Lorraine Massey offers curly hair tips and tricks
I must start by saying thank you for your questions. The more you seek knowledge, the more advanced you’ll be as a highly educated Curly Girl. What worries me at time is my industry; I love my craft, but the industry makes me mad. Why? I still see a lot of Curly Girls trying to be straight, and there’s always a surprised look on their faces when I shout out “Hey, Curly Girl!!” They think nobody can really tell. I think of their denial and then I wonder, is it them in denial of their hair, or is it their beloved hair stylist? I recently spent time at The International Beauty Show; my question was answered. Hairdressers from all over the world were approaching the DevaCurl booth. A few of them would evaluate my hair and insist that I had used a curling iron. “That’s not natural,” a couple of them exclaimed, “it’s too perfect.” I was insulted by their accusation, and made it evident with my reply: “How sad that you think this is not natural. You don’t know what natural hair looks like anymore because you’ve been so busy manufacturing hair and blowfrying us Curly Girls to our hair’s death.” These stylists are essentially imposing on instead of responding to the hair. Our need to complicate things is so rampant, which is precisely why the Curly Girl approach is so radicurl in its simplicity. We as Curly Girls must stand strong in our individual belief in our own hair, relentlessly seeking its truth with Curl knowledge. You don’t need to be frustrated, dry and frizzy anymore. Only then shall we push our hair care professionals to constantly update their data for the Curly Girl, crowned and glorious in her natural habitat.*** Q: I love your book. I finally know how to care and style your my hair. Now at 30 years old, I wear my hair down and I'm trying to grow it long. I find my hair looks better, and it’s easier to style when long. But my question is how do I get rid of the hard, crunchy feeling so the hair can move? Maria Lorraine: How Do You Solve a Problem like Maria’s? Easy. When hair is wet, apply AnGel. Do not disturb it until it’s dry. Once it’s dry, scrunch it out – the stiff feeling should disappear. The reason why AnGel is more effective than other gels is that it is free of the hidden alcohols and plastic resins other gels commonly include. Remember, this product is SO important because it is in your hair the longest -- 24 to 48 hours. Add Set it Free to the AnGel, and you have a long-lasting, frizz taming, conditioning hold. Q: I have long fine hair that has a medium curl to it. When I let it go curly, it is usually flat on the top with little to no curl, and then it gets curly on the bottom. I end up with a triangle head! How can I add volume and curls to the top of my head? I've been trying salt water. Does that do anything? And I hate gel of any kind. I think it looks to crispy when it's dry. I just want soft natural curls with all over body. Thanks! Jessie. Lorraine: Jess You CAN Have Soft, Beautiful Curls All Over!Set it Free is our new spray, and a lot of people say it reminds them of the beach. Spray it on already scrunched, wet hair and clip the root to release the curl of its own weight. Our hair is twice its usual weight when it’s wet, so of course it flattens at the root during the drying process. Clips are an easy way to prevent this. Keep them in until your hair is completely dry. Q: I have thick curly/wavy hair and it tends to stick flat to my head. How do I make it look better? I love how you wear your curls and that is how I would like my hair to look. I have to use a ton of hair spray for my hair for my hair not to frizz out. Please help me. Amanda. Lorraine: Hair Spray? Not the Weigh to Go!Thick hair is heavier so the clip technique should apply to you too, my darling Amanda. But that hair spray has to GO, GO, GO! Hair spray on already-thirsty hair makes it dry beyond belief -- the frizz will disappear as soon as the hair spray does. I promise you, frizz is just a curl waiting to happen. Q: I'm into my second week on the 'Curly Girl' program and am noticing some flakiness on my scalp. I'm tempted to fall off the no-shampoo wagon and scrub my head with my old shampoo. I've resisted thus far and just purchased your products (Chocolate Lust No-Poo and One Condition). I'm somewhere between a corkscrew and a Botecelli girl, if that tells you anything. Do you have any suggestions for flakiness? My curls already look better and feel a lot softer, so I don't want to abandon your program. Thanks for your help! Shannon Lorraine: Flake Away! After only two weeks, flakiness can be part of the normal adjustment period. Think of your scalp as a wound that is healing from prior use of detergents. The flakiness is your scalp shedding the “scab.” The friction from the motion of your hands breaks up the dry skin and dirt particles, hence the “flakes.” However, it’s possible that you’re not massaging your scalp enough with the No-Poo. Give your head a good massage with the No-Poo, and it will help exfoliate your scalp and rid it of the flakes. Remember, your scalp is your skin and your hair is a fragile and sacred fiber. They have two different needs. Q: I'm looking for some major help. My name is Emily and I'm 15 years old. When I was 13, I started straightening my hair everyday because it was the fad. But I stopped when I went to high school, hoping I could live with my hair. Now I have tried just about every product possible to define my curls but I have a huge head of hair. I can never wear it down. Nothing is working. I just want to be able to get out of the shower and wear my hair down instead of having a dead heap of hair. Maybe it is my technique, not the products. