Get out of your hairstyling rut with Allure's expert ideas tailored to curly, coily, and kinky hair types.
After years of denial and multiple attempts with a flat iron — thankfully there was no Facebook to publicly immortalize my "awkward phase" — I finally came to grips with a fact: I have very curly hair. But now that I've embraced my ringlets, I've run into yet another dilemma, which is that wearing the same spirals every day can get boring. Since I don't want to just scald my hair straight, I asked celebrity hairstylist Diane Bailey, whose clients include Beyoncé and Lauryn Hill, for some tips on how to reinvent curly hair.
1. Voluminous Curls
For a "more is more" look, try allover volume with tight, springy curls. Start by almost completely drying freshly washed hair with a diffuser "to reduce frizz and preserve the natural curl pattern," says Bailey. Apply a curl styling mousse for added hold (such as Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse ($4)). Then, working in half-inch sections, wrap hair around rubber curling rods. "Hold them vertically to create a corkscrew effect," says Bailey. Twist the rods to the root, and fold down the sides to hold them in place. Dry hair fully with a diffuser, remove the rods, and finger-comb your curls to enhance volume. "Lightly mist with a finishing spray for shine and hold, such as SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hold & Shine Moisture Mist ($10)," says Bailey (who is an ambassador for the brand).
This style is all about embracing and enhancing natural texture while maintaining shine. Smooth a hydrating curl cream, like Fekkai Luscious Curls Cream ($25) through hair from root to tip, then section it into roughly two-inch pieces. Twist each piece tightly "into a tight cylinder to form a small bun or knot," suggests Bailey. Continue until all the hair is set. "The more knots you make [so, the smaller sections of hair you twist], the more texture you will have," she says. After hair dries completely, release the knots and gently tease the roots with a comb for added volume. "Seal in moisture and add a high-gloss shine with an oil-based finishing spray such as SheaMoisture Raw Shea Reconstructive Elixir ($10) with argan oil and raw shea butter," says Bailey.
3. Pin Curls
"Fine, wavy, curly hair is beautiful, but can be challenging to style. This technique helps manipulate the curl to enhance movement and shape," says Bailey. First, spray a volumizer over your entire head (she recommends SheaMoisture Yucca & Baobab Thickening Moisture Mist ($10)) and apply a curl-enhancing mousse. Then, "starting at the tips of your hair, finger-roll one-inch sections up the entire shaft to form a pin curl," says Bailey. "Anchor with duck-bill clips or bobby pins." Pin-curl the entire head and set with a diffuser, making sure hair is completely dry. Remove the clips or pins, and gently rake through with your fingers to loosen the curls. Finish with a light-hold hair spray.
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