Everything You Need to Know About Curly Hair
Curls – you either crave or curse them. As with most things in life we always want what we don’t have. Women who weren’t blessed with curls spend hours with the curling iron trying to duplicate natural waves. Women with curls spend countless dollars on straightening blow-outs and straightening products only
Curly hair requires a lot of attention, but with great products and care, the results can be stunning. Curly hair is more susceptible to frizz, split ends, and dryness. For this reason, it can be tricky to tame – leaving you reaching for the flatiron. But fear not … Whether your curls are natural or man-made, if you want tight, corkscrew curls or soft romantic waves, here is everything you need to know about curly hair.
1. The first rule of curly hair care: Products are everything.
Curly hair tends to be dryer than other hair types, regardless of whether it has been colored or otherwise chemically treated. Hydrating curly hair is going to make for healthy, bouncy waves.
Beauty blogger, Gia Kashyap, of www.giasaysthat.com, gives her four curly hair must-have products. Kashyap swears that the combination of pure coconut oil, Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream, John Frieda Hair Serum, and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner saved her tired, out of control locks.
2.Lorraine Massey, the Curly Hair guru and author of Curly Hair: The Handbook, created her own method for caring for curly hair: The Curly Girl Method.
The Curly Girl Method seems to counter traditional methods of cleansing and conditioning in that we’re used to.
With the Curly Girl Method, you aren’t going for the squeaky clean feeling that most shampoos give because they are actually stripping the hair of essential natural oils to get that clean feeling. Massey recommends sulfate-free cleansers and silicone-free leave-in conditioners for best results.If you are short on time and need to leave the house with dry hair, use the diffuser attachment on your blow dryer. Just as the name suggests, the diffuser will prevent heat from concentrating in one spot to prevent frizz. To diffuse, turn your head upside-down and move the blow dryer around your head, stopping for a few seconds in each section. Try to refrain from touching or working the hair too much. Every additional movement is going to disrupt curls.
3. After you’ve cleansed and conditioned, it’s time to create curls. We know that heat is not a friend to hair that tends to be dry or frizzy. Try this simple no-heat technique for forming soft, romantic waves.
After washing your hair, separate it into sections based on how tight you want your curls. Thinner sections will give more intense curls. Thicker sections of hair will create larger, more muted curls. Wrap the sections around your finger as you twisting in direction you want the curls to go. Air or machine dry your hair if time’s an issue, and voila! You have easy, fuss free waves with no damage.
4. If you were born with a little wave in your hair but need a bit of help to make them look their best, try another no-heat trick for subtle, sleek curls. Add a few drops of styling serum to mostly dry hair.
Bend over and twist your hair into a bun. Pin the bun on top of your head, tucking the loose pieces under the bun. Leave the bun pinned until your hair completely dries. When you let your hair down, you’ll have soft, sensuous waves. Add a few more drops of serum to the ends to keep them neat.
5. Girls with the straightest of hair can mimic the look of a head full of waves with this messy braided up-do. Separate clean, dry into several sections. Braid several top sections into loose braids of varying widths.
Pin the remaining sections into an unfussy knot at the nape of your neck. Drape the braided sections around the knot and pin. Curl any loose pieces with a large barrel curling iron. Spray generously with hair spray to hold your mountain of waves all day long.
6. When it comes to curly hair, you need to tread lightly when it comes to shampooing, conditioning, chemically treating and styling.
Here are some of the best tips for what not to do when you are trying to get healthy, vibrant curls. Many of these recommendations might be counterintuitive to what you’ve been told by your stylist. Give them a try and decide for yourself.
Contrary to what you might have been told, a cold water rinse before you get out of the shower won’t reduce frizz. Water temperature has no effect on your hair. Frizz erupts when the hair starts drying. So don’t feel guilty about enjoying a shower that is hot until the end.
Don’t do what Marsha Brady did and brush your hair all night. The old belief was that brushing would distribute oil from scalp to hair’s end. Styling products can add oil without over-working it. Use a wide tooth comb to gently work through hair when wet. That’s all the combing you should need.
Don’t waste time de-toxing. Hair detox products are a waste of time and money. Hair does not trap “toxins” or bacteria. Any dirt or product residue that builds up in the hair can be simply shampooed out.
7. Coloring curly hair requires some TLC, but when it’s done right, it is stunning. We checked in with Refinery29 to find out the hottest color trends for curly hair.
One of the hottest techniques right now that works especially well on curly hair is Ecaille. Ecaille frames the face in bright shades that contrast the rest of the head -almost mimicking how the sun naturally brightens the hair.
Icy whites and grays are not just for seniors any more. Bold fashionistas are sporting this modern trend. To prevent dryness, color companies like Olaplex and Pravana have created extra-gentle formulas that leave hair healthier than ever could be possible with other products.
Blonde is always in. But lightening hair comes with extra damage. Bleach and other chemicals used to lighten the hair will cause more damage than other chemical processes. To minimize dryness, try lightening certain sections rather than the entire head. Try conditioning masks once a week to infuse moisture and shine.
Try this simple method of boosting curls while you go about your morning routine. Add a few drops of hydrating Argan or Moroccan oil to hair.Separate hair into several mid-size sections over your entire head. Wrap sections around perm rods or small curlers and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Release curls. Finger through sections to loosen curls. Spray with leave-in conditioner and go!
9. So you were born with beautiful curls, but they don’t always look their best. Especially in humid climates, curls are quick to unravel. Here are some hot – weather tips for keeping curls defined and frizz-free.
We know what sunlight and UV rays do to skin, but we often overlook how it treats our hair. To keep the sun from frying your locks, cover them up with a sunhat or funky scarf. This protects your delicate scalp from sunburn. Covering up also prevents your expensive color job from fading.
