of all, understand that if you were born with curly hair, 90 percent (if not
more) women with straight hair have been jealous of your hair at some point.
Women with limp, stick-straight hair spend hours of their lives with curling
irons trying to mimic what comes naturally to you. How do I know this? I
have straight hair. I own four curling irons.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, there are pros and cons to having
curly hair. The pros include body and the fact you don't suffer from Oily
Hair Syndrome and therefore have to wash your hair every day. The cons
include frizz and Puffy Hair Syndrome, which tends to happen in high
humidity and when the hairdresser gets too snip-happy. But there are secrets
to living with curly hair and I've discovered every single one of them.
Thou Shalt Not Fight Your Natural Curl on Humid Days
If you're in a hot, humid climate, you might as well put away your flat
iron. You might spend hours straightening your hair, only to step outside
and ... POOF!
So what to do in humid climes? Embrace the curl. We'll get more into that in
If You Want to Go Straight, You Can One of the great benefits to curly hair
is with a little bit of muscle or chemicals, you can go straight. Nicole
Kidman has been sporting stick straight hair on the red carpet for years
now, but the truth is, she has super curly hair.
There are several types of professional hair straightening available, it's
just a matter of finding one that fits into your budget and your hair
texture. The solution used is much like a perm, only instead of curly hair,
it straightens it.
Even after a professional straightening, you'll likely need to iron hair.
Invest in a great ionic flat iron --it's much less time-consuming and a
great iron won't fry your hair.
No, You are Not Destined for a Life Full of Frizz
As you likely well know by now, humidity can wreak havoc on curly hair.
Curly hair tends to be dry and therefore vulnerable to humid air -- it
simply wants to soak up moisture. This causes cuticles to expand, which
The secret to keeping frizz at bay involves a few products: a leave-in
conditioner, a deep conditioner and a styling product involving silicone. If
you have curly hair, these should be staples in your bathroom cabinet. All
either keep the hair moisturized or protects the cuticle from moisture.
Preventing frizz is basically a four-step process: deep condition once a
week. Apply a leave-in conditioner to ends after a shower. When styling
hair, apply a serum that contains silicone (look for "dimethicone" on the
bottle) to wet hair, coating every curl.
There are Right Ways & Wrong Ways to Use a Blow Dryer
The blow dryer can be a curly girl's nightmare if used improperly. To avoid
poof, let hair airdry as long as possible, then blow dry hair with a
diffuser. If you don't use a diffuser, aim the blow dryer nozzle downward,
in the direction hair grows.
How to use a diffuser: Hold the dryer under hair, squeezing curls in your
palm as you dry hair.
Throw Out That Brush & Invest in a Comb
A comb is your best friend, a brush is not. Some women swear off even the
comb, preferring finger-combing (I know of one woman who swears she's never,
ever combed or brushed her hair).
Combing hair is great, because it ensures you're coating locks with that
silicone serum you have dutifully purchased.
Curly Hair Looks Best Long-ish
Remember when actress Kerri Russell cut off her famous long, curly locks and
the public went ballistic? Turns out her long hair was beloved and she just
didn't look so great with short hair.
The problem with short hair on curly women is that short hair doesn't look
good. That's all a matter of face shape. The fact is short hair tends to be
poofy. Curls need length to weigh them down, so women with curly hair tend
look best with hair that grows below the shoulders. When I say "below the
shoulders" I mean when hair is dry.
The Most Flattering Type of Haircuts
Curly hair tends to look best with layers cut into it. Without layers, long
curly hair tends to resemble a Christmas tree.
I almost always advise women to seek out stylists who are experienced in
cutting curly hair. This can be daunting, I know, because if you call a
salon and ask for such a thing you'll likely be assured that all the
stylists can cut curly hair. If you admire another curly woman's hair, get
her stylist's number. It could be the most coveted seven digits in your cell
Extra tip: Stylists with curly probably know how to cut curly hair.
Some Styles Look Better on You Than Anyone Else
Personally, I think ballerina bands, which are utterly hot right now, look
best on women with curly hair. There are some romantic updos that I covet
and that look good only on naturally curly hair. After all, when one thinks
"romantic updo," the image conjured up in the mind is not a sleek chignon.
It is curly hair pulled back and up. Just be careful with the tendrils,
which are too '80s.
The half-up, half-down hairstyle is also very romantic and looks great on
Also headbands. Headbands look fabulous with curly hair, which leads me to
Headbands are an Excellent Choice When You're Short on Time
For curly-haired women short on time, a headband can be a lifesaver. If you
pull hair back in a band while it's damp, it's a great way to "flatten" hair
at the crown, leaving the curls at your hair's ends. Later you can pull off
the hairband and you'll have gorgeous body.
Loose Buns are Utterly Sexy
Because you abide by secret #5, chances are you have long hair and long hair
looks fabulous pulled back in a loose bun. To get this look, simply pull
hair back, then twist at the nape of the neck into a bun. Secure with a
rubber band. Loose and messy is good, tendrils are not.