I hear it a lot- especially as a hair stylist with curly hair, “My hair has natural wave/curl, but I don’t like to wear it natural because it isn’t pretty or uniform!” I’m willing to bet that your natural texture can be pretty with a few simple changes to your routine.
First and foremost, you must adjust the way you view it. Your wave pattern is a lot less set in stone than you think. Consider hair texture as a spectrum ranging from stick- straight to kinky curly, with several degrees of wavy in between. It can feel overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it these few tricks for encouraging curl (or increase wave) can allow you to take advantage of your built-in style and save a lot of time by avoiding blow-drying, curling, and flat ironing. Starting with…
1. Give it moisture
Curly/wavy hair tends to feel dryer than straight hair simply because it is harder for the natural oils from your scalp to navigate the turns in the hair shaft. To compensate, make sure you are using a good quality moisturizing shampoo and conditioner (Aveda Dry Remedy is my BFF). Also, consider stretching out the time between your shampoos to give your scalp a chance to provide some of its own conditioner. Something like every three days or twice a week is ideal, but I prefer to shampoo based on the way my hair looks and feels. Sometimes after the gym I will simply rinse and condition to remove the ickiness without stripping it on day two. A super moisturizing mask once a week or every other is ideal for long or colored curly hair. If you find yourself frustrated with frizzy curls, it may be time to add a moisturizing product (like my favorite: Aveda Universal Styling Crème) to give it the moisture it’s reaching out for.
2. Be gentle!
If you’re feeling fluffy, frizzy, or poofy you are probably over brushing your hair. The more you mess with your hair the less like individual curls and more like one giant, fluffy mass it becomes. Instead try detangling with a big, wide-toothed comb in the shower once you have applied your conditioner. Start from the ends and work your way up to undo any tangles. Never scrub your hair side-to-side and avoid roughing it up with a towel. Instead, try drying your hair by wrapping it in an old cotton t-shirt. The cotton is gentler than terry cloth and does not pull the hair like the weight of a full-sized towel. Avoid breakage (and thus frizz) by avoiding the temptation to put your hair up in a bun or pony tail while it’s still wet and consider replacing your elastics with bobbles, scrunchies, and spin pins which put less tension on the hair.
3. Experiment with product combinations
The final step in styling with natural texture is to scrunch in your styling products. Once your hair is damp but not dripping thanks to t-shirt wrapping simply apply your product(s) to the palms of your hands, tilt your head upside down and lift the ends of the hair up towards your scalp. Give it a good squeeze, so that you are gathering it in a fist, and then drop. Continue this process all over your head until everything is scrunched, and most of the product has been absorbed. Resist the urge to break up the curl by running your fingers through it, pulling it, or combing in any way. You can continue to scrunch as it dries, but that’s really it!
Here’s the trick: the perfect combination of products for beautiful, shiny, frizz free locks is totally personal to the individual. Generally, wavy and curly hair works best with a product for moisture (creams, oils, and serums) and a product for hold (gels, foams, and hairsprays). You might throw in a third for humidity, but 2-3 leave in products is best. Try different kinds in different combinations to see what you like, and more importantly, what your hair likes. My personal favorite combo for my dry, fine, curly hair is about a quarter-sized amount of Aveda Universal Styling Crème (for moisture) scrunched in damp hair with a layer of Aveda Damage Control spray (for crunch free hold).
Drop a comment below and let us know your favorite combos or any tricks you like to use for rocking your natural texture!
Blogger: Mandi Marquez