What is Coily Hair and How Do You Maintain It?

What is Coily Hair and How Do You Maintain It?

Coily hair is known to be the driest hair type. That being said, that doesn’t take away the beauty of these locks. While it can be a stunning feature, having coily hair also comes with its own set of challenges when it comes to maintenance. 

In this quick read, we'll explore everything you need to know about coily hair: how to identify it, its associated struggles, the difference between curly and coily hair, and, most importantly, how to effectively maintain it to keep those coils healthy and vibrant.

What is Coily Hair?

Coily hair is often described as having tight, spiral-shaped curls that form a pattern reminiscent of a spring. These curls can range from loose to very tight, and each strand has a natural twist. 

As mentioned previously, this type of hair is typically more prone to dryness due to its structure, as the natural oils produced by the scalp have a harder time traveling down the length of the hair shaft.

Coily hair can be classified into three subcategories–4A, 4B, and 4C. 4A’s pattern is usually more visible and is fragile. 4B has a ‘Z’ curl pattern, and the strands are finer and more delicate than 4A. Lastly, 4C is considerably the tightest hair type among the three–it has a zigzag pattern and is the most fragile out of the three.

Signs You Have Coily Hair

Sometimes it’s easy to spot if you have coily hair or not. But, one sure way of knowing so is by taking note of the key characteristics of this hair type. Here are some notable indicators that you have coily hair:

Tight Curls

The main characteristic of coily hair is having tight, spiral-shaped curls that usually form close to the scalp. This is something that’s not seen among other hairstyles.

Defined Curl Pattern

Unlike other hair types, coily hair tends to have a clearly defined curl pattern that follows a consistent shape throughout the hair.


Coily hair has a textured feel to it, with each strand having a natural springiness and bounce.


Coily hair is often prone to frizziness because it tends to be dry, especially when it’s humid or exposed to harsh styling practices.

Less Shine

The natural oils produced by the scalp have difficulty traveling down the length of coily hair, resulting in a lack of shine compared to other hair types.


Coily hair tends to shrink in length when dry, often appearing shorter than it is when wet.

The Struggles of Having Coily Hair

Coily hair is undeniably a beautiful hair type with so much volume. That being said, there are 

While coily hair is undeniably beautiful, it also comes with its own set of challenges:

Difficulty in Combing

Having coily hair means going through a challenge whenever you detangle or comb through your hair. Not being carefully gentle with this can lead to breakage and damage.

Finding Effective Hair Products

Nowadays, the market for hair products has been catering to more hair types. However, depending on where you are, it may be difficult to find traditional hair products that work effectively on the unique needs of coily hair.

Limited Styling Options

Unlike other hair types, coily hair has its limits when it comes to styling options. This is because certain hairstyles may not hold well or may require extensive manipulation to achieve.


The dry nature of coily hair can contribute to dandruff and scalp irritation if it’s not being properly moisturized and cared for.

What is the Difference Between Curly Hair and Coily Hair?

It’s common to hear curly and coily hair get swapped often because of certain similarities. While both curly and coily hair types have a natural curl pattern, coily hair typically has tighter and more defined curls compared to curly hair. Additionally, coily hair also tends to be drier and requires more moisture to maintain its health and elasticity.

How to Maintain Your Coily Hair

Maintaining your coily hair doesn’t have to be a struggle! Adopt the right habits and discipline so you can properly maintain your gorgeous locks. Consistency is key to keeping coily hair healthy and vibrant. Here are some essential tips for caring for coily hair:

Use Moisturizing Products

Coily hair LOVES moisture. So, it’s important to look for products specifically formulated to hydrate and nourish the hair, such as moisturizing shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in treatments.

Deep Condition on a Weekly Basis

Make it a weekly thing to deep condition your coily hair. These treatments can help replenish moisture and strengthen your hair, reducing the risk of breakage and damage.

