Thick Curly Hair | Expert Tips

How to Care for Thick Curly Hair Naturally

If you have thick, curly hair, you may well be the envy of your fine-haired friends. You have volume naturally.

However, I’ve worked with many clients over the years who just wanted to contain and restrain their curls. Some kept their hair tied back, whilst others were attached to their straighteners.

The one thing in common was that they’d never fully appreciated how to work with their curls and enhance their natural hair.

By tackling the things they didn’t like about their thick curly hair (the usual suspects, dryness, frizzy curls, tangles and lack of shine) I helped them to embrace their natural hair. So, if you find yourself longing for the perfect curl or your hair is out of control, I can help. 

I’ve been working with curly hair for over 35 years, and there are three simple things you can do to rock your curls. 

Firstly, get the foundation right. That means building a hair care routine that adds moisture to your curls. Secondly, choose the best products for thick, curly hair. Choose products that will nourish and soothe your hair. And finally, but by no means least, get the right hairstyle to showcase those fabulous curls.

Keep reading to learn to love your thick, curly hair.

Thick Curly Hair | Overview

Portrait of joyful woman with afro hair smiling over white background. Isolated. High quality photo.

The very nature of curly hair is that it has dips and lifts, making it uneven. That uneven structure leaves it prone to frizz, breakage and moisture loss. 

Thicker hair types need more moisture, so when you add curls into the mix, hair requires a regular moisture boost to maintain flexibility and avoid breakage and moisture loss.

That said, those dips and lifts can become your biggest asset. They give your hair body and movement.

So, when you get serious about adding moisture to your hair, you’ll have more clearly defined curls, plus your hair will be more flexible, less frizzy and easy to style. 

In this blog, I’ll share my expert advice on how to add moisture to thick, curly hair. Consider this your foundation.

Once you’ve got a good foundation, with a hair care routine using the best products to add moisture to your curls, everything else will follow. 

I know that hair salons can be daunting for those with curly hair. There’s always that question about whether someone can really cut curly hair. To help reduce that anxiety,  I’ll share my advice on the conversation you should have with your stylist before you get your hair cut.

How to Add Moisture to Thick Curly Hair

Female with thick curly hair

1. Routine, Routine, Routine

If there’s one thing hair loves, it’s routine. Not dissimilar to your skin. If you think about your skin, do you apply moisture as a one-off and wait for your skin to feel dry before you use a moisturiser again? Generally, when we think of skincare, we think of prevention. We moisturise our skin every day to prevent it from becoming dry. Thinking about preventative hair care is a great place to start.

Preventative hair care is all about adding enough moisture to your hair to prevent it from feeling dry. It’s not a one-off event. Prevent your hair from feeling dry; use a deep conditioning treatment as part of your weekly hair care routine.

So, how do you do that?

Let’s start by considering the structure of curly hair.

Each strand of hair has a cuticle layer made of keratin, and wrapped around the cortex. The cuticle sits on the cortex, protecting it like roof tiles on a house.

The cuticle, a protective layer, naturally breaks and lifts over time. This lifting is due to sunlight and oxygen. However, colour treatments or heated styling can also result in lifting.

The cortex is a protein and holds water at the centre of the follicle. If the protective cuticles lift, the cortex loses moisture. Because curly hair has an uneven shape, it is more fragile, and the cuticle is more prone to lifting. That leaves curly hair prone to dehydration.

So, to take care of thick curly hair, the first thing you must do, is take care of dehydration. 

A weekly hair mask treatment to deep condition and add moisture to your hair will improve the texture and performance of your curls. If you want your curls to look and feel great, this is a non-negotiable part of your hair care routine.

2. Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Female with long natural curly hair

If you are at the start of this process and your hair is excessively dry, you can use Restore and Shine Hair Masque twice a week for the first two weeks. After that, use weekly as part of your hair care routine. You can leave Restore and Shine Hair Masque on for 10 minutes and then rinse. Alternatively, try leaving the Restore and Shine Masque on for a few hours or even overnight to help boost moisture. 

3. Nourish your Hair

Focus on giving your hair nourishment. Restore and Shine Hair Masque combines pro vitamin b5 for moisture, glycerin and cetearyl alcohol to help you hair retain moisture. These natural ingredients are expertly blended in my exclusive formula to balance moisture and give your hair the nutrients it needs.

