It’s time to let your tight curls step into the spotlight. As seen on stars like Viola Davis, and Lupita Nyong’o, these strands form a Z-shaped pattern. Enviably dense, yet often fragile, they thrive on extra moisture, so let them drink it up. From essential oils, to cleansing conditioners, there’s a number of easy ways to keep your strands hydrated, and your curls at their best. Keep scrolling for all of the essential tools and pro-intel you need on how to care for your tightly curled hair.
With reporting by Selene Milano.
1. The Treatment
Since this hair type is typically very dense, air can't easily reach the scalp, says celebrity hairstylist Chuck Amos, who works with Lupita Nyong'o. He recommends massaging a few drops of tea tree oil into roots before cleansing; this can help stimulate blood flow and reduce inflammation.
The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil.
The Body Shop | $6
2. The Essential Tool
Grab a smooth, wide-tooth comb to separate and detangle tight curls without snagging, says Amos. Maintain the texture's natural volume by combing through strands during the conditioning process, when hair is well lubricated and has more slip.
Yves Durif The Comb.
3. The Conditioning Combo
Once a week, add two or three drops of nourishing natural oil—pro Vernon François, who also works with Nyong'o, suggests argan, jojoba, or rosehip—into a deep conditioner. Sleep with saturated strands, then rinse in the morning for maximum hydration.
4. The Cleanser
Your goal is to retain as much moisture as possible with a nonfoaming formula, says hairstylist Rodney Cutler. " 'No foam' means the blend has cleansers that won't strip hair of its natural oils," he says.
Redken Curvaceous No-Foam Highly Conditioning Cleanser.
Redken | $22