Teach me how to make my curls beautiful!(230 Posts)
I've managed to get to the age of 30 without having a clue how to style my naturally curly hair I spent a good few years trying to hide/ignore them, blow drying and straightening it. However, in the last few years I have embraced my inner curl and would now love to have big bouncy defined curls. Haven't a notion how to do it though. Having spent yeas assuming that curl creams and products were aimed at women who had straight hair and wanted curls, I am now realising that they are actually for curly haired women who want to enhance their hair. I would love any advice! Here's a pic of how my hair is and a pic of how I would like it to be:
I have hair similar to yours. My advice would be to experiment with products! I use DevaCurl 'no poo' (it's like a cleanser rather than shampoo) and conditioner and Trevor Sorbie Firm hold Curl Cream. I wash it every day, but don't use a hair dryer. Scrunch in the check Cream and 'twizzle' bits if I can be bothered / depending on the length of my hair. Just cut it sometimes defines the curls, if its longer I go a bit more scruffy / bed head styled.
It's a change of mindset too!! With curly hair it will never go exactly how you want! There will be bits sticking out in random directions, and it will never look shiney like straight hair. Good luck!
I'd look on the naturally curly and British curlies websites.
Loads of info on identifying the type of curly hair you have and how best to look after it.
I think you need more layers and a good cut. My hair was totally transformed after visiting Matthew James for a curly hair makeover. That second photo you posted has been styled. I can air dry styling with gel and it looks great I have problems with second day hair which is always hit or miss.
I have naturally curly hair that I'm still getting to grips with....my best tips so far are:
Get a good cut with lots of layers. Also, if your hair is too long it can be too heavy for the curl to bounce up.
Only use shampoo if your hair is actually dirty (eg after a workout). Otherwise just use conditioner.
Get a good leave-in conditioner. I use morroccan hair oil. Concentrate on lengths and tips. Roots don't need much.
Find a curl product that works for you. My favourite at the moment is a frizz-ease spray one but I'm still experimenting. Don't be afraid to use too much. The good thing about curly hair is that if your hair goes a bit crunchy from too much product you can just scrunch it out.
Done rub your hair with a towel. Squeeze the water out with a gentle towel/cotton t shirt. Never rub.
Never brush curly hair. Ever.
If your hair is quite fine and you need some volume in the roots then use a diffuser and dry your hair to about 75% dry whilst hanging your head upside down....if that makes sense. Then use a bit of frizz cream to smooth down any fluffy bits.
Hope that helps!
Where are you? I had the best haircut and style by a lady who uses the curly girl method and my hair now looks amazing! I use products with no silicone in too.
Completely agree re: getting layers. It can make your hair go from completely unmanageable to well behaved with minimal effort. Definitely avoid products that have silicone in them (i.e., Frizz Ease). They work for a while (sometimes a really long time) but then (IME) your hair will reach a crisis point of massive silicone build up, your hair becomes straw-like and looks dreadful. Mine recovered after about 6 months of no silicone products, and it's now really easy to manage. I use Aveda curl cream which works really well - I just put it in my shoulder length hair and leave it to dry naturally. Unlike PPs though I wash my hair with a gentle shampoo and moisturising conditioner every day - it does not do well if I don't.
Agree with Mathew James hairdresser. He's trained in cutting and styling curly hair. Is based in Birmingham. Use sulphate and silicone free products as curly hair is dry. Use products such as Bodyshop Rainforest range, Devacurl ( available on Amazon ), wash hair with just conditioner, styling products use Boots pink curl Creme or Umberto Giovanni pink gel.
Diffuse hair when wet but leave it a bit damp and leave to dry naturally.
Embrace your curls!
The Curly Girl Handbook is worth a read too!
Re drying your hair - squeeze out the excess water with paper towels or a sports towel ( less frizz )
I'll explain in detail how I do my hair as advised by the curly girl lady:-
Brush hair before getting in shower
Wash hair with this shampoo
Flip head upside down and add this conditioner to the ends of the hair only.
Staying with head upside down brush through hair using fingers - shouldn't be hard but you can tease knots out
Keep head upside down (you get used to it) and rinse off for a few seconds under shower but leave a bit of the conditioner in (not much)
Still keeping head upside down run some of this through the hair gently (don't ruffle or scrunch) just smooth it on
Using a cotton tshirt (towels are rough and make your hair frizz) scrunch the hair firmly in sections (your hair will still be pretty wet so do this in or over the bath - some of the curl creme will come out too). NO RUBBING OR RUFFLING THE HAIR.
Flip your head back (you can do all these steps faster than it sounds so you shouldn't get a head rush) and you should have a full head of curls. It may look big as the curl will start from the root but this can be brushed out a bit later when it is dry although I am starting to like it.