Speaking of ingredients, I recommend avoiding products that contain silicones. They coat the hair to give it the appearance of a smooth, shiny finish in the short term, but they can make your hair drier over time. 

4. Keep it Cool

Heat contributes to moisture loss in hair. I understand it’s not always possible to air dry your hair; if you use a hairdryer, try a diffuser, which helps with curl definition and creates less frizz. Always use the hairdryer on a cooler setting and look at options such as partially drying your hair with the hairdryer and then leaving to air dry. I recommend experimenting with different options and seeing what works best for your hair.

5. Choose Microfibre

If you’ve yet to discover the microfibre towel, you are in for a treat. It’s gentle on the hair and doesn’t rough up the cuticle like a standard towel. Remember, when you dry your hair with a towel, be gentle. Your hair is like a delicate fabric, and it’s most fragile when wet, so use the towel to squeeze out the excess water. Be gentle when doing this. By taking a gentle approach, you can reduce breakage and moisture loss.

6. Sleep on a Silk or Satin Pillow

A silk or satin pillow is great for protecting the cuticle. Cotton pillows tend to rough up the cuticle, resulting in tangles, breakage and moisture loss. Sleeping on the smooth surface of a silk or satin pillow will reduce friction and breakage.

7. Detangle Hair Gently

Restore and Shine Hair Masque detangles your hair as you rinse. As you rinse your hair, use your fingers to go through the hair; this is a gentle way of detangling wet hair. You don’t need to use any combs or detangling tools. 

Thick Curly Hair | Hair Styles

Thick Curly Hair Blonde

Cutting curly hair is a labour of love. With its kinks and waves, it can have many challenges. Find a stylist who loves curls and understands how to work with them and how to get the best from them. Getting the right shape for curly hair is essential for getting the movement and body in your hair. I recommend a consultation with your stylist before you go for the chop.

I passionately believe that every great haircut starts with a great conversation. Talking to your stylist in advance will help them understand what you want to achieve; it gives you the opportunity to understand their approach.

Below, I’ve suggested some discussion points for your consultation with your stylist.

1. Length

Mid-length and longer styles generally work best for thick, curly hair. But if you want a short style, I recommend keeping the length on top to give you more styling options.

Shorter and mid-length styles give hair more volume. A longer style would work better to reduce the volume of thick, curly hair.

It’s not just about the length of your hair. 

Shape, balance and weight are vital when cutting thick, curly hair. You can discuss the best options with your hairstylist. 

2. Weight and Movement

Don’t just talk to your stylist about the length of your hair. Ask your stylist where they would recommend more weight in your hair and what changes they can make to give you more movement. Identifying how to get the weight in the right place to make the most of your natural volume is vital. A haircut should be versatile enough to change the parting or try different styling options when you style it at home.

3. Individual Features

Thick Curly Hair Layers

When considering the shape and balance of a haircut, your hairstylist will consider your head shape, facial shape and features. Plus, they’ll look at your hairline front and back. They’ll look at the texture of your hair and how it will respond to different cuts. Talk to your stylist about what will suit you. Ask them what they think when they consider those aspects of the haircut.

4. Layers

Due to its natural volume, cutting thick, curly hair is often about reducing weight and improving manageability. I would approach layers cautiously, as you don’t want to create too much bulk or volume at the sides or on the top of the hair. The weight has to be evenly distributed and balanced. That’s why the conversation with your stylist is vital. Because how you cut and style hair depends on the thickness and texture of the hair. It’s not a one-size fits all approach.

Your stylist will be able to guide you on what layers, if any, would work for your hair.

Thick, curly hair can be one of the  most challenging hair types to cut but, get it right and, it can look incredible. So, invest some time in having a productive discussion with your stylist.

Thick Curly Hair| Tips and Take Aways

Curly Hair

1. Hair Care Routine

Building a hair care routine that works for your hair is vital. Incorporate a regular moisture boost and don’t think of deep conditioning as a one-off event. 

2. Moisture is your Foundation

A weekly deep conditioning hair mask is essential for maintaining moisture and sealing the cuticle to fight frizz, dryness, tangles and leave hair shiny. Opt a good quality hair mask with nourishing ingredients.

3. Keep Heat to a Minimum

Turn down the heat on your hairdryer and wash hair in warm, not hot water. Use a diffuser.

