Curly hair must be coiled with a comb right down to the base of the scalp

It’s a new, exciting and wonderful year, and I’m ready to bring more curly/textured news and information to your inquisitive and thirsty minds. I have many new projects coming up.

You’ve all seen that NaturallyCurly.com is a sponsor on my upcoming American Beauty Tour. We are coming to a city near you, so get involved and experience the transformation of a lifetime – a complete beauty and lifestyle makeover. Enter just for a chance to win on NaturallyCurly.com.

I've also started a consultation chat room on my website. So please take advantage of that. And, finally, I will be introducing custom hair accessory pieces to accentuate and elongate your already beautiful tresses.

Q: I have curly hair. I am Afro-Puerto Rican, and when I comb my hair it deflates about five minutes later. I am wondering whether it is dry or whether I don't wash my hair enough. What do you think? How do you add volume to your hair?

Da Costa: Your hair deflates? Curly hair does not deflate naturally after shampoo and conditioning, and drying. It usually inflates and becomes frizzy. Is your hair very fine and thin? If so, you might want to use a thickening shampoo that will add volume. Look for volumizing products on in CurlMart. However, I tend to think you are either putting too much conditioner in your hair or you are not using your hands to fluff your hair out after you apply your products. Once products are applied, the purpose is to control curls and volume. Once it is semi dry or dry, you have the ability to make as much or as little volume as possible. CurlMart has many great products you can experiment with. (You can call them at 888-249-9250 for personal assistance.)

Q: When I try to coil my hair, it's always puffy at the root and then it coils fine down to the bottom. Is there any technique to help with this? I just use my fingers to coil.

Da Costa: Curly hair must be coiled with a comb right down to the base of the scalp. Otherwise, you will continue to have the same reaction as you do with the finger coil method. Pick up a copy of my book Textured Tresses, which has a chapter on the proper techniques for coiling. Also, make sure you're applying gels or molding products to hold the coils in place.

Q: The biggest problem I have with my hair is the shrinkage. I have 3b/3c type hair, and it always shrinks up. Are there tips to avoid the shrinkage issue?

Da Costa: First, I would start with a great herbal conditioning treatment. Try Tai Texture Botanical Serum. After you apply your treatment or conditioner, use a wide-tooth comb to separate and elongate the curls with the conditioner in your hair. After you rinse out the conditioner, apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner and comb it through again. Then apply your holding, styling cream or gel using a wide-tooth comb. Comb the product through section by section. Let dry and do not disturb curls until your hair is dry. This should help with the shrinkage.
However, if you would like to control your shrinkage permanently, try Phyto Specific’s non-chemical botanical Beauty Relaxer to soften and manage your curls.

Q: I really want to add some length to my transitioning hair until it grows out. A friend of mine asked if I had considered about a weave. What kind of curly weave would I get? My hair is a mix between 3c and 4a. I would also like to know if it's best to sew or glue it in?

Da Costa: To acquire any additional length, you must consider extensions or a hair accessory piece (wigs). There are many different textures for curly hair -- from afro curly to spiral curls to waves. Extensions can enhance your existing texture or give you a completely new look! Sew-on extensions are always better than glue. Human hair is healthier and looks more natural. Do you want length or a full weave? So you have to decide what look you want. It can be fun and exciting!
You can chat with me live on my Web site for a full consultation. I have a new line of hair accessories coming out in February on Taitexturehair.com. The model featured on NaturallyCurly.com’s promotion for the Diane Da Costa’s American Beauty Tour is wearing Tai Texture Hair Accessory Pieces. And you can look on dianedacosta.com for hairstyles.

Q: I did my first braid out last week and it wasn't the total disaster that I'd thought it would be. I did about twenty four braids and then used small perm rods for the still-relaxed ends, which are about three or four inches long. Then I let it dry for a couple days (my hair holds water like crazy!). What I ended up with was, well, imagine an Annie wig that's not red, with smaller curls. Yes, it was that crazy looking. Wearing it all out was not an option because it was sooooo frizzy and sooooo dry. Help! What did I do wrong? What should I do right?

< b class="pink">Da Costa: Excellent -- you’re on your way to textured styling! First, get my book Textured Tresses. There are several step-by-step chapters on styling with twist out, flat twist and braid outs. The second step is a great shampoo and conditioning treatment. You must start with that to soften and moisturize your tresses. Try Tai Texture Botanical Serum for a deep botanical moisturizing conditioning treatment under a steam machine, or use the steam bathroom technique found in Textured Tresses. Your braid out technique will always give you tight curly hair. You are using too many braids. Fewer large braids or twists will give you looser curl pattern. Only curl the very ends to hold the pattern. Curling to far up again with rods will make your hair very curly. Finally, the hair will be frizzy if you do not use a moisturizing cream or styling product before you braid or twist. And since your hair holds so much water, try twisting while it's not completely wet. A heated dryer would work well for you. You would only need to dry your hair for 30 to 45 minutes! If you are in any of the areas for my upcoming tour, please apply just for a beauty makeover.

Q: Does it matter in which order that you apply your leave-in products? For example, would you get better results by applying oil after a leave-in conditioner or before?

Da Costa: Yes, it certainly does matter. water is a natural compound that cleanses and opens the cuticle layer of the hair just a bit, leaving the hair a little dry and rough. So in order to soften it, it is a great idea to add just a dollop of leave-in conditioner to your hair shaft right before you apply curl products, moisturizing oil or shine products. The conditioner helps seal the cuticle and helps to maximize or minimize curl patterns. Botanical oils also help with moisture and shine. A great finishing botanical oil is Tai Texture Botanical Serum.

Q: Is it better to do kinky twists with synthetic or natural hair? What helps them hold together? I've heard that people use beeswax or honey to prevent them from unraveling. What do you think?

Da Costa: Extension twist can be achieved with both hair texture. I prefer and recommend natural hair. It looks natural and free and more professional. There are different afro kinky hair and afro curly hair textures that you can purchase to create the Afro twist. We never suggest using beeswax or honey to hold the hair. These products will leave a residue on your hair and attract dirt and debris from the environment, which causes buildup. Afro hair curls on its own, and most likely will stay by itself. But you can always use a gel or molding sculpturing product for better holding power. As for synthetic hair, it does not hold at the ends. Some stylist singe the ends to hold it. It doesn't look natural or professional, but it does the job.