If you’ve grown up with curly hair, you know the agony. You painstakingly push it into the smooth, shiny style you love—and it rains. Through the day, the humidity entices it into waves where you didn’t want them, frizzes the ends and poofs the whole style to twice as full as you wanted it.
Then, some woman walks up and screeches, “You have curly hair. You are so lucky!”
The sad truth is that ninety percent of curly haired women hate their hair. They spend forty- five minutes blowing it out, smoothing it into shape. And this is every time they shampoo. Then they have to avoid humidity at all cost, or spray it with a super-hold, anti-humidity hairspray. They gaze at fashion models and movie stars, longing for the sleek, shiny, straight hair.
But take heart Curly Girls, things are looking up for up for us. Curly hair is becoming stylish. Natural hair, with all its funky mismatched waves, is trendy.
Learning to love your curls, after years of contempt, isn’t easy. The answer may lie in condition, control and shine. Naturally curly hair almost always lacks hydration. Extra moisturizing shampoo and conditioner is needed to keep it in balance. Look for products with the words moisturizing, hydrating, or smoothing in the name or description.
Styling aids control the volume and keep the curls separated. I prefer a product that stays soft. A soft gel or styling cream keeps curls separated into ringlets and is more manageable. An anti-frizz serum or smoothing serum should also be applied. There are numerous lines of smoothing serums, frizz control, and curl enhancers available. Shine will come when the condition and control issues are dealt with. Many gels, serums and frizz aids are made to produce extra shine. The market is finally catering to curly haired girls.
Apply the products evenly, making sure to coat the entire hair shaft. Comb only enough to distribute the product and to remove tangles—or better yet—dump the comb and use only your fingers. Curly hair is at its best air-dried or diffused using an attachment to the dryer, keeping the curls in place. Scrunch only if needed. Many women have curl springy enough to curl without help. Scrunching is grabbing some hair and pushing the curl in while gently squeezing.
After it is completely dry you may loosen the locks with fingers or a large pick. Never comb or brush the hair after it's dry. This only increases the volume, separates curl formation, and frizzes the hair. Experimenting will show you just how much fluffing your hair will stand without morphing into a frizzy mess.
Fill a spray bottle with half water and half leave-in conditioner.
Keep the bottle on hand for mornings when you are not able to shampoo. The mixture spray will reactivate the styling aids and freshen your curls.
Start thinking about the freedom of not having to fight your curl. With proper care and products, curly hair is beautiful. All those straight haired women will be anxious to tell you.
Lynne Chapman served as Hair Site Editor of BellaOnline.com for fifteen years. She is a professional stylist and colorist of more than forty years.