It’s no secret that your tight-textured coils turn heads. From the undeniable bounce to the va-va-voom volume, what’s not to love? & with beautiful texture comes great responsibility.
Not to worry—in a few simple steps, you can craft the perfect coily hair care routine. From amping up the moisture to caring for your strands with easy protective styles, there are plenty of tips to help you unleash the beauty of your natural texture.
Keep reading to learn more about your hair type, how to find the right products for your coils’ unique needs & what you can do to lock in moisture & hydration every day.
Step 1: Understanding Your Coily Hair Type
Not sure where to begin when it comes to caring for your coils? The key to healthy hair is understanding what it needs, so you’ll want to start by learning more about your unique hair type.
So, what is coily hair?
Also known as Type 4 curls, this texture has a few distinctive characteristics.
One unique feature of your coily hair type is its zig-zag pattern, which may result in strands that have an “O” or “Z” shape. Tresses with this curl pattern tend to loop around each other, meaning you have to take a really close look to know just which direction your curls are going.
Whether you prefer to have them spring to life in a gravity-defying afro or style them into sleek & chic braids, coils are nothing short of dynamic. But what’s the science behind your bountiful curls?
Your curl pattern depends on the shape of your follicle & the number of cuticle layers your hair has. Oval-shaped follicles produce curly hair, while scalps with round, circular follicles have straight hair. This means that the more oval follicles you have, the curlier hair you’ll have, creating the 4A, 4B or 4C curl pattern you know & love.
Step 2: Identifying the Right Products for Coily Hair
Now that you have a better understanding of what creates your luscious coils, it’s easier to identify the products they need. With fewer cuticle layers than straight or wavy hair, you may notice that your strands are naturally more fragile, making them more prone to tangling & breakage. Fortunately, there are plenty of products you can use to nurture your cuticles & ensure your curls can live their best life.
Here’s a breakdown of the types of products you’ll want to keep stocked in your coily hair arsenal to produce the best wash day results:
- Thirst-quenching conditioners – The beautiful twists & turns of your natural hair pattern may make it a little tougher for your scalp's natural moisture (called sebum) to make it from your roots to your ends. This means that coils call for some additional moisture, making products like PATTERN’s Heavy Conditioner a must-have.
- Gentle detanglers – Once you’ve quenched your hair’s thirst for moisture, you’ll want to separate your tresses with a gentle product like our Detangling Nectar before styling. With an array of nourishing ingredients, a detangler can help you ensure you tease your coils apart with ease, preventing breakage & keeping your curl pattern intact.
- Volumizing mousse – There are several coily hair products you can use to pump up the volume. For a weightless lift that’ll last, try our Curl Mousse (which is designed to pair perfectly with our Hydration Shampoo) & enjoy sky-high volume that’ll reach new heights.
When you’re shopping for coily hair products, you’ll want to look for a few key ingredients, including natural oils & honey to seal in moisture & give your tresses the nourishment they crave.
Step 3: Mastering Cleansing Techniques for Coily Hair
Proper cleansing techniques can help you unleash the beauty of your natural curl pattern, so you’ll want to make sure to use shampoo & conditioner for natural hair. Start your wash with our gentle Hydration Shampoo—it’s packed with cleansing oils that’ll leave your strands feeling soft & nourished before you even condition.
To minimize the risk of unwanted tangles, consider separating your coils into sections & washing them one at a time. This allows you to give your tresses the attention they deserve & steer clear of breakage while you cleanse.
Keep in mind that overwashing your coils can dehydrate them, so plan your wash days sparingly, allowing your hair to retain its natural moisture. Try to wash your hair no more than once a week for happy, healthy coils (& feel free to wait up to four weeks between washes).
Step 4: Curating Deep Conditioning & Hydration Rituals
From hydrating conditioners to luxurious hair oils, it’s easier than ever to give your coils the TLC they need to stay healthy & moisturized throughout every step of your wash day routine. Since your tresses may be more prone to dryness than other types of curly hair, you’ll want to make conditioning a top priority.
