Let me start out by stating that I (Katie) am not a Curl Specialist, although I thought I was for a long time. Because I knew how to diffuse like a boss, which products to use for specific results, and how to curl my own hair I thought I was hot stuff in the Curl World. Turns out, I wasn’t. There are so many things I didn’t know about curly hair that I wish I had known starting out. I reached out to one of our Columbus Curl Specialists to get the 411 on what I had no idea I didn’t know!
If knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom, then knowing your Curl Type is the beginning of all good hair days! There are many classifications of curl types and NaturallyCurly.com has an incredible resource for finding and understanding your own.
“A lot of people want to wear their hair curly but they don’t know how,” says Jazmen, a Textured Hair Specialist in our Columbus salons. “They’ve been getting it blown out or straightened for so long, they don’t know what their curls even look like.”
Once you know your curl type, you can begin assessing the unique routines, limitations, products, and services your curls require. Do you want to create more bounce? Would you prefer to decrease your wave and rock a smoother look? What if you love your texture and want to keep it healthy?
In this blog, we are going to touch on some basics specific to our clientele in Columbus, Ohio. Stay tuned for future articles with advanced knowledge!
Jazmen, one of our Curl Specialists, had a lot to say about learning the basics of caring for curls. “Detangling is one of the main struggles that people have with natural, highly textured, or African American hair. Finding a safe way to detangle without causing breakage is key. It takes tons of conditioner! Use a wide-tooth comb, starting at the bottom and work your way slowly up to the top.”
Products are “make-it or break-it” when it comes to curly hair and it’s all trial and error until you find the perfect fit for you. With the weather in Columbus being…whatever it is, there is a real challenge in knowing what curl products to use and when. We have a few recommendations to start you off!
For natural hair in all seasons, Jazmen recommends Shea Butter. “It adds moisture to your hair and softens. When I went natural completely, it was the first product that worked on my hair.”
For those struggling in the Ohio winters to keep their curly hair bouncy, she recommends Love Curl by Davines. “It works really well for my natural clients because it moisturizes and helps pop their curls back amazingly! Those are my favorite go-to products.”
I personally work with a lot of clients who are looking to smooth their curls out while maintaining some body and movement. For these moments, I recommend Davines Love Curl Controller. It’s a lightweight cream that keeps in all the moisture required while allowing the curls to soften and lengthen.
When it comes to African American and textured hair, “more is more” says Jazmen. “Depending on what type of texture you have, you have to use a lot of product and make sure you apply it evenly. Running your fingers through over and over will help saturate everything and gently detangle at the same time.”
For those with a looser curl pattern, try detangling while conditioner is still on your hair in the shower. Use your fingers, a large comb, or Wet Brush. Once the conditioner is rinsed out, gently towel dry by squeezing or patting (not rubbing!) Apply styling product first by gently squeezing through the middle of your hair, then with a scrunching motion to lightly saturate the ends.
As anyone with curly to kinky hair can tell you, it takes on a life of its own and requires special care. Being prone to dryness, frizz, fragility, and additional volume, services for curls can take place in many different ways such as dry cutting, wet cutting, a combination of the two, curl carving, and other unique texturizing techniques. Depending on the needs of your hair and how you wear it, our Curl Specialists go over options during your consultation to discern what best fits your specific needs.
One thing to keep in mind is that nearly all curly haircuts eventually grow back into a triangle. This can be very flattering on some people, and not so on others. It is the nature of the beast. Curly hair calls for frequent salon services to maintain its desired shape as it is prone to creating width or volume at the bottom.
Here is a big caution though! Hair that is cut to your curl pattern may appear uneven when straightened out. Similarly, precision cuts may not work well for curly styling. Curl pattern may also change with the removal of length or use of color or lightener. As my mama always says, “Curly is as curly does.” (Mama never said that.)
Many curly-haired clients have built up layers of product over the years which may be reducing frizz. Color services (especially those that require multiple processes) may remove this layer leaving hair appearing drier, fluffy, or more frizzy. Most curly girls know that the day you receive a hair service may not be your best hair day. Some textures tend to “freak out” and lose shape for the days following a cut or color service. This is perfectly common and is typically remedied after the next washes and getting your hair back into it’s routine.
The Curl Specialists at our Columbus salons undergo specialized training for natural and curly hair, led by our Artistic Director, Annah Davis (stay tuned for future interviews with her!) If you are interested in having a consultation to determine your curl type and discuss what options might be best for your hair, please call either of our locations in the Clintonville and Short North neighborhoods and ask for a Curl Specialist, or book a consultation online!