Questions You Need To Ask Your Hairstylist If You Have Curly Hair

Anyone with curly hair knows that it inhabits an entire world of its own. This high-maintenance hair texture requires lots of extra attention. It can frizz easily if you're using the wrong pillowcase, hair care products, or shampoos. Let's not even discuss how weather-dependent curls are on top of everything else! One high humidity day or a drop of rain, and it requires a mountain of effort just to keep your wild tresses tamed.

The best way to maintain your hair, whether curly, straight, wavy or some combination therein, is to get tailored advice for your specific hair type. There are several kinds of curly hair, so your ideal resource in these instances is a hairstylist, especially if you have one that you trust to do your hair the way you like it. While you're in the stylist's chair, it's also a good idea to keep an eye on the subtle things they do that help achieve the style you like best. Take note of how much product they use and how it's applied to your curls. Once they're done, ask if you can pick their brain for more tips!

Here are some specific questions you can ask your hairstylist about curly hair.

What hair products do you need for curly hair?

Curly hair often needs help from various hair care products, and it's easy to get overwhelmed by the array of items out there. Every celebrity and influencer will naturally support their own brand and tout it as the absolute best, which lends to the confusion. If you want to know what works, and specifically what works for you (assuming you like what your hairstylist has been doing), ask them for a list of products they use for curly hair.

With curls, you need to maintain a regular conditioning routine to retain moisture and prevent damage, according to Good Housekeeping. You'll likely need more than one product to achieve this goal, so find out why each item is necessary when speaking to your hairstylist. Ask them how much product to use and when to apply it — more specifically, whether it should be applied to wet or dry hair. Check out a list of the top conditioners of 2022 to find a few options that may work well for your curls.

Then, ask your stylist about prices. With so many choices available, you can find the right products to fit your budget (per Allure). Oftentimes, hair products add up to more than a salon visit. If your hairstylist's prices are out of your league, ask for more affordable alternatives, such as drugstore hair products that deliver salon-quality results. It's also helpful to learn which items are absolutely necessary and which ones you can get away with not using, especially if you're in a financial pinch.

What heat should be applied to curly hair?

Regular hair dryers are a big no-no for curly-haired individuals. A high-speed blow dryer without an attachment will produce frizz and introduce sheer chaos to your curly locks, so the standard go-to here is to use a diffuser. Using a diffuser helps to dry hair while helping the curls retain their shape (per Glamour). A diffuser helps spread the heat over a larger area of hair with a gentler force than a standard blow dryer, which prevents the curl pattern from getting blown out. 

Diffusers often come as attachments with a regular blow dryer (via Cosmopolitan). There are several hair diffusers available for purchase, so ask your hairstylist which ones they recommend. It also helps to ask which ones you should avoid entirely, as some diffusers are worse than others.

Since curly hair tends to run on the dry side, it's vital to protect the hair's moisture before using heat. Find out which heat protectant your hairstylist uses, when to apply it, how much of the protectant to use, and how often it needs to be applied. For example, do you need to apply a heat protectant before every quick spruce up with a curling iron? You can clue your stylist into your daily habits to come up with a plan that works for you.

Ask your hairstylist to share their best tips for curly hair

Every hairstylist has their own tips and tricks for getting the perfect look for each client. Ask your hairstylist to share what tricks work best for your unique type of curls. By doing this, you can learn easy tricks to avoid ruining your curly hair. Some well-known tips for curly hair include washing your hair less frequently, using a satin pillowcase to avoid frizz, and using the scrunching technique on your hair. Curly hair is prone to losing moisture and drying out, so you don't need to wash it every single day. Naturally Curly recommends washing hair anywhere from once a week to once every 2-3 weeks depending on your preference. 

The biggest plus in switching from cotton to satin is that cotton pillowcases absorb moisture, whereas satin pillowcases help your hair retain its natural levels of hydration. This is definitely a worthwhile investment! In terms of scrunching, this method keeps your curls intact and avoids frizz (per Carol's Daughter). Some prefer to use a microfiber towel to help dry the hair while scrunching the curls.

You can also scrunch your hair loosely by gathering your curls into a scrunchie, so your hair rests on the top of your head. When you take it down a few hours later, or even the next day, you'll have retained, frizz-free curls. This works even better if you apply some gel to your hands and scrunch your curls a few minutes before putting your hair up in the scrunchie.