know your curl type

When styling natural curly hair, it’s important first to know your curl type. Curls come in several forms, from loose waves to tight coils. There are four types and three subtypes of curls:

curl hair type chart

Source: Pinterest

If you need more help, head here for our Guide to Curl Types and get all the details you need. Once you know your curl type, you’ll know how to choose the right products and tailor a specific routine that works best for you.

2. Detangle gently

Curly hair, especially when fine or thin, is prone to knots and tangling. That’s why it's crucial to detangle it with care to avoid breakage and frizz. Start by applying a generous amount of conditioner or detangling spray to wet hair, then use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently work through knots. For best results that are also gentle on your scalp, start from the ends and work your way up to the roots.

3. Use a deep-conditioning mask once a week

Hydrated curls are happy curls! Treat yourself to a deep-conditioning mask once a week to replenish moisture and nourish your curls from within. Look for hair masks enriched with ingredients like moringa oil, jojoba oil or argan oil to help restore vitality and bounce to your curls.

4. Apply products to wet hair


Maximize hair product absorption and define your curls by applying styling products, such as leave-in conditioner, curl cream or gel, to soaking wet hair. (Get help choosing between a gel vs. mousse for curly hair with our guide!) There are a few reasons why this hair tip is so beneficial for curly hair folks:

  1. Helps lock in moisture and encourages your curls to form their natural shape without weighing them down.
  2. Ensures that the hair product is evenly distributed creating a smoother, more polished look for your curls.
  3. You are applying when the hair cuticles are open which allows them to penetrate more deeply into the hair shaft increasing their effectiveness.
  4. Helps seal the cuticle which minimizes frizz as your curls dry.

    5. Dry with a cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel

    microfiber hair towel

    After applying products, flip your head over and gently scrunch your curls upward toward your scalp to encourage curl formation. Then, “plop” your hair using a cotton t-shirt, or use a soft, microfiber towel for quickly drying your hair without causing excess frizz. If you don’t have time to air dry your hair completely, use a diffuser attachment on a low heat setting to dry your curls without causing damage.

    However you choose to dry your hair, we recommend avoiding wrapping it up tightly with a terry-cloth towel. The fibers in that material will break up your curl pattern and cause all types of frizz!

    6. Protect your curls while you sleep

    Preserve your curls overnight by loosely gathering them into a high ponytail, known as the pineapple method, using a silk scrunchie or hair tie. This prevents creases and friction allowing you to wake up with beautifully defined curls. You can also try sleeping with a silk pillowcase which will prevent your curls from becoming flattened or frizzy while you sleep.

    7. Avoid over-brushing

    Brushing curly hair when dry can lead to unwanted frizz and breakage. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle and style your curls. Make sure you comb your curls only while they're wet or damp to maintain their natural shape and prevent damage.

    8. Use a curling iron for rogue curls

    For those stubborn ringlets or sections that refuse to cooperate, don’t feel nervous about using a curling iron to touch up and define individual curls. Remember to always use heat protectant spray to shield your hair from heat damage. We also suggest using a curling iron with a barrel size similar to your natural curl pattern for the best look.

    9. Refresh curly hair hairstyles between washes

    Extend the life of your curly hairstyles by refreshing them between washes. Simply mist your curls with a DIY curl refresh spray (a simple mix of water with a bit of leave-in conditioner) or our Curl Foaming Gel for a stronger hold. Then, scrunch gently to reactivate the product and style as desired. This will help revitalize your curls and maintain their shape and bounce until your next wash day.

    Easy hairstyles for naturally curly hair

    Now that you know how to take care of your curls, it’s time to style them. Here are a few of our favorite ways to style curly hair:

    Basic braids

    basic braided styles for curly hair

    Basic braids such as Dutch braids, French braids or cornrows are timeless hairstyles for curly hair. We recommend using a moisturizing hair product, such as our Curl Leave-In Conditioner, and detangle curls completely before braiding to reduce the chance of breakage.

    For a basic braid, start with detangled hair and divide it into three equal sections. Cross the right section over the middle, then the left over the new middle until reaching the end, securing it with a hair tie. 

    Braided headband

    braided hairband naturally curly hair

    Source: Pinterest

    A braided headband is a charming hairstyle that will help keep curly or wavy hair out of your face. Styling a braided headband involves creating a deep side and braiding a small section from behind your ear towards your temple on the other side. 

    When long enough, secure the braid behind your ear with bobby pins. Pull out the braids and tease the hair to make it look more natural. Finish and lock in your braid with a light hold styler such as our Volume Dry Texture Spray.

    Center part

    center part for curly hair

    Embracing a middle part adds a touch of natural sophistication, effortlessly framing your face and enhancing dimension in your curls. Begin by using a rat-tail comb for precise parting, creating a clean and sharp division down the center of your head. 

    Once you've perfected the middle part, let your creativity shine through as you style your curls according to your preference. To revitalize twists and bring curls back to life, apply a dime-sized amount of Curl Cream, ensuring your hair maintains its luscious texture and bounce.

    Slicked-back ponytail

    trendy hairstyle for naturally curly hair

    Source: Pinterest

    The slicked-back ponytail is a chic and sophisticated hairstyle that offers a sleek and polished appearance, perfect for formal occasions or everyday elegance. It involves smoothing back the hair to create a neat ponytail that accentuates the natural curls.

    To achieve a slicked-back ponytail, begin with damp hair and apply our Curl Foaming Gel to control frizz. Use a brush or fingers to smooth the hair back towards the crown of your head, securing it into a ponytail at the back. Finish with a hairspray to tame any baby hairs or flyaways.

    Choose the best hair products for your curl type!

    Learning how to style naturally curly hair can be overwhelming — but with the help of the right products and methods, anything is possible. That’s why at Verb, all of our hair products for curly hair contain only the good stuff and are free of parabens and harmful sulfates, plus they are vegan and gluten-free! (And you don’t need to just take our word for it…) If you aren't sure where to start, check out our Best Curl Day Kit which features a bundle of great products for curly hair. 

    Need help choosing the best products for your curly hair? Check out our in-depth curly hair product guide that includes specific recommendations for each curl type.

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