Curly Hair: Product & Styling Tips
Like many women with curly hair, I have tried every styling product, styling tool, dryer and iron to attempt to get the “perfect curls”. I have suffered through frizz head, puffy head, crunchy head and helmet head all in the name of beauty.
But- Over the past year, I discovered a magical combination of product, tools and technique that, with a little effort, can help achieve the perfect curly look and I want to share this with other Curly Gals out there….
In order to achieve Perfect Curls, there are a number of key ingredients required. Like your favorite recipe, if you miss one or don’t have enough of another, you will not get the same effect. These include soaking wet, freshly washed/conditioned hair, a wide toothed comb, styling crème and mousse, a diffuser hair dryer and hair spray. The entire process, as described below, will take about 30 minutes, but may vary depending on the length and thickness of your hair.
Start With Soaking Wet Hair
Although this may be awkward at first, start your curly hair styling with soaking wet hair. When you are done with your shower do not put a towel on your head. Instead, rest it at your shoulders and use a wide tooth comb to get your hair ready and tangle free. It’s at this point, you need to add your styling products and begin the diffusing drying.
If you towel dry your hair or let it air dry, the styling products will adhere to your hair differently and you will not have the same level of results. All you need to do is try this soaking hair styling once and you will notice an immediate difference in the results- trust me!
The Right Styling Concoction
In order to achieve the perfect curly haired look, you will need a styling crème AND a styling mousse. The two together prevent frizz and flyaways allow you to coat every strand of your hair with product and define and sculpt the curls.
Start by applying the crème to every strand of your hair. Run your fingers through your hair, flip your head over to get the back. Do whatever you need to do to ensure every hair is touched. Next apply a controlled layer of styling mousse throughout. It may take practice to determine the right amount.. too much, your hair will be weighed down and crunchy, too little you won’t weigh down the curls enough.
Styling crèmes I recommend, from least to most expensive are: L’Oreal Curl Shaping Crème, Tigi Catwalk Rock Curl Amplifier and Bumble & Bumble Curling Crème. Mousses I recommend, least to most expensive are: Loreal Springing Curls Mouse, Rusk Mouse and Redken Fresh Curls mousse
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The Right Angle
For most of my blow drying years, I did so standing straight looking at the mirror. For the perfect curls you need to separate the hair from your head and allow the hair strands to “hang long”. There are two ways to achieve this 1) Bend over, hang your head down and allow your hair to drop forward over your head. Your curls should be in front of your eyes and hanging down. Or 2) Bend your head to the side, your ear to your shoulder, until your curls are hanging straight down away from your head.
I won’t fool you- neither position is ergonomically correct, but this is the pain we all go through for beauty. If you stand straight to blow dry with 2 layers of product on your hair, you will create the helmet effect. Your hair will stick to your scalp and your curls will stick together in strips.
Diffuse But Don’t Touch
After your head is in the chosen angle, use a diffuser hair dryer on high heat with a low temperature to blow dry. The key here is to blow dry every strand. If you allow any of the hair to dry on it’s own, you will reverse some of the hard work you’ve done so far. If you have coated your hair properly, you should see spiral curls forming as your hair dries. You should minimize touching or scrunching your hair and let the dryer and products do the work.
Since my hair is shoulder length, I dry my hair at an angle until about 90% dry, then complete the job looking straight for my finishing touches. My curls have formed by then, I find this last 10% of time “straight forward” helps me control the finishing touches.
Put The Frosting on the Cake
After all this work, you want to lock it in place with a high quality, frizz resistant hair spray. Having tried many drug store brands, I can only recommend one beauty store line- Sebastian Shaper Plus, Touchable Extra Humidity Hair Spray. This does what it needs to do, without making your hair sticky or crunchy
Again… The Perfect Recipe
Many articles have been written about curly hair styling, but not like this. Try this recipe and tell me what you think!
Copyright © 2008, M. Reynolds, All Rights Reserved
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