7 Things You Need To Stop Doing If You Have Curly Hair

Those of us who have been blessed with curly hair know how much of a rollercoaster ride our relationship with our curls can be. One day you love your hair and fully embrace your curls, and the next, they cause you to have a mental breakdown and you consider going full 2007 Britney. No shame, because we’ve all been there.

You’ve probably spent a ton of time, effort, and, above all, money trying to figure out the precise number and order of products that will get your hair to look perfect every time (even though we all know that’s pretty much impossible, because your hair basically has a mind of its own). While the actual routine will vary from person to person, there are some things that we should all steer clear of. So, here are some curly hair don’ts from the experts. 

1. Don’t Complicate Your Routine 

 

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Jessica Fitzpatrick, texture specialist at Beyond Texture Salon in Brooklyn, New York, wishes you would stop overcomplicating sh*t, and by sh*t, I mean your hair care routine. “I’m finding my clients are striving for this perfection in their routine when they are lacking consistency,” she says. Fitzpatrick says, “We tend to overcomplicate our product choices with all the YouTube tutorials and curl type hype when we haven’t established a status quo first.” Simple and consistent is the key here. I know it’s hard, but give your products some time to work before you abandon them and start anew with the next big thing on Instagram. According to Curls Understood, you may not see immediate results when using a product, and it’s best to give it about three months. If you aren’t in love with it by then, say thank you, next, and try something new.

2. Don’t Use Product With Toxic Ingredients  

 

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We’ve all had to kick toxic people out of our lives, so consider throwing away hair products that contain toxic and harmful ingredients in them. Curl specialist Candace Witherspoon suggests that any product that has sulfates, parabens, silicones, propylene glycol, ethanol alcohol, and added fragrances need to go. Sticking to more natural and clean hair products is the best way to keep your hair healthy. 

Dhiran Mistry, stylist at David Mallett Salon in New York City, agrees with Witherspoon and suggests you keep away from products with those ingredients in them. He says that silicones will repel moisture from your hair, sulfates will pull out your hair’s natural oil, and alcohol will cause excess drying. AKA, all things that will make your curls look and feel unhealthy. 

3. Don’t Use Chemical Processes 

A step in accepting your curls and finding other ways to manage them is to throw away any chemical processes you’ve ever used (keratin treatments, relaxers, etc.). According to Fitzpatrick, chemical processes lead to two terrible events: hair loss and thinning. “Chemical relaxers cause hair loss from the mid-shaft (breakage) and hair loss from the root (thinning),” she tells us, adding that these treatments can also lead to the recession of the hair line. Yes, receding hairlines aren’t just for creepy men on dating apps. Stay away!

4. Don’t Forget To Moisturize

As we approach the cooler months, Fitzpatrick wants you to be sure you’re assessing your moisture needs often, saying, “We tend to be in drier environments during this time of year.” She suggests using a deep conditioner more often and opting towards more cream-based stylers. She also suggests sleeping next to a humidifier, which will help provide extra moisture in your environment. And while we all love our oils and butter products, avoid using them. She tells us that, while they make your hair feel wonderful, they don’t improve the condition of the curls. They create the illusion of healthy hair and moisture, while in reality, they just sit on your curls and provide zero benefit.

5. Don’t Skip Out On Haircuts

I get it—no one likes getting a haircut. You go to get a *trim* and end up leaving with a curly bob. Like, have you ever cried after a haircut, or are you lying? Fitzpatrick suggests that in order to avoid this nightmare, it’s important to find a stylist that you communicate well with. No more sitting there scared sh*tless to speak up when everything is going wrong. She says, “Treat your first appointment with your stylist kind of as a first date.” Don’t hold back; tell them your deal breakers and expectations in this new relationship.

The list of benefits of getting your curls trimmed is long, but some continuously put off getting it done. Pandemic concerns aside, Fitzpatrick wants you to know that getting a trim will help encourage growth and longevity. Knowing this and being patient when it comes to seeing results will prevent future avoidance of getting a haircut in the future. 

6. Don’t Sleep On A Cotton Pillow 

pillow

Your life will change after sleeping on a silk or satin pillow. Not only will it help protect your curls while you toss and turn, it’ll change the appearance of your hair in the morning. No more unwanted frizz and untamable hair—it’s truly a miracle. Naturally Curly says that the friction between your hair and your normal cotton pillow case can leave your hair dry and brittle. Sleeping on a silk or satin pillow, though, will add an extra smooth layer that will allow your hair to maintain its moisture. 

7. Don’t Use Heat

IDK who needs to hear this, but heat is damaging to your hair. Having straight hair once in a while can provide a break from taming our curls daily, but doing it frequently is literally killing your curls. Using heat constantly will take away your hair’s natural shape and bounce. “Daily use of any hot iron on curly hair will eventually damage curly hair. Steer clear of them!” Mistry tells us. 

