DECIDING to go natural is only half of the battle. Getting your curls to look their best can often be much more difficult and just plain frustrating.
Wavy hair is not as wash-and-go as straight strands, and lacks the bounce that curls have. It may take a little extra work but waves can look shiny and gorgeous as long as you know how to style them.
To make your wavy hair work, pick a texture and commit to it. If you’re going to go straight, go straight and really shiny and make that the focus. Or, pick curly and learn how to accentuate the curl.
If you want to play up your waves scrunch with mousse or a spray suitable for wavy hair. The products that are available today leave hair touchable and soft, not crunchy.
Coarser wavy hair may require a more heavy-duty product like a styling cream that is designed to moisturise and define dry or damaged textured hair especially those that are natural. Here are a few tips on how to manage your curls: Always, use your fingers to comb through hair when it is wet and contains your product for curly hair.
Over-cleansing and leaving in too much conditioner or using alcohol-filled gels can give your curls a crunchy look. Give your hair a break and just refresh with a spritz of John Frieda’s curl definer which is excellence for natural curls.
Do not interrupt your curls while they are drying, or they will frizz up. Try not to touch them.
Avoid snagging the hair by detangling in the shower before rinsing out your conditioner. It will make for easier styling and less breakage.
For natural, healthy curls, only use a defining or styling gel that is alcohol and silicone-free, and soluble in water as the gel can remain in your hair for 2-3 days.
To give your curls at the top of your hair extra volume, lift and clip the hair at the roots while it is still wet. Doing so will release the top layer from its own weight, allowing it to dry faster and in an even curl pattern from roots to ends. Clipping also speeds the drying process.
The top of your hair should be the last place you cleanse and the last place you rinse the conditioner. Start from the bottom and work your way up.
When drying use a soft fibre cloth or towel and gently rotate, scrunch and squeeze curls in an upward motion towards the scalp to absorb extra moisture.
For a curlier look try the pin method. Starting at the crown, wrap a section of hair around your finger, slide the finger out, hold the coil with your other hand and insert a clip at a right angle, continue until the full head is done. After the hair is dry, gently remove the clips and loosen curls with your fingers. Finish with a tilt and scrunch.
Brush hair gently as wavy or curly hair tends to be more fragile than straight hair, and over brushing can lead to breakage and frizz.
Mary Ferry is the proprietor of the Genesis Skin Care & Laser Clinic in Upper Dore, Bunbeg. Tel 07495 32575, www.genesissalon.ie. If you have a query you would like answered in Mary’s column confidentially, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org