Your Quick Guide to Living with Curly HairI know it is said so often it is almost cliche. But still, why can't you just get along with the curls you have rather than pining away for the stick straight hair you will never come by naturally.
Sites like NaturallyCurly.com or to a lesser extent Terrific Tresses may preach this message too. Still many girls with curls are not getting it. Hopefully you're here because you are starting to. Here are the commandments you need then to rock those curls.
Thou Shalt Not Shampoo Any More Than You Have To
Anyone with curly hair must abstain from daily washing for sure. It is better still if you go three or more days on a cleansing. And no this isn't gross. Many girls with curls lather up no more than twice a week. Oh and when you do break out the suds see if you can't find a sulfate free shampoo sans the harsh detergents. They can leave you with a dry and frizzy mess so avoiding them is simply smart.
Thou Shalt Always Apply Major Moisture
The best way to put the kibosh on heat damage of any sorts is by deep conditioning. Besides we both know curls are dry by nature so any added moisture can certainly help. This means proper hydration needs to be your top priority if you want your hair to look it's best. (Otherwise you risk walking around with hair that looks dry and frazzled. Ugh!) You can accomplish this by applying a super rich, heavy duty leave-in conditioner to damp hair from the roots to the tips. And by damp I mean you've squeezed the excess water into an absorbent micro fiber towel. The product of choice should ideally have both panthenol to help with moisture penetration of the hair shaft and some sort of silicone to seal the deal and lock the moisture in. This is a must do part of any curly hair routine.
Thou Shalt Towel Dry the Right Way
Then there's a right way and a wrong way to towel dry curly locks. So let me straddle the thou shalt and shalt not divide here for a second. You NEVER want to rub your hair with a towel. Any towel. Any hair type. The proper approach is to squeeze the soaking strands into the fabric to blot the hair to damp. Reason being the friction created by rubbing leads to frizz and possibly breakage. So "blot don't rub" are toweling words to live by.
Thou Shalt Always Use a Diffuser
No harm in blow drying as long as you always have a diffuser firmly affixed to the business end of this hot styling tool. This is a must know technique for blasting your locks with warm air since the diffuser makes the hot blast far less concentrated which helps to keep the curls in one piece. If you want tighter curls work the diffuser up and down keeping it deep in your mane while scrunching the hair. If looser and softer curls are the goal disperse the heat throughout your hair without any scrunching. Doing this outside the steam room also known as your bathroom can help cut down on the frizz potential. As can a final blast of cool air which will close the cuticle up nice and tight.
Stylist tip: A DIY combo of mousse and serum can give you soft and lovely yet obedient curls. And did I mention crunch free? All you do is take a healthy dollop of mousse (one meant for curls could help) into which you mix some serum or styling lotion. Work that in from root to tip and before you can say Presto Chango you've got the curly hair you've always wished you had.
Thou Shalt Find the Perfect Cut
Happiness with a head full of gorgeous curls begins and ends with getting the right cut. Getting to that point begins and ends with having a hairdresser who knows how to cut curly hair. Fail there and your life will be miserable. Assuming you've got Suzy Scissors who knows the tricks of the curly trade, let's look at two extremes. Which are you?
Fine Hair: Here the watchword is balance. Forget anything pixie like in length. Such cuts require too much work to keep them looking their best and they are a nightmare to grow out without ending up with a terminal case of mushroom head. Shoulder length cuts usually work best. A messy curly bob can be a sexy option too. And don't forget those cute face framing layers.
Kinky Hair: When you think of kinky hair you shouldn't think of the tightly wound coils here. You should instead think of volume. This hair type has plenty of volume. With plenty to spare even. That means you can wear this hair type short, medium or long if you want if the objective is to have hair that is big and beautifully coiled. The key here is layers. Cut correctly, the layers will boost the look while letting you avoid the dreaded pyramid hair. The second key is moisture since it's hard for your scalp's natural oils to traverse all those coils to reach the ends. Making dry hair second nature for this hair type.
Granted the debate about straight or curly is long standing. And like many things in life we always want what we don't have because the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. But c'mon. Armed with a few tricks like these you can rock the curl and garner you share of compliments for those coiled tendrils of yours - long or short.