Get the Curls of Your Dreams
By Aly Walansky
There’s nothing like a visit to the salon to get gorgeous bouncy hair curls for a night out. However, that can be time consuming -- and pricey! Score the look at home with a few tips from the experts.
The problem with curly hair is that they have trouble holding in moisture, which causes your style to frizz and lose definition as the day goes on. Celebrity stylist Mika Fowler of the Kim Vo Salon in Beverly Hills, Calif. advises, “In order for your hair to curl, it must be moisturized, so get in the habit of a deep conditioner or a leave-in for that added moisture. It’s also important to stay away from oils, which are heavy and can weigh down the curl. Stick to creams or mousse.”
Fernando Salas, creator of White Sands hair care, adds, “To tame and repair those unruly curls, close the cuticle layer to define color, texture and shine. To achieve the perfect moisture balance, first repair any damage caused from color processing, and natural UV and UVB stress with the proper shampoo, conditioner and treatment that best suits you.”
Before you start styling, make sure your hair is ready. After shampooing and conditioning, give your hair a final cold-water rinse to lock the moisture inside the hair cuticles. Invest in a good microfiber towel -- nothing beats it for removing the excess water. Then, while your hair is damp but not dripping, use a styling product appropriate for your hair type. If your locks are straight, Fowler recommends applying a light gel or mousse; girls with curly hair should apply a curling balm.
Once your hair is dry, then you can style according to your hair type. If your hair is straight, create your look with a hot curling iron. The width of the iron is important; it should be wide enough for your hair to wrap around the barrel two and a half times. “Take smaller sections of hair and curl away from the face,” says Dyan D'Aversa, Senior Stylist at Suede Salon and Spa in Marlton, New Jersey. “Hold for a few seconds and spray with light-hold hairspray. Wait until your hair is cool to finish styling and achieve the desired look, and always use a finishing pomade to give added shine and hold.”
If have wavy or curly hair, you’ll need a different approach. After applying the curling balm, portion your hair into 1-inch sections and twist them around your finger. (If you’re running short on time, you may want to focus only on the top layer of your hair.) Then let your hair dry naturally, or else use a diffuser attachment on your dryer. “It is very important for anyone with curly hair to own a diffuser and learn how to use it properly; it makes a world of difference. Once your hair is dry, gently separate the hair strands,” says Fowler. The result: soft, defined hair curls that flatter rather than frizz!