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The Diane Da Costa American Beauty Tour is well on its way. We are counting down the last two months until the launch date on October 6, 2007m to bring you all the latest and greatest for Curly Hair Girls! Look out for beauty and fashion trends, a fun-filled Q&A session with celebrity stylist and beauty editor panelists, a total beauty and fashion transformation for American Beauty winners, giveaways, music and so much more!

Congratulations to the NaturallyCurly.com American Beauty winners. I would like to thank all the contestants who entered. I wish I could give everyone a transformation. We have more in store after the tour so stay tuned for a new beautiful surprise happening in New York City in the near future. See the winners selected by Naturallycurly.com here and see more winners and more information here!

Tickets are available for purchase after Aug. 15 at www.ticketweb.com.

Q: I wore a sew-in for a year and a half, and have been wearing wigs for the last six months. I have not had any kind of chemical in my hair for nearly two years. My hair is back to its natural, long state, and I would love to wear a naturally curly style. Please help me!! I'd love to know what I need to do to get a curly mane.

Da Costa: Congratulations! You've passed the two-year mark, which is actually the amount of time it takes for the natural curl pattern to regain its bounce and luster. Depending on the natural curl pattern -- whether it be wavy, curly, very curly, tight coils, spiral, or ringlets -- you can choose a curl booster, definer or pomade that will enhance your curl pattern. However, if you have very curly or tight coils, you might want to investigate a few natural set patterns in my book "Textured Tresses" that will allow you to retain a desired curl pattern for one to two weeks. And then if you want a permanent non-chemical relaxer product like Phyto Specific Beauty Relaxer, you will be able to soften the texture, which will release the curl pattern to allow more flexibility and manageability I will show you how to create softened curls with my Softener Technique on the Diane Da Costa Americna Beauty Tour.

Q: I have curly hair. About three weeks ago, my friend straightened it with a ceramic flat iron. (I don't' believe any products were put in my hair until after it was straight). I didn't wash it for two days. It got wet at the beach, and then I washed it when I got home. Now, one side of my head is curly (like it usually was) and the other is not (it is just a little wavy in some areas, and one section in particular is almost straight). What do you recommend I do? I want my hair back to the way it was.. I'd really appreciate some help.

Da Costa: It sounds like there was some type of natural straightening balm put in your hair. Your natural texture on one side might be a little softer or straighter than the other side by genetics. Sometimes, straightening balms can straighten the hair texture, especially if you have color on the hair. They are heat activated with a blow dryer or a flat or ceramic iron. I recommend you continue to shampoo with a cleanser or detoxifying shampoo like tea tree or peppermint. it should revert back after a few shampoos. If it does not, you might have to start all over or create natural set patterns to achieve the desired look.

Q: Before I moved to Florida, I never had a problem with my hair. People used to come up to me and say "I love your hair!" Now when we moved to Florida awhile back, all I got were insults on my hair and I noticed my hair had gotten poofier, frizzier, and dry/damaged from the hard water, and from all the products I was using. So a few months ago, I got my hair cut because of the damage. Then about a few weeks ago, I got gum stuck in my hair and now a part (in the front) only has one curl. What should I do with my hair (to tame it and to style it)?

Da Costa: The environment and water can damage the hair tremendously. It is so important to take that into consideration when treating the hair with moisturizing and deep, nourishing /penetrating conditioning treatments. A steam vapor treatment with a cocktail of moisturizing and botanical oils will help condition, moisturize and tame your frizz. .If you would like something a little more permanent, you can blow dry your hair with a botanical straightening balm, such as Phytologie Phytodefrisant. Or you might want to opt for a low-calcium mineralizing softening relaxer or Phyto Specific Beauty Relaxer, which is a non-chemical softener made from soy, eggs and mushroom crystals.

Q: I've had

  • braids -- love the look but I can't stand combing out my hair once I've taken them out
  • weaves -- same deal. Plus, sometimes the hair is itchy
  • twists/flat twists -- nice look, but how long do they last?
  • afros -- I had one in high school, but I'm not an afro gal now.
  • coils -- I have them now but I don't like them. They look kinda young/funky and sometimes I like them (for about 5 minutes) but coils aren't my style.

Da Costa: Oh my goodness! Do you really want to fight your natural curls or work with them to meet your desired needs. It seems you've run the full gamut for natural hair styles. Flat twist sets and cornrow sets are a very professional look. The key to keeping this style past five days are the holding pomade and setting foams you use prior to flat twisting. First, shampoo and condition with a nourishing treatment, then spray a detangler and light leave in like, TAI Texture Lavender Mist. You can try Jane Carter Wrap and Roll Foam. It works wonders. You must sit under a dryer until your hair is completely dry for the look to last and to eliminate frizz. Water cannot touch your hair, and you should tie your head at night with a satin bonnet or scarf in an upward tie. Also, this style must be refreshed about every four days with two stand twists without combing out the wave pattern. Please refer to "Textured Tresses" for more details.

Q: Since I don't really comb my (very short 4a) hair after using product (if I do, the curls disappear), my hair looks uncombed and seems messy. How do you keep it neat while maintaining curls? I only comb while it’s wet, preferably with conditioner in. I might pick my hair out a bit to shape it and poof it out after putting in product, but I do that very carefully. I don't work in an office where the messy look is acceptable. If I worked at the MAC counter, I could rock this style. But I can't. So how do I tidy it up?

Da Costa: The tight curl or coil is a very challenging texture. Actually, to create and keep the curly look requires a little more effort with styling. You should try the twist out or coily twist out to achieve a more semi-permanent curl pattern which last about two weeks. My book "Textured Tresses" has several step-by step instructions on how to achieve this look. You can also try a steam vapor/conditioning treatment with a shampoo and conditioning treatmen. If you would like something a little more permanent that will soften your curl pattern slightly, try the PhytoSpecific Beauty Relaxer. It's a non-chemical softener that creates manageability so the curl enhancers and cremes can actually do their job and works wonders with tight coily hair.

I will see you all on the American Beauty Tour!!

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