• Stephannie Bramlett

This One is for the Curly Girls

Any woman with remotely wavy hair understands the frustrations with it! Weather effects us on a level woman with straight hair don’t understand! (Reference: Monica on Friends!) I am by no means a beauty or hair expert. In fact, I spend more days without makeup and my hair in a pony tail than I would like to admit...hello, busy mom life! But, when I actually have the time to go through a beauty routine, I am often questioned about my hair and makeup. In my twenties, I spent time working for a major makeup company and I spent many hours in a salon in middle and high school while my mom was working. So, I am going to share with you some of my favorite tips and tricks in the beauty arena that I have picked up along the way!

This post, I’m going to specifically talk about curly hair and how I style mine. I don’t wear my hair naturally curly all the time. I prefer to straighten it and give it a bit of a soft wave. Honestly, this is because I can stretch out washing my hair when I blow it out thanks to dry shampoo! I haven’t mastered stretching out wearing it natural except putting it into a crazy, messy bun on the second day! However, living in the south and our humid summers have left me no choice but having to figure out my curly hair. There are times when there is simply no fighting 100% humidity. Every single time I wear my hair natural, someone comments on it! “I just love your curly hair!” “How do you get it to not look frizzy without it being crunchy?” “What products do you use so that it doesn’t look wet all the time?” The list goes on. I thought it would be fun to share my routine and some lessons I have learned through the years to perfect my wavy curls!

The first thing I have to emphasize is conditioner. Seriously, this is a step you can NOT skip! No matter your texture, you must wash and condition your hair (even you ladies with fine, limp hair!). I am not an expert in brands or molecular level differences of fancy hair products but I have a few personal favorites that I have found do not leave a residue on my hair or strip it too harshly! Dove Moisture Therapy is my go-to cheap shampoo and conditioner combo. When my sister-in-law can hook me up with her stylist discount, or I feel like splurging for a season, I love Biolage products. I also have discovered Curly Sexy Hair products and really love them, too! Whatever your brand of choice, you want a shampoo that leaves hair crisp and clean without a residue and a conditioner that soaks in and leaves your hair silky enough to comb through with your fingers in the shower without a heaviness to it.

When you go to get out of the shower, it is important to know if you are going to wear your hair with your natural texture. If so, before you exit the shower and while your hair is still soaking wet, you need to flip your head over and gently finger through your mane until it is detangled. Then gently wrap your hair in a towel. Plan to leave it in the towel for at least 5 minutes but no more than about 15. This is important so that enough water has left your locks but not so much that it is too dried out! Be sure to gather the following supplies for the next steps: lightweight leave-in conditioner or “detangler” (If I run out, sometimes I make mine with a couple table spoons of my conditioner and fill the rest of bottle up with water and mix), curl enhancing mousse (NOT gel!), and a sea salt spray. Depending on allotted time, you may need a blow dryer with a diffuser.

Flip your head downward and gently remove the towel from your hair. Spray your leave-in conditioner throughout your hair and gently scrunch the tips of your hair into your scalp with your towel. Turn your head upright (stand normally) and repeat with a lightweight spray of the conditioner followed by a gentle scrunch from up to scalp with the towel. At this point you can moisten your fingertips if needed to separate any big chunks or any weirdness going on! Then, take a small squirt of curl enhancing mousse and blot into both hands and apply it to your hair in a gentle scrunching. As far as brands go, I have tried several. As long as the mousse is a lightweight formula and meant for curl enhancing, I have found them to all work about the same! Curly Sexy Hair is one of my more expensive favorites while Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse is a great cheaper option.

Next, if you are going to let it air dry, leave it alone! Seriously, the more you touch it, the more you encourage the curls to break apart and get frizzy! If time doesn’t allow you to let your hair air dry because you are heading to work or it is too cold outside to leave with wet hair, this is when you can blow it dry. Ladies, if you have curly hair and do not have a diffuser on your blow dryer, you are doing your hair a big disservice! You MUST use a diffuser if blow drying. You can gather chunks of your hair and encourage tighter curls with the diffuser by scrunching the hair toward the scalp with it!

Whether air drying or blow drying, this next step has made a world of difference in my curl quality. At about half dry, you need to apply a few squirts of a sea salt spray throughout and gently scrunch. If air drying, leave it alone after this step (seriously... stop touching it!). If blow drying, continue on until complete (making sure to use your diffuser!). For years, I used to wonder why my curls were so much better when I was at the beach. Then, I discovered sea salt spray and I realized the missing link!

That is it. It really is simple. On days where I’m in a hurry, I complete my hair in under five minutes and then it dries as I’m running errands or on my drive to work! This combination allows my wavy curls to be defined, yet soft. No more days of crunchy, hard curls are necessary! It controls the frizz because it contains the appropriate level of moisture from conditioner! Ladies, let's embrace the coming Summer months and all of the hot, humid days with our natural waves looking their best!

I've included some affiliate links throughout that will take you to the products on Amazon. Most of these are also available at your local grocery stores or beauty supply stores (Ulta), as well! If you are anything like me, Amazon is my best friend and saves me the hassle of going into a store! I will emphasize, there is no need to spend big money on these types of products! I've seen lots of expensive options and tried a lot of them. In my opinion, natural hair should be your easiest, cheapest option! I hope you have fun discovering some new techniques on your curls!

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