Keep it natural.
There’s something to be said for the ongoing narrative towards embracing the natural that has taken front and centre in the beauty industry of late. You know what I mean—creating skin that looks like skin, opting for barely-there makeup and sporting full, textured brows, etcetera etcetera.
This approach has also rippled into hair, with hairstylists encouraging women to embrace and work with their natural hair texture. This approach is easier said than done, though, especially for women with curly hair—in this instance, leaving the house without slathering on a smoothing cream or frizz-busting serum can often lead to disaster. The trick? Two hairstylists reveal all.
According to award-winning hairstylist Craig Smith of Fruition Style Ambition, it always starts with an appointment with your hairstylist. “Your natural curl always sings it best song when it’s cut dry and a freehand technique is used,” explains Smith. “Every curl has its own identity, so each one needs to be considered on how they will help to create the final look.”
While it’s easy to focus on hair length and style when visiting the hairdresser, what you should really do is zero in on the distribution of weight and the overall silhouette created. “As hairdressers, we focus on the balance of length to width, as this is paramount to making curls look their best,” says Smith.
Post-cut—as anyone with curls will know—specialised styling and care products are essential to keep your mane in good condition. When it comes to styling, both experts agree that less is always more. “Twist curls into place with your fingers and if possible, allow your hair to dry naturally or lightly diffuse it dry,” explains Brett Albury of The Murphy Gozzard Hair Community. “You should also avoid touching or scrunching your hair while drying as this will encourage frizz.” Lastly, ensure that your locks are still damp and only lightly blot-dried with a towel before styling—curly hair is much more malleable when wet, and this way the curls will also be much more defined when they’re dry.
“You want to work with products that focus on moisture and maximising hydration, such as Kevin Murphy Motion Lotion,” explains Smith. “Once dried, you can further tame and flatten hair by using a serum or cream that helps to minimise frizz or flyaways.”
As tempting as it may be to douse your locks in hydrating lotions, it’s essential that you only apply as much product as directed. For those with thick, dense, string-curl textures, go for it—this hair type requires more moisture, and in general can handle generous amounts of product. “I particularly love La Biosthetique’s Curl Defining Cream,” says Albury. Fine hair types, however, needs to go easy: “While finer curls still need moisture, you need to be mindful to use less product to ensure that hair is not weighed down.”
So what if you’re having one of those days (or weeks, or months) where you just don’t have the time to dedicate to hair styling but still want polished-looking tresses? “Reach for Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Oil in Cream,” says Smith. “It provides a powerful moisture boost that all curly hair types love, and enough hold to wear beautifully throughout the day.”
Tell us, what are your cult hair products for curly hair?
Would you ever consider ditching your hair tools and wear your natural texture?