It took me a long, loooong time to fully love and appreciate my curls. I ironed my pob flat every single day for years. Before that, I scraped back my long hair every day for years. I never just enjoyed my natural curly fabulousness.
Now I’m the girl telling people to leave aside their ghD and celebrate their natural waves and curls. I love the versatility and how curls get better the dirtier they are.
I think we can all agree that frizz is not a good thing. Luckily, I’ve got some awesome tricks to combat the dreaded frizz.
- Salon Fresh | fresh from the hairdresser
- Post diffuser | what happens to curly girls whilst they’re waiting for their hair to cool down post diffusing!
- Refreshed | dirty hair refreshed with dry shampoo and shine serum
- Bedhead | I woke up like this
- Brushed out curls | quiff and groomed curls
Curly Hair Tips and Tricks
- Start by washing your hair in a way to combat the frizz. Curls need moisture. Curls also need not to be weighed down. Unfortunately, from vast trial and error experience, many curly hair products struggle with this concept. I have the perfect solution which works beautifully for my hair. I wash every 4-5 days with a clarifying or detoxing shampoo, followed by a moisture boosting shampoo. Click here to read my tips on why we should wash our hair twice.
- Add moisture to your hair by skipping conditioner. Replace it with a hair masque instead. Conditioner just seals the hair cuticle after shampooing. Leaving it on for ages won’t moisturise your hair. You need a hair masque for that.
- Air dry your hair. Pat dry, apply product, twist some curls into place and just let it go. Yep, just let it dry. Click here for my tips on how to create air dried curls
- Scrunching is not cool. Scrunching your face will give you wrinkles. Scrunchies are the work of the devil. But applying product by scrunching it into your hair will concentrate the product at the roots and ends. Scrunching whilst blowdrying will give you bubble curls and frizz.
- I apply product to my damp hair by rubbing my hair serum / oil and hair creme together in the palms of my hands and running my hands from root to tip. This gives me even application and reduces frizz. Next, I channel a two-year old pretending to be a scary monster and hold my hands in monster mode. I shake my hands through my hair gently to create volume and stop my hair drying flat to my scalp.
- Stop washing your hair every single day. Even every second day. A good three to four days is best for non-frizzy curls.
- Embrace dry shampoo. Find a quality one that works best for you and your hair. Coloured dry shampoo is a great option. Flip layers of your hair around before applying dry shampoo so it goes to the roots, not the top layers. Spray whilst working through with your other hand in a kind of stiff-handed-waving-motion. I really don’t know how else to describe it.
- Do not wrap your hair in a towel. This will suck all the moisture out of it. Seems counter intuitive but trust me on this one. Wrapping your curly hair in a towel will just add to the frizz potential and give you volume in all the wrong places.
- Dry your hair by patting it gently with a soft thin towel. A microfibre towel is a good idea. I tip my head to the side and press the towel into my hair. A super soft old holey T shirt makes a brilliant hair towel for curly hair.
- Do not comb your hair flat. Especially do not comb the top of your hair flat. This will result in something like helmet hair. It will give you flat, almost straight hair at the scalp, which then makes the curl explosion even scarier. This is the best way to look like a triangle head. This is not something you want.
- Define your part with a boar bristle brush (a Tangle Teezer is another great option) and gently smooth the crown of the hair into position without plastering it flat to your scalp. I have cowlicks at my temples so I work with them to give me retro cute height and volume. I used to work against them, resulting in a hair nightmare.
- Mousse is not your friend. Step away from the mousse. Unless 80s spiral perm is the look you were going for? Nope, thought not. Mousse will give you sticky hair that needs to be washed more often. It creates curl by coating the hair in heavy layers that create curl as it dries. Mousse is a fab way to get fluffy bubble curls and ain’t nobody got time for that.
- To counteract the flat scalp and widening volume of curls at about ear level, you need some volume in the top of your hair. Repeat after me. Mousse bad. Root booster good. Root booster sometimes resembles mousse because they both come in a can with a nozzle. I swear by O&M Rootalicious which I apply by flipping over the top layer of my hair, squirting some into my scalp and working in with my fingers.
- Volumising hair powder is another great option. Best used on almost dry hair and better on second day hair for that tousled rock chick look.
- The best styling products for curly hair are a styling creme and a hair serum, preferably one with a good dose of argan oil. These products are lightweight, create workable, movable curls that don’t give you LEGO head and can be reactivated with a little water mist. My morning shower the next day is enough to accomplish this.
- Arrange your hair into an approximation of the desired style. For me, this is a side part with volume on the full side of my far lefthand side part. I create volume by not flattening my hair.
