How to Style Curly Hair

Curly hair. You either love it or hate it, but if you have it, I guarantee you’ve done both at some point in your life.

It really is a blessing and a curse. As I child, all I wanted in life was to have straight blonde hair like the girls in my class. In my late teens and early 20s, I would straighten and blow-dry the hell out of my hair if only to escape the dreaded frizz.

As I enter my mid-20s I’m finally in a place where I want to fully embrace my natural curl and honestly, just cannot be bothered to do all that other stuff.

Unfortunately for me, my curl is not what it once was and requires much more maintenance. Life goals is no frizz but I’m pretty sure that’s a pipe dream. A girl can try, though.

The struggle is real 

I honestly think I’ve tried every product under the sun to attempt to control the ever-present halo of frizz surrounding my hair. Moisturising shampoos, leave-in conditioners, hair oils, hair masks, gels, mousses … you name it, I’ve tried it.

Whilst unfortunately the struggle of frizz for curly hair is too real and let’s face it, unavoidable, I believe I’ve finally, finally managed to come up with the best recipe for frizz control for my hair. 

The recipe 

Number one rule when it comes to curly hair is moisturise. Curly hair is inherently dry and typically needs a lot more moisture than other hair types.

Ace your base – give your hair a good base by using moisturizing haircare. I recently switched to the Kerastase Paris Discipline Cleansing Conditioner Curl Ideal, meant to be used as a shampoo and conditioner in one, formulated to gently bathe and respect the shape of your curl. It’s pretty low foaming and is both silicone and sulfate free. I like to leave it in for at least three minutes to let the product sink into my strands before rinsing which lukewarm water. If you like you could follow this step with a little conditioner through mid-length to ends. I like the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shusu Sleek smoothing treatment mask or Redken Curvaceous leave in conditioner.

Scalp care – after the shower when my hair is still wet I take two to three pipettes of the Kerastase Paris Initialiste scalp concentrate all along my scalp and massage in with my fingers. This is to help create the optimum environment for new, strong, shiny hair to grow. I then brush my hair through with my trusty Mason Pearson hairbrush.

Curl definition – last step is to define. It’s tempting to want to overload your thirsty curly hair with product but in my experience, the trick is to use just enough of the right product. I like to flip my hair upside-down and gently scrunch in one pump only of the Kerastase Paris Discipline mousse curl ideal. I then flip my hair back up and use the Redken Curvaceous full swirl cream serum to twist and define individual curls into the shape I want them to dry in. I then allow my hair to air dry and will sometimes finish with one or two sprays of the Redken Curvaceous CCC spray to moisturize any stubborn flyaways.

Obviously this is a lot of product and a lot of steps. But I’ve kind of embraced the fact that my curly hair is never going to be low maintenance and to care for it properly requires some effort.

I’m also totally aware that all the products I mentioned are on the more expensive side. For me, proper haircare is something I’m absolutely willing to invest in. But if that kind of routine isn’t really in your budget or you’re looking to start off with one really good product, I would recommend investing in a good shampoo or conditioner. At the end of the day, there’s only so far styling product can take you, but if you have a good base – just like when you have great skin your makeup goes on better – anything you apply afterwards will have a better chance of success.

Disclaimer: I used to – but no longer – work for the L’Oreal Group in the Professional Products Division, to which Kerastase belongs. I bought all products mentioned myself for full price.

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