Busy moms need simple hair routines.
You've got kids to dress, carpools to drive, babies to feed, not to mention your career. Keeping your curls in check may be the last thing on your mind.
So we checked in with some of the world's top curl experts — many of them curly moms themselves — to get their top tips for moms on the go.
"It seems like all free time gets sucked into a black hole where it gets condensed into nothingness and disappears," says Rosie daSilva, Senior Stylist at Devachan Salon and Departure Lounge . "Motherhood is therefore a wonderful time to re-evaluate the things a woman normally spends lots of time on, and to 'downsize' the less-than-necessary, time-intensive activities of life B.C. (Before Children)."
Get a great curly cut
"A cut that worked fantastically on long, blow-fried-straight hair will not necessarily translate into a wash-and-go cut for curly hair," daSilva says. "Be sure that you get your hair cut by a curly expert."
Find somebody who can create a low-maintenance cut that provides versatility — a cut that works with, rather than against your curls and kinks. Check out our listings of CurlSalons for a curl expert near you.
Prep is key
"Taking a few extra moments during the preparation stage to achieve your desired hairstyle will pay off throughout the day and night," says Jonathan Torch of Toronto's Curly Hair Institute.
"I recommend perfecting certain techniques that allow you to overcome long, drawn-out styling and drying sessions," Torch says.
While we'd all love the luxury of air drying our curls, it's not always possible for moms on the go. A dryer with a diffuser can significantly cut drying time without disturbing the natural curl pattern.
Keep product at the ready
A curl rejuvenator, pomade or gel can help keep those ringlets looking good as you shuttle between soccer games, board meetings and a girl's night out.
Kelly Foreman and her daughters.
"I always travel with a travel size of Mop Top Refresher & Detangler and Mop Top Pomade," says Mop Top's Kelly Foreman, who has three young daughters.
She also carries a spray bottle mixed with one part gel to four parts water.
"On days I'm rushing and don't have time to do the full routine, I just spray, scrunch and go," she says.
Teresa Callen, a curl expert at ImageArts in Menlo Park, Calif., carries a small spray bottle of her favorite curl rejuvenator in her handbag, along with a small mirror.
"Practice spraying, then finger-arranging your hair in front of the mirror," Callen says. "Watch what your hair does as time goes by and the rejuvenator dries. If you take the time to do this, you will memorize finger movements that make your hair look it's best."
Always have a Plan B
Some days, your curls just may not want to cooperate. But that doesn't mean you can't look good. Carry a pretty clip, headband or hair tie in your purse at all times.
"Most curlies have a fall-back style they can whip into place without a look in the mirror," Callen says. "This favorite style is a life preserver on days when the children's needs replace your grooming time."
Pony up at night
Cozy Friedman and her sons.
Cozy Friedman of New York's Cozy's Cuts for Kids, mom to two sons, wears her hair in a loose ponytail at night to prevent her hair from getting knotty and frizzy.
"I can often skip a day of shampooing because my curls still look good."
Massey sports a "Unicorn Ponytail" atop her head at night.
"When you wake up in the morning, simply undo your hair, spritz with Devacurl's Mist-er Right to re-energize your curls, scrunch and go!"
Take time to pamper yourself
While you're devoting your attention to everyone else, make sure you give a little to yourself. It may be going for a run with a friend or carving out time to read a book.
DaSilva suggests defrazzling as you defrizz. She uses Devacurl's Mist-er Right, a lavender-infused curl revitalizer that helps you relax as it refreshes your curls.
"Breathe in the calming lavender and imagine yourself in a field of lavender blooms in Provence, even if you only have three seconds before the baby starts crying again," she says.
Keep it real
We may see images of super moms in the media, perfectly coiffed as they rush from one activity to another, but that's not necessarily reality. Most of us do not have a full-time stylist on the payroll to keep us looking perfect at all times.
"My best suggestion is for every mom to adjust her expectations," Callen says."If your expectations are healthy about your own image, then this way of thinking will trickle down to your children."
One of the best tips, says daSilva, is to accept your curls, with all their quirks and unpredictability.
"Reveling in your naturally curly hair is a great way to reduce time-intensive activities," she says. "Imagine the time you can save bynot blowing your hair out. Imagine not feeling the frustration of bad hair days brought on by a humid summer day, or a day with your child at the swimming pool."
Other Tips for Moms on the Go
- Wear clear nail polish so you can go a few extra days in between manicures, suggests Friedman.
- Buy 32-ounce sizes when available, and refill the smaller bottles as needed. This way, you don't need to restock as often, and you also save money.
- Shower at night to save you precious time in the morning.
- Lay out your clothes the night before.
- Buy a great bag and keep it organized. Look for one with outside pockets since they are fabulous to store cell phones and keys, two essential items that always seem to get buried in bags.
- Wake up 30 minutes before your kids. You need time for yourself in the morning to start your day right.
- Apply essential makeup – mascara, lip gloss, foundation with a sunscreen and blush.