As you can see from our picture, I’ve got very curly hair. When I was young, my mum used to brush it, which any curly-haired person will know is madness. It turned it into such a frizzy mess that she had to cut it really short in order to keep it under control, and there were more than a few questions from other kids wondering whether I was a boy or a girl. From there began a love-hate relationship with my hair that involved several dodgy hairstyles and hours of straightening.
Some of you reading this might think I’m a bit crazy/ungrateful, as people love to tell me how they’d kill to have curls like mine (yet another thing people with curly hair are tired of hearing). But! I am slowly coming to love the curls. After a lot of trial and error, I finally know how to keep them under control. So here are my five top tips for styling curly hair. To all you other curlies out there – you’re welcome.
1. Don’t brush it
You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but lots of people don’t realise you should never, ever brush curly hair. I only ever comb it carefully using a wide-toothed comb when I’m in the shower.
2. Ditch the heat
I’ve given up on straightening my hair because (a) it didn’t look very good, (b) it took ages, and (c) the faintest hint of wind or rain would see it curling right back up. Nowadays, I just leave my hair to dry naturally – mostly out of laziness, but it does make it look better too (if I don’t touch it too much) and it means it’s in much better condition.
3. The miracle cream
This super-cheap Curl Creme from Boots is an absolute must-have for me and has been for about 10 years now. Having tried lots of other curl creams – both cheap and expensive – I can confidently tell you that this one is by far the best: it defines curls and tames frizz with no crispiness or residue. I recommend it to anyone I meet with even vaguely curly hair. I don’t use any other products on my hair except for a bit of serum if its looking particularly frizzy.
4. The right cut
I think this is different for all curlies, but my hair just looks better when it’s short; if it gets too long, it becomes big and unmanageable. It’s sad, as I’ve always dreamed of having really long hair, but it’s never gotten past the stage of being a huge frizzy mess, so I’ve given up trying. Make sure you get your hair cut by someone who knows curly hair, too, as this makes a real difference. I find I need lots of layers cut into it, otherwise my head looks like a mushroom.
5. Don’t wash it
Curly hair looks better when it’s a bit greasy; washing it too often can make it even more dry and frizzy (actually, straight hair can benefit from being washed less often too). I still rinse mine with water every day and apply curl cream, as it looks crazy when I wake up. I wash my hair about once a week (using Curly Wurly shampoo and Retread conditioner from Lush). I can’t recommend this hair mask enough either.
Anything I’m missing? I’d love to hear any tips from fellow curly-haired readers!