What's your type? How to care for hair based on your texture and curl type

Not all curls are created equal! Waves, curls, coils, and kinks have specific needs, and you'll need to learn every twist and turn if you want springy definition. 

Our salon experts show you how to identify your curl type and texture, and reveal their favourite curly hair products, so you can build your perfect care routine. Ready for beautiful curls? Then let's bounce…

Curly hair care: back to basics with Paul

The right hair care routine can utterly transform your texture. The first step is acknowledging that each curl type and texture has vastly different needs. Once you know your type, you'll find it much easier to build a routine that accentuates your natural beauty.

"Curly hair is very different from straight or wavy hair, and I think this is why it's been overlooked by most haircare brands," says Paul. "Each curl type has a very different need, making it difficult to cater to."

Something as simple as cleansing and conditioning will differ depending on the density and tightness of your curls. Paul says: "When you shampoo curly hair, you take a lot of the natural oils out, and that's the stuff that weighs the hair down and creates a nice curl." 

You can avoid stripping your hair by swapping some of your cleanses for 'co-washes' — washing with only conditioner. We love Curl Manifesto Fondant Hydratation Essentielle and Davines LOVE/curl Cleansing Cream for this.

Excessive shampooing isn't the only curl-ruining culprit; over styling is just as bad. Too much touching and brushing can break up the curls and lead to unwanted frizz. You can keep styling to a minimum by using a silk pillowcase or wrapping your hair in a pure silk scarf before you sleep. The slippery natural fibre minimises friction on your hair, so you can minimise bedhead and keep your curls nicer for longer without the need to restyle.

Type 1 hair is straight, type two hair is wavy

How to find your texture and curl type

Before you can select your ideal product line-up and care routine, you'll need to know your texture and curl type. Learning about the structure and texture of your hair can help you take better care of it and will guide your product choices.

According to the FIA hair identification system, there are four types of hair texture on the spectrum, ranging from very straight through to a very tight coil. The FIA hair system will also help you identify the texture of your individual strands so that you can tailor the care more specifically to your hair type.

What are the types of curls?

What are the types of curls?

The FIA classification system uses numbers to classify the hair type (straight, wavy, curly etc.) and letters to classify the tightness of the curl.

Curl types chart

Curl Types

For example: type 1 hair is straight, type two hair is wavy, type 3 hair is curly, and type 4 hair is coily. Once you've established your hair type, you can use the letters to grade how much texture your hair type has.

To make sure you can tailor the care you give your curls, you'll also need to know how thick your hair is.

To make sure you can tailor the care you give your curls, you'll also need to know how thick your hair is. This will determine how much product you'll need to apply and how long to leave it in — very thick hair will typically need longer for treatments. It will also need to be sectioned off for product application to ensure a thorough coating.

Curly Hair products at PE London

Curly hair products at Paul Edmonds London

Paul and the team have years of experience looking after every curl and texture type, from loose, flowing waves to tight afro hair. Because of this, Paul wanted to stock his salon and online shop with products specially formulated for each curl type.

We've pulled together the ultimate curly hair edit

We've pulled together the ultimate curly hair edit using our two favourite curl-specific product ranges: Kérastase's science-backed range Curl Manifesto and the wonderfully natural LOVE/curl from sustainable beauty brand Davines. Use our edit to hand-pick products based on texture and curl type to form your ultimate at-home routine. 

Want a professional opinion before you start a new curly hair routine? Book an appointment with our experts and they'll give you a thorough assessment, complete with product recommendations tailored to you. Don't forget — great hair starts with good salon care!

Book your consultation

Cleansing and conditioning

Cleansing and conditioning

Cleansing products

  • Curl Manifesto Bain Hydratation Douceur
    Ideal for: all waves and curl types
    Manuka honey and ceramides enhance your curl pattern, remove impurities, and leave curls and coils feeling moisturised. Buy now

  • LOVE/curl cleansing cream
    Ideal for: wavy to very curly hair
    Condition and tame your curls using this natural, nourishing cleansing cream. It's an all-in-one shampoo and conditioner, ideal for use every third wash. Buy now

  • LOVE/curl shampoo
    Ideal for: all waves and curl types
    Amp up your volume and shine without compromising your texture. It keeps the hair soft and light while enhancing your curls. Buy now
  • Conditioning products

  • LOVE/curl conditioner
    Ideal for: waves, soft curls, ringlets
    Enhance and control your hair with this lightweight conditioner. It gives elasticity and volume while keeping your curls hydrated. Buy now

  • Curl Manifesto Fondant Hydratation Essentielle
    Ideal for: waves and curls
    This lightweight conditioner is ideal for replenishing moisture in very curly and coily hair. It gently detangles curls and prevents stubborn knots. Buy now

  • Curl Manifesto Créme de jour fondamentale leave-in-cream
    Ideal for: all waves and curl types

    Designed for coily, curly, and very curly hair, this ultra-lightweight cream can protect up to 80% humidity and gives 230-degree heat protection. Buy now

  • Curls

    Products for styling curly hair

  • Curl Manifesto Gelée Curl Contour
    Ideal for: all waves and curl types
    Enhance and define! This combines the hydrating properties of a cream with the staying power of a (crunch-free!) gel to give bounce and shine. Buy now

  • LOVE/curl primer
    Ideal for: all waves and curl types
    A hydrating blow-dry prep milk for better curl definition. Spray onto wet hair for better detangling plus heat and humidity protection. Buy now

  • LOVE/curl cream
    Ideal for: waves, ringlets
    Apply this leave-in serum and enjoy supple curls with no visible crunchiness or product residue. Style with a diffuser for the best effects. Buy now

  • LOVE/curl controller
    Ideal for: ringlets, corkscrews
    Fight frizz and protect against humidity with this leave-in volumising cream. Curls are tamed, voluminous, and smooth. Buy now
  • Refresh your curls in-between washes

  • LOVE/curl revitaliser
    Ideal for: all waves and curl types
    Elasticise and revitalise curls between washes with this frizz-controlling treatment. Spray onto dry hair from an arm's distance and leave in. Buy now

  • Curl Manifesto Refresh Absolu 
    Ideal for: all waves and curl types
    Refresh your curls without the need to wash. Refresh Absolu is a lightweight mist designed to rehydrate and reactivate curl definition between washes. Buy now

  • Curl treatments and masks

    Curl treatments and masks

  • Curl Manifesto Huile Sublime Repair
    Ideal for: very curly or coily hair
    This nourishing blend of oils and manuka honey can be used as a leave-in treatment, a scalp conditioner, or a pre-shampoo treatment. Buy now

  • Curl Manifesto Masque Beurre Haute Nutrition Mask
    Ideal for: very curly or coily hair
    Prevent breakage in dry and brittle curls with this extra-rich nourishing mask treatment. It leaves curls springy and silky and loads them with hydration. Buy now

  • LOVE/Curl hair mask
    Ideal for: soft curls, ringlets, corkscrews
    Hydrate super thick, curly hair with this nourishing, conditioning mask. It tames unruliness in just ten minutes and is a must for parched locks. Buy now 

  • Are you ready to lavish care and attention on your curls and coils like never before? Upgrade your curly hair routine with products from our online shop or indulge in curly hair and afro hair services from our team of specialists.