Curly hair can be the bane of a woman’s existence. But it doesn’t have to be! Managing your curly hair can be done, with the right techniques and a few experiments.

While people with straight hair often look longingly at curly hair, the opposite is often just as true. Curly hair, in all of its shapes and forms, is difficult to manage and not straight forward to handle. There are a multitude of ways to care for and manage your curly hair, some of which you might have discovered on your own, some of which can improve your handling of curly hair.

Getting your hair cut can be a nerve-wracking experience for anybody, but for someone with curly hair, it can be a genuine nightmare. Not all stylists know how to cut curly hair and it can be a challenge to find the right stylist for you. However, always go into an appointment with freshly washed and dried hair, and make sure they cut it dry. This allows them to see how your hair curls, how it lays and while they’re cutting it, see how it’s handing the new style.

During daily maintenance, there are a few tips that can help make your hair more manageable. Never brush your hair dry as that only creates more frizz and breaks up the curls. Wet brushing can damage your hair, but using a wide-toothed comb with conditioner is best. In the shower, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and leave in some of the conditioner. Avoid silicone products, which can dry out your hair. And if you can handle it, wash your hair in cold water as hot water can stress out the follicles.

Drying the hair after a shower is another area where people with curly hair can go wrong. There are a variety of ways to dry your hair, and often it comes down to time constraints and what you’re willing to do. While some people say never to dry your hair with a towel, others say it’s better than using a hair dryer. But it’s widely agreed that letting curly hair air dry is best of all. However, if you don’t have the time for this and need to use a hair dryer, put it on the coolest setting with a diffuser and stop before your hair is completely dry, letting it finish on its own.

For hair that stays curly without being frizzy throughout the day, products are available to help you achieve the look you desire. With curl-defining gel, serum or wax, smooth it in or scrunch it upside down. Throughout the day, if you notice your hair starting to frizz or the curls starting to lose definition, rewet your hair and apply some more product.

While curly hair has been called a blessing and a curse, it doesn’t have to be impossible. Even the frizziest of hair can be tamed, and while managing it can take longer than it does for straight-haired counterparts, it is worth it. If you’re having a really bad hair day and nothing is working, you can use your trusty straighteners. Whatever you choose to do, just be thankful your hair has shape.