Every few wash days, you can even skip the shampoo & only stick to conditioning, especially when using a deep conditioner like our Heavy Conditioner or Intensive Conditioner, which are designed specifically for tighter textures. Not only should you give your strands a hydration boost by conditioning as you wash them, but it’s also a good idea to add a nourishing product like our Leave-In Conditioner to your styling routine.
This can help you get the most bounce & shine out of your coils while ensuring they stay supple & moisturized long after wash day. Seal in the hydration with our Jojoba Oil Blend or Styling Cream & your coils will be happy, bouncy & ready to shine.
Step 5: Caring for Your Coils with Protective Styling
With tight, coily hair, it’s important to prioritize hydration in between washes. Fortunately, there’s an array of protective coily hairstyles you can use to care for your natural hair texture, including:
- Bantu knots – When you’re looking for an eye-catching protective style that’s perfect for both day & night, give Bantu knots a try. These stunning twists are a traditional styling method that can keep your tresses healthy while highlighting the beauty of your natural coils.
- Braids & twists – Since coils tend to be denser than other hair types, they lend themselves to an endless number of braids & twists. From cornrows to microlocs or sisterlocks, you can embrace your creativity & express yourself by taking advantage of the versatility of your natural curl pattern.
- Updo with Headwrap– For a look that’s easy to create & sure to turn heads, try styling your coils using a head wrap or scarf (bonus points if it’s silk or satin). This is a dynamic protective style that’s great for short-term wear (unlike braids or locs, which you’ll likely have for several months).
Protective styles can be an easy way to care for your natural hair texture while showcasing your personal style. Whether you're a fan of tight braids or traditional Bantu knots, these styles let you highlight your authentic beauty while giving your tresses some TLC.
Nighttime Care for Healthy Coils
So, you’re ready to tuck yourself into bed, you’ve washed your face & brushed your teeth…but what should you do for your coils? Proper nighttime care is essential for preventing tangles & breakage. Plus, it can help keep your coils looking lush & bouncy for weeks between washes. Here are some tips to help you give your tresses the very best (even while you rest):
- Use silk or satin sleep accessories – Friction isn’t your curls' best friend, so to cut down on potential breakage, allow your coils to glide on fabrics like silk & satin while you sleep. Consider using a silk pillowcase, scrunchie & our Satin Cap for optimal curl protection, helping your strands maintain their moisture & wake refreshed, just like you.
- Refresh your curls with a spritz of product – To lock in overnight moisture & shine, consider adding a spray of Hydrating Mist or a dollop of our Moisture Milk, to your strands. This can help enhance the effect of any styling products you already have in your hair & infuse a little more hydration into your locs until your next wash.
- Sleep in a simple braid or twists – To keep your curls secure & prevent overnight breakage, you may want to style your hair into simple twists or a braid. Incorporating a variety of protective styles for sleeping can cut down on friction & help your curls feel shiny & full of life when you take them down the next morning.
While using the right products & styling techniques are crucial, implementing protective nighttime habits can make all the difference when it comes to your coils. Swapping your cotton pillowcase for a silk alternative or adding a little leave-in conditioner can go a long way toward keeping your curls moisturized & protected.
Cherish Your Natural Coils with Help from PATTERN
Your natural coils are nothing short of amazing—which is why at PATTERN, we’re passionate about helping you care for your hair to unleash its full potential. We’ve developed natural products packed with high-quality ingredients to take your curl type to new heights.
Whether you’re looking for a hydrating shampoo that’s gentle enough for your coils or you need a nourishing leave-in conditioner to give your tresses some extra oomph, we’ve got you covered.
Not sure where to begin? Take our curl quiz to pinpoint your curl pattern so you know just what to shop for when cultivating your hair care routine. Whether you have coily or curly hair or fall somewhere in between, we’re here to give your tresses the very best. Cleanse, detangle, hydrate & protect your show-stopping texture with PATTERN.
Byrdie. The History of Bantu Knots Is Important to Know. https://www.byrdie.com/bantu-knots-history-5214601
Medical News Today. Curly or Straight: What determines hair shape? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318524#What-makes-a-hair-curl