As a curly haired woman, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Tell me if you’ve had the same struggles I’ve had: one rogue curl insisting on being out of place, the necessity of daily hair styling (no “wash and go” happening here), a complete inability to change up a hairstyle once you’ve committed to it for the day, and frizz, frizz, frizz!
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Women sporting everything from soft waves to tight spiral curls face an entirely different set of hair challenges than our straight haired friends. The good news is that we also have an entire set of advantages all our own. Your naturally curly hair can look fabulous in anything from a loose ponytail to a stunning updo. What I’ve assembled here are some easy hairstyling tips for curly hair which anyone can try, regardless of skill level.
Start With the Right Cut
I have a unique advantage. My sister (with hair even curlier than mine) happens to also be a hairstylist. Having a stylist in the family has let me in on a secret that not many of us are aware of. Namely that the proper hair cut can go miles in terms of hair manageability. There is a catch though. Just like any other profession, there are different specialties among hairstylists, and curly hair is one of them.
We all know to ask for the color specialist when we’re considering highlights, and we all know to ask for the updo specialist when we’re going to a formal event. So often however, it doesn’t occur to us to ask for someone who specializes in cutting and styling curly hair. Ask any stylist: it’s a totally different skill set. Call your local salons, and see if you can find someone to give you the right length and layers. As a bonus, your stylist will also have some great product recommendations to compliment your look, and keep those curls looking fabulous.
No Fuss, No Muss
Each of the hairstyles on the following list have one thing in common. They all involve you touching and messing with your hair as little as possible. Most curly haired gals have realized by this point that the more you touch your hair, the more trouble it’s going to give you. So, as a base for each of the styles consider these easy starting points:
- Air Drying. Once you are out of the shower, give your hair a good brush or comb-through to get rid of those tangles. Flip your head forward so that all your hair is hanging towards the floor, and apply your favorite styling product by scrunching it into your hair. Flip back upright, and that’s it. Hands off! Let your curls dry naturally, and let the styling product do its work.
- Use A Diffuser. An unfiltered blow dryer is more likely to straighten your hair, or worse, frizz it out. A diffuser attachment will help disperse the air, and allow curls to form more naturally. Let the diffuser be the only thing touching your hair though. The temptation to run your fingers through occasionally is strong, but try to resist. Your restraint will pay off.
Once your hair is dry, or at least mostly dry, it’s time to get styling. Onto some easy options.
Hopefully your newly optimized haircut, and hands-off drying methods are going to lead to far more “good hair days”. Should you be lucky enough to have one, just go with it. Let those curls hang loose and lovely. No need to do anything!
Strategic Bobby Pinning
We all have those weird curls which insist on messing up an otherwise lovely hairdo. Maybe it sticks out, or curls in a different direction, or even straightens out on it’s own. That’s nothing a little bobby pinning can’t fix. The advantage here is that your curls tend to separate into sections, which are easily grabbed. Take a section, move it around to a better position, and pin it in place. The natural volume in your curls will hide the pins.
The Cute Side Bun
One thing curly haired women often do is bundle all their lovely locks up into a ponytail, and hide it behind them. While that might seem like an easy solution, there is another one which is just as simple, but also lets you keep those ringlets on display. A loosely gathered bun swept off to the side is a great way to tame runaway hair without hiding it from the world. The waves and curls will still be visible, but a little more locked down. This is especially ideal for windy days and workouts.
Add an Accessory
Some of my personal favorites for a quick hair spruce up are a medium-width headband, or a barrette. Sometimes all your hair needs is a little nudge to look more styled, and these are great ways to accomplish that. If your hair tends to float into your face throughout the day, consider locking it in place with a color coordinated clip. Need just a little insurance on your ‘do? Try the headband. Both are quick, easy ways to keep everything in place.
The Loose French Braid
When your hair absolutely, positively must be tamed, there is nothing like a french braid. The layering-in effect of this style keeps both shorter and longer lengths in check, so you can get on with your day. Loosely add sections into your braid as you go to keep that natural wave. This will add both volume and texture to your braid, keeping it uniquely you.
Curly hair is a blessing, not a curse. Even though we all get frustrated sometimes, don’t give up on it. Sometimes, all you need are a few simple tricks to keep it looking sharp and styled. To read some more cool ideas for hairstyles, check out these other Udemy blogs:
Styling Short Hair
Hair Styling Tips for Every Length