Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Curly Hair Styling Tips

Some of you have been asking for tips on curly hair. Las F California, the curly-haired fashionista, is on the case.

For years, straight hair was the new black. Being the hopelessly curly bombshell that I am, I despaired, because I was never able to get my hair as straight as they do in the magazines. I gave up trying to make my hair straight and simply defied the trends by embracing my curls instead of lamely attempting to conform to an ideal I'd never reach. However, the curly-haired woman's day as arrived. Now, with the advent of a softer, more feminine side of fashion, curls are back, and they're better than ever.

Curly hair tends to be dryer and more porous, so make sure you're giving it enough moisture. Treat your hair to the occasional deep conditioning treatment, like Kelp Help from John Frieda. My stylist (whom I've been going to for about 10 years and trust implicitly) recommended not washing your hair every day, to save the stress of heat treatment. Get your hair trimmed regularly, and make sure your stylist is on board with you. My rule of thumb is that if you don't want to look like the girl or guy who's cutting your hair, then don't let them come near you. Remember, you're the boss. The haircut has to work for YOU, not give the stylist a chance to exercise his or her scissor-happy creative tendencies. If they're not willing to embrace YOUR hair, then stay away.

Here are a few great options for styling curly hair:

Go Natural. Wash your hair, then use a generous amount of styling serum. Pick something that doesn't have alcohol in it as alcohol can dry your hair. My personal favorite is Citre Shine, about $6 at drugstores everywhere. I put it on my hair every morning while it is still wet.

You can also use a diffuser on your blow dryer. I've never used one, but they seem to be pretty popular. Again, just be careful not to burn your hair!

Hair Setters- God's gift to women!
If you're looking for a more finished look, try hot rollers. This is my style of choice. If your hair is thin, or you're looking for a super-curly look, try a curler set with a lot of different choices of curlers, like this one available for about $30. If you're just looking for a little extra body and a curled shape, try something with bigger rollers.

I've been using hot rollers for years now, so here are a few ideas that work for me. First, make certain that you use a heat protector. All that heat for your hair can dry it. I always use a generous portion of Thermasilk. It's heat activated. Spray it over the length of your hair, then spray a bit on each individual section of hair as you curl it.

Heat opens the pores of your hair. While you're waiting for the curls to set, use your blow dryer's cool setting to close the hair shaft, ensuring a) a solid, long-lasting curl and b) shiny hair. It really does make a difference, trust me.

There are two different ways to use hot rollers. The first is to curl your hair from the end to the roots. This will give a great look with abundant curls; a style that lasts all day with minimal fuss. Start at the bottom and spray a little product to protect the ends from heat. Roll slowly upwards and pin at the scalp. When you take the curlers out, shake your head or finger style. Don't brush your hair unless you want minimal shape.

The other option is to start with the curler at the scalp. Position the curler
underneath the section of hair you wish to curl, then wind the strand around the curler and pin it. This style tends to produce a more understated curl, but the great part is that it looks as if it's been done professionally.

You can follow these exact same steps with a curling iron as well. Remember that it takes time to get your look right. Be patient and don't be afraid to experiment. Have fun!