The first time my father brought me to the hairdresser for a cut, I was about 8 years old. The salon he brought me to must have been a SuperCuts or the stylist had no idea what to do with my curls. After pulling through my hair with a fine tooth comb I showed her, with my little eight year old pinky finger, the amount of hair I was willing to cut. By the end of my haircut the Thumbalina hair that tousled down my back was now a poof bowl around my ears. I must have cried for days and was made fun of for most of second grade. Let us not ever have a haircut like that again!
A good way to start your consultation with a hair dresser is by bringing in a photo of someones hair that inspires you. Maybe its the shape of the hair, the length, or the layers which gives it volume, a photo is a great way to start. With a picture, you can give the stylist an idea of your goal for your hair rather than trying to “talk hair terms” you’re not too sure about.
Another important factor you need to know and understand before getting a cut is the tools being used in your hair. Curly hair is usually very fine and frizzy but you can have a ton of it! Either way if it is fine, frizzy, or coarse, curls should NEVER be cut with thinning shears. (Thinning shears- siccisors that have a straight blade on one side and a sarrate blade on the other side). Thinning shears cause more frizz, period. The point of thinning shears is to remove excess bulk in your hair, to remove weight for heavy hair. If your curly hair does not have weight it will be too light and there will be no curl, only frizz, and you will need a ton of product. Some stylists use buzzers and other “special tools” but the best way to cut your curly hair is by using a regular pair of shears. The trick is to point cut everything; the stylist should be using about the quarter tip of the shears, and they should be cutting at an angle. Cutting your curls at an angle will make it so that your curl continues to spiral as oppose to cutting straight accross and giving your curl a choppy looking finish.
The final step is to have faith and trust in your stylist. As long as you bring in a photo, have a general idea about the proper implements you would like used, and ask the stylist how they go about cutting curls and you like what they are using and saying then trusting them is your last key to having a beautiful new you!
We have all seen or tackled the large circular device that can be attached to a blow dryer, known as the diffuser, but do you really know how to be a diffuser user? There are a couple of rules when it comes to using a diffuser. First, you have to know what kind of curl you are looking to achieve. Whether it be an array of long loose ringlets or a tight collection of bouncing curls, the diffuser can help you attain a lasting look in which you have designed. Next, determine the type of product you want to use with a diffuser for it may give you a different look as opposed to letting your hair dry naturally (air dry). For example, using a mousse such as Aussie Instant Freeze mousse will give you a crunchy hard curl after air dry but with a diffuser your hair will have a more textured feel and look.
After applying your selected product, (I usually use a curl cream such as Morracan Oil Curl Cream) attach the diffuser to the blow dryer nozzle and set the blow dryer to high heat, while blow dryer is in use maintain at the lowest speed. For tight bouncing curls with a lot of volume sit in a chair and flip your head between your knees. Gather your curls in the diffuser and hold the diffuser up to your scalp for 3-5 seconds and change your placement so you are not constant in one area. Continue until front section is dry. Having your head turned over and bringing the hair towards your scalp gives you extra lift and keeps the curls in a tight spiral pattern, rather than having the curl expand due to moisture and humidity in the air. Sit straight up in the chair and tilt your head to the left. Again gather your hair into the diffuser and raise the blowdryer to your scalp. Continue the same routine on your right side until your hair is completely dry. Finally, loosen your curls by using a frizz serum or anti-humectant such as Aveda Anti-Humectant; this product repels moisture and works wonders on any frizz problem. When applying your ending product start from the ends of the hair, for it is the oldest part of hair; work your way through the mid-shafts. Complete by pushing your finger tips into your root area to finish off the serum and add extra volume.
How often do you shampoo your hair? If you have thick curly hair washing it once every 4 days is a good routine. Shampoos are a detergent and hard on your hair. The longer you can go without washing your hair the healthier and nicer it will be. When you shampoo your curls think of the shampoo scraping at the outer most layer of your hair, which is the cuticle. The cuticle, when magnified, resembles scales of a snake; shampoos with harsh detergents in them will rip at the scales and cause your hair breakage and damage. When shopping for your next bottle of shampoo check the label. Some common FDA approved detergents are, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate which is extremely harsh for example Pantene Pro-V, Sodium Laureth Sulfate which can be considered mild for example Tresemme, and TEA or MEA Laureth Sulfate which is the most gentle for example Matrix Biolage.
When determining what shampoo to use I usually go for something natural. I am currently using Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat which is organic and contains TEA Sulfate. I shampoo my hair once every 5 days and I feel my hair gets nicer the longer I go without washing it. I usually shampoo my hair in the evening, around 6pm, then I style it. I let my hair air dry even though it is slightly still wet by the time I am ready to go to sleep. Once I wake up my hair is full and bouncy and the curl is ready to be reactivated. I flip my head over and spritz my hair with a water bottle, keeping it about 80% dry, I then reapply some product and let air dry.