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Can natural curls look 'smart'?

(35 Posts)
CantChoose Sat 14-Jan-17 09:40:43

I have naturally curly hair.
I feel quite frumpy and I'm keen to smarten up my image and look a bit more 'polished' but whenever those threads crop up people suggest having neat hair and nails etc. Is there any way my natural curls can look smart without me blow drying them smooth?

Liiinoo Sat 14-Jan-17 09:53:50

I have super-straight hair myself and spend a great deal of time trying to force it into a curl so cannot offer any practical hints but I am sure it can be done. Nadia Sawalha has very curly hair and generally looks stunning managing to be simultaneously natural and groomed. Have a look at some photos of her for ideas?

IHeartKingThistle Sat 14-Jan-17 09:56:23

I think a curly bob (not too short) looks amazing. See Jennifer Lawrence being all kick ass when she cuts her hair in Joy.

Sikkinis Sat 14-Jan-17 10:01:44

Yes, google the academic Suzannah Lipscomb. She always looks smart. Just a side note- just make sure your natural curly hair is smoothed down with some anti frizz spray/serum and pin a few bits back from your face if neccessary

NotMeNoNo Sat 14-Jan-17 10:04:33

Alex Polizzi in Hotel inspector has a good natural cut- is that what you are thinking?

CantChoose Sat 14-Jan-17 10:09:10

Ooo thanks for the suggestions smile i know who some of these people are but will google some more photos.
liinoo I actually like my hair curly when I've bothered to 'do' curls myself but it takes so long and I just don't have the patience!
A few of you have mentioned shorter styles and I think you might be on to something. I'm currently just below shoulder lenngth which I guess is a bit nothing-y.
My mum has short hair and we look very similar - I was to avoid looking like her twin thought!!

Wolpertinger Sat 14-Jan-17 10:09:28

I have natural curls and always wear them curly. I have fine hair with unruly waves and have a short layered bob which lets me get masses of curl with minimum effort - just a bit of gel, twirl hair and dry naturally. If I blowdry it straight it takes longer, looks like a helmet and even worse, is boring.

You have to accept you won't get exactly the same thing every day but with a good cut and the absence of frizz, they look brilliant plus I can style my hair in the car on the way to work blush

Newtssuitcase Sat 14-Jan-17 10:10:27

I think if you have curly hair and have the top section tied back and the curls loose beneath that looks perfectly smart.

echolaliacellardoor Sat 14-Jan-17 10:18:30

OP I have exactly the same dilemma!

My curls are wider than Suzanna Lipscomb's, much tighter than the GHD waves that JenLaw has in Joy, and I do feel the shorter cut that Alex Polizzi has is better suited to slightly older women (I'm in my 20's).

I'm usually somewhere between Debra Messing in the very early stages of Will & Grace, and Kelly Hoppen - though I hope less crunchy and rigid than the latter.

Argh. The search continues for the perfect person to emulate.

jeaux90 Sat 14-Jan-17 10:19:18

I hear you OP I am the same. I wear mine straight as I need to look very polished but would go for a layered bob if you want it smart but curly x

specialsubject Sat 14-Jan-17 10:24:50

Yes, if they suit your face and you don't mind washing and styling every morning.

So I am very pleased that it is now possible to get rid of curls!

Floisme Sat 14-Jan-17 10:44:35

I think fighting your hair is one of the most pointless activities known to woman. Mine is thick and has a very strong wave. My big break was finding a hairdresser who understood my hair and who took me seriously when I told him I was extremely lazy and wanted to work with what I had. Finding him was pure luck but you could ask people with similar hair for recommendations.

I wear my hair short - I'm lucky as it suits me - and just chopped into loads and loads and loads of layers. I don't style it. I wash it, slap on some fudgey stuff, mess it about and that's it. The downsides: I have to get it cut every six weeks and I can't ring the changes very much. But it's a small price to pay. I get him to tweak the cut every so often so it doesn't date.

Do I look smart? I think so. I think my hair is one of my best features. Admittedly I don't go for the 'groomed' look and whenever I wander onto a 'looking expensive' thread I feel like I've fallen into a parallel universe. I don't have a corporate job either.

Don't give in. Straight hair feels like it's been in fashion forever but it wasn't always the case. The pendulum always swings back eventually.

