Many curlies aspire to achieve second-day hair, while some of us would just be happy to make it through the day with our waves and ringlets looking shiny and defined.
That's where curl rejuvenators come into play. Also called curl boosters and curl revitalizers, this category of products serves several functions. They can re-activate your styling product; they can moisturize and refresh the hair; and they can quickly zap frizz.
"It's absolutely something that every curly should have in their arsenal," says stylist Leo Freeman of Trilogy Salon in Valley Village, Calif.
Some people might use water in a spray bottle to revive their curls. But this actually can be drying to curls and waves, making them frizzier.
"You need something to help defrizz and moisturize," says Kelly Foreman, creator of the Mop Top and Fuzzy Duck lines of curly hair products.
Most revitalizers contain different ingredients designed to refresh, moisturize and define the curls. Many contain magnesium sulfate (epsom salt), which helps to perk up curls and re-activate styling products. They also contain humectants such as glycerin, botanical oils and honey. And some use polyquateriums and silicones to zap frizz and add definition.
"Everybody has tried to put more gel on when your hair is dry, and it gets sticky, crunchy and gunky," Foreman. "You don't have a pretty curl. My Mop Top Detangler & Refresher adds the moisture element, without being sticky and gunky."
The Mop Top Detangler & Refresher contains ingredients such as sea botanicals, aloe, glycerin and honey.
"The best ingredients for curl boosting I have found are the salts (magnesium sulfate, sea salt, etc.)," says Marsha Coulton, founder of the Curl Junkie line. "Striking the right balance is important. Just a touch too much oil or other ingredients can weigh down hair or cause hair to be too dry. Experimentation is key!"
Christo of Christo Fifth Avenue uses Curlisto Glow & Shine in the middle of the day for weightless shine and a more finished look.
For great second-day hair, Kim Wicks of Missouri's Frontenac Salon suggests flipping your hair over, spraying in a little Devacurl Set it Free underneath, flipping it back up and doing a light mist all over. She also finds that a little Devacurl B'Leave In can be applied to dry hair to revive curls.
In addition to perking up the style, Freeman says the right product can help freshen up the hair so you don't have to wash it as often. She uses Devacurl Mist-er Right on her second-day curls.
"The first day after you wash it, it looks good," Freeman says. "But on the second day, you don't necessarily want to douse it and start over. With a curl revitalizer, in addition to extending your product from the previous day, you're re-moisturizing your hair."
Make sure the product you use is water-soluble so it doesn't build up. And don't use more than you need or it could weigh down the hair or cause frizz.
"If certain curls look good already, leave them alone because you don't want to risk taking away the definition and causing more frizz,'" says Stacey Canfield, creator of the Blended Beauty line.
For people who have twists, coils or locks, curl rejuvenators are a must because they help keep the scalp and hair moisturized and refreshed.
"Spritz each lock or twist as needed," Canfield says.
Kinky Curly Spiral Spritz
Matrix Curl.Life All-Day Reactivator
Redken Fresh Curls Curl Boost
L'Oreal technique Nature's Therapy Perfect Curls Defining Spray Gel
Mizani Moisturizing Silkening Liquid-Gel
FX Special Effects Curls Up Curl Reactivator and Defrizzant
Samy Get Curls Re-Energizing Potion
Curly Sexy Hair Curl Reactivator
LA Styles Curl Re-activator Spritz
ISO Bouncy Spray
Ouidad Summer Shield Beach Spray
Ouidad Botanical Boost
Aveda Light Elements Reviving Mist
Tigi Catwalk Camera Ready & Defrizzer
Tigi S-Factor Papaya Leave-in Moisture Spray
Paul Mitchell Round Trip
Oyin Greg Juice