Here’s How To Tell If You Have Curly Hair

26 September 2023 | Curly Hair

Have you been wondering how to tell if you have curly hair? Well, look no further; you’re in the right place. 

Perhaps your hair isn’t naturally straight, nor does it fit the description of kinky or tightly coiled hair. So you may find yourself asking, “Is my hair actually curly?”. This uncertainty often sparks curiosity, and understanding your unique hair type can be challenging, but it’s certainly worthwhile.

So, how can you tell? Keep scrolling to uncover the clues that shout, “Hey honey, you’re a curly babe!” This will help you better understand your hair type and explore techniques for enhancing and maintaining those stunning curls.


Take a Close Look at Your Hair Naturally

To figure out your hair type, start by observing how it dries naturally after washing and without adding any hair products. This will give you a clearer idea of your hair’s natural pattern and texture. Is it wavy, curly, or straight?

Consider Your Hair’s Texture

Curly hair comes in various curl patterns, each with its distinct characteristics. Loose curls have gentle waves and are often more relaxed. On the other hand, classic curls form a well-defined ‘S’ shape, while tight curls have a smaller diameter and a more prominent ‘S’ or ‘Z’ pattern. Coily curls, often known as kinky curls, have a tight, springy pattern with less defined curls. Learn more about the different curl formations and identify if you have type 2, 3 or 4 hair.

Watch Out for Dryness

Let’s talk about your hair’s personality! If you’ve got curly hair, you might notice that it tends to be a bit more on the dry side.

Curly hair is often drier than straight hair due to its structure, as the natural oils from the scalp struggle to reach the full length of the curls. It’s also more porous, making it prone to moisture loss. This leads to a need for more hydration and specialised hair care to keep those curls looking their best. 

Pay Attention to Frizz

Curly hair is notorious for frizz, especially in humid conditions. If you notice you have frizzy hair in humid conditions, this could also be an indication that you have a natural curl pattern. This is because curly hair is more susceptible to moisture absorption, causing the cuticle to lift and the hair to frizz.

Do the Strand Test

If you’re still unsure about your hair type, you can try the strand test. Take a small section of your hair and wrap it around your finger. If it forms a spiral or coil, you likely have curly hair. If it remains relatively straight, your hair may be more on the wavy or straight side.

A curly hair strand


Discover the Curly Girl Method

This is a specialised hair care routine tailored specifically for curly and wavy hair types. But, what’s all the hype about? The Curly Girl Method has become a super popular hair care routine because it’s all about saying no to products that contain harsh chemicals like sulphates and silicones, which can seriously be your curls’ arch-nemesis. As well as minimising heat styling and instead embracing techniques that enhance hydration and curl retention.

Sulphates, such as sodium lauryl sulphate, are powerful ingredients found in many shampoos. They strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to damage. Silicones, while providing temporary smoothness and shine, can also build up on the hair, causing it to become heavy and dull over time. 

For curly hair, avoiding these harsh ingredients is essential to maintain moisture, prevent dryness, and preserve the natural beauty of your curls. Instead, it’s all about using products and techniques that enhance your natural curls and keep them that way!

Understanding the Curly Girl Method

The Curly Girl Method, often referred to as CGM, is a hair care approach developed by hairstylist Lorraine Massey and popularised by her book, “Curly Girl: The Handbook.” It’s a revolutionary way of caring for curly and wavy hair that focuses on embracing your natural texture and avoiding practices that can damage or diminish your curls’ beauty.

The method centres around key principles:

No Harsh Ingredients: Sorry, sulphates, silicones, and drying alcohols, but you can’t sit with us (or on our strands)! The Curly Girl Method provides guidance on the mean girl products to avoid to achieve your gorgeous hair goals. These ingredients can strip natural oils from your hair, leading to dryness and frizz.

  • Avoid Harsh Ingredients

Sorry, sulphates, silicones, and drying alcohols, but you can’t sit with us (or on our strands)! The Curly Girl Method provides guidance on the mean girl products to avoid to achieve your gorgeous hair goals. These ingredients can strip natural oils from your hair, leading to dryness and frizz.

