Hair care tips and accessories if you're growing out your curls later in life.

Little girl

Dear Ouidad:

I have just discovered your website while researching curly hair. I have decided to grow out my very short haircut to about chin length. My hair is very course, thick and very curly. It resembles the short cut of Halle Berry's. I am probably about 50 percent gray. My original color was very dark brown. I color and occasionally highlight it. My short hair routine consisted of blow-drying it as straight as possible, using a very large round bristle brush. I would then flat iron the bangs and sides.

I am taking baby steps as I begin this process. I am switching to a no sulfate cleanser and conditioner. I have decided to stop using the flat iron. I feel I must continue to blow dry it until I get some sort of length. I just don't like the short curly look on me. I am turning 50 in October so I'm sort of cautious about clips and headbands, etc. Do you have any styling suggestions for the "growing out" stage?

Dear First Time Curly:

First, congratulations on putting down the flat iron! The first thing I would suggest to you is a styling gel that provides protection against your blow dryer. Using a blow dryer regularly will greatly damage the curls you are trying to grow out! You may also want to try a regular deep treatment to keep hair healthy. As for styling suggestions, a head scarf is an easy and stylish alternative to headbands that looks good at any age!