Girls With Curls: How To Care For Your Curls

Curly hair requires work.

Keeping your curls happy and healthy 24/7 might seem like a fantasy. Particularly for those of us who aren’t yet 100 percent sure of what our curl pattern is or if we have more than one on our heads, establishing a routine that keeps your curls bouncy, shiny and beautiful (and one that works every time) can be a real challenge. The good news? Armed with the right knowledge, products and tools, you can rock healthy, defined curls all year round. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Here, Rumbie Mutsiwa, curly hair specialist and founder of Rumbie & Co Salon, and hair stylist and colourist Chrissy Zemura walk us through the dos and don’ts of caring for curls. Spoiler alert: it does require a fair amount of trial and error.

curly hair

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

While there is no one size fits all when it comes to curls, hydrating products are the backbone of healthy curly hair. Like your skin after you commit to drinking more water, hair that is adequately hydrated is far more likely to behave itself and do as it’s told.

“Taking care of curly hair is simple. You want great, hydrating products,” Rumbie tells Gritty Pretty. “They can change your life!”

Rumbie suggests washing curly hair once a week with a hydrating shampoo like the Rumbie & Co Deep Curl Cleanse. It will clean your hair without stripping it of oil.

Next, she recommends using a leave-in conditioner because “wash-out conditioners don’t stay in long enough to create change.”

To really double down on moisture, use a hydrating gel or a curl-defining cream (or both!) to bring your curls to life, and use a curl treatment either once a week or once a month, depending on how dry your hair is. We recommend the ELEVEN Australia Keep Me Curl Defining Cream and the Kevin.Murphy Killer Curls leave-in cream.

curly hair

Know Your Curl Type

We’ve established that hydration is key – now, tailor your styling approach to your curl type. Understanding how your curls are formed is imperative to being able to properly care for and style them. 

There are three curl types: Type 2 (wavy), Type 3 (curly) and Type 4 (coily). Each curl type has sub-classifications based on the width of the curl pattern. These range from A (wide or loose), B (medium) or C (small or tight).

Chrissy breaks down how to care for each curl type:

Type 2 hair can lack volume and definition and is easily weighed down. To keep your waves in check, Chrissy recommends lighter styling products including The Ouai’s Hair Curl Crème.

Type 3 hair is susceptible to tangling and breakage. To keep curls intact, use a wide-tooth comb to detangle, then twist and pin your hair and cover it with a silk cap – like Damn Gina Signature Silk Hair Turban – overnight before gently unravelling your curls in the morning.

Type 4 hair can be dry. “I would recommend co-washing to keep moisture levels up,” says Chrissy. The Bread Beauty Supply Hair-Wash Gentle Milky Hair Cleanser is a good one to add into your routine. Then, to keep your coils looking their best after your wash day, adding in an oil or hydrating mist will work wonders. We love the Olaplex No.7 Bonding Oil and the Abyssian Silk Milk Leave In Conditioner

Step Away From The Straightener!


Rumbie and Chrissy agree that all curl types should avoid straighteners as much as possible, as they can lead to a lot of heat damage. With heat damage comes drier, coarser hair which can leave your curls looking dull and a little weighed down.

“In order to nurture your curly hair, stay away from straighteners and instead invest in hydrating products, a great detangling brush and a silk pillowcase to minimise breakage,” says Rumbie.

Work With Your Curls, Not Against Them


Chrissy highlights that it’s important to educate yourself about your hair and try different products and techniques to see what works for you. “Have fun with it, curly hair is so versatile.”

Rumbie couldn’t agree more and suggests seeing a curly hair specialist, like the team at Rumbie & Co, to learn more about your curls.

Above all, Rumbie wants you to remember to “love the curls you’ve got and embrace that you’re made beautifully”.

Photography: Diego Lorenzo Jose
Talent: Kiesha Bovill @ Kult
Hair: Chrissy Zemura
Hair & Makeup Assistant: Diana J
Words: Shilpa Bhim

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