Women with tresses that curve, wave or spiral can often be heard lamenting their hair – naturally curling tresses are prone to dryness, frizz and split ends, and tends to ‘poof’ out in poodle-emulating bigness. However, there are methods to nullify these irritating qualities. This article contains advice on how to maximize your curly hair style and rock out those gorgeous curls to great effect.
Moisturizing and Conditioning: Since curls tend to be dry, conditioning your tresses regularly is crucial, so never skip out on it, and stay away from the many two-in-one products available. Squeeze out (avoid wringing) excess moisture after shampooing, then apply the conditioner thoroughly from root to tip. Do not rinse out the conditioner too soon, and add five minutes or so to the wait indicated by the directions on the bottle. Deep conditioning once a week is highly recommended.
A wide-toothed comb is a great tool to use to spread conditioner evenly through your locks and the gentle combing action helps to smooth the cuticle. Work out tangles and knots gently, never trying to just comb through them, as this can damage the cuticle, break the shaft and cause unsightly split-ends. When you rinse, use water as cool as you can stand – the cold smooths the cuticle, which helps minimize frizz and flyaway fluffiness.
Products: Ensure that the products you use are made for your type of hair and the type of styling you prefer. Choose serums that contain silicone – look for ‘dimethicone’ on the bottle. Opt for salon-quality products if you can – they may be more expensive, but they tend to have better results. Avoid mousses and strong-hold hairsprays as they can dry out your hair and scalp.
After Washing: Make sure you always have a good leave-in conditioner in your bathroom cabinet, and apply it liberally to your damp locks after every wash, especially to the ends. Next, apply a serum, coating every curl. This, in conjunction with weekly deep conditioning, should eliminate frizz.
Drying: Air drying generally is the best bet. If your mop is particularly unruly, tie or clip it back while wet to give you a smoother crown above your rioting, frizz-less, curls once dry. A broad ballet headband can also be handy. Depending on your curl pattern and the length and thickness of your hair, drying your hair in a loose braid can have great results once dry.
Hairdryers can damage curly tresses fairly easily, so if you wish to use one, be careful to keep the heat setting low, and use a diffuser attachment, aiming up from below while gently scrunching your curls as they dry.
Cut and Style: Curly locks should be cut in layers, to avoid that triangle look. Make sure your stylist is comfortable and experienced with cutting curls. This is especially true if you are looking for a shorter cut, as not all curl-types are suitable for shorter styles. Throw away your brush, and stick to wide-toothed combs or to finger-combing. It is a good rule to only comb when conditioning and finger-style the rest of the time.
A quick foray on the web will show hundreds of great styles for curly tresses, favorites being the loose messy bun, half-up half-down, and up-styles of every shape. One thing is for certain: the romance and femininity of the curly hair style is here to stay, so embrace your crowning glory.