Do Curl Enhancing Shampoos and Conditioners Work?

A fellow Contributor, Kimberly Morgan, asked if curl enhancing shampoos and conditioners work. The answer is simple but a little more complex than one may think. It takes the right combination of products to create the results curly heads desire. Let me clue you in a few misconceptions about curl enhancing shampoos and conditioners along with a few products that can actually help give you more defined curls.

The Common Misconception about Curl Enhancing Shampoos and Conditioners

When people purchase a curl enhancing shampoo and conditioner they are often under the impression that they will see curls where there were none before or will see their unruly curls and waves become more defined immediately after washing. However, enhance is a tricky word. If your hair was dull before using the products and comes out shiny afterwards this was an enhancement. If your curls are less frizzy than before then this too is an enhancement. Often these are the type of results that curl enhancing shampoos and conditioner promise.

Keep in mind that a shampoo and conditioner that helps restore the right moisture balance to your hair can also make these same enhancements. When hair is sufficiently moisturized it is often less frizzy and the curls respond by looking smoother and more defined.

Creating a Smoother Hair Shaft Helps Curl Definition and Prevents Frizz

While curl enhancing shampoos and conditioners do not change the way your hair curls, they can help set the stage for your styling products to work more effectively. The extra conditioning agents found in curl enhancing shampoos and conditioners coat the hair shaft and help to flatten the cuticle. A flattened cuticle prevents hair frizz, holds shine and hair shape. So if your hair is naturally curly, the flatter your hair cuticles lay, the more curl definition you will have.

What Does Help Define Curls

When curly hair is wet — not damp, but wet — curls are elongated and defined. The key is to find styling products that will hold that definition or come close. For wavy locks to loose curls, a mousse applied to damp hair or even a frizz serum applied to wet hair before you dry, will help your curls hold that definition. If you have tighter curls like ringlets or coils you may need something heavier like a silicone serum or a hair pudding to hold that “wet” curl definition.

Some curl defining products to try include:

Pantene Pro-V Curly Hair Series Curl Shaping Gel Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk The Original Curl Definer Shea Moisture Organic Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie at Target and Walgreens

So do curl enhancing shampoos and conditioners work? The answer is not by themselves. They provide the ground work so that curl enhancing styling products can define the curl in curly hair. Unfortunately, if your hair is straight, even a curl enhancing styler will not give you bouncy curly locks. For most hair types, the best way to get defined curls is to set your hair with a curling iron, hot rollers or a wet set.

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