We know that living at the mercy of your curls can be stressful and we get asked all the time about dealing with curly hair. So we asked SCL Master stylist Emma Fordham, our resident curly hair queen your most asked questions and she doesn't disappoint! Read on for all of the advise and recommendations you and your curls need!
HOW TO STOP YOUR CURLS GOING FRIZZY
There are a few steps you can take to minimise the frizz in curly hair.
I recommend using a t-shirt or a micro fibre towel to squeeze any excess water from your hair after washing and avoid rubbing the hair.
A regular towel is too rough and will encourage frizz...If your hair is thirsty and dry try using a deep conditioning mask once a week. I love the Davines Oi Butter or The Renaissance Circle Hair Mask also Davines.
No two curls are the same and for styling products this can be very personal so I recommend trying a few different products to see what works for you.
I have always loved the Boots Essentials curl cream. Especially for courser curls this conditioning cream will leave your curls soft and tamed. You don’t need much at all and it’s also an inexpensive place to start.
I also love The Polish Un-Frizz Cream by Virtue which has humidity resistance to battle away frizz even on a humid day when curls are most at risk...
Finally I would recommend the curl activator by Soft n Free... you can find this on Amazon or in your local Paks.
This is an old school curl cream which is again inexpensive and can encourage curl whilst softening the cuticle.
A hair oil can also compliment a curl cream for extra shine and smoothing benefits. A lot of my clients use things such as argan oil or caster oil. This will no doubt help your hair but investing in a hair oil with other ingredients will be better as developed especially for hair!
My favourite is Davines Oi oil because I find it extremely moisturising but not heavy or greasy! Also great on the second day for sensitised ends.
ANTI FRIZZ PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS:
HOW TO CREATE DEFINED CURLS
I believe the main problem with crunchy curls is when using a hair mousse. A mousse can be amazing for getting some volume in your curls but I would recommend layering your products with a curl cream and/or an oil.
If using mouse make sure your using a diffuser instead of air drying as adding a slow heat to the hair will activate the mouse. Beware a mousse may leave the hair on the dry side but this preference depends on your curl type!
Twisting small sections can encourage your curls into defined pieces and create lift along the parting and hairline
For an example of this method, head to my Instagram @lovemeknot_ where you’ll find my tutorial series on IGTV Basics for Badee’s.
My most recent one for zero heat zero frizz curls.
HOW DRY CURLS WITH A DIFFUSER
When using a diffuser, use the tips I’ve highlighted above including, using a t-shirt to remove water and twisting small sections
Scrunch your hair in the palms of your hands to encourage the curls to take shape
Work your way around all the hair as you do so,
When diffusing use a low blow and a low heat. The key is to avoid disturbing the curls.
Encourage the volume by directing the diffuser up and into the scalp but avoid moving the hairdryer around too much or too sporadically. Start in one area and slowly move around the head gently.
Once the hair is totally dry you can massage the roots and give the ends a little more oil if necessary
HOW TO ENCOURAGE CURLY HAIR TO HAVE MORE CURL
I have many clients who have curlier areas and less curlier areas of hair
One common problem can be curls are springier and shinier on the under layers, and the top layers can appear flat and lifeless. This can be due to compromised curls from colouring or heat damage as the top layers are the most exposed.
Diffusing the hair can encourage lift in the root and volume.
I also invite you to try my twisting method which can really wake up a curl!
Regular cuts are also recommended due to curly hair feeling dry and damaged
A lot of my clients report back to me how their curls ‘come back to life’ after a good chop and spring back. Even with just a little trim every 8-10 weeks
HOW TO REFRESH CURLY HAIR ON DAY 3/4
Speaking from experience from my clientele with curly hair rather than my own personal hair experience (my hair is lucky to go three days before I need to wash) I would say the hair needs a little restyling and attention.
Bumble and Bumble Prep spray will refresh your hair without weighing it down (you can’t use too much) followed by smoothing some of the curls with your fingers and diffusing.
