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At Aveda, we celebrate curls of all kinds and want to inspire you to embrace your natural hair. Whether you have wavy, curly or coily hair, we’ll help you discover your best curls ever by identifying your curl type and sharing expert styling tips from our Aveda Artists. You’ll find the right styling products for curly hair and how to achieve healthy-looking, defined curls at home.
2C? 4B? Curious about these number-letter pairings and what they have to do with your curls? The number represents the classification of curl: 1=straight, i.e. no curl, 2=wavy, 3=curly, 4=coily. The letter represents the intensity of your curl, from A (low) to C (high). Together, the number-letter combination shows where you sit on the curl chart—anywhere from 1A-4C.
If you have naturally textured hair that’s wavy, curly or coily, your curl type should fall between 2A-4C. You can discover your curl type on our chart here. There are many different curly hair types, but once you determine yours, it’s easier to identify which styling routines are best for your hair.
When it comes to discovering which curly hair products are best for you, Aveda Global Educator Bea Carmichael uses a quick porosity test you can do at home. To start, take a few strands of hair from your hair brush, and place it in a glass of water. If your hair floats on top of the water, it is low porosity. If the hair sinks, then it’s high porosity.
Bea recommends our 94% naturally derived* nutriplenish™ collection, which delivers hyper hair hydration to all hair textures. Low porosity hair is best suited for our nutriplenish™ light moisture shampoo and conditioner. The light moisture products contain fast-absorbing oils, to intensely moisturize hair without weighing it down. Our nutriplenish™ deep moisture shampoo and conditioner are ideal for high porosity hair because they are formulated with 50% more nourishing butters, as compared to the nutriplenish™ light moisture shampoo and conditioner.
Our Aveda Artists and Educators are experts when it comes to curly hair styling. We asked a few of them for their pro advice to help hydrate, enhance and refresh waves, curls and coils.
If you have naturally wavy hair or 2A-2C waves, Bea Carmichael has just the tips you need. Whether you love soft, air dried waves or a more defined look, she recommends starting with your preferred nutriplenish™ shampoo and conditioner, based on your hair’s porosity.
For softer waves, apply phomollient™ styling foam for weightless volume. Rake through hair with your fingertips from roots to ends. Next, apply smooth infusion™ nourishing styling creme to hair to help reduce frizz and work from roots through ends. Slowly gather hair and squeeze to encourage the shape you want. Let your hair air dry.
If you prefer defined waves, start by creating sections in damp hair. Apply confixor™ liquid gel to each section for medium hold and definition. Then apply smooth infusion™ nourishing styling creme to help nourish your hair and tame frizz. Twist each section into a bun and secure with bobby pins or an elastic. You can either blow dry each bun or let air dry. Remove knots for gorgeous waves.
Austin Call, curl connoisseur and Aveda Texture Team Artist knows that naturally curly hair needs love and attention. “It’s all about you and your individual curls,” he tells us. For his 3A curls he shares how he styles them between wash days for a refreshed look.
Austin reaches for our 97% naturally derived* foam reset™ rinseless hydrating hair cleanser as a dry shampoo. “It helps keep your natural oils in your hair,” Austin says. To use it, pump product into hand and apply it to areas where you need extra curl definition. Next, Austin spritzes our nutrient-powered nutriplenish™ leave-in conditioner on hair for instant moisture. “It’s a must-have in my book,” he tells us. It also helps hydrate your hair for up to 72 hours.
Then he uses thickening tonic in areas where he wants to help increase the volume of curls, usually at his ends. He diffuses his hair to set the curls and lastly, applies nutriplenish™ multi-use hair oil. This helps add shine to finish his style and seal in moisture.
Naomi Dove, also part of our brilliant Aveda Texture Team, loves her 4C coils and is passionate about teaching others how to hydrate and style their naturally coily hair.
For washing 4C hair, she recommends using nutriplenish™ deep moisture shampoo and conditioner. “The deep moisture products help prevent my hair from getting so tangled,” she tells us. Naomi says to look for ingredients that work for your 4C hair type, such as those extra nourishing butters in nutriplenish™ deep moisture. For coily hair, Naomi says, “The key is to make sure you have hydration and moisture.” The star of nutriplenish™ is omega-5 rich organic pomegranate oil that helps hydrate and revitalize, making it the perfect choice for highly textured hair.
To refresh your twist-out style, Naomi says to spray with water and scrunch hair to add definition and reactive your coils. Apply foam reset™ rinseless hydrating hair cleanser to hair to cleanse without losing volume. Then add hydration with a few sprays of nutriplenish™ leave-in conditioner. Use flax seed aloe strong hold sculpturing gel to define coils, then reshape and elongate coils as desired.
*From plants, non-petroleum minerals or water.