Main Image Credit:
The colour studio, The Chapel Tunbridge Wells
Beautiful bouncy curls that are full of shine look great and are often the envy of many. Learning how to tame, and control curls will help you maintain healthy looking hair and avoid unnecessary damage. Maintaining healthy hair between salon visits can give your stylist a strong base to work with when it comes to more intensive treatments: if these are handled incorrectly it can cause long term damage to curls. These styling and haircare tips that you can do at home will ensure you keep curls looking captivating and capable of handling any salon treatment or restyle.
Knowing your hair pattern type can determine the styling and haircare routine you should adopt. The most common types are wavy, curly and coily. Coily hair is mainly tight S or Z shaped curls, and can be quite wiry and dense; this curl type will need a lot of moisture to avoid becoming damaged and frizzy. Contrastingly, wavy hair tends to be a relaxed S shape whilst curly hair appears as a more defined S shape; there are lots of different variations between the groups, plus you also have to take into account things like hair porosity and length. It may take some trial and error, but combining prepping and styling hair products to get the best result will help build a routine that keeps curls looking fabulous.
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How you wash your hair can make a big difference to your curls. Co-washing is the perfect option to moisturise curls rather than cleansing them with shampoo, which can leave hair dry and frizzy. Washing with just conditioner once a week, or however often required, can maintain shine and nourish your curls. Make sure you keep a cleansing shampoo in your routine; however, curly hair can benefit from its own natural oils so this product should be sparingly used. Additionally, a little coconut oil on the ends of curly hair can be a nourishing treatment for dry brittle tips and split ends.
‘Hair plopping’ is a drying technique that uses no heat. It’s great for those who have naturally curly hair and find that air drying can leave them with frizz. Prep damp hair with a leave-in conditioner and use a wide tooth comb to detangle after washing. Lower your hair onto a cotton towel or an old t-shirt, and wrap tightly. Towels can absorb too much of the hair’s moisture leaving you struggling with frizz. Depending on how thick your hair is, leave for a few hours, or even overnight. When you release your hair you’ll be left with defined curls guaranteed — you can add a little serum to promote shine.
A 50/50 mix of water and leave in conditioner is a quick method of refreshing your curls. Spray through hair and scrunch with your hands. It avoids that crunchy feel, but you’ll find that hair begins to spring back to its curly finest. Popping a hairnet, or cap over curls can help set the style. If you want to twist hair to encourage a curl, go in the direction the hair naturally wants to move. The pattern will be stronger, and it’s definitely beneficial not to fight against the curl’s formation.
A throwback photo from the 2014 archives! The Chapel training session with Paul Larter
If you have a busy lifestyle and don’t have a lot of time to let hair dry naturally, using a diffuser on a low heat will dry hair evenly and give volume to curls — adding a little volumising mousse before drying will help maximise this effect. If you want to define your curls, use a tong to take random pieces and create a tighter style. On those days you don’t want to wash and go, spray some light hold product through hair and twist, pinning the hair low to create a bun.
Heated rollers can tame natural curls and add a more glossy finish. They are the ideal styling tool for popping in your hair and then leaving to cool whilst you do your make-up. Remove once cool and use your fingers to comb through hair; a little shine spray will finish the look and show off your curls in all their glory.
When combing hair, start from the ends and work up to your roots. This will help detangle knots towards the ends and avoid painful tugging at the roots of your hair. Work in small sections up to the roots, if your hair is too thick for this. Never use a brush to detangle hair as this disrupts the natural hair pattern and can cause some serious tangles.
Embrace your curls, whether it’s a wave or a ringlet, make the most of what nature gave you. For more information on taming those curls, check out our expert advice section.