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them. Emily Lorraine: Curling Out of the Closet…I can almost see and feel your hair by the way you’ve described your precious locks. My curl sense is telling me that you aren’t using enough One Condition (assuming that you are using the DevaCurl line). A generous helping is what’s needed in this case. The equation is simple: Dry equals thirsty. My experience with clients that haven’t reached a hydration level to my liking after a period of time is almost always the same. We dissect her hair routine and, lo and behold, she’s being stingy with the Conditioner. Never EVER be stingy with the moisture! Get into the shower and wet your hair thoroughly. Apply, in your case, at least two palmfuls of One Condition and evenly distribute. Leave it in while you go through your shower routine, letting the conditioner sink in. At the end of your shower, massage the scalp with your fingers and gently comb your hands through your hair to individualize your curls and gently releasing any tangles, especially at the nape. Rinse lightly -- or you may even want to leave all of it in. Get out of the shower, bend over forward and scrunch your hair upward with paper towel or an old t-shirt to squeeze out extra conditioner (it’s almost like rinsing as you take out a lot of conditioner, except that the hair will grab and hold what it wants to keep – your hair’s natural survival instinct!). Flip your hair back gently, and shake your head a little bit to let your curls find their natural formation. Then clip the roots and do not disturb. The moral of the curl story here is “Love me, One Condition me, and leave me the hell alone!” Q: My name is Elizaveta Diaz and my problem is that I'm completely frustrated with my hair. I have what they call kinky hair. My father was a Cuban Mulatto and my mom is a Caucasian Russian so I guess my hair is in the middle -- very curly but very thin. I really have no idea what to do with it. I've tried relaxing it with chemicals but it is so thin that it breaks. So for the last eight years, I've worn it in a ponytail. My other problem is that I live in Austria and a lot of people here don't know how to treat my hair. Thank you and I hope you can help me somehow. Lorraine: Tend and See…Curly hair is very fine to begin with. Each beautiful strand is three times more fragile than a strand of cotton, and you know how easily that breaks. Think of your hair as a priceless fabric and touch it with great respect. Don’t rein it back like a harnessed pet by pulling it into an elastic band! It’s no wonder your precious “bab” hasn’t been able to grow. Also, your hairline will begin to recede (traction alopecia) when hair is constantly yanked back into a ponytail. You, my dear, are the caretaker. I believe that if there are hair follicles then there’s hope, whether curly, kinky, straight, man, woman, dog, rat, underarm… whatever! In order for it to have a longer life span, it must not have weed killers washing the naturalness away. You simply must stop using detergents (99% of shampoos on the market have them). Also, my suspicion tells me that those straighteners (lyes – or is it ‘lies’?) still reside in your hair. Be patient, my curl love, and release the rubber band – set it free!! Use the same method as Shannon (#5) and be generous with the One Condition. Olive oil treatments may help, too. For now, before you go to bed, lay a towel over your pillow and leave the One Condition in your hair overnight. Remember: Be good to your hair, accept it for what it is, keep it hyper-hydrated and LOVE it. You will see. Q: I recently read your book and loved it. I am a wavy girl and I'm trying to grow my hair out to a chin-length bob. I have given up shampoo (going on three weeks), but I can't get my waves to look good. My hair looks messy with not-defined curls. I have to diffuse it dry because it saves time and it also gives my hair volume and curl definition. My dream is to come to New York for an appointment, but until then, can you give me some advice. — Marcene Tesmer Lorraine: Where there’s a Wave, There’s a Curl. When anyone asks me a question, I try to listen very carefully. You say you can’t get your waves to look good. They’re messy, without defined curls. You say that the diffuser gives your volume and curl definition. It sounds to me like you’re all over the place with your approach. Your hair is going through some weird periods as it’s growing, and the unfurling of movement has not yet begun. As you touch it with your hands when diffusing, you’re messing it up and breaking the gel cast that helps to crystallize the curl formation. Try this method: Put your diffuser in a towel rack (so it’s hands free) and rotate your head around the diffused air. This way you can achieve height at the root and each curl can dry separated and undisturbed. I hope to see you in New York -- it doesn’t have to be a dream! Q: I was wondering how you actually style your own hair. Do you blow it dry with a diffuser or do you air dry it? Does the heat from the hairdryer seal in the moisture, or does it cause more dryness? Lorraine: Love it and Leave it Alone!I actually do not do very much to my hair these days -- the less I do, the better it is. On special occasions, I’ve tried a little harder, but it’s never quite the way it is when I don’t fuss. I do, however, always clip my roots -- even on days I don’t completely wet my hair. I put a little bit of Angéll on the clip and position it at the root, then spray with Set It Free or Mist-er Right. My secret to drying my hair at times is my car -- the heater gives a perfect dry heat with no blow. Q: Do you have any new natural mixtures for dry ends? Also, how do you feel about oils as a hair treatment? Do you think it helps or exacerbates dryness? Some people I talk to think mayonnaise is a wonder treatment. Lorraine: C’oil!I’m obsessed with oils, especially olive oils. If they can go into my body, then they can go onto my hair. Things thrive in moist environments -- it can not exacerbate dryness unless it’s not a pure oil. In Roman times, that’s all they used! Putting it on your body before a bath seals moisture into the skin… it does the same for your hair. With regards to mayonnaise, it’s all the disodium EPTA that worries me. But you can make your own! Whip raw eggs with some olive oil, and then add your favorite essence or even some lemon juice, and you have your very own may’oil! The reason I don’t have a treatment in my product line is that I believe if you’re really looking after your locks DAILY (including color-treated hair) you don’t need treatments to begin with. But when you’re starting out, olive oil is my absolute fave.