Learn­ing to em­brace your curly hair

Curls are in. Here’s how to love yours.

Northern Rivers Style - - CONTENTS -

It all be­gan with The Rachel. From the mo­ment Jen­nifer Anis­ton ap­peared on our screens in the ’90s sit­com Friends sport­ing that now in­fa­mous hair­style, it seems we’ve been ob­sessed with sleek, pol­ished, straight hair.

For curly girls, it’s been tough. En­gulfed by a sea of sleek shiny hair and prod­ucts to straighten, re­lax or “fight the frizz”, it’s been hard not to feel like there was some­thing wrong with our hair – that it needed to be brought un­der con­trol or straight­ened into sub­mis­sion.

But fi­nally, curls are in. And not just those loose tou­sled beach waves. We’re talk­ing big, tex­tured, nat­u­ral, real wild curls.

Halle Berry kicked it off at the Os­cars last year when she em­braced her nat­u­ral curls and since then, plenty of celebri­ties have been do­ing the same. Fash­ion mag­a­zine Harpers Bazaar re­cently de­clared “wild curly hair would be the trend ev­ery­one will be wear­ing in 2018” and even the perm – the hair treat­ment you thought would never rise again – is back.

If you have nat­u­ral curls, it’s time to let them shine – al­though as any curly girl will tell you, that can be eas­ier said than done.

There’s an art to cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing a good-look­ing head of curls, but with an ap­par­ent short­age of hair­dressers who know how to bring out the best in curls, it can be dif­fi­cult to know where to start.

The saviour of many a curly-haired lo­cal is hair­dresser Emily K, who has curls her­self and spe­cialises in cut­ting curly hair.

She says a good hair­cut is the first step to lov­ing your curls, but amaz­ingly, cut­ting curls isn’t some­thing taught in hair­dress­ing school. This ex­plains why so many hair­dressers will wet your hair, comb it straight and then cut it ex­actly as they would cut straight hair – an ap­proach that just doesn’t work, ac­cord­ing to Emily.

“The prob­lem is, curly hair doesn’t sit or stay like that,” she says.

“You need to see it in its nat­u­ral form and see the curl pat­tern.” This means leav­ing the hair dry in its nat­u­ral state and cut­ting each curl in­di­vid­u­ally to cre­ate the best shape.

“It’s like prun­ing a bush. It’s all vis­ual,” she says.

Emily’s own hair care rou­tine gen­er­ally con­sists of a wash and

con­di­tion once a week, fol­lowed by gen­tly towel dry­ing her hair with a mi­crofi­bre towel. She then adds a curl creme and blow-dries her hair up­side down with a dif­fuser. To keep the frizz un­der con­trol and stop tan­gles in be­tween washes, she wears a silk scarf to bed or puts her hair up in a loose high pony­tail overnight. In the morn­ing, it’s a mat­ter of let­ting it out, and adding a lit­tle serum to re­fresh the curls and add some shine.

When it comes to curl prod­ucts, Emily says she avoids look­ing at in­ter­net fo­rums, be­cause the amount of in­for­ma­tion can be over­whelm­ing, and what works for one per­son’s curls will not nec­es­sar­ily work for some­one else. One prod­uct she does rec­om­mend how­ever, is Olaplex, a treat­ment she uses on her own hair and on her clients. Olaplex is of­ten used for coloured or dam­aged hair, but is also ef­fec­tive on curls.

“Ev­ery­one has disul­fide bonds in their hair, but curly hair has more than any other hair type,” she ex­plains.

“Through colour­ing, wear and tear, and age, they break off. So what Olaplex does, it’s a bond mul­ti­plier. It puts these bonds back to­gether and there­fore re­forms curls back into their nat­u­ral state.”

She says learn­ing how to man­age your curls will help you love what you’ve got, but the best ad­vice she can give is to wear your curls with con­fi­dence and treat them as an as­set.

“A lot of the time it’s just get­ting used to see­ing your­self with curly hair,” she said.

GET­TING THE BEST FROM YOUR CURLS

● Find a hair­dresser who knows how to cut curls and will give you a dry cut.

● Use good qual­ity prod­ucts with­out too much al­co­hol or other dry­ing ingredients. You don’t have to spend a for­tune – just find what works for you.

● Avoid sham­poos and con­di­tion­ers con­tain­ing sul­fates, parabens or sil­i­cones.

● Use a mois­tur­is­ing treat­ment or mask at least once a month.

● A curl creme can help give your curls def­i­ni­tion with­out crunch­i­ness.

● Let your hair dry nat­u­rally or blow dry with a dif­fuser at­tach­ment. You can get ex­tra lift at the roots by blow-dry­ing with your head up­side down.

● Ap­ply­ing a small amount of light serum or oil be­tween washes can help give cre­ate shine and con­trol frizz.

● Wear your hair in a loose pony­tail on the top of your head or wear a silk scarf to bed to min­imise frizz be­tween washes.

● Most im­por­tantly, wear your curls with con­fi­dence.

Lo­cal curly hair spe­cial­ist Emily K. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

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