How to Embrace Your Natural Locks
The key to Beyoncé-worthy curls? Moisture. “Moisture contributes to definition, shine, and resilience of curls,” says Shari Harbinger, VP of Education at DevaCurl, a brand with a cult-like following that specializes in curly hair. One study found that hair moisture levels are lowest when blown dry, indicating that air-drying does more than just save you time.
Tip: Post shower, tilt your head forward and scrunch the curls up toward your scalp to wring out excess water, Harbinger says. Distribute a moisture-holding product to the curls and continue scrunching upward using a microfiber towel, she says. Then, stand up and allow the curls to dry naturally. Try not to touch them too much after this initial scrunching—it could lead to frizz, Harbinger warns.
Product: Stay away from products with silicone ingredients that dehydrate hair, she says. Before the scrunching and curl-defining process, apply Deva Curl’s One Condition in the shower. It’s sulfate and silicone free to create light, wearable curls.
“My motto is, ‘a great hair day starts with a clean canvas,’” Babaii says. This becomes even more important if your hair tends to deflate before your morning coffee buzz kicks in since extra residue and leftover product weighs the hair down.
Tip: After shampooing, apply a volumizing conditioner to the mid-shaft and ends only—not to the roots, Babaii says. Then, thoroughly rinse out the conditioner so hair is squeaky clean and won’t be weighed down.
Product: Oils will flatten the hair at the scalp and leave the ends looking stringy, Babaii says. Instead, turn to light, volumizing products such as a root lifter, beach spray, or dry shampoo, like Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Dry Shampoo Spray, he says. Spray the dry shampoo lightly at the root area to add body.
Complain all you want about the hours-long drying time, but you and your thick strands are the object of your thin-haired friends’ envy. To help develop admiration of your own, finding a styling product that offers control to hold hair in place is important, Babaii says.
Tip: First, the secret to styling thick hair starts at the salon. “Go for various length layers throughout the hair to lighten and soften the heaviness,” Babaii says.
Product: Spray White Sands Liquid Texture Firm Hold to extend the style and provide enough hold to stand up to any weather, like an onset of humidity after a freak afternoon rainstorm.
Well, aren’t you lucky? When other girls head to blow-dry salons to achieve the beachy look of laidback waves, you were born with them.
Tip: Natural air-drying is your friend, says Nunzio Saviano, owner and stylist at the Nunzio Saviano Salon in New York City. Once you’ve said ‘adios’ to the last bit of moisture, apply a styling cream to separate hair into textured pieces and a sea salt spray to enhance your natural waves, he says. Or, tie your hair in a twisted topknot and spray with a beach spray before going to bed, Babaii says. The next morning, undo the knot, and you’ll have people thinking you hit the surf before work.
Give your hair a break from the hot tools at least once a week, Babaii says. On the other days, arm yourself with tools that get the job done while taking it easy on the strands. Make the investment in ceramic tools, he says. “I know they are costly initially, but they last longer and your hair will be less damaged,” he says.
Tip: “The key to styling fine hair is to not over dry it,” Saviano says. Take his advice and back away once the hair is no longer wet. When you’re blow-drying, always choose a round brush to maximize body. When it comes to styling, stay away from creams and pomades that will weigh the hair down.
Product: Try the Drybar Half Pint. The ceramic barrels warms up from the blow dryer’s heat to pump up the volume. Plus, the tiny holes throughout keeps the air flowing to cut back on drying time.
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