How to Style Curly Hair: 12 Tips to Have a Better Hair Day

By Shannon

Hey friends, I know a lot of people wonder how to style curly hair and what’s appropriate/healthy/best for your hair. So I created a list of 12 ideas that came to mind to help you on the road to healthier happy hair days. =)

1.) Try shampooing less, and use a sulfate free shampoo or cleansing conditioner.

This will help your hair keep its natural oils, which are essential for curly heads.

2.) Experiment with different leave-ins until you find one that keeps your hair soft, fights frizz, and doesn’t make your hair crispy (avoid alcohols).

Leave-in conditioners are a must-have in the curly world, and you can find gems in unexpected places. If you’re not perfectly happy with the one you’re using, keep trying! And having a couple that you like is great too! I often find that using the same product day after day does not yield the same great results after a while.

3.) Use a wide-tooth comb, or like I do, finger comb in shower, then VERY GENTLY use a brush.

You need something that will evenly distribute your conditioner through your hair, without pulling your hair or causing breakage (no good!). I prefer brushing after combing my fingers through my hair because it makes my curls thicker and more ringlet-y.

4.) If you have long curls like me, flip your hair over as you comb/brush to give more volume and make sure product is all the way through your hair.

Whenever I get out of the shower, my hair is plastered flat to my head, and when I first brush or comb it, it’s even worse! So to get more volume and bouncy curls, I always flip my hair over, brush my leave-in through, and lightly shake/scrunch. Then voila! Flip my hair back over and I’m good to go. When I go to the salon, my stylist is always a pro at giving me volume without the flip over…I haven’t mastered that on my own yet. What can I say? We all have things to work on.

5.) Let air-dry or use a diffuser for a few minutes.

The best thing for your curls is to let them air dry, but we all know that isn’t always ideal. If it’s not an ideal situation, invest in a diffuser, they are awesome! I use mine while my hair is flipped over like we discussed in #4, and I’ll gently lay sections of my hair on the diffuser for maybe 30 seconds at a time before moving on to the next one. I usually repeat a couple times and then call it good, only drying my hair about 30-40% of the way.

6.) DON’T straighten every day.

All that heat on your poor curly locks is the worst thing you could do to your hair. And besides, if you learn how to manage your beautiful curls, why on earth would you straighten them every day? Having curly hair is pretty much the best! And straightening every now and then is totally fine. But please don’t hate on your curls and choose to fry them every day. Don’t do anything drastic in a moment of heated hair hatred.

7.) Be gentle.

Curly hair is sensitive, more prone to breakage, more susceptible to moisture, etc. Plain and simple, be nice to your hair.

8.) Try the Ouidad “rake and shake” technique or scrunching to make your curls pop out.

I don’t know about you, but after I’ve combed/brushed my hair, it tends to be pretty straight with a few waves. If I comb my fingers through and shake my hair by holding the ends, or scrunch my hair, I have spiral-y curls for days!

9.) Go for long layers to avoid the pyramid look.

If you’re not getting a Deva or Ouidad cut, I would suggest telling your stylist that you want long layers. This is great for taking out some of that thick frizz and will make you feel like your head has lost a few pounds. It also prevents the dreaded pyramid. Unless you’re feeling nostalgic about Princess Diaries and the Anne Hathaway pre-makeover look, you don’t want the pyramid. It’s the kind of hair you look at and think, yikes!

10.) Part it in different places. (This goes for all hair. Too much center part can lead to bald patches.)

Unfortunately for me, the first 19-20 years of my life, all I ever did was center part my hair, despite my knowledgeable sister’s warnings to switch it up every once in awhile. And I’m not going to lie, I finally listened when I noticed how thin my hair is at the crown of my head. After repeated brushing straight down, pulling back, and all in all just not knowing how to take care of my hair, I created a bald spot. Ask your stylist for their opinion if you’re worried about this.

11.) Try something cotton like a t-shirt to pat dry your hair.

When you get out of the shower, using a thick towel to get excess water out of your hair can end up doing more than you bargained for by over-drying and creating frizz. Either carefully pat dry your hair once or twice with the towel, or use a t-shirt instead.

12.) Let it do its thang and it’ll be more willing to work with you.

Basically, don’t try to fight your hair into submission. Let it be itself. Work to keep it healthy. If you think it looks terrible, chances are, you’re crazy. Learn to let it go. When your confidence increases, you’ll feel better about your hair too.

Can’t stress that last one enough. Developing confidence is half the battle! Anyway, thanks for reading everyone! I hope this helps you breath easier and have one less thing to worry about today. You’ll look great, you’ll do great! =)

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