The time it takes to style your hair is all about preparation

Q : I am 34, just had my second baby and have found my curls have really loosened up the past few years. Lately, the ends are stick straight, while the roots hold more curl. I have tried everything - leave-in conditioners, mousse, gel, etc. They all seem to make my hair crunchy and the ends are still straight. I was trying to grow my hair out but ended up cutting it last month because it was so bad. What would you recommend? Do you think that pregnancy hormones have affected my hair, and that there is no hope?? Or is this typical and will it come back? I remember the days it used to get really tight in the humidity, or when air-dried, would curl right up. Now it just is BAD!! I appreciate any help! Thanks.

Torch : The hormone changes during pregnancy are so unpredictable that it is very difficult to adapt to. For more information on hormonal changes, check out this article. But never give up because there is always hope. To control the curls, focus on the quality of your shampoos and conditioners. Silicones often build up in the hair and coat it which causes your curls to become flat and loosen. On the ingredient listing of your shampoo and conditioner you can recognize if the product contains any silicones. Look for any ingredient that ends with “cone”. An example would be “dimethicone,” commonly found in shampoos and conditioners. I definitely welcome you to send us a picture so it would be much easier to personalize a consultation for you to suggest styles and methods.

Q : I have a curly, medium-length bob and I am blond. I find blond hair seems to show frizz more than dark curly hair. Please tell me if you know of a product that really tames frizz without a stiff or gluey feel to the hair. I like my hair touchable soft. Thank You. Jann.

Torch : You are 100 percent correct that blond hair looks frizzier as light travels right through it. With a deeper richer color in the hair, the light reflects off the hair creating an illusion of fewer frizzies. What your hair needs is shine. I recommend reformulating your hair color to enhance the shine. Curl Keeper will instantly stop frizz and leave your hair shiny without the look and feel of heavy product buildup. You can use as much as needed to control those stubborn frizzies.

Q : My hair is really driving me mad and I need some advice! My hair is fine and soft (frizz isn't such a problem), and there's quite a lot of it. However, the top layer of my hair is almost completely straight, while the bottom layers are curly to varying degrees (very tight corkscrews at the front side, looser more wavy curls at the back). The result is that it looks like a complete mess most of the time. I've tried crunching/diffusing my hair but the curl on the top layers simply won't hold. Do you have any advice about how to even out the curliness? I'm really fed up with looking like I've got three different people's hair! Every bit of advice I've seen in magazines assumes curly hair is dry and/or frizzy AND evenly curled. It seems like no one else has the same problem! Thanks, Christina.

Torch : Christina, I have many clients who have the same problem as you. Curly hair has the tendency to change every seven to eight years. You are probably in the middle of this stage. Without a photo it is difficult to consult but here it goes. Traditional layering will be disastrous on your hair but the concept of adding shorter pieces on the top will create the bounce needed on top to complete your style. Learning to enhance your curl on top and to calm the curl below is all about how to use the right product with proper instruction. I suggest distributing Curl Keeper from roots to ends and add Curly Hair Solutions Gel to the Curl Keeper for the layers on top. Once the product is in the hair bend over forward with a diffuser to scrunch dry the looser curls on the top while leaving the tighter curl underneath to dry on its own. This will create an even look of curls instead of different levels of curl throughout the hair.

Q : I like my curls short or long but hate the thick, unruly "Christmas tree" triangular look while it grows out. Often I give up after months and get a short cut because I can't stand walking around looking goofy. I need help.

Torch : It seems like you would be the perfect candidate for the Tunnel Cut. I would only recommend this cut after personally seeing your hair or at least a photo of your hair. Learning to control your curls during the growing out stage is dependent on the products you use and especially the styling techniques. Try allowing your hair to dry 100 percent on its own without blow drying. This process will take longer, but as you have experienced, the more movement during the drying process, the more your hair will expand. Your hair will love the control that Curl Keeper has to offer. The weight of the water while your hair is wet will keep the hair lying flat during the drying process. This should allow you to tolerate your hair while in the growing stages.

Q : I have long, red, curly hair (think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman -- gone wrong) and am about to start a new job where I'd like to make a good impression. I always either leave my hair down or tie it back in a pony tail if I'm having a bad hair day. Do you have any suggestions for looks/styles that would look more professional? Preferably with as little prep time as possible in the mornings! I have very little imagination when it comes to my hair!

Torch : The time it takes to style your hair is all about preparation. The time and effort in the preparation will result in style and curl management. For a more professional look, learn to control your frizz 100 percent. Once the frizz is controlled, your confidence level will increase, you will be ready to address the professional world and finding a style that fits your face will be much easier. Choose a style that enhances the shape of your face. Some face framing may be required. Learn how to control your curls and style before taking the plunge of a big haircut that will change your whole look.