10 Steps to styling curly hair for beginners.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.
My client's Allison, Erin, and Victoria's gorgeous curls were achieved by doing these 10 steps.
Whether you have wavy, curly or coily hair these 10 steps will teach you how to set your curls for a long lasting frizz free style.
Step #1 - Detangle Your Hair
I know what I am about to say is going to make some of you cringe but yes sometimes you need to brush out your curls. Brushing your curls once they are styled is a no no. However you do need to brush out your curls before you wash your hair. Brushing your hair removes tangles, loosens build up, stimulates blood flow and circulation in your scalp which is good for the overall health of your hair. After you wash your hair always condition and rack through your hair with a wide tooth comb or your fingers to remove tangles.
Step #2 - Condition Your Hair
Keeping your hair hydrated is so important because lack of moisture is what causes frizz. So after shampooing use a weekly hair mask and at the end of every wash leave in some of your conditioner at the ends of your hair for extra moisture.
For more tips on controlling frizz read my blog post: How Do I Tame My Frizzy Hair?
Not sure which hair mask is best for your hair? Read my blog post: Which Hair Mask Is Best For My Hair?
Step #3 - Use A Micro Fiber Towel
Once you are finished with your shower wrap a micro fabric towel around your neck and fold it upwards, holding the ends of your hair in the towel. You don't want to warp your towel around your head and leave it. This will dry up too much of the water in your hair that you will need when setting your curls. Using a micro fiber towel instead of a regular one creates a smoother style because the fibers are smaller which creates a smoother surface for your curls. So when you scrunch your curls with a micro fiber towel it won't ruff up your hair's cuticle like a regular fluffy one would, causing frizz.
Step #4 - Use A Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioner is the first product applied to create long lasting moisture. I recommend Amika Hydro Rush Intense Moisture Leave-In Conditioner. This leave-in conditioner detangles, keeps hair moisturized and reduces frizz. You can even use it on dry hair to tame pesky flyaways. Click here to buy Amika Hydro Rush Intense Moisture Leave-In Conditioner.
Step #5 - Use A Curl Cream
Curl cream is applied next. Only use about a quarter size amount and apply it to your mids and ends on wet hair. make sure to distribute evenly by racking through your curls with your fingers. Once all the products you are going to use are applied scrunch. Don't apply products by scrunching because the product won't be distributed evenly. My curly clients favorite curl product is Amika Curl Corps Defining Cream. For all curl types this curl cream moisturizes, softens and enhances curls. It is also light weight and creates bouncy, beautiful curls that last. Click here to buy Amika Curl Corps Defining Cream.
Every curly style starts with a leave-in conditioner and then a curl cream. Depending on your hair type, fine, medium, or coarse and desired look these two products could be all you need. I recommend starting out with these two first and then adding another product if more volume (mousse) or hold (gel) is needed.
Step #6 - Use Mousse If You Want Volume
Mousse is needed if you desire volume. Especially if you have fine hair. Apply a golf ball size amount to wet hair starting for roots to ends. Make sure to shake bottle before you use. Click here to buy Amika Plus Size Perfect Body Mousse.
Step #7 - Use A Gel If You Need More Hold
Gel is always the last product applied when setting your curls because it has the most hold. Apply your gel from roots to ends. My favorite gel is Amika Curl Corps Enhancing Gel. For all curl types this weather-proofing, curl-boosting gel gives bouncy shape without the crunch. Soft styles can be achieved with this gel by breaking up the casting which I will be going over in step #10. Click here to buy Amika Curl Corps Enhancing Gel.
Step #8 - Scrunch
You will want to scrunch after all your products are applied and evenly distributed. The easiest way to scrunch and get the whole section is to flip upside down or tip your head side to side. When you are scrunching you want to hear a squish sound and if you don't hear this it means you don't have enough water in your hair. Your hair is the most moldable when it is soaking wet. Rewet your hair with a spray bottle in areas that are too dry and do not add more product because too much product will weigh down your curls. If your curl set looks good wet it is going to look dry. Take your time when setting your curls.
Step #9 - Diffuse, Air Dry Or Both
I have found that most of my curly clients either don't diffuse or only diffuse when their hair is almost dry to create volume and finish drying. Honestly diffusing is boring and takes patience because when diffusing you will want to touch your curls as little as possible. The less you touch your curls with your hands the better the style will come out. After your curls are set you will hover over your roots first with your diffuser because your roots will take the longest to dry. Then once your roots are dry you will take your diffuser and starting from the bottom of your curls cup them up. Flipping your head upside down and cupping your hair with your diffuser will give you maximum volume. You will achieve the most volume and tighter curls when you use a diffuser. I use a pink Ion diffuser that is universal meaning it will attach to almost any blow dry. I originally got my diffuser from Sally's Beauty but you can also get it on amazon. Click here to buy on Amazon.
Step #10 - Break Up Casting
Letting a casting form in your hair is so important for achieving a long lasting free frizz style. So what is a casting you ask? A casting is a dry coating of product that forms around your hair, a casting is the most noticeable with gel. You will notice a casting form once your hair is about 80 % dry. If you don't let the casting form by to touch your hair too much or too soon your style won't have as much longevity. Left alone a casting is stiff and with enough gel will give your hair a wet look. To create a softer more natural look the casting needs to be broken up. To do this all you need to do is scrunch all over and shake out your roots with your fingers. You only want to do this when your hair is almost or completely dry.
I hope you found this guide helpful and if you have any questions comment below. If you are in the Portsmouth NH area I do offer styling lessons and if you book a curly haircut a styling lesson is included along with a deep conditioning treatment. Click here to book online.
Next months blog post is going to be about how to find your face shape and which hairstyles look best with your face shape. Until next month.