Yes, I’m talking to you, the one who never gives their hair a break. Every once in a while is fine, but this isn’t middle school anymore and you shouldn’t be flat-ironing your hair within an inch of its life every single day. Give those curls a break.

Images: Radu Florin / Unsplash; @curlyhair_memes (2) / Instagram

Ways To Switch Up Your Hair In Quarantine Without F*cking It Up

When entering quarantine, I knew that my skin and hair would thrive like never before. No makeup, just skin care. Not flat iron, just au naturale. 

That being said, 30-something days later, the trend of dying and cutting your hair at home is on the rise, and I for one feel like this must be controlled. The box dye you once bleached your hair with in seventh grade is no longer acceptable, and cutting your bangs with kitchen scissors WILL ruin your life. 

While I’d like to think I know everything, I turned to Joico’s Larisa Love for some DIY hair advice. Love has been in the industry for 10 years, has a casual half-million Instagram followers, and owns Larisa Love Salon in Studio City, CA. So basically, she knows a little more about hair than me. 

When I asked Love the “dos” of coloring and cutting hair at home, her answer was simple: Don’t. 

“There are many things I would recommend for people to try out with their hair while being quarantined, but coloring or cutting their hair is NOT one of them. I say leave it to the professional when it comes to those two categories, but there are so many other things you can do to experiment with your hair.” Love explains. “Hair trends online that are making me cringe are the people who are not professionally licensed trying to cut and color their hair! It almost always doesn’t come out as successful as you want, and you end up with more of a mess than what you started with,” she added. I mean, where is the lie?

So, how does one refresh hair without permanently butchering your precious locks?

Dry Shampoo

The less you wash your hair, the less oils are stripped. Giving your hair a break can result in less breakage (see what I did there). Love recommends adding dry shampoo to freshly washed hair (which is new to me) to add volume at the root and soak up oils before the oils have time to get the hair greasy. Volume allows the hair to not lay as close on the root, which contributes to hair staying oil-free for longer periods of time. Of course, you can also freshen up between washes with dry shampoo. Basically, what I gather from this, is when it comes to washing your hair, less is more.

Joico Weekend Hair Dry Shampoo

Joico Weekend Hair Dry Shampoo

Ditch the Heat

This feels kind of obvious, but some people are ~ addicted ~ to maintaining the perfect blowout or using a flat iron even when nobody can see them. But, the only thing you’re maintaining is the consistency of damaging your hair, so stop that. Love recommends falling in love with your natural hair (probably because she’s never seen mine) and finding the perfect products for you. If you’re naturally a frizz ball (hi) a zero-heat styling cream like this one from Joico can help tame the beast. If you’ve got naturally straight hair, or perfect curls that don’t result in frizz, just keep on keeping on and consider yourself #blessed. 

Refresh Your Color (Safely)

If you just CAN’T with your hair color anymore, I get it. Personally, my beachy blonde has turned yellow, and my roots can be seen from 10 miles away. Love has a solution for every color to take you from drab to fab without changing your routine one bit.

For the brunettes: Use a blue color balance shampoo to add a cool tone. Love recommends Joico’s Color Balance Blue, but for a more affordable alternative, we love Fanola’s No Orange Shampoo

Joico Color Balance Blue

Fanola No Orange Shampoo

For the redheads: Use a shampoo dedicated to you that embraces the red. Love recommends Joico’s Color Infuse Red. John Frieda’s Radiant Red Boosting Shampoo is also an affordable alternative with over 500 five-star reviews on Amazon.

Joico Color Infuse Red

John Frieda Radiant Red Boosting Shampoo

For the blondes (we’re the difficult ones): Use a purple shampoo if your hair tends to get brassy and you want to cancel out the warmth. Use a violet shampoo if your hair tends to get golden and you want more of a white tone to your hair. Try this shampoo if you want to detox AND brighten your blonde.

Joico Color Balance Purple

Kérastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo

Joico Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo

For all the above, Love recommends leaving on wet hair for 3-5 minutes to allow shampoo to absorb. 

No matter your color: If you color your hair, Love recommends washing in lukewarm to cold water. Adding heat to the hair strips the color off faster (which is quite inconvenient when every salon in the country is closed). 

If you’ve reached this point and still want to color your hair at home, don’t act yet. There is still one more acceptable do, so that you don’t ruin your hair (after all, there’s still some hope of hot girl summer).

