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10 Steps to Curating the Ultimate Curl Care Routine for Men

10 Steps to Curating the Ultimate Curl Care Routine for Men

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From Jason Momoa & his wondrous waves to Penn Badgley & his devil-may-care casual curls, men are confidently embracing their natural hair, inspiring others with textured locks to do the same.

If you’re wondering how to achieve a similar level of panache, you’re already on the path to sporting an enviable head of curls. The first step to crafting a suave style involves ensuring your mane receives a little TLC—& that journey begins with the ultimate men’s curly hair routine.

Grab a deep conditioner & prepare to pamper your locks as we explain 10 simple steps to perfecting your very own curly hair routine for men.

Step 1: Understand Your Natural Curls

If there’s another dude in your crew with curly locks, you might assume you can replicate their hair care routine to achieve the same look. But if they have a different curl type than you, what works for them might not work for you.

Once you’re familiar with the type of curls you have, thanks to PATTERN’s Curl Quiz, you can tailor a hair care routine to your hair’s needs. 

Curl types? Isn’t it simply curly? Not quite. Curls can generally be categorized as wavy, curly or coily, & how you treat & style each one makes all the difference. 

  • Wavy – Wavy hair is curlier than straight… & straighter than curly. It’s in between.  If you have wavy hair, you’ll probably notice an ‘S’ shape when looking at a single strand. It doesn’t have as much volume at the root as curly or coily hair, but with the right products, you can bring your waves to life, enhancing their texture & volume.
  • Curly – A strand of curly hair has a corkscrew shape. Multiply that by about 100,000 hairs on your head & you’ll notice that your curls form distinct ringlets, offering significant natural bounce.
  • Coily – If your individual strands form a ‘Z’ shape or a very tight corkscrew, you’ve probably been blessed with coily hair, which boasts an impressive amount of volume & texture by simply rolling out of bed in the morning.

Step 2: Choose the Right Cleansing Products

Shampoos & conditioners are not a one-size-fits-all product. Your hair’s needs are unique to your curl type, so it’s essential to find a shampoo that hydrates & works with your curls.

If you’re just now ending your long-term relationship with the three-in-one shampoo you’ve been using for years, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of cleansing products available. From hydrating to detox shampoos, which one is right for your manly mane?

Not to worry, we’ve narrowed down some of our favorite shampoos for curly-haired individuals:

  • Hydration shampoo – Curls crave moisture, & with our Hydration Shampoo, they’ll get an extra dollop before you even reach for your conditioner. It’s gentle, it’s moisturizing & with nourishing ingredients like Shea Butter, Coconut Oil & Honey, it’s perfect for wash day.
  • Cleansing shampoo – Sometimes your hair needs a little extra love. When it's time for a deep clean, opt for a product like our Cleansing Shampoo that removes residue & product buildup. Ours gives your scalp a clean slate without stripping your curls of their natural oil. (Bonus: it’ll leave your hair smelling incredible.) 

Step 3: Nourish Your Curls with Conditioners

After shampooing your naturally textured hair, it’s time to amp up the moisture with a well-chosen conditioner. However, like its counterpart, shampoo, there are seemingly endless conditioning options to choose from.

Fortunately, with a few tips, you’ll be able to choose one that compliments your curls best based on your curl & hair type:

  • Lightweight conditioner – If you have fine or thin curly hair, opt for a product like our  Lightweight Conditioner that provides optimum hydration without weighing down the strands—which can deflate your curls & impair your style.  
  • Medium conditioner – Our Medium Conditioner is ideal for curls & coils, doling out hydration & curl definition that’ll make you the dude in the friend group that everyone’s trying to emulate. 
  • Heavy conditioner – The twists & spirals in curly & coily hair make it more porous, which means it thirsts for & responds well to additional hydration. If you have coily or tightly textured hair, our Heavy Conditioner contains highly nourishing ingredients like Shea Butter & Safflower Seed Oil that’ll bathe your coils in maximum moisture, ensuring your strands are more than satisfied until the next wash day

Step 4: Enhance Moisture & Definition with Leave-In Products

We’ve already covered this, but we’ll say it again—your curly locks yearn for moisture. Why not give them what they want by treating them with a treatment like our Leave-In Conditioner? It’ll help lock in moisture, tame flyaways & give your curls added definition. It’s a win-win.

