Embracing and reviving your curly hair can be a wonderful journey towards embracing your natural texture. 2023 is the year of embracing your natural hair texture. For curly girls with big bouncy ringlets, or short spirally coils, it’s time to put down those straighteners and embrace the curl pattern you were born with. But taking that first step towards achieving dream curls can be difficult, and at times daunting — especially if years of heat-styling or chemical straightening had left your hair damaged. Luckily, our quirky, curly-haired stylist Sarah Nash is on hand to help give you the best tips and tricks to embrace and revive your curls, from products to styling. Who better to learn from than a fellow curl-advocate?
IT ALL STARTS WITH THE CURLY HAIRCUT
If you’ve decided to wear your hair curly again, the best place to start is with a new haircut. This is where weight distribution becomes really important. Cuts for straight styles differ from those with bouncy locks. This is because, while straight hair doesn’t tend to vary from person to person, each person’s curl pattern is unique to them. With curly, there’s also a lot more freehand cutting involved. It’s a bit like hedge cutting because you have to look at the hair from a three-dimensional perspective, as opposed to just lengthways. If you leave it at one length, it can look flat with no bounce or movement. As a result, curly hair suit styles with a strong cut because softer shapes tend to get lost in the curls. If you’re keeping hair long, opt for choppy layers, or if you’re going short, a blunt bob with bangs is a perfect choice.
When it comes to getting a curly haircut, there are a few key factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you get the best haircut for your curly hair:
Find a curly hair specialist: Look for a hair stylist who specializes in cutting and styling curly hair. They will have the expertise and experience to work with your curls and understand their unique needs.
Research haircut styles: Before your appointment, gather some inspiration for curly haircuts. Look for styles that complement your face shape and hair texture. Consider factors like layering, length, and volume to find a style that suits you.
Consultation: Schedule a consultation with your stylist before the actual haircut. This allows you to discuss your desired style, hair concerns, and any specific requirements you may have. It’s also an opportunity for the stylist to assess your hair and offer recommendations.
Dry cutting technique: Dry cutting is often recommended for curly hair because it allows the stylist to see the natural curl pattern and shape the hair accordingly. This technique helps prevent shrinkage and ensures that the haircut suits your curls when they’re in their natural state.
Consider the shape and layering: Curly hair can benefit from layers to enhance the shape and bounce of the curls. Your stylist can help determine the best layering technique based on your hair type and length. Additionally, they can create a shape that flatters your face shape and brings out the best in your curls.
Maintenance and growth: Discuss maintenance and growth options with your stylist. They can provide guidance on how often you should get trims to maintain the shape of your haircut and minimize split ends. They may also provide tips on promoting healthy hair growth and managing any transitional stages.
Product recommendations: Ask your stylist for product recommendations specific to your hair type and the desired style. They can suggest styling products that enhance your curls, reduce frizz, and provide the hold or definition you’re looking for.
Styling tips: During your haircut appointment, ask your stylist for styling tips and techniques that work well for your hair type. They can show you how to enhance your curls using diffusers, scrunching, or other styling methods.
Remember, communication with your stylist is key. Be open about your preferences and concerns, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. With the right haircut and proper care, you can embrace and enhance the natural beauty of your curly hair.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
Understand your hair type: Start by understanding your specific curl type. Curly hair can range from loose waves to tight coils, and each type may require different care techniques. This knowledge will help you tailor your routine accordingly.
Use a sulfate-free shampoo: Regular shampoos often contain sulfates, which can strip your hair of its natural oils and leave it dry and frizzy. Switch to a sulfate-free or curly hair-specific shampoo that is gentle and won’t disrupt your hair’s natural moisture balance.
Condition regularly: Curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair due to the shape of the strands, which makes it harder for natural oils to travel down the hair shaft. Use a rich, moisturizing conditioner after every wash to hydrate your curls and reduce frizz.
Try co-washing: Co-washing, or conditioner washing, involves skipping the shampoo and using conditioner to cleanse your hair instead. This method helps retain moisture and can be especially beneficial for curly hair. Co-wash once or twice a week or as needed.
Detangle gently: Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to detangle your hair when it’s wet and coated with conditioner. Start from the ends and work your way up to minimize breakage. Avoid brushing your hair when it’s dry to prevent frizz and disruption of your curl pattern.
Apply leave-in conditioner: After washing and detangling, apply a leave-in conditioner to your damp hair. This step helps provide extra moisture and creates a protective barrier, reducing frizz and enhancing your curls’ definition.
Avoid heat styling: Minimize the use of heat styling tools like flat irons and curling irons, as excessive heat can damage your curls. Embrace your natural texture and opt for heat-free styling methods instead, like air-drying, diffusing, or using foam rollers.
Try the “pineapple” technique for bedtime: To preserve your curls overnight and minimize frizz, gather your hair on top of your head in a loose, high ponytail or bun. This technique, known as the pineapple, prevents your curls from getting squished while you sleep.
Experiment with styling products: Find the right styling products for your curly hair. Consider using a curl-enhancing cream, gel, or mousse to define and hold your curls. Experiment with different products to find what works best for your hair type and desired style.
Deep condition regularly: Treat your hair to a deep conditioning treatment once a week or as needed. Look for deep conditioners or hair masks specifically formulated for curly hair. These treatments provide intense moisture, repair damage, and revive your curls.
Embrace natural drying methods: Allow your hair to air dry whenever possible. Avoid vigorous towel drying, as it can cause frizz. Instead, gently squeeze out excess water using a microfiber towel or an old T-shirt, and let your hair dry naturally.
Get regular trims: Schedule regular trims every 8-12 weeks to remove split ends and maintain healthy hair. Trimming helps prevent breakage and allows your curls to bounce back and maintain their shape.
Keep it simple as “Less is more with curly hair. The less you do to it the better it gets”. It’s easy to think that washing your hair adds hydration, but regularly scrubbing your locks can actually strip them of their natural oils, causing them to dry out further. As a result, we recommend stripping back your routine, only washing your hair once or twice a week. To revive your curls in-between washes, simply wet your hands and scrunch to re-hydrate.
Remember, embracing and reviving your curly hair is a process that takes time and patience. Experiment with different techniques and products until you find a routine that works best for you. Enjoy the journey of embracing your natural curls and rock your unique texture with confidence!