When it comes to haircare for women of color, or any woman with textured locks, celebrity hairstylist and colorist Diane Da Costa, owner of SimpleeBEAUTIFUL in White Plains and author of Textured Tresses, is the go-to pro. Here, she offers some advice on caring for hair of different textures.
Characteristics: Generally has medium or large S-curl patterns with medium or thick strands. Can be oily at times.
Care: Use a hydrating, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner weekly, and deep-condition with a nourishing mask once per month.
Style: A great style for wavy hair is the wash-n-go: Prime with a leave-in conditioner, detangle, and apply curl-enhancing cream and a styling foam.
Avoid: Heavy oils and pomades; less is more. Beautiful styles can be achieved with minimal products. Try a serum and light hairspray.
Characteristics: C-shaped patterns, like loops or spiral curls. Can feel smooth or textured; prone to frizz, tangles.
Care: Cleanse weekly and hydrate daily with a liquid leave-in conditioner. If hair lacks natural oils, try a pre-oil treatment before shampooing.
Style: Wash-n-go, or try a glam wave creating 10 flat twists around the head and letting hair dry. Create volume at the roots by lifting hair about one inch with a pick; then finger-comb, and shake hair out.
Avoid: Fine-tail combs and detangling when the hair is dry. Always wet hair first before detangling.
PHOTO BY SEMAJ CAMPBELL
Characteristics: Feels cottony, spongy, and has tight coils that can be crunchy to the touch. Hair is highly textured and tangles easily; it can lack hydration and can be dry and brittle.
Care: Wash and condition every week or two with a deep-nourishing shampoo and conditioner. A botanical-oil steam treatment is recommended at every shampoo, or try a pre-scalp treatment before washing.
Style: Bantu knots, which have a distinct rope effect and tight S-curls when released. This can be created with wet hair and by styling using a defining cream made for curly hair.
Avoid: Wetting hair often. Stay away from products that contain mineral oil, lanolin, and petroleum, which will weigh down hair, cause buildup on the scalp, and clog pores, affecting hair growth.