Today there are so many styling implements and hair products on the market, even those with the most unruly curly hair should be able to cope. However, to hold a hair dryer in one hand and a roller brush in the other and make them work simultaneously to produce smooth straight hair has been a task I was never able to master. A flatiron has been equally impossible and I inevitably walk away with singed hair and burnt fingers. And how do you do the back without six foot long arms?
I have been encouraged to go with my curl rather than against it, so I now diffuse my hair. I used to put mousse, gel, or lotion on it and let it air dry. The result was precarious at best. The diffuser is relatively easy to use and does, in fact, give my hair more uniform curl but I still never know how it will turn out. However, there are some things I absolutely do know about thick curly hair from years of experience. Hopefully, they will prevent you from making the same mistakes I have made in the past.
- Never perm it. I know this seems obvious but, believe it or not, I have done it and the result was disastrous.
- Don’t cut it too short as the curl will be too tight. You need some length and weight to pull the curl down/out.
- Never let a stylist use a razor to thin your hair. This will introduce even more frizz and kink than you are already dealing with. If he/she pulls out the razor, it’s a good sign they have no idea how to cut your hair.
- Encourage him/her to cut it dry; otherwise, your hair becomes two to three inches shorter when it completely dries. Make sure your stylist knows the difference between a trim and a cut.
- Layering is much better. Depending on the thickness of your hair, unless it is really long, curly hair has a tendency to grow out rather than down. Layering keeps this under control and gives more movement to the hair. Otherwise, you look like the head on The Sphinx.
- When the gray starts appearing, stay on top of your color applications. Gray hair is coarse/kinky and your hair begins to look and feel like a haystack. Color treatments today not only color but condition your hair so it is imperative you don’t wait too long between applications.
- Bangs do not work with curly hair unless you are religious with the flat iron or blow dryer. You are better off with an off center part or feathered front layers which will give you a more natural look.
- Never towel dry. It introduces frizz. Use a microfiber cloth and squeeze or scrunch to remove excess water and drip.
- If you are going with your natural curl, never brush or comb your hair as the defined curls will clump together making your hair too thick and bulky. Finger comb or use a pick if you must; however, the less you touch your hair the better as each time will disturb the curl and turn it into a thick unruly mess.
- If at all possible, it helps to live in a place with low humidity as it gives curly hair a mind of its own.
I have constantly been told by those lucky straight haired women how envious they are of my curl. I thank them kindly and shake my head…if they only knew. I try to remember what a friend told me many years ago as I was vehemently complaining about my hair. She was losing hers due to age, illness, and medication. “At least you still have some,” she said quietly but firmly. Quite right, I thought. Shut the hell up and get over it!
(Visit our shop for UV protection accessories specializing in face, hair, manicure, and pedicure preservation.)