Last week, when SheFinds discovered that a certain Millionare Matchmaker had been slandering curly hair on her Bravo program, we decided to celebrate women with curls or waves (that's 70% of Americans!) by telling you how to take care of your hair. So now that you've coddled your curls, how will you make the most of them? For advice on how to best style curly hair, I consulted two friends whose luscious locks have been the object of my envy–and of every man's drooling gaze–for years.
What: Beautiful Curly Coiffs
Why: I wish everyone loved their hair as much as my friends Laura and Nicole. Though Nicole (who has long, sleek coils) admitted that she hated her hair as a child, she now "loves it, because curls can be casual or fancy, and are always interesting." And Laura told me that she feels "sexiest, most confident, and most outgoing" when her voluminous and tightly-coiled hair is bouncing around. Here are their styling secrets – a sure way to get that perfect curly coiff:
If your hair is long and fine-textured, with medium-to-large curls or waves: After washing your hair, comb it out, and then smooth your locks by applying a light defrizzer like Infusium 23 Frizzologie ($6.99).
This infuses the hair cuticle with proteins to smooth the texture, but won't weigh it down. Then, while your hair is still wet, separate the curls into individual locks, and run styling gel through the middle and ends of your mane–a dime-sized dab will do. In addition to Ouidad's Tress FX product, we like Nature’s Gate Organics Hold That Pose ($14.99).
As for drying your hair, Nicole prefers to let it air-dry, because blow-dryers are particularly damaging to curly hair. If you like using a hair-dryer, though, just be sure to add a diffuser attachment ($24.95) to prevent frizziness. Consider a hot oil treatment once a month (or, if you blow-dry, twice a month) as well, to keep hair from drying out.
This whole after-shower process takes only about ten minutes, and then voilà! Bouncy, gorgeous locks!
If you have thick, tightly-wound curls: After showering, apply a fortified leave-in conditioner (here's a secret: the best products come from countries where curly hair is the norm). Laura swears by Brazil's Seda ondas marcadas treatment ($3)
This medium-to-thick cream will leave your hair soft, nautral-looking, and frizz-free. You can also reapply it to dry hair on day two or three after styling to touch it up.