alaffia-products

If your curls, coils or waves spent the last year up in a pineapple, you’re not alone. But this summer has us feeling inspired to give our curls the love and attention they deserve. There are new products to test, fun haircuts to try, and bold colors to experiment with! One of the new lines we’re most excited to share with the NaturallyCurly community is Beautiful Curls by Alaffia.

You may already be familiar with Alaffia through their face and body care products, all made from natural, plant-based and fair trade ingredients, and this year Alaffia released a new line specifically formulated for textured hair. There’s a wavy/curly range, a curly/kinky range, and products to bring definition to all curl patterns and porosities. If you’ve been taking a closer look at your ingredient lists, you’ll be happy to know that Beautiful Curls contains no silicones, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, artificial coloring or mineral oil—AND it’s cruelty-free! What’s more, many of the ingredients are sourced from Alaffia’s West African women’s cooperatives where they handcraft indigenous ingredients like unrefined shea butter, coconut oil, neem oil and African black soap. All for under $15 each.

Here to share how we can achieve our best definition this summer is Celebrity Hairstylist and Alaffia Brand Ambassador, Allyn Antoine. He’s been working with textured hair for over 20 years in New York City’s top-tier salons and you’ve seen his work on the big screen, TV shows, magazines and more. We brought Antoine some of your top curl concerns from making a twist-out last to the frizz-causing mistakes to avoid, here are the expert tips he had for us.

Do you have any tips for wavies or curlies with fine hair who need moisture but find that moisturizing products can weigh their hair down or make the roots look oily sooner?

Antoine: “Hydration is a curly girl’s best friend, but with thin curls it can easily become their enemy if they apply too much product. I get this question from my clients all the time—usually after a lot of trial and error. I always recommend that those with fine textures start applying product at the mid-shaft to the ends of the hair. This way, you are giving your curls the moisture they need without the risk of weighing them down. Make sure that you apply while the hair is still wet—this allows the product to soak into each strand properly and gives the best result. This is exactly how I like to apply the Beautiful Curls Curl Enhancing Leave-in Conditioner to ensure curls are enhanced and defined every time.” 

Do you have any unique finger styling or curl defining techniques that you use on wavy or curly clients for applying the Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel?

Antoine: “Get it wet! Just like your leave-in, you definitely want to make sure you are applying the Beautiful Curls Curl Defining Gel to completely wet hair. Take small sections at a time and finger comb while applying the defining gel from roots to ends. This will help to shape and define your curls all over. From there, you can either let your hair air dry or you can use a diffuser for extra volume.”

How do you recommend curlies refresh their second- or third-day curls with Beautiful Curls?

Antoine: “You have to get your hands on the Beautiful Curls Curl Reviving Tonic—it’s a texturizing mist that rehydrates and re-shapes your curls without adding too much product that could weigh them down. I recommend it at the salon all the time because I find it to be an easy way to bring your curls back to life at home. After misting all over, use your fingers to re-curl small sections at a time. This will help to define while removing any excess frizz. I’ll let you in on another secret; on the days you need a little more moisture—mix just a small amount of the Curl Enhancing Leave-in with water in a spray bottle, shake it up and use it as a ‘moisture mist.’ It works well to smooth out frizz, and it’s something I have been doing forever—even when I’m on set for a photoshoot and curls have gotten unruly from all the hot lights, it works wonders every time.” 

The Beautiful Curls Curl Activating Leave-In Conditioner can be used to moisturize and detangle, do you have any detangling tips for curlies to achieve curl definition with this product?

Antoine: “The Beautiful Curls Curl Activating Leave-in Conditioner is a fantastic product that can be used in a few different ways. Firstly, you can apply this as a pre-poo to detangle before you wash. Then, it can be used after shampooing—apply the product in sections and comb through to ensure even distribution of the product throughout your hair. Keep in mind that because this product is lightweight for tighter textures, your curl will start expanding shortly after the hair is dry.”

What advice would you give for making a twist-out or braid-out last longer when using the Curl Activating Cream?

Antoine: “My clients ask me this all the time. I always tell them for the best longevity, preparation is key. Make sure to use Beautiful Curls Curl Activating Cream after applying the Curl Activating Leave-in when your hair is wet. Together, these two products give your hair maximum hydration and definition while minimizing frizz. Then, plan to leave your style in for at least a full day before you take it down. The longer you leave the style in, the more defined your curls will be.”

The Curl Activating Cream can be used with a diffuser for volume, do you have tips for curlies who find that diffusing can create frizz?

Antoine: “Diffusing your curls seriously feels like taking a masterclass in patience, but I promise the payoff is worth the time. Time truly is the trick to frizz-free. You want to hold the diffuser in one position for at least 10-20 seconds before moving on to the next section. Moving the diffuser rapidly is what causes the frizz and frustration to happen. Getting into the habit of taking your time is all it takes to make a huge difference while diffusing.

How often do you recommend people use the Beautiful Curls Shampoos so that they’re removing product buildup, sweat or oil, but retaining their moisture and not drying out their curls, coils or waves?

Antoine: “My rule of thumb is once-per-week or once-per-week-and-a-half, but where you fall in that timeframe is completely personal. Looser curl patterns and waves can be washed more frequently than tighter curls and coils. Beautiful Curls shampoos are sulfate-free, which means they will not strip your hair the way a traditional shampoo would, but you still should look to limit your wash days to every 7 to 10 days for best results.”

What coil defining techniques do you recommend when using the Curl Control Custard for a defined wash-and-go that lasts?

Antoine: “When you are looking to do a wash-and-go, you want to make sure you thoroughly detangle your hair all over before applying your styler. This will make applying the Curl Control Custard much easier and smoother. Always apply product from root to ends in small sections. Once the hair is dry, scrunch for added volume.”

Any other frizz fighting tips for the summer?

Antoine: “Cocktails were made for the summertime—and I’m not just talking about happy hour. Cocktailing stylers together can help to give your curls a surge of hydration to minimize frizz and keep them looking their best. I like to pair something super hydrating, like one of our Beautiful Curls Leave-Ins with a styler that helps to retain the moisture and give your curls enough hold, like the Curl Defining Gel or Curl Activating Cream (when you need extra hold). And, as always, make sure you are choosing products like Beautiful Curls that are clean—meaning no sulfates, silicones, parabens and phthalates. Your curls will thank you in the long run.”

One major benefit of Beautiful Curls that goes far beyond curl definition, is that by purchasing these products you’re supporting Alaffia’s Empowerment Projects to help fund safe births worldwide. Five percent of Beautiful Curls sales goes towards Alaffia’s Beautiful Arrival project to improve maternal care in the U.S. through a partnership with SisterSong’s Birth Justice Fund. You can learn more about how Alaffia is redefining what social impact can look like in the hair care industry here [will insert link to Article #1].

This post is sponsored by Alaffia.