For courser hair try Living Proof restore Perfecting Spray
BEST SHAMPOO'S & CONDITIONERS FOR CURLY HAIR
One of the main reasons for unruly curls is lack of moisture! You can use all the lotions and potions to tame them but a good shampoo and conditioner is the most important place to start in my opinion
Try to steer clear of sulphates. Essentially sulphates are the detergent used in a lot of shampoos which can be very abrasive on the hair (and scalp)
Some tried and tested shampoos and conditioners I love
Living Proof Curl collection conditioning wash and detangling rinse
Davines Mo Mo shampoo and conditioner
Dizziak hydration wash and deep conditioner
Leave in conditioners are also a great way to keep curly hair moisturised
WHAT IS THE 'CURLY GIRL METHOD' AND DOES IT WORK
The Curly Girl method is a way of hair care specifically for those with curls. You can find out the exact steps and tips in a how to manifesto named The Curly Girl Handbook.
I haven’t tried this method myself because I have a soft wave to my hair which isn’t the correct hair type. The main premise is to ditch sulphites, silicones, mineral oils, heat, brushes and towels.
As I’ve stated above I’m a keen supporter of ditching the towel and sulphate’s and heat where possible
But ditching shampoo completely would be a hard task for me personally. And I also would automatically need to wash your curls if coming for an appointment in salon.
This method is aimed at a stronger textured curl/ coil and I do believe this could benefit the hair.
But you also need to listen to you hair and scalp and if it’s feeling itchy, give it a wash.
I think managing your curls is all about trial and error, and this way is definitely worth a shot! Try it out for four weeks and decide if it’s for you or not! And there’s no better time than February whist were in lockdown in the UK to try it out.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CUT CURLY HAIR
For healthy curls I recommend 8-10 weeks and for more compromised curls I would start with 6-8 weeks initially until the hair improved a little.
But life can get in the way and it can be hard to find the time although the trimming of the ends can be such a small but such a huge effect on maintaining healthy curls.
My rule of thumb is to not exceed 3 months in getting a haircut.
A good way to make sure is to try booking your next haircut in when in salon. I also like to count 8 weeks in my diary and note ‘you need a hair cut’ as a gentle reminder.
HOW SHOULD MY STYLIST STYLE MY HAIR AFTER I HAVE IT CUT?
The finish is totally up to the discretion of the client... if your in my chair I will make sure you leave the salon with a hairstyle you are comfortable with and resembling what you’ve asked for
Saying that, if I’m cutting very curly hair and you seldom wear it straight I will encourage you to let me dry it curly so I can first of all see how the cut is sitting in its natural state and tweak it when dry.
And secondly to give you some tips and tricks on how to get the best out of your curls at home
In some cases I will blow dry smooth to check my haircut is even and then wet it down again for styling curly but this depends on the client and the hair type
Some clients want that salon finish which I totally get and that is a treat and a look most people can’t achieve themselves at home.
If this is the case i will ask that you let me know how the cut feels once you’ve given your new cut the first wash at home and reach out to me via Instagram.
HOW TO DEAL WITH GREASY CURLY HAIR WITH OUT IT FRIZZING
If your hair is feeling greasy by the second day there are a few things you can do to try and break this scalp cycle
Personally my hair gets greasy by the second or third day and there is little I can do but to wash it again.
You can try washing it a lot less frequently to break this cycle and slow down the production of natural oils and balance the scalp
The idea being that if you begin to wash your hair less frequently, the scalp with get used to this and hopefully not get so greasy and adapt to the new washing pattern
When you do wash it though, ensure your giving it a very good thorough clean and rinsing well for the best results
I have an IGTV on my Instagram called basics for badee’s - how to wash your hair
The curly girl method could be a good place to start where you ditch the shampoo all together and see if you find a change in your hair and scalp.
Keep conditioner away from the roots and focus on the mid lengths and ends only
Stop playing with it... if your used to running your hands into the hair this can contribute to greasy hair.
Finally i use a product to control the grease in my hair and also plump up the roots
Bumble and Bumble All Style cream. This cream works in so many different ways for me. It has heat protection so perfect when using the diffuser, it has anti frizz qualities that smooth the hair cuticle, it also contains microfine oil-absorbing powders help fight frizz and protect against heat damage to extend the life of your blow dry and I find my hair can go an extra day when I use this cream on wet hair and massage into the roots and ends.
I hope you find all of Emma's words of wisdom helpful!