The first time my father brought me to the hairdresser for a cut, I was about 8 years old. The salon he brought me to must have been a SuperCuts or the stylist had no idea what to do with my curls. After pulling through my hair with a fine tooth comb I showed her, with my little eight year old pinky finger, the amount of hair I was willing to cut. By the end of my haircut the Thumbalina hair that tousled down my back was now a poof bowl around my ears. I must have cried for days and was made fun of for most of second grade. Let us not ever have a haircut like that again!
A good way to start your consultation with a hair dresser is by bringing in a photo of someones hair that inspires you. Maybe its the shape of the hair, the length, or the layers which gives it volume, a photo is a great way to start. With a picture, you can give the stylist an idea of your goal for your hair rather than trying to “talk hair terms” you’re not too sure about.
Another important factor you need to know and understand before getting a cut is the tools being used in your hair. Curly hair is usually very fine and frizzy but you can have a ton of it! Either way if it is fine, frizzy, or coarse, curls should NEVER be cut with thinning shears. (Thinning shears- siccisors that have a straight blade on one side and a sarrate blade on the other side). Thinning shears cause more frizz, period. The point of thinning shears is to remove excess bulk in your hair, to remove weight for heavy hair. If your curly hair does not have weight it will be too light and there will be no curl, only frizz, and you will need a ton of product. Some stylists use buzzers and other “special tools” but the best way to cut your curly hair is by using a regular pair of shears. The trick is to point cut everything; the stylist should be using about the quarter tip of the shears, and they should be cutting at an angle. Cutting your curls at an angle will make it so that your curl continues to spiral as oppose to cutting straight accross and giving your curl a choppy looking finish.
The final step is to have faith and trust in your stylist. As long as you bring in a photo, have a general idea about the proper implements you would like used, and ask the stylist how they go about cutting curls and you like what they are using and saying then trusting them is your last key to having a beautiful new you!
We have all seen or tackled the large circular device that can be attached to a blow dryer, known as the diffuser, but do you really know how to be a diffuser user? There are a couple of rules when it comes to using a diffuser. First, you have to know what kind of curl you are looking to achieve. Whether it be an array of long loose ringlets or a tight collection of bouncing curls, the diffuser can help you attain a lasting look in which you have designed. Next, determine the type of product you want to use with a diffuser for it may give you a different look as opposed to letting your hair dry naturally (air dry). For example, using a mousse such as Aussie Instant Freeze mousse will give you a crunchy hard curl after air dry but with a diffuser your hair will have a more textured feel and look.
After applying your selected product, (I usually use a curl cream such as Morracan Oil Curl Cream) attach the diffuser to the blow dryer nozzle and set the blow dryer to high heat, while blow dryer is in use maintain at the lowest speed. For tight bouncing curls with a lot of volume sit in a chair and flip your head between your knees. Gather your curls in the diffuser and hold the diffuser up to your scalp for 3-5 seconds and change your placement so you are not constant in one area. Continue until front section is dry. Having your head turned over and bringing the hair towards your scalp gives you extra lift and keeps the curls in a tight spiral pattern, rather than having the curl expand due to moisture and humidity in the air. Sit straight up in the chair and tilt your head to the left. Again gather your hair into the diffuser and raise the blowdryer to your scalp. Continue the same routine on your right side until your hair is completely dry. Finally, loosen your curls by using a frizz serum or anti-humectant such as Aveda Anti-Humectant; this product repels moisture and works wonders on any frizz problem. When applying your ending product start from the ends of the hair, for it is the oldest part of hair; work your way through the mid-shafts. Complete by pushing your finger tips into your root area to finish off the serum and add extra volume.
The usual routine to style your hair usually consists of turning your head upside down, scrunching an unbelievable amount of mousse into your locks, then heading out the door and hoping it wont frizz. Let’s subtract stress and curiosity from your everyday routine, and add a more professional route, by starting a regimen that will preserve a clean curl for an extended amount of time. Twisting your curls will play in your favor; It creates a more natural look while maintaining a longer lasting curl, as opposed to an everyday style which sometimes can be tedious. In order to start twisting you will first need a good curl creme, BeCurly by Aveda mixed with a dab of Brilliant Universal Styling Creme by Aveda will give you effortless frizz free ringlets. Different products will give you different results; for example if you are to use a mouse such as Garnier Fructis, it will leave the curls crunchy and flakey.
Begin by wetting your hair and adding product throughout, start at the bottom of the nape (the bottom of the scalp from which your hair grows) and section off as many 1/2″ to 1/4″ sections twisting them in both directions clockwise and counterclockwise. We want to obtain a curl that is willing to stay in its pattern and not mangle with other strands causing dreadlocks or breakage. Continue throughout the whole head of hair taking different sized sections and twisting the portions of hair until there are no more loose strands to twist. Finish by letting your hair air dry. After your style is set, keep in mind touching your curls while they’re drying will create excessive frizz.
Step-by-step photos will be added to MyPhotos shortly.