I personally leave it to dry naturally and after about 5 hours it looks awesome - it might go a bit crunchy from the creme but when it is 50% dry I run my fingers through it and that sorts it. If you want to dry it use a diffuser but don't do the normal way of placing the curls in the diffuser and drying upwards. Hold a bunch of the curls lightly in your hand like you are scrunching then point the diffuser down as upwards will blow air up the hair shaft and make it frizz.
Anyway sorry that was so long winded but it does work!
I'm reading this thread with love for my curls reignited!
Very ironically, my naturally curly hair is usually blow-dried straight, then I use straighteners to smooth it .... But I bought a curling wand recently!
I wore my hair curly a couple of days last week and it is minimal effort. Bog standard shampoo and conditioner, dried only by wrapping in towel for a minute until I get dried. Then whack a load of mousse in hair. Go to bed with wet hair. Wake up with huge curls. Upside - minimal effort. Downside - have to do it the night before!
Am noting some of the products and tips mentioned .... Off to investigate!
Titsy - wish I could understand how you diffuse your hair, as I've always done it by putting my hair in the diffuser, would have thought it you'd diffused it downwards it wouldn't have worked? Do you have a youtube link to doing it that way?
Watching with interest as my hair is getting so damaged from straightening it, and it should really be curly but it just looks a bit crappy.
ICan - it's time to ditch the straightener and embrace your beautiful curls!
Can't find one! I know it sounds strange but it really works - will try and dig out mine and take a pic of me doing it!
I used to wash/wet my hair every day and run some Paul Mitchell conditioner through it then squeeze out the wet with a towel and put in super sculpt and super skinny serum (both Paul Mitchell) then air dry. I never in a million years would have had layers as this would just have meant the hair sticking out everywhere as it grew in and I never ever use a hair dryer as it sooks out the moisture. I had wild, huge, glorious curls. Since I had kids my hair has gone all flat and frizzy. Don't know why. Hormones? Hair dye?
Reading this thread is very confusing. You all seem to be doing the opposite. Is this what I need to do for my now less curly hair? I've never straightened it but maybe I should? Which brands to go for? What will layers do?
There's different types of curly/wavy hair so it's slightly different depending on your hair type. The Curly Girl Handbook describes the different types, if I can find it online I'll post the different types.
I have curls too, and until recently I had it long and scraped it back into a ponytail. I've now got it in an inverted bob and my curls look quite nice. I have zero time for styling so my golden rules are:
Use Lush products - "Retread conditioner" and "R and B" leave-in conditioner as an overnight treat.
DO NOT use a towel, as others have also said. I use a t shirt to scrunch the wet out and let it dry naturally.
Keep your hair trimmed regularly. The second it starts to grow out, mine looks absolutely wild.
The second pic you've posted is nice but I think a LOT of styling has gone into that!
The best thing I ever did for my curls was LEAVE THEM ALONE. I went cold turkey on straighteners, had a few weeks of ponytails while it recovered and now I just wash with a sulphate free shampoo, put a couple of pumps John Frieda airbrush curls in it (this is fairly new to me though and just controls flyaways a a bit really), kind of twist it all together, and let airdry. I wash it every morning because it's so easy as I'm not styling it and brush it dry before the shower to get rid of the loose strands and leave a bit less in the plug hole. I get loads of compliments on my curls now. My hair doesn't curl from the root unless I'm on holiday somewhere humid, and starts to settle in to ringlet type curls from about the top of my ears down, just to give you an idea of the curl pattern because I'm sure my method wouldn't work for all curly tops.
My dd has incredible curls. We have absolutely no silicone products (body shop rainforest stuff) and that's it. Comb thoroughly when wet. Leave to dry, job done.
She is only 4 though so never had any heat damage.
Following with interest...can anyone recommend a good curly hairdresser in the south/ south east? Thank you!
Which BS Rainforest shampoo/conditioner is best please?
I struggle with curls too.
Drquinn do you put your wet hair in a ponytail at night or just leave it loose in bed? I go to bed with mine wet in a pony and I wake up with it wet.
Titsywoo - mine probably takes 5 hours to dry during daytime too so if you wash it in the morning, are you leaving for work/school run with wet hair? I just look like a drowned rat for the 1st 4 hours - it's only the last hour that it starts to look dryish has anyone found a product that cuts down drying time?.
I don't like to diffuse as I don't like the bouncy root volume look anymore - prefer flat crown with s shaped curls from ear rather than the spirals it wants to go into - just think I'm too old for that look! So I use FE Wind down cream - pretty good but get through a ton of it which is costly.
Am amazed some of you wash your hair every day - it takes 30 minutes to wash mine and then 5 hours dry time so it's a much loathed once a week event!
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