So maybe my guide to straight hair wasn’t what you were after, maybe you love your curls you just wish they styled better, or maybe you have poker straight hair and are dying for some texture. Keep reading and I should have your answers. Lets start with adressing the girls that already have the curls
During my career I have worked in worked in two salons that have a very different approach to how they style curly hair. The salon I trained in first was very traditional in the way we handled curly girls, cut their hair wet loaded them up with some curl products and then had the client tilt back in the chair so the back of their head was resting on the top of the chair and then we would use a diffuser to encourage more curl, and to give the hair more volume. After the hair was dry we would then go back through some of the curls on top with a curling iron that was about the same size as their curls to give their hair a bit more of a polished look. Okay fine, this was in Jersey… let the stereotypes begin, but it always looked perfect when they left.
The next salon that I worked in the stylists were all trained in a curly girl philosphy created by the Devachan salon in NY. It is a great way of looking at curls, hair cuts are done dry so that the hair is in its natural state, then the hair is washed and product is applied when the hair is still super wet and then the client is placed under a hooded dryer to encourage the curls to what they naturally want to do. All and all I think this is a great approach and super easy for the client to recreate… but I can’t deny my Jersey roots and I might still do a few big diffuser curly blowouts.
I took some elements of all my training and mushed it together to form my own approach at curly hair. But lets start back at your shampoo. I know I keep saying use sulfate-free shampoo every time i talk about shampoo, but curly girls should listen the most. Sulfates dry up your hairs natural oils, strip the hair and raise the cuticle. Curly hair is the most fragile hair, and also the hair type that has the hardest time holding in moisture.
Think of it this way. The hair shaft is covered in a cuticle layer, it looks like tiny fish scales or for the sake of this example shingles on a roof. Say you were super strong and could bend a roof, wouldn’t all the shingles pop up and not lay completly flat? yep. That is what happens to curly hair. The hair strand is always bent so the cuticle layer can’t lay flat, this means that your hair is more exposed to the elements, and more prone to being dry and damaged. So your first defense is to switch your shampoo to something more gentle that will not strip the hair or lift the cuticle. Sulfate-free it is.
The next most important thing is your choice of styling products. I don’t know anyone that wants to have those crunchy gel curls, well lets hope. But how can this be avoided? First you want to make sure that if you do choose to use a gel product that it is alcohol-free. This goes back to curly being more prone to getting dry. Alcohol drys hair out, so it totally needs to be avoided. Deva Curl makes some great sugar based gels that will give you the control of a gel without drying out or giving you that crunchy feeling to your hair. My favorite product has to be a curl cream, products like Jessie’s curl silkening stretch cream is great, and even Redken’s new product called Tousel Whip. These products will help keep frizz to a minimum but keep your hair soft and touchable and looking really natural.
Now to change how you apply your products. These are the tips that I always give my clients. First keep your styling products in the shower or at least close to the shower. When you are rinsing your conditioner do it with your head upside-down. Leave your head upside down after you shut off the shower then lightly squeeze out some of the water. Take some of your product in your hands and start to scrunch it into your hair from the ends scrunching it towards your roots until it makes a squishy sound. This is how most curl products are ment to be put into the hair, most products are very concentrated and need to be diluted with water. After you feel like you got your product through your hair shake it out a bit, this is where most people would reach for their towel to get it dry. But stay away from those towels! Use an old t-shirt instead.
a t-shirt.. thats crazy!
You want to use a t-shirt because it doesnt have any texture to it, those loops on your favorite towel encourages frizz. Those little nubs grab onto single hairs and pull them out of place thus making your hair look frizzy. Switch to a smooth t-shirt and you will prevent that problem and your hair will look more smooth! Now you can take whichever drying approach you like be it the high maintence Jersey Girl look, or the casual Williamsburg hipster air drying technique. Either way if you follow those steps above your hair will look super smooth and polished!
Now I want to help those girls with straight hair get the curly hair of their dreams.
The best plan of attack is with a pin curl set. I actually made a YouTube tutorial demonstrating how to do this. If you click the following link it will take you right to it.
The most important thing to remember is that heat tells the hair what you want it to do, but cooling it is what sets the memory. So if you heat up the hair on your curling iron and then pin it in place still rolled up while it cools it will set the memory and make your curls last all day. Sometimes I will even do an entire pin curl set then reheat the hair with my hairdryer with the diffuser attachment on it, and then cool it down again. This will definetly ensure that your hair will hold its curl throughout the day.
Now say that you are looking for a more permanent solution to your straight hair woes.
You can always do a perm… thats right, I said it, a perm! But don’t worry we have come a long way since that 80′s spiral perm anyone that was born in or before the 80′s had.. (yeah I had one…) There are so many amazing techniques now that can give you natural looking loose waves, to tighter curls, and really anything your heart desires. I am dying to give someone an awesome modern perm, but the moment you say perm people run…. Don’t run! Give it a chance. You will probably be happy that you did if you are looking for some texture in your super fine locks. Of course a perm isn’t right for everyone. If your hair is super damaged from bleaching or one too many highlights, then sorry no perms for you. But if your hair is in pretty good condition and you always dreamed about curly hair this is your answer. One thing to remember is that this is permanent, I mean its in the name… so be sure that this is something that you want before you do it because you will have to grow it out and cut it off to get rid of it, luckaly flat roots and curls at the bottom are kind of in.. right?