- To encourage well behaved curls, the best way is to just get your hands in there. Wrap small sections of damp, product-covered hair around your fingers to create curls. Literally twirl your fingers to create barrel curls. Don’t panic! This is only the first step. Leave to air dry if you wish.
- If you do air dry, once your hair is almost dry, run your fingers through it in case there is any sort of crunchy-looking texture. Channel a role playing two year again. Grrr face and sound effects at your discretion.
- If you’re not going to air dry, then you need a hairdryer with a diffuser. The best sort of hairdryer for curly hair is an ionic hairdryer which will help smooth the hair shaft, reducing frizz.
- Always use your diffuser on High heat, Low power. The heat will lock the curl in quickly, and the low power won’t blow your hair all around, creating frizz.
- The easiest way to use a diffuser is to turn your hairdryer on the side so the diffuser creates a bowl for your curls to fall into. To create volume, hold this as close to your scalp as possible. Don’t move the hairdryer or wiggle the diffuser. Then move on to another section.
- For the back of my head, I hold the hairdryer behind me and tip my head backwards.
- Never ever dry your curly hair until it is completely dry. You always want to leave just a little dampness so it can complete the drying process naturally. This is one of the best Avoid the Frizz tips ever.
- When you have completed the diffusing process, you may be howling. You may be cursing my name. You may be thinking what the hell have I done. Did I miss April Fool’s Day? Take a chill pill and relax for a second. That’s exactly what you want your mad curls to do. Relax and chill. What may look completely bonkers directly after diffusing will look beautiful in a few minutes. Trust me. Do not touch your hair until it has cooled down. This will help to avoid frizz.
- Once your hair has sufficiently cooled, you can gently touch your hair with your fingertips to adjust and move the curls into place. Make like the scawy monster again. I do this with a little extra hair serum on my hands. I twirl a few curls for extra definition.
- A little strategically placed hairspray will help with the hold, and keep your curls in place. I direct the hairspray around my centre part, smoothing my quiff with my fingers, and around the top of my head.
- Humidity has a lot to answer for. Thigh chafing. Frizzy hair. Exhaustion. A great way to deal with humidity frizz is to spray a little hairspray onto your hands and pat and smooth your palms onto any flyways. Buh bye!
- For days 2-4 (depending on how much exercise I’ve done and how hot and sticky it’s been, as well as hormonal cycle changes), I use the little bit of misting my hair gets from the shower to repeat the curl twirling and smoothing process. I add a little hair creme and hair serum / oil in a scrunching motion. Only ever when I’m reactivating product and sorting bedhead. Never when applying product to wet hair or blowdrying.
- Boar bristle brushes and Tangle Teezers are the only tools which touch my hair. Both reduce frizz and smooth hair without destroying curls.
- Rock your curls. Some people spend a fortune trying to get what we curly girlies got naturally. Revel in your curls and enjoy them! Curls can be sweet and innocent. Curls can be professional and chic. Curls can be sexy and mischievous. Curls can be whatever you want them to be!
Curly Hair Essentials | shop my style
- I detox wash with O&M Original Detox $29.95 | click to shop^
- I treatment wash with O&M Hydrate & Conquer $29.95 | click to shop^
- I condition and treat with O&M Seven Day Miracle Masque $31.95 | click to shop^
- I add body and hold with O&M Style Guru styling creme $26.95 | click to shop^
- I add shine and control flyaways with O&M Frizzy Logic shine serum $31.95 | click to shop^
- I add volume and lift with O&M Rootalicious root lift mouse $31.95 | click to shop^
- I groom my damp hair with a Tangle Teezer $21 | click to shop^
- I groom my dry hair with a boar bristle brush | Kevin Murphy Boar Bristle Brush $79 | click to shop^ | Rock & Ruddle Small Boar Bristle Brush $39.95 | click to shop^
- I use an ionic hairdryer like Parlux 3800 $153.95 reduced from $189.95 | click to shop^
- I diffuse my curls with the Parlux 3800 diffuser $22.95 | click to shop^
- I set my style and add workable hold with O&M Original Queenie hairspray $31.95 | click to shop^
- I remove oil without a powdery residue (wash without water) with Unite 7 Seconds Refresher dry shampoo $30 | click to shop^ (it’s expensive compared to supermarket brands but there is no residue and it lasts forever as you need the tiniest amount)
For the record, I have tonnes of fine hair that make it look like I’ve got really thick hair. I have a natural curl, but I can finger straighten it without too much drama. My curly hair tips and tricks have been gleaned from years and years and years of living with and loathing my curly hair. Until I learned to love them. Now I couldn’t imagine life without being a curly girlie!
Got any more curly hair tips and tricks for me? Please share!
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