Times are changing—especially when living with textured, curly hair. Whereas the ideal used to be day-after-day of flat, straight-as-a-board hair, the curls of naturally textured hair have spun themselves a new reality: live loud and proud. “We’re starting to see texture come back into culture,” says R+Co Global Educator David Reid. “Now people are embracing their texture and asking, ‘How do I let my hair live as it’s supposed to be?’”
From the Viola Davises to the Shakiras of the world, coaxing and controlling texture is as much about understanding shape as it is about being your own scientist, knowing the exact equation of what products to layer and how much. Reid stresses that the most important aspect of that equation is hydration at every step. “The more textured the hair, the thirstier it is,” he says. “Kinky afro texture tends to be drier because the natural oils from the scalp have a harder time traveling down to the ends.” For texture that bends and stretches, natural oils lubricate strands more easily—but hair still requires ample moisture.
Reid, who comes from a multicultural, biracial family and styled his mom and sister’s mixed-curly hair growing up, found himself traveling to various beauty stores to find the right concoction of products to meet his family’s hair needs. But in R+Co, he found everything needed to maintain and style texture in one brand. “R+Co products contain the necessary humectants, polymers, proteins, lipids—and no dulling mineral oils or petroleum that weigh curls down,” Reid says. “And whether you need different weights (like a heavier or lighter cream), flexibility (pomades that are bendable or very stiff) and delivery methods (like an aerosol spray gel versus a traditional gel), R+Co has a broad spectrum of 100-percent vegan products that do it all.” Here, he breaks down what R+Co items to use when maintaining and styling your natural texture.
Condition + Cleanse
Gorgeous textured styles begin with thoughtful conditioning and cleansing. “When you start your style and when you end your style, conditioning is happening,” Reid says. “You’re constantly working to maintain the pH of your hair. You want to keep it moisturized because the moment it dries out, it loses definition, shape and shine.” But with all of those layers of hydrating products, buildup can occur—which is where conditioning cleansing enters. “Use CROWN Scalp Scrub, which acts as microdermabrasion and clears up any product buildup. After all, a happy scalp equals happy hair!” Reid says. To cleanse and treat the scalp, apply ACID WASH Apple Cider Vinegar Cleansing Rinse, which he shares “resets the cuticle and gives a good cleansing without stripping away natural oils.” For those who like to co-wash, ANALOG Cleansing Foam Conditioner weightlessly hydrates and reduces frizz as it removes debris between washes. Reid notes that the more products you regularly apply to your hair, the more often you’ll want to cleanse.
Sealing the cuticle locks in that moisture that Reid loves, helping to retain shine and shape. “You always want a little bit of water in your hair when you do your sealing treatment; hair should be wet, but not dripping,” he explains. Use TWO-WAY MIRROR Smoothing Oil, which Reid notes is “small enough on a molecular level to really get deep into the hair cuticle where you want deep conditioning.” A perfect cocktail for sealing, HIGH DIVE Moisture + Shine Crème “layers well with other products, acts as a protective coating for hair and doesn’t leave a lot of residue. Think of it as a buffer around the cuticle: It traps the oil in where it’s needed and helps the cuticle lay more smoothly,” Reid says. When applying both sealants, don’t over-manipulate hair; Reid recommends gently cupping the products with your palm when you pat them into hair.
Create + Transform
Curly or sleek? You can do both with R+Co. “The safest way to style is to air-dry using a product like CHIFFON Styling Mousse and a roller set,” Reid says. For “happy” defined curls, he recommends layering HIGH DIVE Moisture + Shine Crème to seal followed by MOTORCYCLE Flexible Gel for definition, hold and shine. Prefer a blow-dryer or flat iron? Make sure to use medium heat and high tension for safe styling, Reid says. Apply MOOD SWING Straightening Spray prior to blow-drying to decrease dry time, repel humidity and protect hair.
Control + Smooth
If oils are too heavy on blown-out hair, use FOIL Frizz + Static Control Spray to act as a smoother and heat protectant and, section-by-section, flat iron to seal in shine and smooth the cuticle. “If you want a bit more hold and control, use TROPHY Shine + Texture Spray instead of FOIL,” he says.