In the past, a head full of curls once conjured up images of cursed, untameable locks of hair. Think Screech of Saved by the Bell fame or Weird Al Yankovic. But nowadays, leading men like Kit Harrington and Henry Cavill are showcasing natural curls with a more sophisticated style, despite their unruly and wildly messy look.
While a high-flying mop can be a styling nightmare for some, with enough care and a little love, your impossibly curly hair can be bent to your will.
To help you keep looking your natural best – both on and off duty – follow these seven gold rules. In no time, your curls will be looking their best.
1. Know your curl and texture type
Since we’ve come a long way from mousse and the iconic perm, it’s important that you know your exact curl type. Defining your hair type is essential to know what products to use when you’re facing down the aisle of creams, custards, texturizers, gel-creams, curl enhancers and gels.
Finding a good hair salon can help if you don’t want to try to guess on which to use.
The problem is, men typically have shorter hair than women, making it difficult to identify the true hair type that they have. And while Oprah’s Emmy-award winning stylist Andre Walker, has detailed a style guide for women with curly hair, it’s simply not the same for men.
Luckily, men’s hair expert Rogelio Samson has created a guide specifically tailored to men’s hair. Samson’s guide outlines men’s hair in four different types: straight, wavy, coiled and kinky curly hair.
Understanding which category your hair falls into makes it insurmountably easier to pinpoint the right products to keep those curls looking their finest. Remember, what might work for one hairstyle may not work for another.
2. Understand the ingredients in your products
When it comes to selecting the right products for your hair, it pays to know the ingredients that go into them. Certain ingredients to be careful of include:
Find products with ingredients that nourishes and stimulates healthy hair growth. Strengthen your hair with proteins and use a blend of oils and extracts known for their nourishing properties. Castor oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil and Brahmi extract are just some examples that will soften and strengthen your hair.
With the various hair types out there, there is no blanket rule regarding which products best work for your hair type. Your barber or stylist can recommend the best products for your hair type as professional salon products have been specifically made to give your hair the best results.
3. Ditch the shampoo
When you over cleanse, you risk stripping your hair of its natural oils. These are the same natural oils that give your curls its beautiful shine and softness and for keeping them healthy. But as previously mentioned, different curl types and textures mean that what might work for one may not work for another.
If you shampoo daily and as a result your hair feels dry, change up your routine and wash it every other day or even once or twice a week. Also, avoid sulfate shampoos as sulfate strips your hair of its natural oils.
Instead, as mentioned, opt for a sulfate-free, non-sudsing cream cleaner or co-washing shampoos. All three of these products minimize the stripping of natural oils, keeping your curls sufficiently oiled and moisturized.
4. Avoid the brush
Curly hair acts and reacts differently to brushes than straight hair. Using a brush to detangle your hair can lead to breakage, damaging fragile curls. If your hair does become knotted and requires detangling, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers. Sometimes, a combination of a wide-tooth comb and your phalanges will detangle your hair with ease.
5. Eliminate frizz with a T-shirt and diffuser
Curly hair requires a significant amount of moisture. Unfortunately, after you’ve washed and showered, that terry cloth towel you reach for will absorb too much moisture, causing frizz.
To eliminate that frizz, be sure to apply your desired products while your hair is still damp. Then, apply the no-heat method of drying your hair called “plopping.” This will help soak up excess moisture without causing frizz while allowing your curls to keep their definition, shape and accordion bounce.
If you must use a blow dryer to dry your hair, use a diffuser. Using a diffuser reduces the impact the air velocity in your blow dryer will have on your curls, minimizing the time it takes to dry your hair while giving your curls maximum volume and the illusion of fuller, thicker hair. All this without disturbing your curls and turning them into an unmanageable ball of frizz.
6. Keep it simple
In most things, but particularly in managing your locks, less is always more. With the massive amount of products available out there, one can easily be drawn into incorporating numerous moisturizers, cleaners and styling tools into their daily routine.
Remember, too much of a good thing, such as incorporating a dozen or so products to your routine, only results in causing unnecessary stress and strain on your hair. Not to mention how difficult such a routine is to effectively manage.
It’s best to keep your routine simple. Experiment and find products that work best for your hair type and addresses its needs.
7. Trim it like it’s hot
The length of your hair is only as important as the health of your hair. Dried, damaged split ends are never an attractive look. The key ingredient to gorgeous curls is healthy hair. So to really get the most out of your natural curls, be sure to pay regular visits to your barbershop or salon.
As equally important is who cuts your hair and how it’s cut.
It’s a challenge to cut hair. That’s why when you go for a trim, seek a stylist with considered experience styling natural and curly hair. Before they trim your curls, schedule a consultation and ask for examples of previous work. Friends, particularly those with great curly hair, can definitely give great recommendations for finding the right stylist.
Lastly, don’t go to your stylist with wet or damp hair. Curly hair looks and moves differently when wet compared to dry. You may end up with a shorter trim than you expected if shears or scissors are taken to your mane while its wet.
The popularity of curly hair at the moment means you should make the most of this golden opportunity. Follow these golden rules and in no time, you’ll have perfect waves that you’ll be proud to show off.
Image Credits: rumisphoto