Managing curly hair can be complicated. But that doesn’t mean you should just pin your hair back or chop it all off. Here are a few ways of achieving well-defined curls that will not only minimize your daily styling time but also result in healthy, luscious curls.
Adopt a four-product process: Taming curls is a technique that entails choosing the right product for your hair type and texture, knowing how to apply the product and knowing how much of that product to apply to get best results. The fastest way to style your curls is to abide by a four-product regimen: You need a shampoo free of sulphate, silicone and alcohol, as well as a hydrating conditioner, a leave-in conditioner and a defining gel or foam.
Don’t comb or brush: Curly hair should never be styled with brushes or combs, as they separate your curls making it impossible to create volume and substance leaving your hair looking limp and wet, especially if you follow up with gel. The only time you should be combing your hair is once or twice a month, in the shower, with conditioner and a wide-tooth comb; and then too, only if your fingers can’t untangle it. Also never brush your hair when it is dry. Instead, run your fingers through your hair after applying leave-in conditioner so that your curls will remain defined, hydrated and easy to style.
Ask your stylist to “shape,” not cut, your curls: The secret to styling curly hair is consistently having a good shape. Therefore, instead of cutting ends bluntly as you would with a regular haircut, ask your stylist to shape and define your curls with scissors so that they fall in a flattering way. Curly styles are really dependent on your own curly hair and what you see as a style for yourself. Without achieving a proper hairstyle shape, you may be left with a flat, boxy cut that’s unmanageable, overwhelming and impossible to work with.
Wash hair sparingly: Avoid shampooing too often, and when you do wash your hair, use a sulphate-free shampoo. These shampoos contain fewer of the harsh salts that dry your hair out and cause unruly curls. Only wash your hair once or twice a week because the more you wash your hair, the more the shampoo eliminates your natural oils. The natural oils in your hair are essential because they create good health for your curls and diminish frizz. Instead, refresh with a dry shampoo between washes.
Air-dry or diffuse: Towel drying separates curls and causes frizz. To prevent it, squeeze excess water out of your hair with an old T-shirt or micro-fiber towel and then diffuse your hair or let your curls air-dry. Put in a lot of product and diffuse your hair for even more definition.
A diffuser isn’t as damaging as regular blow-drying because you’re not applying direct heat in one localized spot, the heat is spread out over a larger area. And only use the diffuser when your hair is 40 percent dry to minimize breakage.