Garnier Nutrisse offers a color-care mask, Nutrisse Color Revivers, that refreshes color while also restoring softness, smoothness, and shine (it only takes five minutes). This mask is nice because it only needs to be used once every two weeks, which speaks to lazy people like myself. It’s also extremely affordable ($7.99), and in a pandemic, that matters. In case you weren’t already convinced, it comes personally recommended by Selena Gomez’s hair stylist, Nikki Lee. “Right now, I am all about the Garnier Nutrisse Color Revivers. They restore vibrancy and smoothness and work great for a refresh of color and shine at this time when you can’t get in the salon,” she says. I trust her.

Garnier Nutrisse Color Reviver Masks

So, in a nutshell, there is no room for DIY hair coloring or cutting at home. It might look fun on Instagram, but the reality is simply *not* as pretty. 

Images: Ulta; Amazon; Garnier; Element 5 Digital / Unsplash

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4 Easy Halloween Hairstyles You Can Do Yourself

Sponsored by TRESemmé

Halloween is coming up—I shouldn’t have to tell you that. When it comes to Halloween, there are two types of girls: the ones who go all-out from head to toe and have been planning an elaborate costume since April of the year before, and the ones who literally can’t be bothered to do more than throw on a T-shirt and do a slightly different beauty routine. If you ask us, Halloween hair doesn’t get the respect it deserves. If done correctly, it can totally make your look for the night. Plus, it works for either type of Halloween enthusiast. Like, if you’re super into Halloween, your hairstyle obviously has to be incorporated into whatever costume you choose. If you DGAF, you can try one of these hairstyles and literally not change your outfit at all, and boom, you’re festive. We teamed up with TRESemmé to give you four hairstyle ideas to try this Halloween.

1. Space Princess Braids

You know the one! She’s from a galaxy far, far away and her brother is a very, um, solitary figure. Her hairstyle is easily the most recognizable thing about her, and luckily it’s not that hard to recreate the look yourself at home. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Part your hair in the middle and split your hair into 2 sections
  2. Create 2 pigtails right above your ears
  3. Braid your first pigtail and then coil the braid into a bun. Secure with bobby pins
  4. Repeat for the second pigtail
  5. Finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Freeze Hold Hair Spray so you can dance all night without your precious braids falling.

2. Space Buns

Even outside of Halloween, space buns are a good hairstyle to have in your arsenal of know-how because you can wear them to nights out, festivals, and… ok, that’s about it. Still, you can do space buns if you want to be an alien, a bear, a tiger, and just about any cat/animal. This is what you do:

  1. Part your hair in the middle and split your hair into 2 sections
  2. Create 2 pigtails high at the top of your head
  3. Tease your pigtails if you want more volume
  4. Twist your first pigtail away from your face and coil into a bun. Secure with a hair tie
  5. Repeat for the second bun
  6. Mix 3 tbp of TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Gel with 1 tbsp of colorful glitter in a small bowl (it ain’t a costume without glitter)
  7. Apply glitter gel to your part, painting outwards, using a small paintbrush.
  8. Finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hair Spray (again, you want those suckers to stay in place).

3. Fishtail 

Ah, yes. The mermaid. It’s a popular choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Whether you’re going to craft your own seashell bra using real shells and hot glue (hi) or just put on a bikini top and call it a day, your look obviously won’t be complete without a fishtail braid. The fishtail braid is one of my favorites because it looks really intricate but it’s actually incredibly easy to do.

  1. Pull hair back into a ponytail
  2. Divide the ponytail into two smaller, equal-sized ponytails
  3. Separate a half-inch section of hair from the outside of the left ponytail
  4. Pull this piece across the top of the left ponytail over to the right ponytail
  5. Next, separate a half-inch section of hair from the outside of the right ponytail
  6. Pull this piece across the top of the right ponytail over to the left ponytail
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 until you run out of hair. That’s it!
  8. When you’re finished braiding, secure the ends with an elastic
  9. Finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Fine Hair Spray to lock in your style.

4. 50s Hair

We’re talking tight, bouncy curls reminiscent of a certain former ingenue who is transformed after a summer of lovin’. Throw on your favorite red lipstick, some black leggings or leather pants if you have them, and a black leather jacket (or pleather, we don’t judge here) and you’re dressy and comfortable. The curls may take a little more skill, so you might want to enlist a friend to help with this. 

  1. Before blow drying, apply a heat protectant spray like the TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer before styling. Trust us, you’ll thank us for this tip later.
  2. Curl hair in 1- to 2-inch sections and in different directions to create a more volume and texture
  3. After curling a strand, release the section and loosely pin the curl at the scalp to allow it to cool 
  4. Once the entire head is curled, release the pins and gently brush through
  5. Apply TRESemmé Extra Hold Mousse to hair and scrunch through to add control and hold volume. Volume is key with this look!
  6. Pull the hair back on one side and finish with TRESemmé TRES Two Extra Hold Hair Spray

No matter what route you go with, TRESemmé products will hold your style in place all night and keep your hair looking good.