Step 5: Incorporate Weekly Deep Conditioning Treatments

Once a week, give your strands the gift of potent thirst-quenching with a deep conditioning mask like PATTERN’s Treatment Mask. Formulated with concentrated ingredients like Rice Water Ferment & Moringa Seed Extract, our treatment mask not only ramps up the moisture gains but also promotes hair growth. Plus, since porous curls can be more susceptible to breakage, this is a significant advantage for curly-haired kings.

Step 6: Master the Art of Detangling

We get it—you want a quick & easy curly hair routine. Men around the world are giving a subtle nod of agreement (as are we!). So, while you may want to let your hair dry & call it a day, the next step of the process is crucial yet simple: detangling your hair.

To remove any residual post-wash hair knots, follow these steps while your hair is still freshly wet:

  • Step 1 – If your curls are long, separate them into smaller sections.
  • Step 2 – Using our Wide Tooth Comb & Detangling Nectar, gently work it through your wet hair, starting from the ends & moving upward to the roots. This method prevents breakage by minimizing pulling from the top down.

Step 7: Embrace Styling Techniques for Natural Curls

The finish line is so close! The last step in your normally scheduled haircare program involves styling curls so that they appear exactly how you envisioned them, whether that be effortlessly defined, sophisticated & polished or ruggedly masculine.

Depending on the outcome you want, there are several styling techniques to choose from, including:

  • Finger coiling – This styling technique is exactly what it sounds like—wrapping small sections of your hair around your fingers to achieve precise, uniform curls. For long-lasting hold, we recommend applying our Styling Custard on clean, damp hair before you start coiling.
  • Scrunching – This styling technique is ideal for any type of curl, from waves to coils & everything in between. Simply apply a mousse, curl cream or gel to wet hair, scrunching in an upward motion as you apply it, paying more attention to the ends than your roots.
  • Air-drying – After you’ve scrunched your hair with your preferred curly hair styling products, there are two ways to allow your natural curls to dry. The first is air drying. If you have thick hair, consider allowing your hair to air dry naturally. This method will help you retain curl definition without adding extra volume.
  • Diffusing – Diffusing is another common way to style & dry curly hair. If you’re the owner of loose curls or wavy hair, try diffusing it with a PATTERN Blow Dryer to give your hair added texture. 

Step 8: Protect Your Curls Overnight

If you look like you stepped straight out of a GQ catalog after wash day, we salute you for putting in the work.

To maintain this effortless curly hairstyle between wash days, we recommend establishing a curly hair night routine to protect your curls from friction & breakage overnight. Start by wrapping your hair in a satin cap or sleeping on a satin pillowcase. You’ll thank yourself in the morning when your curls look as fresh on day three as they did on day one.

Step 9: Maintain Your Routine with Regular Trims

When it comes to maintaining curly hair care, men like you may often prefer simplicity. Thankfully, it doesn’t get much simpler than scheduling a routine trim every two months & experimenting with different natural hairstyles for men. Trimming the ends not only helps your hair maintain its unique curl pattern but also ensures its overall health, staving off natural hair breakage & unnecessary dead ends.

Step 10: Adjust Your Routine Based on Your Curls’ Needs

Rome wasn’t built in a day, & your ideal hair care routine won’t be either. To achieve the perfect hair care regimen, you’ll have to determine which products complement your curl type & which techniques give your curls the best results.

In addition, your curl needs might change depending on factors like the weather & the length of your hair. For instance, if you notice your curls are lacking definition or feel dry during the winter, it might be time to reassess what’s working & what isn’t. You can mix up your pouch of curly hair products & incorporate new styling products & techniques until you find a combination that works wonders.

Discover Your Perfect Curl Care With PATTERN

While you might not be the first man who’s interested in improving your hair care routine, you can stand out amongst the many by taking your grooming endeavors to the next level. With the right combination of curly hair products, you'll become the curl connoisseur for friends & admirers alike.

PATTERN empowers you to embrace your natural hairstyle & texture, whether your hair boasts loose, luscious waves or tight, tantalizing ringlets. Armed to the max to meet your hair needs wherever they may be, our collection of hair care products is formulated with safe ingredients to keep your hair healthy & handsome.

Reclaim your curls & define your style with PATTERN.


Bionumbers. Number of hairs on a human head. https://bionumbers.hms.harvard.edu/bionumber.aspx?id=101509

Medical News Today. Low porosity hair: Signs and how to care for it. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/low-porosity-hair

AADA. 6 Curly Hair Care Tips From Dermatologists. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/hair-scalp-care/hair/curly-hair-care

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Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.

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