Spring is a great time to refresh your curly hair routine and give your curls the love and attention they deserve. But with so many different products and techniques out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. To help you take the best care of your curly hair this spring, we've compiled some tips and tricks from our team of curl experts, salon educators, and professional hairstylists who specialize in curly hair. Read our curly hair routine steps: <br /><br /><br />1. Use a sulfate-free shampoo. <br /><br />Sulfates are a type of cleansing agent that help to remove stubborn build-up and impurities from hair. But when used too frequently and without a hydrating conditioner, overusing sulfates can strip the hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry. For curly hair, it's important to use a sulfate-free shampoo every so often to help preserve the hair's natural moisture and prevent breakage. Look for shampoos that are formulated specifically for curly hair and contain moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, or nourishing seed oils. <br />Ultra-Nourishing Cleansing Oil Shampoo is a good choice for all curl types since it’s packed with good-for-curl ingredients like passionfruit and açaí berry oils that help to restore essential moisture and improve the look of hair health to help replenish shine and keep curls looking defined. “This oil-based shampoo is perfect for dry curls in need of a good cleanse,” says Margo H., Ouidad Education Manager. “The formula works by mimicking hair's natural oils, so curls are left cleansed, soft, and strengthened." <br />Ouidad’s new Unbreakable Bonds™ Bond Building Shampoo is another great sulfate-free option for all curl types, and particularly for anyone who is looking to help repair and hydrate their curls while cleansing. The combination of bond building technology and ingredients like vegan collagen, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides provide the ultimate boost of strength and hydration to curls while also helping to restore and build new hair bonds to prevent future hair damage. <br /><br /><br />2. Condition, condition, condition. <br /><br />Curly hair is naturally dryer and more prone to breakage and tangles due to the delicate shape of the hair strand, so it's important to give curls the extra hydration and nourishment they need as the seasons change. One of the best steps to include in your curly hair routine is adding a rich, nourishing conditioner to your wash day routine to help seal in moisture and consider trying a deep conditioning treatment mask every other week to help repair as needed. The Advanced Climate Control® Frizz-Fighting Hydrating Mask is a mask that helps to repair curls, nourish, and hydrate to provide a frizz-free foundation in any climate. <br />Ouidad Certified Stylist Robert Thomas uses it as his go-to treatment for fast hydration: “This mask provides instant hydration and frizz protection to curls in need of quick repair. It also leaves medium and higher density textures super-smooth. It's a great base to stop frizz before it starts." To visit a Ouidad Flagship Salon or find a Ouidad Certified Stylist near you, use our salon locator tool. <br />If you’re looking for a fragrance-free option that also helps repair and hydrate curls, try Unbreakable Bonds™ Bond Building Conditioner. It’s also dermatologist tested and hypoallergenic for those with sensitive scalps, and has a gentle, low pH to maintain the natural balance and integrity of your curls and scalp. Here’s how Ouidad Certified Stylist Jessica B. likes to use it on her clients: “This conditioner is my favorite to use on all curl types because it provides the hydration that curls need to add shine and definition, while also helping to repair and strengthen thanks to the bond building technology. I always recommend that my clients use the Unbreakable Bonds™ Bond Building Shampoo before following up with the conditioner to get more intense results.” <br /><br /><br />3. Follow up with a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray. <br /><br />To make styling your curls easier and reduce the risk of breakage, use a leave-in conditioner or detangling spray after washing and conditioning your hair. These products can help to loosen tangles and make your curls more hydrated and defined. Leave-in conditioners and sprays also help to prime hair before styling, creating a moisturized base before you apply your favorite curl cream or hair gel to help prevent frizz. Look for products that contain ingredients like hydrating extracts and oils to help nourish curls, like Detangling Heat Spray or Moisture Lock® Leave-In Conditioner. <br /><br /><br />4. Use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush. <br /><br />To help prevent hair damage, use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush to gently remove tangles after washing and conditioning. Start at the ends of your hair and work your way up to the roots, being careful not to pull or tug too hard. As previously mentioned, you can also use a leave-in conditioner to add slip, which will help to nourish and protect each strand as you work to detangle. <br /><br /><br />5. Dry your hair gently. <br /><br />“Never bunch or scrub curls together, as this roughens the cuticle, weakens hair, and causes frizz. For curls that are drier, focus on cleansing at the scalp and do not apply shampoo to ends. The shampoo will cleanse the ends of curls as it is rinsed out." – Nikki K., Ouidad Certified Stylist &amp; Lead Educator. <br />After washing and conditioning your hair, gently squeeze out excess water with a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt. Avoid rubbing your hair vigorously, as this can cause frizz and tangles. Instead, if you prefer to air-dry, gently scrunch your styling products into hair as it dries to help shape and define your curls. If you’re a fan of blow-drying, protect your curls by using a diffuser that provides concentrated heat to speed up overall drying time and evenly distribute air around the hair. This helps lessen the amount of heat that is used during styling, which in turn prevents frizz, encourages curl definition, and keeps hair cuticles smooth. <br />By following these tips and tricks this spring, you can keep your curls looking healthy, strong, and defined all season long. For more information on curly haircare and products for all curl types, visit Ouidad.com.