Curly Hair Tips and Examplesby Ashley Laurier on September 10, 2008
Curly hair is a hairstyle that definitely splits opinion. Most of the time, it is a case of "the grass is greener". Girls with curly hair often long for poker straight hair that does not need taming, while it is not uncommon for straight-haired women to wish that they had feminine curls. The desire for curly hair has been fuelled by celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Halle Berry and Leona Lewis, and is now back in fashion.
Hairstyles for curly hair
Many women with curly hair make the mistake of believing that their hair cannot look as stylish as straight hair. In reality, this is not true. There are lots of different hairstyles for curly hair too, which you can have fun experimenting with. It can look great with layers, especially when worn loose. Terri Seymour (the girlfriend of Simon Cowell) frequently wears her hair like this. If you have a long fringe or bangs at the front of your hair, you can complete this look by encouraging them to fall across one side of your face. If you have wavy hair that falls more than a few inches below your shoulders, you can have multiple layers put in your hair for an interesting look.
Actress Halle Berry and singer Ciara have both worn their long, curly hair in a back-swept style, which can create a casual look that is also sophisticated. Curly hair often looks good in formal styles. Alternatively, you can wear the back half of your hair in a loose ponytail, while the rest flows over your shoulders in loose waves. As a slight twist, the front section is side-parted, which encourages your hair to frame your face.
Hair care and styling tips for curly hair
Brushing curly hair weakens it, and makes it more prone to breaking. To detangle, use a comb instead. You can get away with not blow drying curly hair, as it can look great after being left to dry naturally. Drying curly hair with a towel will damage it, and can also make it more prone to frizz. If you do blow dry, use the diffuser attachment on your hairdryer to style your hair. The prongs can lift your hair at the roots, which creates volume. Holding the hairdryer at arm's length when blow drying will help to prevent frizz.
If your hair is not naturally curly, you can create the look artificially. Firstly, spray your hair with water so that it is damp (but not dripping wet). As straight hair does not have the right chemical make-up to be naturally curly, this will break down the hydrogen bonds in your hair, which makes it easier for straight hair to become temporarily curly. This method works if you are not going to be using heated styling appliances to curl your hair. Using more "natural" forms of producing curls (such as foam rollers, or braiding your hair overnight) is less likely to damage your hair in the long term.
Heat has the same effect as water in breaking down the hydrogen bonds to change the chemical make-up of your hair (albeit temporarily). If you are going to use curling tongs or heated rollers to create curls, your hair should be dry before you start, as wet hair can singe if it comes into direct contact with heat. Separate your hair into sections of around an inch and use a curling iron to create curls. You can loosen the curls with your fingers to create softer waves. A quick spritz of hairspray will hold the curls in place. Once you have artificially created curls, it is important to let them set before you handle them. If you remove the curling tongs or heated rollers before the curls have cooled down, it can encourage your hair to revert back to its natural style, as the altered hydrogen bonds are only fully formed once your hair is no longer hot. For this reason, you should hold the curling tongs or rollers in place for a short time after they have been switched off, so that the length and weight of your hair cannot pull the curls out of shape.
If your hair is naturally curly, you can counteract the inevitable frizz by applying styling serum to wet hair. A dollop around the size of a coin should be enough unless your hair is very long. Use your fingers to work it through your hair, so that all sections of your hair are covered. Once your hair is dry, spray an anti-frizz serum onto your hair as an additional barrier. Alternatively, you can apply leave-in conditioner to your hair after a bath or shower, and leave your hair to dry. The conditioner will be absorbed by your hair, so you do not need to worry about it forming a hard layer on your hair (as would probably be the case if you left regular conditioner to dry in your hair).
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