Hair

Curly hair tips and tricks

Nelson Simoneau Image by: Nelson Simoneau Author: Elle Canada

Hair

Curly hair tips and tricks

If you’re struggling to tame your curls or make them look their absolute best, read on. We checked in with two hair experts for tips on making your curly hair look fantastic day in and day out.

Haircuts for curly hair
“Curly hair needs to be cut differently than straight hair,” says Leland Olsen, celebrity stylist at Toronto’s Exit Salon. “Whether it’s thick and curly or fine and curly, it needs a high-precision cut. The ends of the hair need to have weight and the curl has to finish right to the end.”

If you’ve got wavy hair, Olsen says the cut needs to provide seamless layers to create soft movement and body without any choppiness. “Spiral curls need a completely different haircut,” he says. “This type of hair needs very clean straight lines throughout the entire haircut at whatever length you choose. This creates a definite ending at the bottom of each curl so that the curl looks finished from the root to the end of the curl, much like it would look when wet. When you texturize or thin curly hair, it becomes too light and hollow at the ends and you will see through the curls and it will look frizzy.”

Curly hair: Common mistakes
Charles Booth, founder and creator of LaCoupe, says that one of the biggest mistakes women with curly hair make is trying to overly tame or hide their curls. “The best way to avoid this is to learn to love your curls and to learn how to manage them, to make the most of the volume and wonderful texture you have naturally,” he says. “Another mistake is to not condition sufficiently. Like dry skin, your curls need extra moisturizing to be their best. The secret of this is often in the rinsing process, after conditioning; manage your rinsing time so as to leave some of those wonderful moisturizers and vitamins in the hair.”

Best way to care for curly hair
Olsen recommends a treatment at least once a week. “The more moisture, the better the curl will look and make it less likely to attract moisture through the air in the day and become frizzy,” he says. “Product is your friend. Find the right product to enhance, stretch or weigh down the curl. Now there are products that look like you have nothing in your hair. Once you have product in your hair don’t touch it,” he cautions.

View our fave curly hair products here

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5 tips for styling curly hair

Booth offers up these tips to help give you sensational style:

1. A very new way to use the curl to get volume, and still have smoother wavy hair on the surface, is to leave the curl in the first two or three inches of the underneath layers of hair next to the roots. Then if you blow dry or flatiron the top layers and the ends of the underneath layers, you will be using your curls to get incredible sexy volume.

2. Always work starting with wet hair; don't let the frizz get hold of your hair before you have styled or placed it. If you are leaving it natural, don't touch it until it is completely dry. Even the slightest pressure can break the surface smoothness of the hair and cause frizz.

3. Detangle and comb through with conditioner in the hair after shampooing. Always work starting at the ends and move up in small increments to the roots. For any style other than leaving it natural, always style your hair in manageable sections, working from the underneath at the back.

4. Curly hair gives you the luxury of being able to experiment with lots of different looks. One of my favourites: After shampooing and conditioning, apply a little styling product and tie the hair up in a bun on the top of the head, put a few large rollers in to the topknot, diffuse dry, then comb into a smooth bun for a great evening style.

5. Invest in good quality equipment. A good diffuser is a curly haired person's best friend. A really hot iron – it's worth the money to spend a bit more and get one that will work quickly and last. Also get a really wide toothed comb and a lot of large sectioning clips. But check for a nice smooth finish on them so that your hair won't catch or tear.

Read more:

Hair styles: Up and away
Expert hair advice: His favourite looks
Hair styles: The best hair styling products

Test the latest celebrity hair and makeup trends with our Virtual Makeover Tool!

Natalie Bahadur is the Senior Editor of styleathome.com and is a regular contributor to ElleCanada.com.
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Curly hair tips and tricks