4. Go for Satin or Silk

Reduce dryness and breakage of curly hair by sleeping on a silk or satin pillow, turn down the heat on your hairdryer and wash hair in warm, not hot water.

5. Choose Gentle Microfibre Towels

Invest in a microfibre towel to avoid breakage and damage to hair when it’s most fragile after washing.

6. Go for Balance

When thinking about cutting hair getting the right shape and balance for your curls is vital. This is an important discussion point when you talk to your stylist.

7. Consult before The Cut

Find a stylist who knows how to work with curly hair. Always have a consultation to agree on the best style for you and your curls.

Curly Hair | Shop the Blog

Restore and Shine Hair Masque

Deep Conditioner Treatment for Thick Curly Hair

Thick Curly Hair | About the Author

Picture of Norris Ogario

Norris Ogario

Norris Ogario is founder and Creative Director of Ogario London. Developed in his London salon, the Ogario London haircare products reflect his belief that hydration is the key to fixing most hair problems. Hydrated hair can be styled with ease. Plus, hydration leaves hair shiny and healthy. Norris has over 35 years of hair know-how. With expertise in all hair types; from dry hair to fine or grey hair, from frizzy to damaged or bleached hair, curly hair and afro hair, Norris offers his expert advice.

Recommended Reading

I write about all aspects of healthy hair, from preventing frizzy hair to stopping split ends. Plus I share salon tips and techniques for looking after all hair types.

Good nutrition is vital for hair health and shine.

Give your hair the right foundation with the best foods for hair growth. Discover more in my blog, Healthy Hair: Choose the Best Foods for Hair Growth.

Get all the know how on adding moisture to dry hair. I cover all aspects of treating dry hair in my blog, Salon Know-How: How to Moisturise Dry Hair.

Leave In Conditioner with Argan Oil for Hair

Add moisture to your with a leave in hair conditioner. Find out why a leave in conditioner is the best choice for hair styling. Choose from hair volume products to a leave in conditioner spray.

Discover Expert Hair Styling Tips

Short bob haircuts are seriously versatile. Discover how you can style your short bob haircut with 3 easy to achieve hairstyles using the Denman Hairbrush.

Expert Tips for Shiny Hair

For maximum hair shine, the cuticle must be smooth. Discover my expert tips for how to get shiny hair.

How to Look After Grey Hair

Discover how to look after grey hair. From choosing the best grey hair products to the best hairstyles for grey hair. Or from how to enhance grey hair to how to soften coarse grey hair or how to transition to grey hair, go to my Ultimate Guide for Caring Grey Hair

Taking Care of Bleached Hair and Fix Damage

If you have bleached hair and want to regain your shine, read my blog, How to take care of Bleached Hair. You’ll find everything you need to know about taking care of bleached hair, from the best hair mask for bleached hair to how to fix hair damaged from over-bleaching

Dry Hair Treatment

Get expert tips and advice on how to use a dry hair treatment in my blog, Dry Hair Treatment: Essential Hair Care

How to Repair Damaged Hair

Go my guide on how to repair damaged hair. I cover some frequently asked questions about repairing damaged hair. Plus, I talk about some of the causes of damaged hair along with tips on preventing damage.

How To Improve Scalp Healthy Naturally

Learn how to improve your scalp health naturally in my blog. I share expert tips for getting your scalp in good health

How to Fix Dry, Brittle Hair using Simple Techniques

Discover tips for fixing dry, brittle hair. When hair becomes so dry that its brittle and breaking it can be stressful. Take positive action to improve the condition of your hair and get it back into shape.


About Us

Ogario London is a salon developed range of natural hair care products. Because we are passionate about our products, delivering the best results is at the heart of what we do. Do you have questions about our products? Or, would you like advice on the best products for your hair type? Maybe have another question about how to look after your hair? If you do, please get in touch at

As Seen InHair Mask Review

Beauty Bible Recommends Ogario London Hair Masque Hair Treatment

Restore and Shine Hair Masque was awarded best hair mask in the Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible Awards. As an independent hair care brand, we are incredibly proud to be recognised alongside some of the industry’s biggest haircare brands. Because I spend time ensuring that our products deliver the best results, I couldn’t be happier to get this review and win this prestigious award.

Back to Top
Select your currency