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Q : My hair is about shoulder length. And for the most part, I love how it looks. But in the back of my head, my curls don't start forming until they're about 2 to 2 1/2 inches from the crown area. This is driving me nuts! What suggestions do you have? I've pretty much tried everything to get my curls to form like the rest of my hair but nothing seems to work. Please help!

Torch : To encourage curl formation, try deepening the “S” formation of each curl. To solve your problem I suggest drenching your hair with Curl Keeper while your hair is soaking wet. When you bend your head over, you need to start squeezing each curl so that you hear a “squishing” sound. If you don’t hear a squish, you either don’t have enough water, Curl Keeper or both. The squishy sound is so important that the more you squish, the curlier your style will be. So remember to do extra “squishing" on the stubborn, looser, underneath curls. Allow the Curl Keeper to do its job of controlling your frizz and supporting your curls.

Q : I'm having some serious issues with my big hair. I never wear my hair completely down because I'm so self conscious about how big it is. This weekend, I worked up the courage to wear it down since I was going to be home all day. I looked like a helmet head. It's like my hair sticks straight out of my scalp when it grows out. I have a lot of hair plus it's got a lot of natural volume. Right now it's at my shoulders -- slightly past when dry -- and I'm hoping to grow it longer in so the length will weigh it down. How can I tone it down a notch? Help! I'm tired of wearing my hair the same way all the time. I'll take any suggestions, products, techniques, what ingredients to avoid -- whatever!

Torch : To control your hair completely would require both styling techniques and having the correct curly haircut. So I suggest that you first learn to control your style. When you have just finished washing and conditioning your hair and your hair is totally detangled and sopping wet, study your hair and you will notice that you have no frizz and very little volume. If you distribute Curl Keeper from roots to ends in the same manner as when it is wet, you will have the same frizz control when your hair dries. The less movement that occurs during the first 15 minutes, the more control you will have over the frizz. Once your hair dries, you can easily soften your look by simply moving your hair around. The more you play with your hair, the more volume you will achieve. People start appreciating their volume and curls once they have total control over the frizz. The Curl Keeper formula re-activates with water, so simply re-wetting frizzy areas with wet hands could get you many fantastic frizz-free days between shampoos.

Q : I have tried cheap products, I have tried expensive products, and all I really need is something to make my limp, lifeless, boring waves into nice bouncy curls. If I found something like that, price wouldn't matter. I am a 2c, and my hair is very dry and like straw. If I don't put product in my hair, I poof like the Lion King. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

Torch : Finding the product that’s right for you is only half the battle. Learning how to use the product is the other half. No two curly heads are the same and curly hair is always changing. From the humidity of summer to dry indoor heated winter air, the styling techniques and products need adjusting. One thing for sure is that silicones in any product, cheap or expensive, make styling difficult. The success of creating a curl depends on the amount of hair that can group together to form that curl. The more hair grouped together the looser the curl. When hair is coated with silicone ingredients, the sealed cuticles make curl grouping very difficult and flyaway hair appears, especially in humid conditions. When styling your hair with Curl Keeper it is important to rely on the Curl Keeper to take care of the frizz. Using the correct amount varies so it is an adjustment that only you will master. We also have a Silk Leave-in Conditioner that will take care of rough, dry wiry sections around hairlines or the tips of hair ends. The energy and effort is not how you dry your hair, but in taking time and effort in preparing your hair with the right products, then to allow Curl Keeper do its job as you allow hair to dry as much as possible on its own.

Q : I have an ongoing issue with the curls at the nape of my neck. I use gel when plopping out of the shower, and then let my hair dry naturally with a small clip at the bottom so my hair looks a little bit longer after drying. I do not comb or pick through my curls so that they'll find their mates, and I don't want to generate volume. The problem is that the curls underneath get so tangled and matted and squished together. I've done braids, leave-in conditioner (makes the problem much worse), the pineapple or braids when I sleep, different conditioners in the shower -- almost anything I can think of to avoid this. I'm so frustrated that I've taken to tightly braiding just that section of hair underneath so I don't have to deal with it. This is causing breakage and flatness in the back of my hair. Help!

Torch : To control your frizz and manage your hair style, it is very important that all knots are untangled and all loose hair is removed. Otherwise, matting occurs, which leads to dreads. To ensure that you get this under control, it is important to change your styling regimen. I recommend trying Curly Hair Solutions Treatment Shampoo to strengthen your hair and Pure Silk Protein Conditioner to moisturize your hair. The next challenge is to spray generous amounts of Slip Leave-in Detangler. After letting it sit for five minutes, removing all the loose hair will be easy. Use a large-tooth comb and distribute Curl Keeper evenly over your clean, wet, detangled hair for total frizz control. Allow your hair to settle and dry on its own before you begin your styling.

Q : I'm a 3b, but the hair at my neck is nearly straight (2a/2b). It's just a small section of my hair - the lowest part on my neck - but it is so darn frustrating. I don't know what to do about it. Any suggestions on how to get it as curly as the rest of my hair?

Torch : I recommend the following two alternatives: You could perm the looser curl to have a tighter “S” formation shape that is closer to your natural curl tightness. Keep in mind that the successful outcome of any chemical service depends on the time and care taken to perform the service. I strongly suggest a fully experienced hairstylist using the highest quality perms. Keeping your hair in its healthiest condition will certainly guarantee success. Depending on how the few stray pieces influence length or thickness, I recommend letting your hair dry as curly as you can. After you have achieved great bouncy curls, the few straight hairs will be more obvious as the curlier sections shrink. At this point, I would suggest cutting the straight hairs very unevenly to blend it with the rest. Be careful, because some people rely on those longer pieces to help pull their hair back for those plan "B" bad hair days.

Q : I am a red-headed 3a who is growing my hair out. It's currently about 2 inches below my collarbone, and I want to go several more inches. But my hair is starting to get this puffy at the bottom -- a total triangle look -- and it's not good! It's almost all one length, but has just a couple of very long layers in it (not much shorter than the rest of my hair). Will more layers break up that look? I am so scared of layers because in the past they made my hair bigger, and I do not want "big hair." I want ringlets that lay flat and long. My hair is extremely thick and coarse. I think the thickness/heaviness is the problem. Any stylist that has cut my hair says it's the thickest hair they've dealt with.

Torch : Thick hair is certainly a challenge because there are thousands more hairs per square inch. Even cleansing techniques are difficult because it takes much more effort to wet the hair enough, making it difficult to get down to the roots. That is why some thick-haired kids have oily roots and dry ends. Controlling the curls will depend on generous amounts of Curl Keeper distributed everywhere while your hair is soaking wet. Allow your hair to dry as much as possible on its own without creating movement -- at least for the first 15 minutes. Once your hair starts to air dry and the Curl Keeper has taken control of your frizz, you can be more aggressive with drying. Using a blowdryer with a diffuser will help speed up the drying process. As for layers, that is the most over-used term when talking about cutting curly hair. I suggest finding a hairstylist that understands that traditional layering techniques do not work on curly hair. Ledges form in the worst places, and can take years to grow out. There are specific hair-cutting techniques that carefully redistribute the bulk, creating curly hairstyles with bounce and movement.

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