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Hairstylist Tips For Curly Hair

4 Steps to Fuss-Free Curls, From a Curly Haired Stylist

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Now more than ever, women are embracing their natural curl pattern. We've gotten rid of the poker-straight hair and bounced back into style with our luscious curls . . . finally! We're not just talking about one particular curl pattern; we're talking about tightly wound, free-flowing, playfully wavy curls that are full of life, color, and you know, frizz.

As a hairstylist and curly girl myself, I still struggle with frizz. There's nothing wrong with slightly unkempt hair if styled correctly. So what's the secret? Styling your hair when it's sopping wet. Yup, dripping wet. Here are a few foolproof tips from a pro that'll give you a fuss-free look whether your hair is tightly coiled or loosely waved.

Step 1: Success Starts in the Shower

Shampoo and condition hair with sulfate-free products. The ingredient responsible for creating the perfect lather you so desire (sodium laureth sulfate) does not add nutrients to your strands. In fact, it's damaging your hair by stripping away all of its natural oils. Curly hair is drier than any other hair type so retaining moisture is essential to maintaining healthy, shiny looking hair.

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Leave in a drop of conditioner to keep it from drying out. To detangle, rake your fingers through your hair; or invest in a Wet Brush ($18) to help detangle without destroying strands. Squeeze out excess moisture, but don't towel-dry.

Step 2: Prep Like a Pro

The next step is the most crucial part of curly hair success, so listen up. While your hair is dripping wet, apply your antifrizz products. Today's style groomers are so lightweight that they give a springiness to your curls without heaviness, which is always a great thing. These products are some of the best on the market, and I recommend them to clients all the time.

Step 3: The Set Up

Starting at the crown, gather hair into sections to ensure the product is being evenly distributed. In the palm of your hand, blend equal amounts of each product and finger rake it through curls. Give some sections a calm tug, and let them fall where they will. Twist others tightly into corkscrews or loosely into flowing ribbons if you're feeling fancy — no need to pin or clip, just let it rock out. This method adds more dimension to curls that'll frame your face.

Next, flip head over and pat lightly with a microfiber towel to press out moisture without disturbing freshly styled curls. DO NOT touch hair until it is completely dry. If you diffuse, I recommend only diffusing partially then air-drying the rest — you want your curls to blossom.

Step 4: The Finishing Touches

When hair is completely dry, add a little oil (jojoba, coconut, or sweet almond) to your fingers, and gently break up curls. This will soften hair and add more shine. It's not a comb out, but more of an unfurling. Tresses should look and feel bouncy. Don't use a brush unless you want instant frizz, #Facts.

To revive and add bounce to second- or third-day curls, spritz with a curl renewer, such as John Frieda Curl Reviver ($7).

Image Source: Jeary Payne
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