Naturally curly and/or wavy hair can either be the bane of your existence or the best feature that you’ve got. If you’re anything like me, I fought for YEARS against the regular texture of my hair, praying to the hair gods every night for straw-like, stick-thin hair. I was scarred for life when my best friend’s younger sister looked at my hair quizzically and asked, “Uhhh, do you style your hair that way on purpose?” after I had done absolutely nothing to it.
But the goods news is there’s a light at the end of the horizon. Once you master how to style curly hair, you actually have it easier than most people. You’ll always look sexy and gorgeous without barely styling your hair at all! So let’s begin:
Step One: Washing
Don’t bother with crappy shampoos that promise to add volume. Curly hair does not generally need volume as much as it needs moisture because curly hair tends to be coarse and dry. Select shampoos and conditioners that add moisture back into your hair and you should be good.
And when washing your hair, only use shampoo at the scalp and then let the suds wash down to the ends. The whole point of shampooing is to remove dead skin cells and oil from your scalp, both of which your hair below your scalp does not have/produce given that it’s already dead. Therefore, directly lathering up the lower part of your hair dries it out even more. I only do this once and awhile to ensure I’m removing any product build up.
Step Two: Drying
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT dry your hair with a towel. Towels are the curly-haired person’s enemy. Not only do they absorb tons of moisture from your hair, which you need as a curly-haired person, but the little terrycloth hooks actually pull on your finer hairs to cause more breakage and frizzies.
The solution? Time to make use of your old cotton t-shirts you no longer wear in public! I was blessed with working at a company that gave us new shirts every time a new game came out, so I have hundreds to choose from. The cotton fibers are very fine, so they don’t pull at your hair and/or change the texture of your curls. Just stick your head in the bottom of the ol’ shirt and wrap it up like a turban.
Step Three: Styling
There are two ways you can go about doing this:
1. Air drying
If you decide to air dry your curls, you are badass and have some huevos rancheros. If you think you don’t need any product, even better for you. I, however, use Motion Lotion by Kevin Murphy (love the name). Motion Lotion is great because it holds curls without making them crunchy or tacky, instead leaving you with soft, touchable curls. You obviously don’t have to use that specific brand (there are tons of curl products out there), but that’s the one I’ve found to be the best.
I put anywhere from a nickel to a quarter-sized dollop of the product in my hands, rub them together, and scrunch it into my hair with my wet hair flipped upside down. I part my hair how I want it and style a few curls around my face using the “finger technique” (shown in the video below) and that’s it. The key to allowing curly hair to air dry is LEAVING IT ALONE. Don’t fiddle with it, touch it, brush it…anything! The more you fuss with your wet curls, the more you’ll screw with the texture, adding frizz and causing your curls to fall out and look weird.
2. Using a Diffuser
Instead of giving you a lengthy text description, I’ll share a video explaining the process for me, narrated by my very own hair guru Amanda Eggimann!
Step Four: Prepare for Compliments From Strangers
Seriously, that’s it people. The biggest lesson I learned when styling curly hair is to leave it the heck alone. The more you touch it or brush it, the worse it looks.
After drying my hair, if I want to cut down a bit on frizz or add even more moisture back in, I’ll place a couple drops of a face oil mixture I’ve created onto my hands and gently scrunch it into my hair. The mixture contains oils such as Argan, Jojoba, and Maracuja oil, which are extremely good for hair. But you can use basically whatever you want.
There ya have it. Take back the power of the natural curl and flaunt what the gods gave ya!