By Helen Ray
While the summer weather brings about joyous cheers for most, to those with curly hair the humid weather prompts screams in fear of dry, unruly and frizzy curls. So, as we prepare for the middle of summer in the notorious swamp region we call home, we’ve reached out to two experts, Mona Harb, “curlyologist” and owner of Lofty Salon, as well as Denise Viveiros of W Salon for tips and tricks on how to prepare our curls for the worst. After-all, all curly haired gals ever want is everyday perfect Carrie Bradshaw-esque curls, and is that too much to ask for?
Viveiros explains that a cut won’t eliminate frizz but the key to well-shaped and manageable curls begins with a pair of scissors. Harb agrees telling us that, “the cut is super important, you need enough length to pull down the curls but want it to frame the face and not be too short.” So, don’t skimp on who you go to for your cut–even if that means going to one stylist for color and another for your curls.
Both stylists pointed out that there’s nothing curls need more to live than hydration. Hydration prevents frizz, makes curls more manageable and shapely. It turns out some of the most basic parts of our daily routines are depriving our curls of the necessary hydration: hot tools, wind, bleaching, and even shampooing too much can dehydrate curls.
The first step to keeping your curls hydrated is investing in a leave-in conditioner to apply while the hair is still damp. Keep in mind a little goes a long way, Harb reminds us not to drown your hair in products to avoid clogging hair follicles at the roots; depending on your curl type, you may need three or four products which means using the minimal amount of each—a quarter sized amount should be plenty, even for longer hair.
Viveiros recommends shampooing less because over washing can strip away the follicle and necessary oils “tricking the sebaceous glands into producing more oils making roots too oily.” Since curly hair doesn’t need as much brushing, the extra oils aren’t able to travel down to the rest of the curls, so the roots are oily and the rest of the curls are dry and limp. Many shampoos also have sulfates in them, the ingredient used to create lather in most shampoos, which are very drying to curls and should be avoided. Many products will label if they are sulfate-free, such as the L’Oreal EverSleek Sulfate Free Intense Smoothing Shampoo, and you can find them at your local drugstore .
For fine hair that tends to be more oily, Viveiros recommends washing the hair less and using a dry shampoo in between washes. And for thicker hair she recommends avoiding shampoos entirely and opting for “no poo” products such as the DevaCurl No-Poo line in order to cleanse dirty hair without stripping it of necessary oils.
Methods of Madness:
The type of curl you have will determine how you manage your hair including the type of routine and products you’ll use.
If your curls are more wavy, indecisive and can dry as straight or wavy, then you will need heavier curl enhancing products such as creams and mousse to liven up limp waves. Try a combination of hydrating creams and mousses such as Phyto 7 by Phyto – Hydrating Day Cream and Tresemme Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousse. For more natural beach waves let your hair air dry, or for a curlier full body look try diffusing your hair after applying products.
If your curls are springy, wild or may be damaged, then you might need to try a combination of strong conditioning and repair treatments. Try products such as Phyto 9 by Phyto – Nourishing day cream and Davine’s N°1 Finest Oil Non Oil. Viveiros recommends using curl creams and spraying a light hold hairspray while hair is still damp over using curl gels and mousse. For wilder curls that are coarse she also suggests applying a leave-in conditioner straight to the ends of the hair in order to weigh down curls. Try It’s a 10 miracle leave-in conditioner with keratin and It’s a 10 Miracle Finishing Spray.
If your curls are stubborn and unmanageable, then it may be worthwhile to get a keratin treatment which relaxes the curl, decreases its frizz and makes it easier to straighten, particularly during the late summer months. Viveiros also suggests styling your hair in an updo if it’s a particularly humid day and try out a new style such as a fashionable top knot bun, loose braid or pulling your hair half up.
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