How to give curly hair hydration, definition, strength and shine – A Virtual Beauty Shoot

Strong Curl: Embrace hair’s natural texture by hydrating, defining and enhancing curls, while adding some serious volume, texture and shine – courtesy of the experts at Authentic Beauty Concept

Authentic Beauty Concept Hydrate

There’s no such thing as too much hydration when it comes to curly hair.

So says Joseph Ferraro, the award-winning hair stylist behind Marie Claire’s four incredible Virtual Beauty Shoot looks in partnership with Authentic Beauty Concept

“Curly hair is naturally drier, and because of the way the cuticle is laid, it needs that added moisture,” he tells Marie Claire Beauty and Style Director Lisa Oxenham during our live masterclass on creating strong, defined curls. 

The perfect product pairing for curly hair? Authentic Beauty Concept’s Hydrate range – an ultra-nourishing line of moisturising, regenerating and revitalising products designed with drier, more texturised hair in mind. 

Like all of Authentic Beauty Concept’s ranges, Hydrate is sustainable and kind-to-planet, as well as kind-to-hair – making the brand a firm favourite of our Beauty and Style Director.

“What I really love about this brand is that what they leave out of their products is as important as what they put in,” Lisa explains. “Across their range, their products are free from silicones and sulfate surfactants. Instead, they use vegan ingredients that are pure and carefully selected.”

Hydrate your way to strong, defined curls

Infused with nourishing ingredients derived from nature, the Hydrate range acts as a much-needed source of moisture for curls in need of some TLC. 

“Hydrate is perfect for curly hair. It’s not too overloaded, it’s not too heavy, but it gives hair that nourishment that it needs,” says Joseph. 

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Jerome Wilson, Authentic Beauty Concept’s Brand Educator – and man with all the product know-how – agrees. 

“Curly hair just really needs that drink of water. How we drive hydration into our Hydrate range is down to two key ingredients: mango and basil. Basil is really nice and purifying; while mango is made up of 80% water – so it’s a really nourishing ingredient,” Jerome explains. “While another main driver for hydration comes from vitamin B5.” 

By hydrating curly hair when it’s wet, curls are much more likely to be strong and defined when dried – as proven by the look created here on model Sophia’s stunning natural hair. 

But it’s all about the right products and the right steps. Ready to hydrate, texturise and define your way to the Strong Curl look?

Joseph and Jerome talk us through the style one step – and expert product – at a time:

Strong Curl: Get the Look

Create the perfect blank canvas: Begin by washing your hair with the Authentic Beauty Concept Hydrate Cleanser. This ultra-nourishing shampoo infused with mango and basil hydrates, soothes and purifies dry hair to bring back its elasticity. 

Mask up: Work a handful of the Hydrate Mask through your hair from roots to ends, and leave for 5-10 minutes before rinsing out. “The cleaner the curl, the more unruly the hair will be,” explains Jerome. “I would count around five washes [for curly hair] and then do a mask. But if your hair is very dry, very curly or very coarse, you can actually use the mask as a conditioner.”

Replenish: Mix together the Replenish Balm and Indulging Fluid Oil in your hands, and use your fingers to run the combo through your hair to seal split ends ahead of blow-drying in the next step. “All of these products can be mixed,” explains Joseph. “By mixing them you’re going to give hair that hydration, nourishment and shine.” 

Diffuse it: To dry hair, use a diffuser on a high heat, but at a low speed setting. “The slower you can dry curly hair, the better,” explains Joseph. Tipping your head upside down while drying can also help to achieve maximum fullness. 

Volumise: Once dry, spray hair with the Nude Powder Spray to add some all-important lift, grip and volume at the roots. 

Texturise: Brush your curls out into shape, and spray the Nymph Salt Spray at the roots to add texture. “What’s great about this product is that you have Marisol, which is sea salt, and you’ve got sugars. It’s balanced to give you the texture, but not give you that crunchy feel,” says Jerome. “This will boost the curl activation, and give the hair just that little bit of grip.”

The perfect finish: Finally, as with all great hair looks, finish off with a blast of the Working Hairspray to give your curls a fine, flexible hold that stays firmly in place. 

Ready to create the Strong Curl look at home? Shop the Beauty Director-approved products used in the shoot below, and follow @authenticbeautyconceptuk for expert tips, tricks, and tutorials on making every day a good hair day.

Kate McCusker

Kate McCusker is a freelance writer at Marie Claire UK, having joined the team in 2019. She studied fashion journalism at Central Saint Martins, and her byline has also appeared in Dezeen, British Vogue, The Times and woman&home. In no particular order, her big loves are: design, good fiction, bad reality shows and the risible interiors of celebrity houses.