Pledge to retire the hair-dryer, at least for the summer. Adding more heat to already sun-drenched hair is doing to dry it out. Summer is a great time to let your waves air dry. That’s a 3 month reprieve from unnecessary heat. Your hair is going to feel so much healthier for it.
For healthy hair that won’t be prone to dryness and breakage, you need to drink up. Good conditioners and serums can add moisture on the outside, but they best hydration comes from within. Make sure you get enough water every day to keep you skin and hair looking their best. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adult women get at least 2.2 liters every day.
10. So you vow to lay off the hair dryer whenever possible. Now what are you going to do with your hair? Try this effortless up-do that you can create with wet hair.
After combing out clean, wet hair with a wide-tooth comb, apply a leave-in conditioning serum to your hair from root to ends. Gather your hair and twist into a loose knot or bun at the back of your head. Pin throughout. Add a funky headband to tame any loose strands and to give your hair that finished look. This casual style will get even cuter as it dries.
11. Another great up-swept look for curly hair that can be created with wet or dry hair is this romantic up-do simply created by twisting sections of hair. Create loose, medium-size sections around the head from left to right. Clip each section to keep them separate. Twist each section gently and then pin each section into a small knot at the base of your head. Cluster the knots together. Spray with a conditioning hold spray and you’re finished. With lots of conditioner, you will be left with stunning curls once dry.
12. Anyone who has naturally curly hair, or has even suffered a bad perm (probably in the 80’s) knows that a haircut can make or break your curls. When it comes to curly hair, a bad haircut can leave you looking like a poodle – and not in a good way. Cutting curly hair in a way that’s going to accentuate curls and reduce unwanted volume and frizz takes a true professional. We don’t recommend you try this at home!
Cutting curly hair requires more than a straight across trim. That will leave you looking like a pyramid. Your stylist might opt for cutting your hair while it’s try to see where your curls fall and the best way to layer them.
“Dusting” is a popular way to cut curly hair. Dusting involves trimming curl by curl to give hair the best shape possible, while tackling any split ends on each strand. Layering curly hair provides a good shape rather than the dreaded pyramid or bubble look. This truly takes a professional to help you determine how long each curl should be and where it should lay to frame your face in the most flattering way.
As far as when to get your haircut – Your hair will tell you. When you start to see that your ends are dry, frizzy or splitting, it’s time for a trim. For curly hair, this is about every 4-6 weeks for shorter hair, 6-8 weeks for longer hair.
13. So you have naturally wavy hair, but want to wear your hair short. Can you pull off a modern short cut while showing off your waves? The answer is yes – with a great cut. Short curly cuts are definitely not for the DIY at-home stylist.
Ask friends and family for recommendations on stylists that specialize in short hair. The best stylists have undergone extra training for dealing with curly hair beyond their cosmetology school education.
A knowledgeable stylist will cut curly hair, especially short hair, when it’s dry. Curly hair needs to be shaped and sculpted, not just trimmed straight across. The best stylist will tackle your tendrils one at a time when dry.
To re-create your amazing cut after you’ve left the salon, it’s going to be all about the product. You’ll need a leave-in condition or curl crème to boost your waves, and a good hold spray to keep them in place.
Start in the shower. The right cleanser and conditioner are going to work overtime for your curls. We know that curly hair tends to be dry, so look for products formulated for extra hydration, products that contain natural oils like coconut or Argan. Look for products that are sulfate-free as sulfates will strip the hair of its natural oils.
Give your ends preferential treatment. Your ends are going to be the driest and most prone to splitting and breakage. Concentrate conditioner on the ends while in the shower, and add frizz control serum to the ends after you’ve styled your hair.
Ban the brush. Brushing curly hair is going to guarantee damage and frizz. Curly hair needs to be treated gently. The less styling the better. When you must detangle, use a wide-tooth comb and start with the ends. After combing out any knots at the ends, go back to the roots and comb the entire strand ever so slightly. If you are using a leave-in product, apply that to the entire head before coming through the hair.
The model is sporting the choppy bob of the moment, but you can pull this off with longer lengths as well. Part dry hair in the center, creating a section on each side at the front of your head. Braid those sections and pin for later. Going around your head from left to right, curl your hair in large sections, rotating a large barrel curling iron backwards as you go. Spray each curled section with hair spray.
Sweep the braided sections around to the back of your head and pin on either side. Spray the entire head with anti-frizz hold spray and now you have your very own man-made waves!
The perfect product to give your mane that imperfect, textured and tousled look is Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray. It will texturize, de-frizz and hold your style in place.
16. Ethnic hair that is naturally curly needs some extra love and care as well. Because African-American hair tends to be very dry, as with other super curly hair types, the right products are extremely important for creating soft, shiny, vibrant waves. Ethnic hair is also prone to breakage, so using the right hair care supplies is going to make a difference.
Denene Millner from website www.mybrownbaby.com emphasizes the importance of detangling hair to remove hair that has broken or shed BEFORE washing to prevents knots that will tear healthy strands. To fully detangle the hair, she suggests spraying the entire head with an oil / water spray followed by conditioner. Using your fingers, work through any knots you find. After all the knots are out, you can gently comb through the hair.
Millner’s calls her next step “co-washing” or washing the hair with conditioner. Shampoo is too harsh and strips hair of much-needed oils. With water and massage, conditioner is a great cleanser.
After very lightly drying hair with a cotton towel or shirt, apply leave-in conditioner liberally. Seal in the conditioner with an oil / water spray again. Finally, you can apply whatever styling butter or crème you prefer and you are finished. You will be left with soft, natural curls that feel as good as they look.