Wavy, corkscrew, wiry, ringlets, spiral and everyone’s favorite …kinky. You know hair has a personality of its own when the world needs multiple adjectives to categorize it. Most people with curly hair hate it and people that don’t have it want it. Curly hair truly is one of life’s amazing mysteries and I have spent thirty-something years in a self study of how to make it work.
Sure I went through the denial stage. I may or may not have asked my mom for permission to get a perm because I was convinced the curls that appeared after every haircut were nothing short of a salon miracle. Yes, I spent many a dark and early morning before junior high yanking my hair taught while torching it with my neon pink hair dryer in hopes that the strands would stay straight until at least first period. And sure I’m currently guilty of paying for a professional blow out for a special occasion or two.
But with age comes wisdom and I have finally decided not only to accept my curly hair but to love it. It is quirky like me. It’s a little silly like me. And can be a little wild just like me. As a self-imposed unruly hair ambassador, I am here to help the world understand curls.
Even if you are lucky enough to be born with tame tresses your offspring may wind up with frizzy filaments. Follow these five easy tips and who knows the next hair-shaking perfectly styled Pantene girl might have curly hair!
1. COMB– No brushes allowed unless you are going for the finger-in-the-light socket look. Wide tooth combs decrease frizziness and avoid breakage. I like to comb my hair out before I shower to avoid wet tangles and again while I’m applying my leave-in conditioner (see next tip).
2. CONDITION– THIS IS NOT AN OPTION. EVER. YOU MUST USE CONDITIONER. If at all possible wash your hair every other day (which as mothers this should be a simple command to obey considering how hard it is to shower period when you have kids!). Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair and more washing will only make it drier. I use a rinse-out conditioner and then I comb in a leave-in conditioner.
3. CANCEL THE CROP– Please don’t chop curls! The shorter the cut, the tighter the curl. Anyone remember that show Felicity, it actually lost popularity when Kerri Russell’s character decided to drastically crop her curls. It will not make them easier to handle, trust me!
4. CONTROL– Depending on your curl type (ringlet, wavy etc…), you need product to manage your mane. My hair works better with mousse because my curls are naturally well-defined. Gel helps separate or defines the curls. Besides the occasional dab of Moroccan Oil to fight frizzies, I save the smoothing serums for blow out days.
5. CONSULT– Leave cutting curly hair to the experts. There are lots of techniques designed especially for curly hair, find someone who knows them and stick with them. I love my stylist, Brendi at Frangipani. She has wavy hair so she gets it. Brendi knows how my hair will respond to a cut or style and did I mention she gives me the most relaxing massage during the shampoo? Remember an inch off curly hair is more like 2 inches!
Be it your own hair or your child’s, join the ranks of the curly-haired crusade and stop wanting what you don’t have. Stay positive when you are styling your child’s curly hair because mamas give it such a bad rap. Next time you are out, let your hair down and give that Pantene hussie a run for her money and remind her that if the humidity is low and you don’t mind a little carpal tunnel, curly heads actually can have the best of both worlds!!