Best products for curly hair: We pick the best shampoos, conditioners and treatments


Looking to treat, tame, preen, and pamper your wavy locks? Then these are our favourite hair care products for keeping curly hair healthy

Whether you have tight coils or a looser wave, curly hair comes with a special set of challenges. Curly locks tend towards dryness and dullness; they also tangle and frizz much more readily than straight hair. But treat your hair with the right products and those curls can be luscious, soft and bouncingly beautiful.

Here you’ll find our guide to the best curl-care products on the market, with a range of budgets in mind. We’ll explain the key products you need, and why, in the bite-size buying guide below, or you can scroll straight past and check out our favourite shampoos, conditioners and treatments. With prices starting from as little as £3, you won’t need to spend a fortune to give your hair a boost.

How to choose the right products for curly hair

How often should I wash my hair?

You’ll have seen a lot of debate on this topic. but ideally, it’s best to wash curly hair every few days. Washing it every day, even with a gentle shampoo, can wreak havoc with your hair type and is a recipe for frizz.

What kind of conditioner should I use?

A good, hydrating conditioner will do the work of sealing in moisture, warding off tangles and defining the shape of your gorgeous curls. To find this you’ll need to look for a formulation that suits your texture and your lifestyle – a heavy conditioner will penetrate thick curls but is far less suitable for finer hair, weighing it down. Leave-in conditioners are great for busy lifestyles and can be applied and forgotten about while you get on with your day. Even better, it helps to hold your style in place while it does the work of conditioning your tresses.

Are there any other products I should consider?

It’s worth investing in a good repairing hair treatment for extra care once a week (or more frequently, if your hair is suffering). Hot oil, treatment masques and overnight leave-in products will all help soften and nourish curly hair, and make for a lovely Sunday night bathroom ritual too. Comb conditioners and treatment products through with a wide-toothed detangling comb that won’t snag or break your delicate curls.

Finally, smoothing styling products can be a godsend for frizzy hair – but resist the temptation to slap on too much, or to layer up too many products at once. Pick one serum, balm or styling wax suitable for your hair type and use it sparingly to promote bouncy ringlets and control frizz and flyaway hair.

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Best tonic water: Make a cracking cocktail with these excellent tonics


Perfect mixers that will suit your G&T to a T

We can thank our colonial ancestors for tonic water. Nineteenth-century Brits stationed in India were prescribed medicinal quinine to ward off malaria – and found that the bitter stuff was a lot more palatable when mixed with sweetened fizzy water and a dose of gin. Thus was born a sundowner classic, and the drink has become a pre-dinner staple at home as well as overseas.

There’s never been a single definitive recipe for tonic water, however. Today, it can be found in an increasing variety of styles and flavours. So which will best suit your choice of gin (or vodka)? We’ve sipped our way through the mixer aisle to find out.

How to buy the best tonic water

The classic tonic water recipe combines sugar, quinine and carbonated water for a distinctive bitter-sweet taste. The quinine is still crucial, but is no longer added in medicinal doses and today simply adds flavour.

Flavoured tonic water: For almost as long as tonic water has been around, it’s been offered in citrus-flavoured variants (the first bitter lemon mixer was produced in 1834). Lime, grapefruit and orange are all popular, adding a refreshing sweet-sour tang that complements the bitter quinine notes and offsets the dryness of gin.

Tonic water with botanicals: Herbs and edible flowers – such as thyme, rosemary, lime flower and myrtle – add subtle hints of flavour to the standard tonic taste. These tonics mix well with neutral flavours such as vodka or a simple dry gin.

Low-calorie tonic water: Plenty of tonics are offered in a slimline variant – but bartenders recommend avoiding artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, as these have an aftertaste of their own that conflicts with the flavour of the quinine. If you’re watching your figure, try a light tonic water with natural fructose instead.

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Best whisky 2018: The smoothest Scotch, bourbon (and more) whiskies


Malts, grains, blends and bourbons – there’s nothing quite like a dram to warm away the winter blues

Whisky (or, as our friends across the Irish Sea would have it, whiskey) has long been a popular tipple in the British Isles, with a history dating back to at least the 15th century. Empire and emigration took the spirit worldwide, and whisky is now globally popular in three distinct types: peaty, double-distilled Scotch whisky; lighter, triple-distilled Irish whiskey; and the sweeter bourbon-style whiskies produced in the US. After a lull in the late 20th century, whisky drinking is on the rise, and it’s not uncommon to find a good selection of malts and blends in your local pub.

But how do you find the best dram? We’ve sipped our way through a selection to help you find the whisky (or whiskey) that will best suit you.

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