I’m sure many of you have noticed the recent curl-revolution, of sorts, between Dove’s ‘Love Your Curls’ commercials, and the ‘Curl Power’ campaign segment on the Today show. The overall message is for girls with naturally curly hair to embrace and love their hair for what it is, in a straightener-dependent society. I don’t know when we all started following the man(or woman)-written belief that straight hair looked better, but I can recall myself taking on this trend in 7th grade (15 years ago). But before the straightening iron, clamping the curling iron at your roots and tugging downward through your strands didn’t exactly give you a sleek style.
My family has always preferred my curly hair, but it wasn’t until multiple boyfriends and friends told me how much they liked my natural texture that I decided that MAYBE I could pull it off. Especially in the past few years I’ve really embraced my natural curls and now wear it this way about 75% of the time. Letting it go free and curly definitely has its benefits too, including healthier hair without the heat damage and saving loads of time.
I’m going to share with you today the tips and tricks I’ve learned to keep my curls from going straight 80s perm style (boy would I have fit in back then).
Tip #1: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
First and foremost, you need to understand the qualities of your hair and treat it with what it needs. Curly hair tends to be dry and therefore vulnerable to humid air. It wants to soak up the moisture in the air, which causes cuticles to expand and poof – FRIZZ. My shampoos, conditioners, etc. are always the ‘moisturizing’ type, but the most vital part is to deep condition at least once a week. This helps to seal strands, reducing frizz and split ends. I personally love a coconut oil + honey mask – melt together 4 Tbsp coconut oil + 1 Tbsp honey – then use my hands to coat my hair. I twist it up into a bun (wear a shower cap for extra protection), let it soak in for 15-20 minutes, then wash it out with warm water in the shower.
Tip #2: No towels for drying!
Using a towel to dry your hair or rubbing it with any fabric after your shower is BIG mistake #1. This can cause those small hair follicles to break, leaving you with fly-aways, a.k.a., FRIZZ. Instead, use a soft t-shirt to blot (don’t rub) hair and soak up the water. I keep an old Hanes tee in my bathroom for my curly hair days.
Tip #3: Use the right products
While hair is still damp, you’ll need to use a protective soothing coat. I always use my reliable ‘It’s a 10’ Miracle Leave In Conditioner and have also recently started using Moroccanoil Frizz Control serum. The final product to apply to damp hair is a gel or something to help curls keep their nice shape. After trying and throwing out so many gels and mousses, I found the miracle product that works wonders for me. Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls (available at Target!) gives your curls just enough hold without the crunchy definition…yikes, we’ve all been there. There’s also an important method to how to distribute product through your hair. Many women apply product first to the top of their heads, which can weigh hair down and keep you from getting that fun, bouncy volume you want. The best way to apply product is to start in the back where hair is thicker, and then work the product through the sides and top of the head. Once I’ve used all the product on my hands, I will normally add a bit more and run it through the areas that didn’t get as much on the first round.
Tip #4: Gentle drying
While it depends on your hair type and preference, I would recommend a combination of air drying and a diffuser. After I’ve applied product, I lightly blow dry my roots (with the diffuser) with my hair upside down to add more volume. If you want to add more curl, you can coil up the section of hair in the diffuser bowl and hold for a few seconds to dry. I personally like to keep the air further away from my hair, and don’t even touch the diffuser to my head.
Tip #5: Smooth and control
Once all dried, a little bit of hair spray helps to weigh down any fly-aways. My BioSilk Silk Therapy serum puts the finishing touches on my curls and remains one of the best hair products I’ve ever tried. Another secret is that you can use a dryer sheet to tame down any frizz in your hair! Gently run the dryer sheet over your hair or on your pillowcase before bed to reduce static.
Cheers to bouncy beautiful curls!