Refrain From Too Much Heat Styling

Love heat styling? Excessive heat styling can further dry out coily hair, so limit the use of heat tools and opt for heat-free styling methods whenever you can.

Get Regular Trims

Regular trims help maintain the health and shape of coily hair because it prevents split ends and breakage.

Protect Your Hair When Sleeping

More than just feeling fancy, using a satin or silk scarf or pillowcase protects your hair while sleeping, reducing friction and preventing breakage.

Avoid Relaxers and Perms

Chemical treatments like relaxers and perms can weaken coily hair and alter its natural texture, so avoiding them altogether is best.

Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a superhero for many things–and that includes adding moisture to coily hair. Thanks to its natural emollience, coconut oil moisturizes and softens coily hair, making it more manageable and less prone to breakage.

The Best Products for Coily Hair

It's important to look for formulas that give adequate moisture and hydration without weighing your hair down. Here are some top picks for your coily hair!

R+Co Cassette Curl Shampoo

Meet R+Co’s Cassette Curl Shampoo! It gently cleanses the hair without stripping away natural oils, leaving your coils soft, shiny, and defined.

R+Co Cassette Curl Conditioner

Pair their shampoo with this conditioner from the same line! This conditioner is infused with a superseded oil complex to hydrate and define coily curls, leaving hair soft, shiny, and manageable. This makes the perfect duo for taming your lovely coils.

R+Co Atlantis Moisturizing B5 Shampoo

Another great line from R+Co! Their Atlantis Moisturizing B5 Shampoo gently cleanses and hydrates coily hair, leaving it soft, shiny, and manageable. The key ingredient here is B5, which is known for its intense hydration.

R+Co Atlantis Moisturizing B5 Conditioner

R+Co’s Atlantis line also comes with a matching conditioner! It’s also formulated with vitamin B5 and hydrating ingredients, nourishing and strengthening coily hair while reducing frizz and flyaways.

R+Co Spiritualized Dry Shampoo Mist

Running late to work or still far away from hair washing day? Try R+Co’s Spiritualized Dry Shampoo Mist! This is the perfect solution for in-between-hair-washing days as it helps to remove buildup without leaving your hair feeling powdery.

R+Co Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner

If you’re looking for innovative hair products, check out R+Co’s Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner! It dispenses a lightweight foam that softens and conditions your coily hair.

R+Co Twister Curl Primer

Prep your coily hair for styling with R+Co’s Twister Curl Primer, which enhances curl definition and provides a long-lasting hold for all-day style retention.

R+Co Two-Way Mirror Smoothing Oil

We swear this is not a sponsored post for R+Co, they just have a lot of amazing products for coily hair, including this smoothing oil! Smooth and tame frizz and flyaways with this their Two-Way Mirror Smoothing Oil, adding shine and manageability to coils without weighing them down.

R+Co Motorcycle Flexible Gel

Style and shape coily hair with the Motorcycle Flexible Gel from R+Co, which provides medium hold and definition without stiffness or residue.

Moroccanoil Curl Control Mousse

Define and enhance coily curls with Moroccanoil’s Curl Control Mousse! This mousse provides long-lasting hold and bounce for beautifully defined curls.

Amika The Wizard Detangling Primer

We love a versatile product! Amika’s The Wizard Detangling Primer is a multi-purpose hair product that nourishes and strengthens coily hair, providing hydration, shine, and heat protection. Talk about a bang for your buck!

Final Thoughts

Coily hair is beautiful to look at, but anyone who has it knows that it takes effort to maintain them. Once you’ve gotten the hang of your coily hair type, it’ll be easier from now on to follow the proper care routine and styling techniques–allowing you to fully embrace and enhance your natural coils, keeping them healthy, vibrant, and moisturized. 

Want access to the best products for coily hair? Explore the amazing selection atTotality Skin Care! It’s time to upgrade your current hair routine with high-quality ingredients that cater to your specific concerns. Shop now!

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