Curly Hair Advice with Shelah

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“But my curls just don’t look pretty, yours are so defined but mine could never look like that”


This is perhaps the most common complaint I receive about curls, and while this may be true based on many frustrating morning routines, I’m not buying it anymore.  I would know, because I spent years hating my own hair.  I frequently longed for perfectly formed curls in magazines but knew hopelessly that my curls would never look like that.  I spent years buying the best quality straightening irons, only to be left with limp, flat, dried-out hair.

Then it happened.  I came across a video of myself as a young child and after watching a care-free young girl toss around a head full of beautiful blonde curls, something inside me changed.  I wanted to embrace my natural hair, whatever it looked like, and put away the straightening iron.

I began a journey of researching curly hair.  I read books, watched videos and have spent an unfathomable amount of time online.  I would like to share a few things I’ve learned with you.  Curly hair is precious, each strand like gentle fibers.  If curly hair came with a tag, it would read “Be gentle, handle with care, never use harsh shampoos, never iron, use gentle heat when drying.”

While there are different textures of curls and different shampoos and conditioners to use accordingly, there are a few things every curly girl should and shouldn’t do.  First, throw away your brush and get yourself a wide-toothed comb.  The only time I comb through my hair is in the shower with conditioner in my hair.  Second, get a large t-shirt to soak up excess water instead of a towel.  The shirt is smooth and doesn’t cause frizz.  Third, everyone with a head full of curls needs a conditioning leave-in.  Curls are porous and thirst for moisture.

Apply the leave-in wet, after showering, followed by a styling product that will help form your curls, like a gel or texturizing cream.  If you don’t have time to air-dry your hair, buy yourself a diffuser.  This small device you attach to a blow dryer has saved my life.  Curls are fragile, and should be styled gently, and dried gently.  The more you run your hands through your hair as it dries, the more frizz you’re going to get.

There are a few techniques I do after applying the leave-in and styling product to guarantee your curls look amazing, and I would love for you to come in and let me show you.  I love my own curls and would enjoy the opportunity to help someone else discover how beautiful their own curls can be.  As the curly-haired pioneer Lorraine Massey has said, “It takes courage to Curl-up to be who you really are.” I agree.

– Shelah