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Your Brushing Guide for Coily, Curly, and Wavy Hair

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Your Brushing Guide for Coily, Curly, and Wavy Hair

Hair brushing can be a pain and, depending on your hair type, can lead to dissatisfying results the next day. Indeed, brushing wrongly can damage your hair shaft and lead to breakage. You might even end up messing with your hair follicles, resulting in hair thinning.

This hair brushing guide is designed to help you better understand what type of curly hair you have and provide valuable tips for how and when to brush it. 

Hair Brushing Guide For Different Types Of Curls 

Knowing your curl type can help you identify the best way to care for it. Curl types fall into three main categories: 

  • Coily 
  • Curly 
  • Wavy 

These are further divided into three groups, depending on the diameter and shape of your curl. Note that it is completely normal for your curl to fall into multiple categories, as that is what makes our hair unique. 

Wavy type 

Wavy hair looks like a cross between curly and straight hair and features loose S shapes. It is more susceptible to frizz than straight hair and comes with less sheen. It requires extra hydration, but do not overdo it as it will cause the waves to fall. 

The main difference between wavy and curly types is that wavy hair cannot form twists or swirls that wrap around each other. The three subcategories of wavy type are:

  • 2A – Soft waves with a little volume. 
  • 2B – Wavy and more defined, with relatively more volume. 
  • 2C – Deep wavy hair with a highly defined S shape. 

Curly type 


Curly hair features thin strands that clump together and twist around to form ringlets. Natural oil at the roots of your hair may not be able to reach all the way up to the spirals, which can cause this hair type to be especially dry.

Applying deep conditioning treatments regularly as part of your care routine is advisable. Curly hair type can be: 

  • 3A – Soft wide curls with stretched spirals running down from the crown 
  • 3B – Properly-defined medium size ringlets with more volume 
  • 3C – Ultra-defined S-shaped curls that resemble tight corkscrews 

Coily type 

These curls vary from tightly packed S-shaped coils to Z-shaped kinky hair. The strands are so tight that the hair tends to appear shorter than its actual length. Depending on the thickness, it can also feel soft and coarse or fine. 

Coily hair is especially susceptible to tangles, dryness, and breakage, so you must use deep conditioning treatments and hydrating products with nutritious oils in your hair care routine. Coily type can be further divided into: 

  • 4A – Tight S-shaped corkscrews that are dense and compact
  • 4B – Tiny zigzags 
  • 4C – Tightly coiled strands with a zigzag pattern 

How To Brush Different Types Of Curls 

Hair brushing guide: Asian group of beautiful woman with different types of hair

General rules 

  1. i) Start from the bottom up 

Most people like to brush their hair from the root to the crown, but you should flip that logic when dealing with curly hair. Brushing from the scalp pulls heavily at the follicle, often leading to breakage and hair loss. Detangling gently from the bottom up gives you more control over the hair, so you don’t forcefully rip through it. 

  1. ii) Get a soft-bristled brush

 Brushes with soft bristles are great for your hair tips. They help spread the sebum at your scalp to your hair shaft so that your ends feel softer and more conditioned. It’s advisable to go for a wooden or natural-bristle brush instead of a plastic-bristled one, as the latter may damage your hair and scalp. 

iii) Don’t brush when wet 

Avoid brushing your hair immediately after washing it, as wet hair can be extremely vulnerable.

For Waves 

If you are looking for a healthy, long-lasting natural wave, you need to work on your brushing tactic. The pin curl method is an excellent technique for this purpose. After conditioning, start gently detangling the hair with a vent or detangling brushes.

Limit shampooing to 3 times a week and stick to a formula that does not contain any sulfate. If you don’t have time to wash it, apply some water lightly and comb it with a natural-bristle brush. 

Type 2A wavy hair starts out straight and then creases toward the edge. Combing this hair type is easy and does not require too much styling. Once you air-dry the hair, the waves will appear naturally. Look for conditioners and shampoos that will add some volume to your hair rather than make it limp.

Type 2B hair also grows straight when starting out but then forms medium to large waves (like beach waves) at the crown. Use gentle conditioners and shampoos to maintain the bouncy waves and prevent them from tangling. You may also want to use a mild leave-in conditioner that covers the hair when it is humid to keep the S-shaped waves intact. 

Type 2C borders between curly and wavy hair, but it doesn’t form springs. It is the most susceptible to frizz from all wavy hair types, but you can use hair serums and leave-in conditioners to keep this at bay.


For Curls 

You need to be careful when brushing curls, as starting the wrong way can leave some nasty damage to your hair. Hair strands stretch when you brush curly hair too much. If the narrower parts of the curl shaft sustain too much force and friction, they can easily break. 

A good rule of thumb is to brush the hair in small sections, starting from the back of your head and working toward your hairline. Apply some hair oil or leave-in conditioner to make the brushing easier. 

For Coils 

If you have coily or kinky hair, start by conditioning your hair in the shower, ensuring that the conditioner properly coats and covers all the hair strands. Once the conditioner sets well, proceed to detangle the strands using your fingertips, working in tiny sections from the bottom up. 

Let the hair dry slightly, and then apply some leave-in conditioner or hair oil. Finish by brushing the hair, moving from the ends toward the roots. 


The key to proper hair brushing is investing in a good hair brush. Spornette brushes are at the heart of every great hair care routine, and make brushes for the style you want! Purchase one today from Spornette!

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