  • Co-Wash Your Hair

Co-washing, short for “conditioner washing,” involves using a conditioner instead of shampoo to cleanse your hair. This helps maintain moisture and reduces frizz and dryness. However, it may not work for all hair types and is not recommended for those with certain extensions.

  • Use Curl-Specific Products

The method suggests using products specifically formulated for curly hair, such as gels, mousses, and creams. These products help define curls, reduce frizz, and promote shine. Davines LOVE CURL Shampoo’s moisturising formula has been expertly created to cleanse the hair, making it soft and light, enhancing its volume and shine without compromising texture.

  • Use the Scrunching and Plopping Method

Techniques like scrunching and plopping can help enhance your curl formation. Scrunching involves gently squeezing your curls from the ends upward to encourage their shape. Plopping, on the other hand, is a method of wrapping your hair in a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt to absorb excess water while maintaining your curls’ structure.

  • Use a Diffuser

If you prefer to blow-dry your hair, consider using a diffuser attachment. This accessory disperses the airflow and heat, helping to dry wet hair while preserving curl definition.

  • Get Regular Trims

The Curly Girl Method advocates for regular trims to remove damaged or split ends and maintain your hair’s overall health.

Adding this method to your hair care routine might require a little patience and a few tweaks, but trust us, the endgame is totally worth it – you will have curls that are vibrant, defined, and full of life.

So, skip the harsh chemicals, choose the right products, and stick to a hair care routine that your curls would high-five you for. Looking for more guidance? Explore our recommended curly hair care tips for additional insights and expert advice to keep your curls looking their best.

Curly Hair TLC

Curly hair might have its quirks, from unruly frizz to constant dryness and sneaky tangles, but don’t worry! You’ve got some powerful allies in your corner. 

Deep Conditioning:

One of them is deep conditioning treatments. These treatments are specialised products or procedures that provide intense moisture and nourishment to your hair. They contain hydrating ingredients that penetrate your hair shaft, repairing and strengthening it for improved softness and manageability.

Night Time Routine:

And that’s not all! We’ve got another ace up our sleeve. We cannot stress the effectiveness of taking care of your hair at night enough. Many people apply all their lotions and potions to give their skin a glow but forget about their hair. Your crown deserves some beauty sleep too! Swap out your regular pillowcases for silk or satin ones, and you’ll see some serious magic happen. Less friction means less damage and frizz as you snooze away.

Ginger Curly hair

Styling your curls:

Styling curly hair is all about celebrating your hair’s natural texture to make those curls pop in a way that suits your mood and the occasion. Whether you’re going for those perfectly defined curls, embracing a looser, more undone look, or trying out elegant up-dos, there are styling techniques that cater to your preferences. 

You can enrich your curls with specially formulated products or spice up relaxed curls with a curling iron – just make sure to protect your hair from the heat. And when it comes to curly updos, half-up half-down styles, or charming braids, they all add a touch of elegance and variety to your look. 

Twist-outs can give you those beautifully defined curls, and if you’re in the mood for something easygoing, consider a messy bun with a few loose curls framing your face. And don’t forget to use curly hair-friendly styling products to keep your curls in check and keep frizz at bay. It’s all about embracing your hair’s natural charm and expressing your unique style with a smile!

If you need more styling tips, we can talk you through your styling choices. We know learning how to take care of and style your curly hair can be a journey of self-discovery. 


Make Your Curly Hair Dreams a Reality at Tierney Salons

Now you know how to identify if you have curly hair, you may be feeling out of your depth when it comes to taking care of it. We advise consulting a professional stylist who specialises in curly hair as we can offer valuable guidance on how to care for your crown. 

At Tierney Salons, we adore curls, and we’re here to shower them with our love and attention! Diffused, air-dried, twisted or plopped, our curly hair services cover it all.

A well-structured haircut can work wonders in bringing out the best in your natural curls. Visit our hair salon in Hertfordshire, where our skilled curly hair specialists can give you a custom haircut that enhances your unique curls, making your natural beauty shine. Book your appointment now!