I’m a curly girl! I say it proudly. It took me a bit to “embrace the curl” and accept my hair. As a teen I didn’t realize my hair was curly. No one in my life had curly hair, or knew what to do with it. I basically had a frizzy pony tail. In high school I decided to get a short haircut like Jenna Elfman’s from the popular show Dharma and Greg. It was a disaster! Left with short frizzy hair, I had no idea how to style it. It looked nothing like Dharma’s hair. I tried brushing it, which did NOT help. My new short hair was out of control, and I longed for the days of my fizzy pony tail. Then, at 17, I discovered product. Suddenly, my world changed!
I now know my hair cut could have worked for my hair type if I had known the insider tips of being a curly girl. Now, I find myself reaching out to young girls with frizzy hair similar to my 1995 self. Sometimes I just think about talking to that teen, telling her how product can change her life too. Other times, I approach the mom or teen and start giving them (my possibly unwanted) hair advice. But I can’t help thinking that my teens years could have been drastically different had I known what to do with my hair. This challenge in my life has influenced me to want to help other young girls that could be in this bad hair situation.
There are so many options and techniques to control and enhance your curly hair. The right haircut and product are key to successful curls. I would encourage you to bring your teen into the salon to get her on the right track. With a great haircut, and a “how to rock your curls” lesson she could instantly have the confidence that would help her sail through her high school years.
Symptoms of a curly girl: does she have visible curl, wave or kinks? Does she have frizzy hair that also grows in humidity? If you answered yes, chances are you are dealing with a curly girl! How to say it proudly starts with discovering the right product and style for your curly girls’ hair.
What is the right product for my hair? Depending on your hair texture and amount of curl and what you want the end result to be, the product may vary. Each product tends to a different hair need. Options include: Curl Cream, Mouse, Gel, Serum, and Leave in Conditioner. Curl cream leaves your hair defined, but not wet looking, controls frizz but is still pliable. Mouse is a good product to use if you have fine hair and a consistent curl. Gel has more hold and often works better when coupled with mouse. But you have to be careful to have the right gel or mouse and the right amount so that your hair isn’t left looking wet or feeling crunchy. Serum and leave in conditioner are great for hydrating coarse rebellious hair or taming fly-away hairs. Your curly hair naturally lacks moisture. So when wearing your hair curly, it must be hydrated to achieve shiny, healthy looking curls. All of these products can be used on their own, or you can mix and match the products for your desired look and hair needs.
Can my haircut really affect my curls, or my curls really affect my haircut? Often curly girls see their hair grow into an unflattering shape we sometimes call, “Christmas tree hair”, or “triangle hair” where the bottom hair line is thick and bulky and overwhelming. The right shape can lighten your hair and free up your curls to become bouncy and beautiful with movement. Sometimes curly girls are afraid of layers, thinking that their hair will become too big. I disagree; layers can be your friend, when they are well placed, they can accentuate your curls and make your hair come to life. When cutting a curly girls hair, we really take into consideration, hair texture, type of curl, seasons/weather, and if she intends on wearing it curly, wavy or straight.
Quick styling tips
- Put product in your hair right away when it’s wet, do not over towel dry. If your hair starts to dry without product, it will start to frizz and grow.
- Do NOT brush your hair. Use a wide tooth comb in the shower. Spread your desired product on the palms of your hands. Apply the product to your hair, using your hands like a comb. For best curly girl results, do not use a comb or brush on your hair after you get out of the shower.
- Take your hair in two sections: top and bottom. Then, twist medium sized sections (2×2) of your hair away from your face, to create a more consistent curl (larger sections create larger curls, smaller sections create smaller curls). Repeat on both sections.
- Blow dryers can either be for you, or against you. Subject to your curl. Air drying your curls might be the best and easiest option. If you are going to use a blow dryer, I recommend using a diffuser. A diffuser disperses the air, letting the heat dry your curly hair, without letting the powerful airflow frizz and expand your hair. If you do use your blow dryer without a diffuser, always use the nozzle and low speed. Point your dryer in the same direction as the hair grows. This will prevent unwanted frizz, and give you better control.
- My biggest tip: Practice makes perfect! Don’t give up. Take notice to how your hair is behaving. When you have awesome days, repeat the same steps.
There is always straightening, relaxing, or anti- frizz treatments available. They can be helpful and life changing as well. I think it’s really important to receive the right education in embracing your curls. Being a curly girl is fun! And can be easy too! Bring your curly girls to see me, Drew, at Salon AKS for a blow dry lesson on how to rock your curls! She wears her hair every day, wouldn’t you love to see her wear it confidently, with its natural beauty and ease? Curly moms are always welcome as well!