Friends, I'm a curly girl. It's a new thing. It's also... a whole lot of fun. And, since I mentioned it in the last post and got a lot of interest, I'm going to post a very quick, Chelsea-style tutorial.
First, I'm going to recommend you read the book Curly Girl, because it's awesome and gives a lot more tips and tricks than I know off-hand.
Do you have curly hair? Do you think you have curly hair? Is your hair pretty when it's wet and frizzy when it dries? Do you worry about anything ever touching your hair after you've gotten it perfect because you'll have to get it wet and re-style it to make it look decent again? Do you wear hats, braids, and ponytails to tame the mop that is your hair? You, my friend, might be a curly girl!
Curls are, naturally, very dry. That's just the way they're built. And, almost everything we do to them is damaging. Straightening, blow-drying, going for a walk outside in the sunshine, going for a walk outside in the wind... everything dries it out and damages it. That often makes hair look straight when it's actually curly. So, we moisturize!
-Shampoo is a no-no. Even the gentle stuff will give you frizz that is virtually unmanageable.
-Brushing your hair will only separate your curls and you will end up with, that's right, more frizz.
-This is a soft no, because blow-drying can give you a softer, bigger, bouncier look than air drying. I like it, but blow-drying curls just adds to the damage.
-Condition your hair. A lot.
-Towel-dry your hair, and let it air-dry periodically.
-Consider doing a deep-treatment to your hair once a week or so. I'm still experimenting with things like mayonnaise and olive oil, but do some research and set aside thirty minutes of you time with your hair up in a shower cap getting infused with moisture.
-When you first get in the shower, let your head hang back and just let water run through your hair for a couple minutes, like being in a waterfall. Don't touch your head yet. Just let your hair get wet.
-Then, using your fingers, gently massage your scalp. Try not to disrupt your curls; just agitate all of your skin for a couple minutes to loosen any oils and dirt that may be trapped there. Rinse your hair.
-Once or twice a week, massage your head with conditioner and rinse out, just to help loosen oils and keep your scalp from getting too dry.
-Then, apply conditioner. Put a small dollop in the middle of your palm, rub it between your hands, and smooth it over the top of your hair. Pay special attention to the very top of your head. Don't massage it in, just smooth over the top. If you need more conditioner, feel free to use it. Make sure you cover the "canopy" of your hair with conditioner. Put another small dollop of conditioner in your hand, rub it between your hands, and work it through the bottom and underside of your hair. I usually flip all my hair to one side, condition the bottom, then flip it over to the other side, and repeat with more conditioner. (But then, I have a LOT of hair.) I also apply a little bit more to the sides of my hair.
-As you are conditioning, gently finger-comb through your hair. This is where you get out all the tangles and make sure the conditioner is evenly distributed. You will lose some hairs in this process, but that's normal. You typically lose about 100 hairs a day anyway. As you are finger-combing, your hair should feel like wet seaweed. You can put your hair under the faucet for a couple seconds if needed to help evenly distribute the conditioner. I usually don't.
-Don't rinse out the conditioner. It becomes your moisturizer and your product all in one. (That part weirded me out at first. I can accept not shampooing my hair, but then not even rinsing out the conditioner? Crazy. I tell you what though, it works!)
-Don't wring out your hair. I usually flip it over upside down while I'm still in the shower and scrunch it a bit just to encourage the curl.
-When you get out of the shower, towel it dry. (I actually use an old t-shirt I cut up, because it helps reduce frizz.) Don't rub it, or squeeze it. Treat your curls delicately! Instead, flip your hair upside down and, starting at the tips, scrunch your hair up toward your head with the towel. Flip your hair to either side and do the same thing. Then, leave them alone for a few minutes while you get dressed.
-The book says to use a little bit of gel at this point, scrunched up into your curls the same way you towel-dried it. I found I didn't like the gel so much; it just made my hair heavy. Feel free to experiment with different products and methods. Different hair likes different stuff!
TIPS AND TRICKS:
-If you blow-dry your hair, make sure to use a diffuser, and blow-dry from the bottem up, scrunching it with your blow-drier the same way you did with your towel. (There are a bunch of videos on you-tube that will show you how to do this.)
-Curly hair looks better with a bit of volume on top. I was always afraid of volume, because my hair is naturally so big, but since going curly, I've started to encourage the roots to lift a bit more by flipping my hair upside-down or sticking a couple of claw clips in the top just to lift it as it dries. Maybe that's where I should use the gel... on my roots! Oooh....
-This process takes a couple of weeks to really start to look good. You'll notice a difference in the first day or two, but give your hair time to heal. Expect to have awesome hair in 2-3 weeks.
-Layers can look AWESOME with curly hair!
-The first few days are a little weird, and you do have to do some experimenting with what your hair likes best, but seriously, this is the easiest, most worry-free, most fun, best way I've ever styled my hair.
Good luck and have fun!