how to care for dry waves, curls and coils

When it comes to dealing with dry curly hair, it may feel like a knock-down-drag-out fight with your curls. But it doesn’t have to be so difficult! You can help replenish your curls with just a few adjustments to your usual routine. Once you understand why your waves, curls and coils are so dry, you can start learning what to do about it.

hands combing through hair

Why dry?

There are plenty of reasons why your hair might be dry and some of them are trickier to spot than others. Here’s a guide to what can lead to the dryness we’re all looking to avoid.



The first thing to do is examine your products. Certain ingredients, like SLS/SLES sulfates in your shampoo or cleanser, are notorious for drying out curls. Shampoos with a high pH level are also common culprits. Both SLS/SLES sulfates & pH levels can strip your curls of their natural oils, leaving moisture free to disappear.

When it comes to things you should have more of for dry waves, curls and coils, conditioner is top of the list. Don’t hold back! If you don’t already have a conditioner in your routine, look for one that is right for your texture, whether that is fine, medium or coarse. A mask or treatment is also essential to this list — discover one that works for your needs here.



Whether you have one tried-and-true look or you like to rock a new style every day, watch out for the danger of over-processing your hair. If you notice heat damage, consider air-drying instead or use a heat protectant. Adding a primer, such as Plumping Primer and FlexFactor, before styling can help protect your hair from damage and keep moisture in, so find one you like for your product basket.

When it comes to self-expression, dying your hair is fun and a great way to shake up your style. Unfortunately, adding too many chemicals can take your mane from luscious to lackluster pretty fast. That’s why deep conditioning treatments such as Heaven In Hair, Melt Into Moisture and our brass kicking champion No-Poo Blue are a color-treated curl’s best friend.


The world around you

Your environment may be affecting your curls more than you know. At night, cotton sheets and pillowcases could be pulling the moisture from your curls while you sleep. The thicker threads can also catch and snag curls, causing breaks and tears, also causing micro-knots, known as "fairy knots," you'd really rather not think about.

Some things are beyond the control of any waves, coils and curls. Whether it’s the onset of winter weather or your home in an arid climate, dry air can lead to dry hair. While you can’t make it rain more in the desert, you can protect your curls with extra moisture.

stylist running fingers through client's hair
What to do about it…


It may seem like a given, but the best dry waves, curls, or coils treatment is moisturizing! Start with a moisturizing cleanser, like No-Poo Decadence. Next, get rinse-out conditioner, like One Condition, into your routine and deep condition at least twice a month. (Try Heaven In Hair!)

Shop Conditioners

Time it right

There’s a timeline that can help your hair stay healthy looking: condition often, wash 2-3 times a week, deep condition every two weeks, and get a trim every 6-8 weeks. If you find you need to deep condition more often or wash less frequently, adjust your routine to fit your curls!


find products for your curls

Beyond learning what works best for your curl type, factor in the rest of your life when you look for products. Compensate for dry winter air with moisturizers, get color-specific products if you color, and test different products for compatibility.


seek out silk or microfiber goodies

Silk and satin pillow covers can save you a lot of frizzy mornings. If silk sheets aren’t in the budget for you, just the pillowcase can let your hair slip without snagging, or you can find a silk scarf or bonnet for sleeping.

Microfiber towels like our Devatowel or DevaTwist™ help absorb excess moisture and enhance curl shape without roughing them up so your curls dry with more definition and less frizz — it’s a win-win!


Be proactive

Nourish and bolster your hair against damage. CurlBond™ Re-Coiling Treatment Mask helps strengthen hair, improve elasticity and reduce breakage so curls look healthy and defined while Melt Into Moisture nourishes curls without weighing them down so they look shiny and feel silky-soft.

stylist cupping client's hair in hands
...and what not to do

Don’t over heat style

If you’re using heat, start with our FLEXFACTOR™ Curl Protection & Retention Primer. This heat and UV protective spray with the Curl Memory Complex helps all curl types spring back to life and helps prevent damage from brushing, friction, manipulation, and heat up to 450 degrees. Plus, it reduces damage up to 55%! Next, make sure your DevaFuser is ready to go! Set your dryer on low heat to minimize damage. And try air-drying to reduce exposing your curls to heat.


don’t dry-style

If you can manage it, all of your hair manipulation should be done while your curls are wet or damp. Don’t brush or comb your hair while it’s dry and always add moisturizers and stylers to soaking wet hair.


don’t wash your hair with sls/sles sulfates

However you choose to cleanse, skip the SLS/SLES sulfates. Grab any of our Low-Poo or No-Poo cleansers to get your hair clean in a way that won’t strip it.


don’t lose hope!

It takes time to get your waves, curls or coils healthy-looking. Find your routine, tweak it as you need, and stick to it. Get encouragement from your friends or even document your journey with selfies to keep yourself motivated and prove to yourself that it’s working.