What a Curl Wants: Advice for clients with curly hair

01/27/2010 12:26:57 PM


Here's some take-home advice for clients with textured hair.

Wave and Color
“A trend I’m seeing for spring is waves that are softer and more refined,” says celebrity stylist George Papanikolas, who uses and represents Joico. “Clients with curl who want color will be asking for baliaged highlights, painted freehand. The added dimension is a perfect complement to soft waves.

To create the toned down look on naturally curly or texturized hair, Papanikolas starts with air-dried hair, then uses a round brush gently at the hairline only, before spraying hair with flexible hold hair spray. He wraps two-inch-sections around a one-inch iron, twisting the hair. After setting the hair and lightly brushing out “crispness,” he scrunches in a shiny pomade or forming polish to add glossy texture.

Curl Touch-Ups
Many textured hair types are erratic, with a variety of curl and wave sizes and shapes on one head. To create soft, consistent, natural-looking curl patterns, try this technique from Pureology PureArtist Mary Katherine Hecht: Apply a light, cream-based product with anti-humidity properties to damp hair. Blow dry with a diffuser to remove all moisture. Use a few curling irons in various sizes to refresh and reshape curls where needed. Finish with a silicone-based styler and shine-enhancing spray to control frizz.

Leave it Alone
Leave-in conditioners are ideal for textured hair—they offer moisture, control frizz and flyaways and make strands manageable. When applying leave-ins, advises Dimitrios Tsioumas of Mizu Salon in New York City, make sure hair is consistently damp from scalp to ends. Apply the product and comb through with a wide-tooth comb. This will ensure the formula is evenly distributed. To create beautifully shaped, natural curls, follow the leave-in with a light gel designed for curls and use your fingers to break up and mold each curl as you work the styler into the hair. Then, hands off! Don’t touch your hair again until it’s completely dry to prevent frizz.

Quick Set
Want natural-looking ringlets in a hurry? Apply a rich, leave-in conditioner to damp hair, says Warren Tricomi Salon’s Kaz Amor, then place all hair into three braids. After strands are dry (about 20-30 minutes) release the braids and arrange curls with your fingertips. This is especially great for kids, says Amor, who uses the technique on his five-year-old daughter.

Less and More
Curly hair benefits from less shampooing and more conditioning than straighter strands, says Rodney Cutler of Cutler Salon in New York City. It takes natural scalp oils longer to travel the length of a curly strand—and the longer the hair, the longer it takes—which means it’s possible to over-shampoo and cause dryness. “Don’t wash this hair type every day,” Cutler advises. “On the ‘off days,’ wet it, apply conditioner and detangle hair with a wide-tooth comb in the shower.” Never brush curly hair, he adds—doing so can cause breakage and frizz.
Humidity Busters
Because of the coiled structure of curly hair, the cuticles tend to be slightly opened. This allows moisture to penetrate, which leads to strand swelling, which equals frizz. “So the more moisture you use, the better it is for taming frizz,” says Chaune Hurt-Fitzgerald of Salon Remedi in Washington. “Avoid products containing (drying) alcohols, which can actually be drying to the hair. Dry curly hair with a diffuser, which won’t disturb strands as much as a blow dryer on full power, and 'push' the curls into place with your hands. Finish with a spray that locks out humidity and offers flexible hold.”

*This article is related to the Texture! Guide. Click here to return to Texture!







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