My hair slowly started to curl when I was nine, and by the time I was in middle school I had a full on ‘fro happenin’. I loathed my hair because for so many years it was completely and totally straight. I was made fun of for having frizzy hair because I had no idea what to do with it. Once I even thought it was a great idea to have it cut into a bob. That was a horrendous decision, and I’ll tell you why below. However, slowly but surely I started learning a few tricks of the curly hair trade, and now I consider myself a curly haired pro (well, as close as I’m going to get!). ; )
In order for you to start loving your hair and embracing that it is not, nor will it ever be, straight (without help!), here are my top five curly hair tricks:
- Find a hairstylist who understands curly hair (no, but really): Curly hair requires an entirely different cut than straight hair. All of the awesome layers and super cute styles (bangs, anyone?!) that friends with straight hair have will not necessarily work with curly hair, so make sure to talk to your stylist before you have your hair cut. In my case, my stylist angles the sections of my hair around my face and cuts them a bit shorter, but every other section of my hair is the same length. I do not have layers because I’ve learned my hair needs weight to keep it from becoming a complete ‘fro and/or looking triangular. I’ve also learned that my hair needs to be at my shoulders or longer. The bob = a very bad decision. P.S: Just because you have curly hair does not mean you need to go to an expensive salon. I’ve gone to Hair Cuttery since high school, and my hairstylist is the best ever. Plus, it’s only $20. Yay!
- Find the right products for your hair: It took years (not kidding!) for me to find the right products for my hair. I’ve tried so many different types of hair gel, and for a while I was using a product from Redken. I loved it until I realized how often I needed to purchase more. Then I hated it because each bottle was close to $20, and it would only last me a couple of weeks. Now I’m a complete Garnier Fructis fan girl because the hairstylists on “Project Runway” trusted it. I use the Curl Sculpting Cream Gel because I love the look of soft curls, and it smells so good. Each bottle is a glorious $3.50, and I am never upset or annoyed when I need to buy more. I also use their Hydra Recharge shampoo on a regular basis, and I rotate between Redken’s Curvaceous conditioner and Garnier Fructis Hydra-Recharge conditioner.
- Try not to heat style your hair: I never blow-dry my hair. When I say this, I really do mean never. I place a quarter size amount of my Garnier Fructis Curl Sculpting Cream Hair Gel in my hand, comb it through with my fingers, scrunch up my curls, and then let everything air dry. This practice works best when you shower in the morning and are not sleeping on your hair. If you do want to blow-dry your hair, use a product to protect your hair from the heat. Then opt for a diffuser (do not dry your hair all the way or it will frizz!).
- Spend a day without product: At least once a week, I do not put any product in my hair. Whether I opt to shower the night before or in the morning, I’ll let my hair air dry completely and then I’ll pull it back into a bun, pony, or braid and add a cute hair tie and headband. I call it my curly hair cleanse because I tend to use quite a bit of product, and I like to give my hair a break once in a while. Plus, if I’m planning to wear it completely up, there really isn’t a reason to have perfect curls. No one will know anyway!
- Find a few quick styles you love: Because I cannot cut my hair into new and different styles each time I visit my stylist (usually every 3-4 months), I’m always on the hunt for cute styles that will keep me from getting bored. A side braid, bun, or pony are a few of my favorites. I also love parting my hair and pulling a section to the side, adding a twist, or a small braid. I’ll be sure to post full tutorials soon because it’s so much easier to see these styles in photos than it is to explain them!
Do you have curly hair? What are your tips, tricks, and favorite styles? Fill me in!