How to Care for Naturally Curly Hair

By Michelle Laxson and Rebekah Vigil

The popularity of straightening treatments is on the rise, which is likely due to the unfair reputation curly hair has for being unmanageable.

We encourage stylists and naturally curly clients to embrace curl, because when you are armed with the proper care, cutting and styling techniques, those spirals will inspire envy in their straight-haired counterparts.

CARE – Curly hair is often drier than straight hair because of the increased amount of protein in the hair. Even products that help increase moisture in the hair often dissipate and disappear quickly. Always apply leave-in conditioning products to curly hair when it is very wet, almost dripping, immediately after shampooing and conditioning.

Hair will soak in the product more effectively, because the drier hair is, the quicker the product will evaporate. A leave-in moisturizing conditioner will also help define the curls and decrease frizz and fluff. After applying a leave-in conditioner, remember not to dry the hair by wrapping it in a towel. Using a terry cloth towel to dry the hair will create frizz, because the hair follicles are open when the hair is wet and they will grab onto the cloth particles. Instead, flip upside down and comb through the hair using your fingers.

When drying the hair with your fingers, try not to alter the shape of the curls. Use loose hands and loose pulling motions so you do not pull the hair straight. Your goal is to keep the hair in a natural formation so the hair retains the shape of the curl. In addition, we recommend having your clients sleep on silk pillows rather than cotton. Cotton pillows will create frizz in the hair, while silk material does not attach to the curl and will help prevent it.

CUTTING – Cutting curly hair is always more of a challenge because you have to consider the texture of the hair and how it rounds out, rather than just the shape you want to achieve. When trying to create a shape in curly hair, you need to have a cut inside a cut. The cut needs to have two structures, the exterior and the interior. The cuts can mirror each other or be opposites, depending on what you are trying to enhance and achieve. The cut needs to have a disconnection to break up the roundness, preventing the hair from turning into a ball. Start with the exterior shape first, and then move to the interior.

STYLING – Knowing how to style curly hair properly is often the biggest challenge. After combing the hair, make sure to re-wet it because if you have combed the hair a lot, the curls will get stringy during the drying process. By re-wetting the hair, you will help eradicate any parting or comb lines in the memory of the hair.

Apply curl defining products in layers, and work in sections so you get the full benefit of the product. As you diffuse, make sure you are squeezing hair in tight fists, which forces product into the hair. Always keep the diffuser on low heat and low air because higher heat makes the hair look frizzy. This may take longer, but the end result will be worth it. Try to keep your hands and fingers off the hair and let the diffuser do its job. As you get towards the end of diffusing, turn the diffuser to cold air to work in volume near the scalp.

Once you are finished diffusing, if the curls are not as defined as you would like, use a curl revitalizing product to revitalize curls and decrease frizz. This product can be reapplied throughout the day. If you are not into tight, diffused curls, you can set the hair while it is still wet by taking pieces of the hair and curling it using your hands. This results in calmer curls that are loose and manageable.

Perms were once all the rage, and much like fashion, hairstyles are often cyclical. Armed with these guidelines, you can throw those straightening tools out the window and help your clients go au naturale as curls begin to make a comeback.

Michelle Laxson and Rebekah Vigil are Global Team Educators for Eufora Intl. For more information visit www.eufora.net.

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