Dear Rebecca: I have kinky hair when it is in its natural state. I had a permanent curl/wave chemical product applied to my hair and am looking to find the best hair care system to keep it moisturized without it feeling greasy and sticky, all the while maintaining well-defined, silky wavy/curly hair. Do you have any suggestions?

Dear Beautifully Kinky: Have you tried the Design Essentials Natural? I’m loving the entire system! For natural hair, you are absolutely correct. The most important thing is to keep your hair fully moisturized. All of this starts with your maintenance. Try shampooing your hair only once every other week.

Shampooing

When you do shampoo your hair, be sure to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. When preparing to condition, make sure you towel-blot your hair first to remove excess water. This will allow the conditioner to fully penetrate. Once applied, take a wide-toothed comb, and beginning at the nape of your neck, gently comb the conditioner through the hair. Now the next step is very important. Let the conditioner absorb into your curly hair for a minimum of 10 minutes. Then rinse with cool-to-warm water. Now you’re ready to begin styling. Start with a moisturizing leave-in conditioner and follow with your styling product. To maintain your curl definition and moisture, try Design Essentials Natural Daily Moisturizing Lotion. It is absolutely fantastic! To refresh your style during the week between shampooing, just lightly mist your hair with water or a leave-in conditioner to re-shape your curls. You’ll love it.

Dear Rebecca: I have tight curly/kinky hair in the back but loose wavy/curly hair in the front. Do you have any suggestions on how to try to make my hair look like one texture instead of two? When I do the wash 'n' go I have to put more product in the front to try to obtain a curly look.

Dear Two Textures: A great solution is to fake it! Try using flexi rods (similar to straws, and can be found at Sally’s). Find a rod that is a similar size to your back curls. Then set the hair using your favorite styling/setting product. Just make sure it is a moisture-filled product. If that doesn’t work, try flat twists using a styling crème gel like Design Essentials Natural Defining Crème Gel. Be sure to sit under a hooded dryer to completely dry. This will help to eliminate frizz and to set your curl pattern. Pull out the twists and separate and define each section using a serum-type product. Finish with a light sheen spray for additional shine. Either one of these should help your hair have one personality… at least for a week or two.

Design Essentials

Design Essentials hair care products

Dear Rebecca: My hair is mostly type 2b/2c on top, but quite straight on the bottom. I’m not sure if this is because of how my stylist layers it (she doesn’t do curly cuts) or just the way my crazy hair is. The result is that I have lots of waves on top, but then a straight bottom layer peeking out from under the waves—and it looks hideous. What kind of cut should I ask for to correct this? What kind of products should I use?

Dear Halfway Curly: Yes, all curl patterns are not created equal. I think you should follow your instincts and find a stylist who specializes in curly divas. They should be able to give you a cut that will flatter your hair enough to rejuvenate your curl pattern in straighter pieces. (They may also be able to be the unfortunate bearer of bad news that your waves and curls are only in one place.) Be sure to go to someone who has experience with lovely locks like yours.

Dear Rebecca: My daughter AND I have naturally curly hair. I'm a 3b-3c; my daughter is 3a. After over 10 years of straightening with flat irons and about 3 years of straightening my daughter's, we've both ended up with the right side maintaining its natural definition and the left side stretching out significantly. We both like the left side as this means less products if we go curly. We need suggestions to stretch out the right side. I tried diffusing but it's so time consuming. I've thought of putting a mild relaxer, but I'm afraid of the additional damage that might cause. Any suggestion on a healthy medium?

Dear Halfway Twins: A healthy alternative would be to refrain from using heat, and allow the curls to naturally fall. But it sounds like the right side is just a little tighter than the left. So here’s my recommendation. After shampooing and conditioning with Design Essentials Natural, apply Design Essentials Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Then try wrapping the hair starting with the left side with minimal tension. As you work towards the right, really try to pull the hair a little tighter. If you do this when the hair is wet, it will actually pull the hair shaft in a straighter position. You could also lightly blow dry the right side of your head using your fingers to gently pull your curl pattern in a more straight position. This should help to pull some of the tightness out of the right side. If this sounds like a little much, then I would recommend visiting a salon professional for a consultation about a texturizers (not a relaxer). They will be able to touch, feel and assess the current state of your hair. From there, they’ll be able to recommend the best steps moving forward.

Here’s to matching curl days!

Dear Rebecca: I would love if you could give me some advice on my really tight, dry hair. I'm almost to the point of returning back to a relaxer. I don't know how to stretch my hair and not have a problem with frizziness. I now this email is all over the place but that's how I feel about my hair. I'm interested to know about the silkening technique, are you still natural after you get it?

Dear Naturally Frustrated: Okay, the great thing about silkening your hair with Design Essentials and pHusion is you get straight, silky hair that is chemical-free! Our process of silkening leaves hair in its healthiest, shiniest state by sealing in moisture. A salon professional cleanses, conditions, blow dries and finishes your hair by styling it with a ceramic or titanium iron. So yes, it is a 100% chemical-free service that allows for maximum versatility. More importantly, your hair will still be natural. I would recommend researching salon professionals in your area, or checking our Salon Locator on designessentials.com for a Design Essentials Professional near you.