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My bridal shower was on June 3rd! The theme, decorations and all the planning were a surprise for me from my bridesmaids, but I begged them to at least let me know the date, so I could come dressed and prepared looking nice and not show up in sweat pants and a messy bun! (Side note: that happened to me with a surprise birthday dinner a few years back!) Since I don't usually straighten my curls, it did not make sense for me to straighten them for my party. I knew I wanted to embrace my natural texture and I was fortunate enough for my hairstylist to come to my house that morning to style my hair. I also knew I wanted to wear my hair down since if I am being honest, I don't care for the way my face looks when my hair is up.

My hair stylist's name is Sage and she is a freelance curly stylist and does house calls in the NYC and NJ area! She has many years of experience, including working at Devachan training as THE Lorraine Massey's Assistant.

My hair is 2C/3A, high porosity and genetically extremely dry and frizzy. I haven't used color or chemicals on it in over three years, and use mostly Curly Girl Method approved products, deep condition twice a week, regularly use scalp oils and even eat a healthy diet and air dry most of the time. I take extremely good care of my hair, and it still frizzes up more than I prefer. If you ever saw the memes that show great hair when you have no place to go and then frizzy, out of control hair when there are special events, that pretty much sums up my hair.

For my party, my focus was more on length than super bouncy, defined curl definition so I told that to Sage. I asked her to please elongate my waves so they appear longer and the main focus was to keep my hair as close to frizz free as possible. Since I am a realist, I know my hair will never be 100% frizz free and that is what it is.

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Hair Prep

To prep my hair, the night before the party, I cleansed my hair with Rahua Beauty Hydration Shampoo and applied a very generous amount of Olaplex No 3 treatment all over. I let it dry and went to bed. I haven't done an Olaplex No 3 treatment in a few weeks and was overdue. I find with Olaplex, every 2 to 3 weeks now is ideal for my hair. For more about my opinion on Olaplex No 3 for curly hair, check out my video here.

The morning of the party, I woke up early, rinsed out the Olaplex No 3 and applied my very favorite hair mask, Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Mask with a little of the Rahua Beauty Hydration Conditioner mixed in. I used my Thermal Care Hot Head Cap to add heat, so the treatment would intensify and left this on for an hour while I waited for Sage to get to my house.

Since the weather was not on my side, it was very humid and misting rain, I told Sage to go heavy handed with all styling products to give my hair a fighting chance against the weather elements. I rather my hair be weighed down a bit, then get too frizzy, but that is my personal preference.

Styling Process

Once Sage got here, we rinsed out the mask with cool water and got to styling. She applied Jessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing Conditioner using her "seaweed method" technique pushing the conditioner (which is being used as a leave-in) in small sections adding in more and more water until it looked and felt like wet seaweed. This technique makes such a difference for how my hair behaves and how many days I can get out of a wash! We did this with my head right side up. I then flipped my head and she was extra generous with applying Raw Curls Anti-Frizz Spray. This product is super lightweight and added defense against frizz. She followed that up with Jessicurl Oil Blend and Spiralicious Styling Gel and scrunched a bit, but not as much as usual since I didn't want a ton of curl definition. I then applied small duckbill clips, so my hairline would dry a bit nicer since that curl pattern is just not cute at all. She then diffused until it was about 85% dry. After that, she used Ouidad Curl Last Flexible-Hold Hairspray to hold everything in place and Raw Curls Pomade on my front sections, ends, and parts of my hair that were still misbehaving and acting a bit frizzy.

Jessicurl's Too Shea! Conditioner and Oil Blend both have ingredients to protect against diffusing heat. Also, I do not believe Ouidad's Hairspray is Curly Girl Method approved, but at this time I don't have any Curl Girl Method Approved Hairsprays on hand.

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Here are some tips from Sage to make the most of your curls and styling them for special events:

-"When styling curly hair, the wetter the better. The real secret is the first thing you want is a good leave in conditioner and the right amount of water. With the proper combination of the two, hair should feel like wet seaweed. A lot of people use less leave in conditioner and water than their hair needs. (This is Sage’s “seaweed technique” I have been mentioning a lot lately) After this step, it is personal choice on what else you want to use, taking into consideration the texture of your hair."

-"Product ingredients matter. Silicone free and sulfate free make a huge difference. Always test products on your hands before applying them in your hair. As an example, if you wash your hands with a new cleanser and it dries out your hands, it WILL dry your your hair. Another example is if you put a conditioner on the back of your hand and it doesn’t absorb like an actual moisturizer, or it is sticky/tacky and leaves a residue on your hand, it is no good for your hair and your hair will not absorb it either. It will also be much harder to remove these kinds of products from your hair than it will from your hands."

-"We fight frizz on a daily basis. For special events when you need your hair to look it’s best and last through the day, I recommend going a bit heavier handed than usual days for added protection."

-“Definitely be sure to deep condition regularly the months and weeks leading up to the big day to help get your hair as healthy as possible."

This is a recent styling video I did using Sage’s "seaweed hair" technique and applying my products similarly to how she did. The main difference between how I styled that day and how Sage styled me for the party is I scrunched more for extra curl definition in the video.

My wedding is the end of September. I still haven’t fully decided on how I am going to wear my hair yet. I’ve actually been considering researching smoothing systems to try and combat my frizz more. As much as I rather not resort to that, my wedding will be one of the most important days in my life, it is at the beach, the pictures will last forever, and I really just want to feel my absolute best about myself and not have added stress that my hair is going to be frizzy that day. I’m a big advocate on people doing things that make them feel happier and more confident with themselves and if I find a system that is more natural and might work, I’ll take that into consideration.

How do you style your curls for special occasions? Let us know in the comments below.