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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hi, my name is Jessica and I have Curly Hair...

Let me start by saying that contrary to the beliefs of some straight-haired maidens, curly hair doesn't automatically dry into that beachy  tousled wave that every girl wants - that takes more time and effort than most of us want to spend on a regular basis.

I always inwardly laugh and sigh when someone with straight hair says, "Oh, I just WISH I had curly hair like you! Mine is just so straight, I can't do ANYTHING with it!" #1 be careful what you wish for, because curly hair is an absolute bitch joy to deal with; #2 there are SO many ways to curl straight hair! Just go to my Pinterest board dedicated to Hair Hair Hair! and look at all of the gorgeous things you can do with straight hair. Most of those awesome tutorials just won't work with curly hair... unless it's straightened first, which means major heat damage to my already sensitive and flyaway locks. Sigh.

Though I totally understand that straight hair has its own downsides (especially the stick straight variety that won't hold a curl if sharp scissors were held to its head). But I swear, even that variety of hair has a tutorial that will transform it into beachy carefree beauty (check out The Paper Mama, who has seriously straight hair and whose tutorials I adore and wish I could use on my curly hair).

So what is a girl to do with curly hair that frizzes at the slightest hint of moisture? I'm still trying to figure that out, but I can give you a couple of pointers.

There are literally thousands of products on the market for curly hair, and I have yet to truly find that go-to brand or style that is magical for my hair. The closest I've come is a combination of products and techniques:

1. First, straight out of the shower, I lightly towel dry my hair - which means flipping my head upside down and wrapping it lightly in a towel turban to squeeze the water out.  DO NOT TOUSLE CURLY HAIR!  For the love of God, never dry your hair the way your mom used to when you were a kid.  Unless you want a serious frizzball afro style, in which case, tousle away.

2. I use spray style leave-in conditioner - I currently use Aussie Hair Insurance because it's cheap, available at Target, smells awesome, and it works pretty well. Generously spray all over, without tousling your curls! It's so important to apply product evenly but gently to be sure you don't separate your curls too much. Separating curls = big frizz.

3. Then I use a defining cream (like Bumble and Bumble) or a cream leave in conditioner. The cream is a heavy product, so don't overdo it! Be gentle and concentrate most of your effort on the ends, because frizzy flyaway ends are obnoxious.

4. Then I apply Palmer's coconut oil. Be careful not to use too much! You will look like an oily mess. Less is more. Start with literally a few drops, rub in your palms, and smooth over your hair - you can always add more. Gently!

5. Air dry... or diffuse! A diffuser is a curly girl's best friend. Some curly girls shrink at the sight of a blow dryer - and for good reason! Those suckers induce static and ultra frizz in a heartbeat! But stick a diffuser on the end of that puppy, and now you've got a curly hair friendly instrument. I just got one for Christmas, and I LOVE IT!  I don't know how I lived my curly girl life thus far without a diffuser.  I use it to dry my roots because the roots always get so flat from the weight of the curls as they dry.  I flip my hair upside down and gently pile sections of curls onto the diffuser, but I really focus on drying the first 4 or 5 inches of my hair starting at the root.  I don't worry about drying my curls completely because the bottom will create its own body as it dries.

6. Depending on how the diffusing or air drying went, you may have a few flyaway hairs - simply use a drop or 2 of coconut oil to smooth them out.

This is not a foolproof way to deal with curls. Some days, no matter what you do, they just want to do their own thing. That's what hair ties and messy buns are for!

Have you ever tried taking a photo of the back of your own head?  It's fricking hard!!

Good luck, curly girls!



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