How to protect your curl pattern
Your curl pattern plays a big part in how your curls look, your hair texture and the type of curls or waves you have. Think of it like a natural blue print for your curls.
If your (usually curly) locks are looking flat, limp or with straight patches in them then we have some bad news: you might have damaged your curl pattern without realising it. The good news? Protecting and caring for your curl pattern can be easy with the right curl routine for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to protect your curl pattern while keeping your hair looking and feeling beautiful.
What is your curl pattern?
Not even sure what your curl pattern is? Let’s get into it. Your curl pattern describes the way your hair naturally grows and the shape of your individual hairs, which determines the shape of your curl. The more oval shaped your hair follicle is, the curlier your hair will be.
Most people don’t have the exact same shaped curl pattern across their whole hair. You’ll probably have a mix of different curl types across your head - that’s why sometimes you’ll notice different textures or types of curl throughout your hair. Or you’ll get one area of your hair always looks great, and another section that never seems to behave. Your curl pattern is determined by your DNA and genetics, though chemical treatments and styling can temporarily change the look of curls til they grow out or fade. These can damage your hair and, in extreme cases, your curl pattern too.
Wondering how to work out your curl pattern? When it comes to curls, they’re usually broken down by texture and curl type. The four main hair categories of hair types are 1, 2, 3 and 4, which describes the shape of your hair strands. These are then broken down into types a, b and c, which describes the width of your curl.
For example, types 4a, 4b, and 4c hair are very tightly curled or coiled. Types 3a, 3b, and 3c hair have coils or spirals in the hair. Types 2a, 2b, and 2c have a wavy or S-shaped curve. And type 1 hair is straight.
Take our expert Hair Quiz to discover your ultimate hair routine.
Can you damage your curl pattern?
Wondering if you can damage your curl pattern? The answer is a big YES.
Chemical treatments (like perms, relaxers or other chemical straightening) can affect your natural curl pattern. Too much heat styling and using the wrong products for your hair can damage your curls too. Your curly hair needs love, care and attention.
Some signs of curl pattern damage are easy to spot. If your curls are lacking in definition, have straight sections or it’s feeling limp, brittle or stringier than usual, then you might have damaged your curl pattern.
The bad news: sometimes the damage isn’t something you can fix, and you need to wait until it grows out or you get a serious haircut. That’s a reason why protecting your curl pattern is so important. Undoing the damage isn’t always the easiest route.
But, you don’t need to stress if this is where you’re at. For starters, you can experiment with new styles and enjoy lower maintenance curls for a little while. Take the time to focus on getting your hair back to its best with a gentle, nourishing routine to strengthen and support new growth. The Grow Super Hero Kit has everything you need if you want to encourage those inches.
Or try the Curl Magic Repair & Grow Curl Treatment Mask. It contains the unique Curl Repair + Grow COMPLEX formulated to encourage hair growth and limit breakage for longer, stronger curls. It contains nourishing seaweed, algae, wheat bran, caffeine and sea salt to help encourage healthy growth and elasticity.
Damage prevention and protecting your curl pattern are much easier than dealing with effects. Keep reading for our tips on protecting your pattern and preventing the damage from happening in the first place.
“Understanding your curl pattern can revolutionise your routine from the care products you use to protect and repair, to the styles and styling products needed to enhance. Combination curls are a ‘thing’, so make sure to use products for the different areas of pattern from roots to tips, a wardrobe of products will allow you to respond to the different stages and shapes of your curl pattern…and you’ll have fun building it!” Claire Shread, Co-Founder
Tips to care for your curl pattern
In need of some tips to care for your curl pattern before you damage it? We’ve got you covered with our curl-friendly tips, so you can avoid doing damage to your beautiful curls, coils or waves.
Keep on top of your cuts
It can be tempting to skip a trim when you have curls - especially if you’re trying to grow your hair or you’ve dealt with a hairdresser that doesn’t know about curls before. Shrinkage can already make curls feel shorter, so a cut might feel like the last thing that you want for your hair.
But it’s definitely worth it. Getting regular trims can help to prevent breakage and brittle, thin hair. Curly hair is already more prone to damage than other hair types, as moisture doesn’t travel down the hair shaft as easily. This can make your hair dry and more likely to tangle. Cutting out damaged hair can help your curl pattern to thrive.
Don’t wash your hair too often
Shampooing curly hair too often can strip the moisture from your hair leaving it dried out, looking flat and prone to damage or breakage. This can totally mess up your curl pattern. Keep an eye on the ingredients in your routine - sometimes curly hair doesn’t react well to ingredients that are known to dry the hair out.
Our Curl Jelly Wash is gentle, sulphate-free, designed for curls and moisturises for the ultimate definition. Pair it with the Curl Jelly Care De-Frizz Conditioner to help keep your curls nourished, moisturised and shiny.
Use the right styling products
Using the right products for curly hair is totally essential to keep your hair healthy and your curl pattern protected. Our Curls & Waves collection helps you to de-frizz, control and define for healthy, bouncy curls. This helps to skip the damage and keep your curl pattern the way you want it. Add Curl Jelly into your routine for defined, frizz-free curls with sublime shine and moisture.
The #1 bestseller, Curl Jelly
You want to look for products that are lightweight but nourishing and moisturising for your hair. Avoid anything that’s going to weigh your hair down or leave it feeling dry and brittle. While styling with the wrong products won’t usually damage your curl pattern permanently, it will stop your hair from looking its best.
Skip the heat
Heat is damaging for all hair types, but it can be especially drying for curly, coily and kinky hair. Overdoing it on heat treatments too often can leave your curl pattern permanently damaged, and your hair feeling dried out and fragile. This means tangles, split ends and fried hair that doesn’t curl like it should.
If you can’t live without heat, try and lower the temperature and keep it to a bare minimum. Always use a heat protector like the Grow long & Smooth Wonder Blow Dry Spray Grow Long & Smooth Wonder Blow Dry Spray so that your curl pattern stays safe.
Sleep on silk
If you want to protect your curl pattern and keep your curls damage-free with minimal effort, invest in a silk pillowcase. This will help keep your curls free from any damage and disruption to your curl pattern. It can also save your bouncy curls from frizz between washes, especially if you also wrap up your hair at night.
Try to avoid going to bed with wet hair too, as this can leave you prone to damage, tangles, frizz and breakage. This is absolutely something you want to avoid for your hair.
Since 1998, Umberto Giannini has been transforming waves, curls and coils, with products created to enhance your natural curls. It’s time to take care of your hair for bouncy, beautiful and defined curls without the fuss.
Ready to build a haircare routine that works for your natural curls, coils and waves?