Your guide to enhancing your curls without heat this summer

Stop your curls from puffing up!

Harper's Bazaar India

There is no denying that enhancing and styling curls can get tiresome. It’s why most curly-haired people (myself included) have had a love-hate relationship with their hair. The fact is, curls are inherently dry and susceptible to frizziness. It takes a long time and trial and error to understand their natural pattern, especially in the summer, considering the scorching heat is not your hair's friend. 

The good news, though, is with a few hacks and techniques, you can have the happy and bouncy curls you’ve always wanted. And none of this requires a heat source of any kind. We curated a guide to help you provide your hair with all the TLC it needs, minus the heat. 

Make a hair wash plan 

This isn’t news, but it needs to be emphasised—do not wash your curly hair every day. While it is understandable that the heat can make your scalp feel greasy and icky, frequent washing will do your curls more harm than good.  

Textured hair needs natural oils to stay healthy, and if you wash it every day, the oils get stripped away, leaving your hair prone to dryness and damage. You can wash your hair once or twice a week, and plan these washes to avoid lifeless curls. Between washes, you can always refresh your curls by spraying them with some water and scrunching a dime-sized blob of curl cream. 

Cocktail your products if one can’t do it all  

Finding one product that hydrates your curls, gives it definition, and everything else they need, is like finding a four-leaf clover. It’s not impossible, just rare, and you have to be very lucky. For the rest of us, cocktail-ing products make the most sense. Especially if you live in a humid city. 

For instance, you can first apply a lightweight curl cream on damp hair and then go in with a curl-defining gel. While both these products hydrate your hair (yes, curls need extra love and hydration), one enhances the natural curl pattern and the other holds them in place and eliminates frizz, allowing your curls to be the best version of themselves. 

Adopt the ‘twist out’ method

A cult-favourite technique, the twist out is essentially a way of curl manipulation to make them frizz-free, manageable, and easier to style. Start by sectioning your wet hair in the centre and further divide each section into smaller parts. Apply a curl cream to two medium-sized strands and twist them to form a rope-like pattern. Once your hair dries, unravel the ropes gently. However, remember to not fuss over your hair a lot once you open the twists or you’ll be inviting a whole lot of frizz. Just style and wear as desired. 

Always use a diffuser when blow-drying your hair 

All curly-haired people should be equipped with a diffuser. Simply switch on your hairdryer, set it to ‘low’ (you don’t need heat) and drop your curls into the diffuser. Hold it there for a few minutes and let go. This handy tool evens out your curls, gives them shape, and adds volume. Remember, you don’t want to suck out all the moisture, so only diffuse until they are damp and do not completely dry. That will defeat the purpose. 

Cut out anti-frizz products  

Curly hair is more prone to frizziness because the scalp’s natural oils have a tough time navigating the hair texture and reaching the strands. While it might be almost instinctive for you to reach for an anti-frizz product to tame your curly hair, it might not be as good for your curls as advertised. Many of these products contain silicone, which weighs down your curls and causes build-up over time, eventually leading to your hair looking dull. Instead, deep condition your hair once a week and go for hair spa treatments once every 15 days. Also, use products that provide your hair with enough hydration and lock the moisture in.