One of the most common things I hear when a new guest sits in my chair is, “My hair is somewhere between curly and straight. I’d wear it curly but it looks frizzy and messy, so I straighten it.”
“Every day?” I ask, their parched, fragile strands already answering my question.
My follow-up is almost always, “Do you use a heat protectant?”, to which the reply is also almost always a sheepish smile and an “I know I should, but…”
I was one of these girls. I went from having poker straight hair to a sort of wavy, frizzy mess in my late teens. I didn’t know how to work with my new texture, so I dealt with it by frying my hair with a flat iron every day until I had to cut it into a pixie cut because it was simply too far gone. Not to disparage the pixie cut, but it’s not for everyone, and just because you might have “in-between” hair, doesn’t mean it can’t be long, healthy and not held hostage by a straightener.
Taming Your Mane
Product is your friend. I don’t say this to up our retail sales, I say it because it is a fact. Learning the right product or products to use for your hair type will mean less time spent washing, drying, styling and lamenting your hair. Many people believe their hair can’t handle product because it weighs it down, makes it greasy or they simply don’t like the way it feels. This will indeed be the case if you’re using either low-quality goo from the drugstore, or even high-quality goo from the salon if it’s not right for your hair.
At TRiM we carry both Kevin Murphy and Aveda. Each of these product lines has some great options if you want to either work with and enhance the wave in your hair, or smooth it out, sans straightener. Come in for a service and let us see and feel your hair, and teach you how to properly use the products we think you’ll benefit from.
To enhance wave or curl in finer textures of hair, a few of my favourites are Kevin Murphy’s Motion Lotion and Aveda’s Be Curly Style-Prep. Both fight frizz while enhancing curl, are extremely lightweight, and do not leave hair feeling crunchy. For coarser textures of hair, Aveda’s Be Curly Curl Enhancer is awesome, particularly when worked in conjunction with the Style-Prep.
To smooth out curly, wavy or frizz-prone hair without flattening it with a straightener, Aveda’s Smooth Infusion line is, in my opinion, unbeatable. Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother smooths down the hair cuticle and defends against humidity to keep it frizz-free, and either Smooth Infusion Glossing Straightener or Naturally Straight straightens out your strands. Aveda’s Phomollient and Confixer, as well as Kevin Murphy’s Easy Rider and Super Goo are other great products to achieve a smooth finish with a brush and blowdryer.
If you are heat styling your hair, whether with a blowdryer, straightener or curling iron, a heat protectant is a must. My favourites are Aveda’s Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair (which is particularly lightweight), Brilliant Damage Control and Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother.
Embrace Those Curls
Curls should be dried and set with as little “ruffling” as possible. That is to say, after washing and conditioning, avoid roughly towel drying and brushing your hair. While your hair is still very wet, use a wide tooth comb to detangle and part if needed. Instead of a fibrous towel, use a cotton shirt or other smooth, absorbent fabric to gently squeeze excess water from the hair. This is one of the most important steps to minimize frizz and keep curls in tact. Apply product as directed. Often people will have sections of hair that don’t curl as much or as well as others. At this point, you can twist those sections into curls before drying.
To get optimum body and curl, flip your head upside down, and use a diffuser to completely dry your hair, using high heat and low air flow. Start by holding the diffuser to the ends of your curls, moving them as little as possible. Work your way up to the root of the hair, still taking care to move the hair as little as possible. Once your hair is completely dry, switch your dryer to cool air and work the diffuser around your head to set your curl.
Now that your hair is set, you can refine your style. Use your fingers to gently shake out or scrunch curls that appear too “doll-like.” I often finish off my style with a curling rod on the layers framing my face, which tend to hang straighter than the rest.
Patience and Practice
It takes time to learn how to work with your hair. Don’t be discouraged if you try something new and it doesn’t work exactly the way you hoped the first time, or even the first five times. Curls have memory and the more often they’re allowed to coil, the better they’ll be at it. Remember that colouring, damage, length, texture, density, and even the shampoo and conditioner you use can all affect the way your hair behaves, and you may have to make some changes to get the results you want.
If you need help learning to style your hair, please come in to TRiM for our professional opinion and advice! We want you to love your hair every day, and not just after an appointment at the salon.
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