Using a blow dryer and flat iron is damaging to your hair, the split ends seem to increase as your shine and luster decrease. To keep your hairs’ natural oils and give yourself a soft smooth straight finish simply set your hair. Setting your hair is not difficult although having a friend help would be nice. The best thing to use are magnetic rollers; make sure you have a good product to help keep your hair sleek. Use the magnetic rollers when your hair is about 70% dry; to start use a smoothing cream such as Aveda Brilliant Universal Styling Cream, the moist hair will grip to the roller with ease (use a spray bottle if necessary), use tight tension and a fine tooth comb, comb and pull your hair around the roller in a circular motion until you reach the base of your scalp, then pin the hair in place. Do this to the whole head and let your hair air dry. Spritz some light weight hair spray throughout your locks before taking your hair down. Once your hair has fallen, run smoothing serum throughout your hair and break up the flip (don’t worry, it won’t make the flip fall out). Enjoy.
This technique is used commonly in small salons intended for thick, extremely curly hair. After rolling the largest magnetic roller set at 1 1/2″ throughout my hair, I gave myself a manicure and pedicure and watched an episode or two of Sex and the City. When my nails were dry I unrolled a roller and ran my finger across the hair shaft before taking the roller completely out. Once I knew my hair was completely dry I took the rollers out and threw my head upside down and applied the smoothing serum, I used Aveda Brilliant Smoothing Serum. You can also use soda cans which act as a magnetic roller, they are big which gives your hair less of a curl and more of a wave.
Climate change, products, and different water types are some pros and cons when it comes to traveling and caring for your hair. Always map out your trip for your hair similar to the way you would make plans for yourself. Look at the weather ahead of time and determine what extras you may need. For example, if you are traveling somewhere cold and humidity free bring a flat iron because your hair will look wonderful completely straight.If you are traveling some where hot and humid pack your in-case-of-emergency mousse because your hair will most likely be out of control and frizzy. Also, experiment with products outside of your familiarity; they may work wonders on your hair. When it comes to showering, water types can effect the way your hair dries. Most water is considered hard water because it is not filtered, this causes your hair to become heavy and weighed down. However, some shower water is filtered or purified which is very clean and can leave your hair light and airy. The difference between the two when it comes to styling is the amount of product you need to add to your hair. Less product for hard water because your hair is already weighed down and more product for filtered or purified water to keep your hair frizz free.
I have recently traveled from New York to California and I immediately noticed a difference with my hair once I stepped off the plane. San Francisco is very foggy and humid so my sleek curls from New York transformed into a huge cotton like afro instantly. I kept my regular product at hand, including my ICOE mousse, and headed for the shower. After showering and wondering why the water seemed so crisp and my hair so large, I realized the water was purified. I tried different products and styled my hair with more fullness. My rule of thumb: when it’s big make it bigger and it will look better.
How often do you shampoo your hair? If you have thick curly hair washing it once every 4 days is a good routine. Shampoos are a detergent and hard on your hair. The longer you can go without washing your hair the healthier and nicer it will be. When you shampoo your curls think of the shampoo scraping at the outer most layer of your hair, which is the cuticle. The cuticle, when magnified, resembles scales of a snake; shampoos with harsh detergents in them will rip at the scales and cause your hair breakage and damage. When shopping for your next bottle of shampoo check the label. Some common FDA approved detergents are, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate which is extremely harsh for example Pantene Pro-V, Sodium Laureth Sulfate which can be considered mild for example Tresemme, and TEA or MEA Laureth Sulfate which is the most gentle for example Matrix Biolage.
When determining what shampoo to use I usually go for something natural. I am currently using Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat which is organic and contains TEA Sulfate. I shampoo my hair once every 5 days and I feel my hair gets nicer the longer I go without washing it. I usually shampoo my hair in the evening, around 6pm, then I style it. I let my hair air dry even though it is slightly still wet by the time I am ready to go to sleep. Once I wake up my hair is full and bouncy and the curl is ready to be reactivated. I flip my head over and spritz my hair with a water bottle, keeping it about 80% dry, I then reapply some product and let air dry.
Waking up and looking like a lion may be nice for a Sunday morning but on an everyday basis, we want to keep the maintenance of our curls as low as possible. By keeps the curl in tact and minimizing frizz change your pillow case. Invest in a higher thread count in pillowcases or in a satin sheet set and see the difference. The reason the higher thread count is better for your hair is because it locks in moisture and keeps it from breaking. A lower thread count is hard and has roughly 100 to 500 thread count, meaning it is more coarse so your hair is more likely to mangle and break. Egyptian cotton is a 1200 thread count and one of the best fabrics for your hair; it is soft and silky so your hair will glide across the sheets and maintain your curls.
After testing the satin pillow case method, I’ve decided it is a fair investment for my hair. When I woke up and looked at the reflection of my curls I noticed more of a shine, my hair was of the same style of the night previous. My skin is also softer, so I’m not complaining about the $15 I spent for a set of pillow cases on amazon.com. Think of it as treating yourself to great nights of sleep for fabulous hair.