CantChoose Sat 14-Jan-17 11:07:30

So glad I'm not alone!
Totally agree echolalia, to me nobody else's curls look quite like mine. Which is part of the joy of curls (don't get me wrong, I stopped hating my hair sometime in the early 2000s) but makes it really hard to be confident that a style you see on someone else will suit...

Fuzzypeggy Sat 14-Jan-17 11:38:00

I think Kelly hoppen looks smart and her hair is really curly

imjessie Sat 14-Jan-17 12:25:26

I have curly hair , it can look messy because some bits are curly than others . For nights out I tong the messy bits to even it out a bit . It has the benefit of adding shine . Sorry if like straightening for curls if that makes sense .

SantaClausMortificado Sat 14-Jan-17 12:41:17

No I don't think it can - if by smart you mean business stylish and serious.
Smart is generally about simple clean lines. Curly does not fit with that.

Kelly Hoppen is a good example - her hair is great - very beautiful. She always looks fantastically glamorous but her hair is not "smart" in a serious business smart sense.

It may also be a bit probably due to our society misogynistic conditioning that curly hair is very female (because although men have curly hair, most men cut it short so you rarely see proper curls on men in a business context).

Generally what is seen to be business smart tends to be very male - think of female sharp cut suits with a white shirt. Straight haired bobs etc. etc.

I have very curly hair and if I wear it down and unstraightened it never feels smart to me. To me It feels a bit too sexual and bedroom hair as well which doesn't help me feel smart business confident.

Botanicbaby Sat 14-Jan-17 12:53:52

Oh goodness if you're hair is naturally curly it likely suits you better, you shouldn't have to tease it into a straight bob to look "business-like".

If you're good at your job that will shine through no matter what style your hair is. Straight doesn't = capable in business.

Looking clean, groomed, confident at work is more than just your hair.

Floisme Sat 14-Jan-17 13:02:37

I admit I don't work in the corporate world but surely it's moved on from that suited, booted, styled hair look? If it hasn't then I'm surprised. There are posters who clearly have high level, corporate type jobs who don't sound as if they look or dress like that.

Fuzzypeggy Sat 14-Jan-17 13:28:34

I would disagree that curly hair can't look smart. I think that Kelly hoppen when she was in her dragons den outfits, looked perfect for a corporate environment, absolutely smart enough. I agree with flo that corporate dressing doesn't have to mean sleek hair anymore.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 14-Jan-17 13:41:37

I always feel more groomed and tidy with my hair straightened. If I'm making a special effort, I'll always put the effort in to blowdry and straighten it.

The trouble I have is that my hair is thick so if I leave it to dry curly, it takes hours to dry so starts to look good around bedtime. I also can't brush it if it's curly so if I'm out in strong winds it does look like I've slept in a bush.

One trick to make curly hair look better is to use Ghds (or a tong) to curl a few sections on the top layer and around your face to give a more defined "done" look.

MrAliBongo Sat 14-Jan-17 14:03:29

Smart - hell yes! But identikit corporate conservative - maybe not so much. I cultivate a degree of wildness in my short bob, but if I was aiming for something a bit slicker, I could calm it down into a sort of 1920s/30s style, and I defy

specialsubject Sat 14-Jan-17 16:54:03

I assure you I look far better with my hair straight, natural curls do not necessarily suit their owners. And all anyone ever notices is the hair, I am more than a keratin fuzzball so was glad to see the back of it.

Perhaps because I had curls I dont tend to notice others who do.

Hohumming Sat 14-Jan-17 17:59:33

My DD has very curly hair but it is quite thin and spirals up to her shoulders even though when wet it is midway down her back. I am biased because I love it but it is very very difficult to manage as it frizzes and looks very unkempt unless washed every two days.

I read on this board that curly hair is looked down on in the US because it looks like it doesn't look groomed.

Anyone I worked with who has curly hair had straightened it with varying results. Thick hair looked well straightened, thin hair not so good. One woman who had curly hair had cut it above her shoulders and it looked very well. I think the grooming part is that curly hair often doesn't look glossy and shiny as light doesn't reflect off curls so much.

littlepinkfizz Sat 14-Jan-17 18:13:12

Try the Curly Girls! Facebook group if you are on has lots of tips .

HardcoreLadyType Sat 14-Jan-17 18:18:19

These styles look very elegant and work-like to me.

Get a good cut.

We recently were at a meeting, and there was quite a senior lawyer there. DH and I agreed that her haircut was probably the most expensive thing in the room! (It certainly looked it.)

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