Straightening and Styling Techniques for Curly Hair
Curly Sue I'm Not!
Smooth Hair for those who dare
When I was young, I remember my Mother's voice as she tugged the comb through my tight knotted, tangled hair: "There was a little girl who had a little curl right in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good she was very very good but when she was bad she was horrid". Could that be the reason why I have always longed for smooth straight locks? Ah yes, the early association with curly hair and mis-behavior...Perhaps.
To be honest however, I really don't think that's quite it exactly, but I must say, I have gone to extremes over the years to ban that frizz from my life forever. I have ironed (yes, on an ironing board), straightened with chemicals, wrapped my hair around my head sideways, set the alarm for 3:00am and then wrapped the other way (healthiest option), set on beer cans, and then finally I found the blow dryer, my savior! Of course they hadn't come out with the flat iron yet, but I was perfectly happy to use my blow dryer to straighten my hair smooth for years! Anything to get that straight hair!
I am not sure why we always want what we don't have but a funny thing happened after I finally stopped using that blow dryer for a few years and just let my hair dry naturally, scrunching and encouraging the curls into smooth ringlets instead of fighting them. I was approached numerous times by complete strangers who confessed that they had always wanted curly hair, and how lucky I was to have it! Huh? Well, I still wasn't convinced but trying to take care of a son by myself, working full time and going to school did not leave much time for hours of blow drying so curly it was. And I must confess, there were days when I actually liked it.
Even better, I liked the freedom. I could take a swim, relax in the hot tub and walk in the rain -without an umbrella and not have to worry about sneaking off for an hour to transform my kinky mop into a mane of silk. It was what it was, the new trend. I loved that many of my friends were actually paying their hairdresser to give them a curly perm. Ha! I learned that with a good cut from someone that is experienced cutting curly hair your curly hair can look good. It does take the right products, and for this you must experiment.
Do a quick pro/con hair analysis, the choice is yours! The good news is that you do have a choice...With all of the styling options that exist today, it is quite easy to try different looks with out making a major commitment. It was not always like this unfortunately, straightening and perming were expensive, labor intensive and usually left the hair damaged - back in the day. Now, it all boils down to your lifestyle, what is important to you and your taste or style.
Myself, I like to mix it up a bit and keep em guessing. There was little girl, who had a little curl....Or, did her Mom actually use a curling iron?
Have some fun with your hair!
To do Curly Right-Naturally Finger-styling Hair
- Make sure all of the product is washed out, use a good clarifying shampoo or use a white vinegar/water rinse after shampooing to remove all the residue and built up conditioners
- Moisturize-Here is where you must experiment, if your hair is fine, go light with the conditioner because you don't want to weigh curls down! If your hair is course you can use a leave-in conditioner to moisturize parched ends - Adjust this until you find the right combination for your hair type - FYI: Some curly girls swear by using a conditioner-type solution to "wash" hair and never touch traditional shampoo because of the frizz that sometimes results from shampoo ingredients
- There are so many curly hair products on the market today that it can be an overwhelming task to find one that works for you! Don't be afraid to try new ones but select sample sizes whenever possible so you don't go broke
- My hair is course however I use a conditioning mouse because gel is too heavy
- Do not brush your hair, this will just make it frizzy! Use a wide tooth comb or even your fingers to remove snarls, and then let your hair air dry, wrapping 1/2 inch strands around your finger to coax into ringlets as it drys, finger styling into place
- If you must blow dry, use a diffuser so you don't loose the curl definition (gorgeous)
- Scrunch curls between your fingers until it drys. I keep a small spray bottle of water with a bit of fragrant conditioner with me to spray on during the day or whenever my hair looks like it is loosing the smooth defined curly look
- Double Duty for curly or straight styles: One thing that I found that will keep both hair and face smooth during your nightly beauty sleep? Rest that head of nap-free hair on a satin pillowcase! The silky texture of the fabric tends to keep those stray strands smooth during your slumber and it also discourages wrinkles, lines and other facial nightmares come morning so you will awake supple and smooth
Straight is Great
Healthy Hair - Smooth Moves
- Now that you have given your curly hair a break from all of those damaging hair dryers and irons, it should be in better condition and straighten out beautifully if you still crave the straight look
- Make sure you use a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, leaving the conditioner on as long as possible
- Now apply a protective agent to coat hair and prevent any damage from the heat. There are so many hair care products on the market today that it's hard to pick just one so I look for samples or travel sizes, that way if you don't like it-you are not out $20 or $30.
- Although they don't don't come cheap, I like Pureology products, check out their online consultation, if you get overwhelmed by the harem of hair aids and just plain don't know what type of product you need
- You should do a fast blow dry, just to remove any excess moisture before using your flat iron. Most of the newer ceramic irons however, will not damage hair if it is still a bit damp
- I personally like the narrower ones, 1/2 inch to an inch wide barrel, so you can get to the extreme frizz, under and around hairline with ease. It also lets you flip or curl hair under at the ends so you don't end up with that un-natural stick-straight look
- Using the flat iron does take some practice so dont get frustrated, try, try again! Use small sections of hair starting underneath, you will need to adjust this regime to suit your hair type. straightening one section at a time
- Finally, use a clear moisturing spray to seal in the shine and the style
- Now, run your fingers through your hair, no pain, no snags or knots