Curlies are always on the hunt for hair help, whether it be finding the best stylist, best ingredients, best summer styles or the best advice to help a child find her curl confidence. Here, we share the best of the best when it comes to expert advice to rock your ringlets in every aspect of your curly life.
If you want to match your inner fashionista with your curly hairstyle, make sure you consider the occasion. For an elegant event, gently tame your textured tresses with functional hair accessories. At more carefree soirees, rock your curls and let them flow freely! Color makes a splashy difference, too. Vibrant colors and shimmery fabrics will help showcase your curls, and always have a crisp white blouse on hand when you want to shower your face in light.
Short on cash, but don't want to skimp on style? Opt for the largest size of your favorite curl product. Chances are, when you compare the cost per ounce, you'll be paying less. If you color your curls, always use a color-depositing or color-safe cleanser and conditioner to prevent fading so you can stretch out those pricey visits to your colorist. And don't forget those deep treatments at home. The healthier your hair, the fewer trips you'll have to make to your stylist to shear off frayed, damaged ends.
First, remember to pack your beach bag with a handful of essentials: sun-buffering treatment spray or UV-protecting hair oil, volumizer or workable hairspray, frizz-minimizing hair balm, spritz/rejuvenator, a couple of ponytail bands and French pins. When you're ready to hit the sand, try tucking a few curls away with pins, or loosely pulling your curls back in a messy bun, or stay completely cool by opting for a windswept braid — keeping your curls off your sun-kissed face and shoulders.
When the humidity soars as high as the scorching sun, head to the salon for a seasonal cut. The goal? Remove the bulk but keep the length, so you can easily pull your curls back (ever so loosely!) when the searing temperatures tip the scales as unbearable. When it comes to your shower routine, cleanse one fewer time per week (sweaty does not mean dirty) and condition more (deep-conditioning treatments up to twice weekly) during the summer months to maintain moisture in your mane.
If you've always lived in a straitjacket at work, first experiment with new curly dos on the weekends or during vacation, before you walk into the workplace with a new style. Once you find the right curly 'do, it's important to step into the office with a new-found confidence—and an enormous smile. If your colleagues' comments are still critical, find the strength to keep it positive. Remember, anything new often takes time to get used to, and there will likely be an adjustment period. This too shall pass!
Never choose a stylist at random. Word of mouth is always a good way to start. Don't know who to ask? Find someone's curls you love and ask where she cuts her hair. Once you have leads, call the salons and schedule a consultation. (No cutting, yet!) When you step into the salon, take a look at the products it carries and the tools the stylists use. And always come prepared with questions during your consult, so you can find out whether the stylist who plans to snip your spirals really knows about the curly scene.
Start by surfing Internet, speaking to stylists and reading books written by curl experts, such as Lorraine Massey’s “Curly Girl” and Diane DaCosta’s “Textured Tresses.” Don't hesitate to get your curly involved in grooming and caring for their textured tresses as early as possible. Always make sure you exude curl confidence in every aspect of your life, not just when speaking directly with your child. And focus on positive reinforcement by finding curly role models your kids can relate to. When you see a curly celebrity, for instance, bring the example to your child's attention.
It's important to flip over the bottle of your favorite product and look for ingredients that are the most moisturizing, especially during the hot summer months. Look for shea butter and vegetable glycerin (to define and separate curls, and reduce frizz), jojoba extract and avocado oil (to heal dry or damaged hair and enhance shine), and aloe vera (to protect against heat damage, smooth hair and defines curls).
Always speak up and be specific with your stylist about what you want, before the first snip. Making a snap decision in a rush always seems to lead to tress troubles. So, take at least a few moments to get a strong referral for a stylist. You can always quickly peruse the the stylist reviews on NaturallyCurly.com for a recommended stylist in your area.
Straightening textured tresses, even if it's just a blowout, will weaken your curls and damage your hair. Knowing that, there are ways to make sure the damage is as minimal as possible. Being consistent with deep-conditioning treatments helps (at least once a month, more if needed). Before blowouts, you'll also want to use a heat-protectant spray (and products with silicones will make it easier, too, but remember they are just a cosmetic quick fix). When you're ready to straighten, choose a big round brush with boar and nylon bristles and a powerful blow dryer (that has a nozzle attachment) with at least 1800 watts and multiple heat settings.