Part 1: Curly Hair Confessions

I've recently made new friends who have beautiful thick curly hair, but they lock it up in clips and pull it back because the curls are just too wild and frizzy for them to handle. I understand. I've been there. I want to help them.

My hair is curly, but it's not that thick so it gets frizzy, poofy and flat all at the same time. Ick. When I had fine baby hair as a little kid it just fell in loose ringlets and looked adorable. Toward the end of elementary school I became a true fan of ponytails. However, junior high came along and I had to grow up my style (according to the mean girls who wouldn't let me talk to them). Long, straight hair was the only look to have. I acquired a Conair steam straightener (who's idea was that?!) and set to work burning, humidifying and tugging my curls into submission. It never worked.

After giving up on all the straightening balms and frizz serums, I decided I had to live with being a Curly-Q. That's when someone suggested gel. My entire sophomore year of high school I woke up, washed my hair, added gel to my soaking wet curls and left it to air dry. This method made my curls heavy, crunchy, cold and slightly wet inside if you cracked a clump of ringlets apart. The top of my super long hair was practically suctioned to my head in a greasy-looking flat mess. A bad look.

Finally, I discovered mousse. It worked better than the gel. It was lighter. Shortly after mousse, I found a diffuser for the end of my blow dryer. It dried my hair without turning me into an electrocuted poodle. Then I learned the wonders frizz-free curl spray when used before mousse. My hair was starting to take shape. (Pictured: My senior picture. I had finally figured out how to work the curls.)

It wasn't until college and community bathrooms that I learned not washing my hair everyday had more advantages than making it to class on time. I hadn't realized how dry my hair was or how much washing it every day dried it out. I also discovered a smoothing lotion to tame second day curls (it got discontinued!). Deep conditioning, leave in conditioner for my pool-side survival kit and the use of a curling iron to emphasize curls for special events are all tricks I've added to my curl taming repertoire.

Now, I'm pretty confident with my curls. They must look good because women frequently stop and ask me if their natural and how I maintain them. I also love asking other curly girls for their secrets. That's where you come in. I want to put together a post of tips, tricks and secrets for curly hair. I've shared my story so I hope you'll share yours. I'll be following up with another post so I can share your tips, stories, pictures and product must-haves with everyone.

You can leave tips in the comments or email me at editor[at]fashionmefabulous[dot]com. Please send pictures (as long as you don't mind me publishing them), stories, tips and the names of favorite products with info on how to buy them. Lets help our fellow curly girls live frizz-free.


rachel said…
It might sound obvious, but don't brush curls. I didn't actually realize that I had curly hair until one day when I showered, quickly combed it, and then had to go some place and let my hair air dry. Before that, I just thought that I had bushy Hermione hair, and I was always brushing it to tame the fluff. I also really like John Freida hair serum. Just a tiny bit on wet hair helps my curls stick together and tames flyaways. If only it cured the flyaways...
Catie said…
When some ill-informed, stick-straight haired chick complains about the humidity ruining her sleek look, I chide, "You'll get frizzy? Honey, curly hair is nothing but big frizz!!"

This doesn't work for a lot of other people, but I shower at night (I can't bring myself to wake up so early that I have to DO my hair) and then get some mousse (or gel, if that's all I have) and put it in. Then, I just sleep on it. My hair looks better this way that if I styled it during the day!

For straightening (I love my curls, but I need a change every so often), try not to use a flat iron more than once a week, to prevent heat damage and breakage). Also, I used to mousse my hair, wait a day, and then straighten it until one day, I took my french braids out and felt how soft my locks were sans product. I ran to my straightener, cranked it up, and wound up with the sleekest hair I think possible for my head =D

The thing that bugs me most is that when you google something like "Curly hairstyles", it's always for straight hair that can be curled. No, I want to know how I can cut it so that my curls don't make me look like that triangle headed chick from Dilbert. Can anyone help with that?


PS. This post is practically biographical of my life. Glad to know someone knows the experience =D
Sarah Dee said…
My hair is the kind of curl you get when you put in curlers (yes I mean spirals, literally). My biggest tips to the curly haired gal. Shampoo sparingly, condition ALWAYS and never ever brush when dry.

rachel said…
Also, I just found this. Lots of great info, and tips!
Unknown said…
I have naturally curly hair as well and I've found that Garnier Fructis Curl Construct works wonderfully for me as a cheap hair mousse. I'm not a huge fan of their other products but I love this one. I usually use more that you'd think one would need because my hair is pretty thick. Then I blow dry it.

I recently discovered as well. I ordered the small 2oz sample sizes and I'm really excited about them because they work wonderfully. I had very little frizz and it smelled awesome. Speaking of smell the other reason I love this product is that you can order it scent free. I get smell sensitive when I'm sick and you wouldn't believe how hard it is to find something w/o a scent.'s all natural and doesn't have sulfates. Another happy thing for ladies with curly hair.
Anonymous said…
I was going to suggest going to too, but someone beat me to it. I'm a curly head, always will be. I look terrible with straight hair.

My best tips for you would be to "conditioner wash". Most conditioners have gentle surfactants in them and do clean your hair without stripping it (much to the disbelief of frequent shampooers). When washing, don't rub your hair around because that causes tangles. And comb your hair with conditioner in it in the shower, then rinse. Apply your stylers on damp or wet hair.

Hope that helps!
Cindy said…
I've got wavy hair (that becomes curly with some products and a diffuser) and just found out how to "conditioner wash". My hair has never been so soft and the curls so defined, absolutely loved it!
Got tons of info about the CG (Curly Girl) method on this site:

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