My step by step guide to managing and maintaining curly hair
I have so many clients that have natural curly or wavy hair that struggle with it. They straighten it and complain often about frizz. Often times I inform them that they actually have wavy or curly hair and they have no idea. Other times they say they know and they usually say something like “when I style it like this it just looks frizzy.” or “the back is curly but the front is not.” Well today I’d like to go over the magic step by step guide and some troubleshooting tricks for styling wavy or curly hair. After this read, I hope the struggle is gone and you are more able to embrace your hair.
Curly Hair - Using the right products, a diffuser, and a little time and patience.
Using the right shampoo and condition for your hair. Often times for curly hair I like to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I really love R&CO’s Atlantis moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
So starting here. Shampoo and condition your hair. While you condition, rake your fingers through your hair or for thicker hair use a wide tooth comb, and work to get all the tangles out. Then let the conditioner set while you finish your shower and then rinse. Once you have finished showering dry your hair with a towel.
Now there is a very specific way of doing this. First I squeeze all of the water off then I flip my head over and very gently with a towel I scrunch my hair. This begins the curl or wave process. This is when you will see your curls forming. Then I flip my head back over and scrunch the top as necessary. Not too much just to get them formed and to get the extra moisture out.
A big do not do! DO NOT BRUSH YOUR HAIR. Brushing your hair will only make all of the curls you created fall out and will create frizz. This is a very common mistake and this is why most curl attempts fail.
At this point I let my hair dry a bit. I get dressed, brush my teeth and then I’ll start applying my leave in conditioner. Again make sure your hair is not sopping wet at this point. Your hair is like a sponge and it can only retain so much product and moister. I like to apply R&CO’s Pinstripe intense tangling spray. The spray detangles unmanageable or dry hair. It works great for what we are trying to do here, it conditions and hydrates weightlessly. I spray it on once when my head is flipped over and scrunch and more when my head is flipped back over and scrunch the top again. At this point I let it air dry a bit more. This is when I get started applying my make up or anything else you need to get done in your routine.
Time to curl prime! While your hair is still damp just about 10 or 15 mins after applying the leave in conditioner I apply R&CO’s Twister curl primer. This is a great primer for styling of curly hair Again I do this once while I have my head flipped upside down and again when my head is right side up. At this point for my hair I just continue to let it air dry. For others that don’t quite have as strong of curl I would recommend also adding R&CO’s Rockaway a sea salt spray. R+Co explains it as the closest you’ll get to looking like you’ve been at the beach without stepping out of the concrete jungle. This will give you that grit and hold that you need if your hair is too soft.
At this point you can either let you hair air dry or dry with a diffuser. A diffuser is something that your stylist can sell you or you can pick up at a supply store. It is a bigger attachment that goes on the end of your dryer. It literally diffuses the air and makes the air more gentle. You will see if you try and blow dry your hair with a regular dryer it will be too powerful and will blow all your curls away! Once you have the diffuser on the end the dryer set the speed to low but the temperature to hot. I start with my head flipped over and gently dry my roots and then I put my hair gently inside the diffuser and wait about a minute let it out and put new hair in. Then I flip my head over and repeat on the top of my head.
Tame down your frizz. After drying or air drying you may notice some frizz or the dreaded fuzzy halo. To tame this down I scrunch in R&CO’s Continental glossing wax. This is a lightweight, non-greasy, high shine water-based wax with the perfect re-workable hold. Please use sparingly! It’s pretty heavy.
Tips and tricks. A lot of people struggle with not having curl in certain places mainly at the top of the hair towards the face. That’s because usually the hair is more processed there and the hair is usually weaker. For whatever reason I suggest using a wand or a curling iron for these pieces. I suggest picking up random pieces and wrapping them around your curling iron or wand. Often times the hair around your face is weak and has come more accustomed to being pulled straight. I assure you, the more you wear your hair with its natural texture the better your curls will get!
Then next day. Now this gets a lot of people mixed up here because when you sleep on your curls they really don’t look great when you wake up. What I do is either spray water in with a spray bottle and repeat the steps above or take a shower with my hair up and once I’m done showering I will take my hair down and scrunch some water in again, get out and repeat step above. Second day curls are the best! In fact the dirtier your hair is the better it looks! Believe me.
So I hope all this helps. I know it seems like a lot at first but I’m telling you its easier and looks so much better than fighting it! I mean what I say about your curls looking more amazing when your hair is dirtier. Also don’t give up, a lot of people give up on this style because it tends to look frizzy at first but that is your hair being confused because it's so used to being pulled straight. Take it from me I used to fight it and now I’m a curly girl for life!!
I hope all this helps. I know it seems like a lot at first but I’m telling you its easier and looks so much better than fighting it! I mean what I say about your curls looking more amazing when your hair is dirtier. Also don’t give up, a lot of people give up on this style because it tends to look frizzy at first but that is your hair being confused because it's so used to being pulled straight. Take it from me I used to fight it and now I’m a curly girl for life!!
Best of luck all with embracing those curls!
Re-cap Shopping List: All the products I listed are available at my salon. Here is a overall a list. Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, Tangling Spray, Curl Primer, and Optional Sea Salt Spray. Once you get a diffuser attachment for your blower and these products you will be good to go! Be patient and have fun with seeing what happens!