This weeks blog, by popular demand, is devoted to the curly crew. Whether the bain of your life, or your crowning glory, curls can be perplexing. Some of us have been sprouting the bouncy blighters for years, yet are at somewhat of a loss as to what to do with them? I know it sounds crazy, but I hear from clients daily of their battle with frizz, crispy poodle tight curls and EXPANSION! That there is my battle. But with a little help I can assure you it is possible to tame those tresses and get those curls to work for you.

There are three main elements to consider:
1, The Cut
2, Products
3, The Finish

The Cut:
This is by far the most important consideration. Now I do like the occasional short curly do, but on the whole I have to advise you that curly hair is more easy to manage when longer. Gravity rules girls. I have personal experience of growing my kinky locks down from a crop and the six years of hell I endured was enough to teach me the hard way. I would sometimes wrestle with the beast on my head for an hour before being able to tentatively step outside! My mother affectionately called this hair stage ‘the Cornish hedge effect’ as I would wake up most morning looking like I’d been ravaged by a bleak Cornish gale! Kirby grips and youth allowed me to ride out various pinned up ‘bear ear’ styles. But when the layers finally grew below my ears, we approached calmer waters and the rest of the ‘in between’ stage was fairly plain sailing.

Long layers with some shape around the face will suit most curly hair. The weight of longer layers will stop them flailing around and this shape is very low maintenance. The key to cutting curly hair though is texturising. This in layman’s terms means cutting into the hair to create texture and separation, release weight,and encourage volume. (Yeah I’m OK for volume thanks!) This is, if you like, the fine tuning of the hair cut and without softening the fundamental shape in this way, the cut will grow out quickly and be harder to manage. So if you’ve ever had a bad curly cut, I suspect it was this part that was neglected.

If you do fancy something shorter, a layered bob can look great with curly hair or even a crop. With something short I would go quirky and opt for irregular pieces of length, disconnections and even maybe undercut panels? Not just for Germans peeps! An undercut can be a clever way of reducing thickness in troublesome areas and is a current and deliberate nod to fashion. Mid length curls are always just on the cusp of dated without a strong shape so be advised by your stylist and go for something different.

Products:
Now this girls is gospel. Gone are the days when all we had at our disposal was mousse for a ‘crusty curl’. We are literally spoilt for choice now. I would highly recommend Label M for products. They are a range of products created by Hairdressers for Hairdressers’ needs therefore…THEY ACTUALLY WORK!!Hurrah!
First port of curl is hydration. Curly hair is always thirsty and will benefit from a good drenching. I would shampoo and condition with Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner if your hair is coarse or highlighted. If it’s fine and flyaway try the divine Gentle Cleansing shampoo with Sweet Pea and Vanilla.
Then prime with Curl cream or Curl Spray into wet hair. Don’t let the hair get to dry before appplying your product as it won’t absorb into the hair shaft so well. Label Ms Curl Complex technology uses wheat proteins which relax when wet and contract as they dry, making your curls bouncy and flexible.

Now in all honesty your hair will be much happier minus any heat at all, so in the Summer please give natural drying a go. If you need to look a little more polished for work, try just smoothing out what frames your face on a brush, then letting the rest catch up en route to the office.

If you need to dry I will give you the low down on diffusing next, but for now lets fast forward to dry status. You may feel like that’s it on the product front, but I would advise a small amount of serum or a paste such as Souffle to dress out your curls at this stage. With Avocado, Barbados Cherry and Olive extracts to nourish , moisturise and protect. This product is lightweight but delivers separation light hold and anti humidity barriers which of course prolong your style. Precipitation and humidity are not our friends!! (Think Monica with Cane rows in the Caribbean!)

Now two things that are our friends are the epic products, Sea Salt Spray and Resurrection Dust.
If you want volume, texture and hold try rotation drying your DRY style whilst spritzing with the spray. I’d keep your eyes closed at this stage, as although the Algae and Aquatic extracts in Sea Salt smell great, they sting like a ***** when they get you in the eyeball :0 I guarantee when you open your eyes you will be met in the mirror with a beach babe’s barnett and who doesn’t want to look like they have been frolicking in the surf?!?!

Resurrection Dust is designed to sprinkle in the roots of your do and then rub into the scalp. It will give you quite immense volume, is great used in conjunction with back combing and has a dry finish. Its great on freshly washed hair that has that has that ‘too soft’ quality and now comes in shades for Blonde bombshells and sultry Brunettes, happy days.

Finishing:
Now do you remember that cone with the spiky bits inside that arrived with your new Hairdryer back in 1999 ??;)You know the one that you stared at bewildered, then chucked to the back of your closet? Mmmmm hmmm, you need that honey!! So have a rummage gals and reacquaint yourself with the spiky tool. If it really is a gonner, Label M stock universal Diffusers at v reasonable prices. The theory goes like this:

Low heat, medium speed.
Prepped with correct products,(see above), check!
Now try…if you can…to do nothing! That’s right, don’t touch.. just drop your hair into the device, lift back up onto the head and let the Diffuser do the hard work for you. For more volume, more compression. Simples.

The more you touch the hair as it dries, the more the cuticle can fluff up creating frizz, our NEMESIS! So I would get the hair to 90% dry, then stop and dress out dry with the aforementioned finishing products.

So my curly com-padres you are now equipped to make the most of your movement. I have curly hair myself and do sympathize with the trials and tribulations of a springy mop. I do however believe wholeheartedly that curly/wavy hair is a gift and should be celebrated. Take a tip from SJP for example who quite frankly looks a little odd with straight hair?! If you look around celebs and models alike are sporting tousled tresses everywhere, so be brave I say and embrace texture curly tots.