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Calling All Curly Folks!

Published: 28/Apr/2012     
I love Curly Hair!

Curly Hair!

Today I’d like to talk about something very near and dear to my heart…the most versatile and beautiful hair type, CURLY HAIR! Sadly, the majority of curly-haired folks tend to be frustrated with their hair, and will go to great lengths to tame it and perm it into submission.  Well, I’m here to tell you that there is hope: you can have easy-to-maintain, healthy curly hair that needs only a minimum of styling in the morning to look fantastic. I have helped people fall in love with their curls, simply by teaching them to embrace their natural texture through correct haircare and the right haircut.

The first thing you need to do is realize that Vancouver doesn’t have an ideal climate for hair in the first place. How many of you have to carry around a flatiron for upkeep during the day? I know that the second you step outside into the rain, frizz just takes over. Please do yourself a favour and throw away your flatiron! Heat styling will severely affect your natural hair texture over time, especially if you’re touching up during the day (or worse, not protecting your hair with a heat styling serum or spray!).  Long term flatironing changes your texture, creating more frizz and making it look terrible if it air dries. Flatirons are now manufactured with very high maximum temperatures, which are extremely damaging. Heat causes the internal structure of the hair to come apart just a little, resulting in a loss of natural body and volume…your hair feels limp and lifeless, then when you head outside on a rainy Vancouver day, all sorts of crazy fuzziness happens to frustrate and confuse you.

There is hope!  I will say it again: THROW AWAY YOUR FLATIRON. There will be a period of bad hair days for about a month or sometimes even longer – stick with it and do not flatiron or blowdry your hair during this time.  Allow your hair to air dry and use quality curly hair products to support your transition.  I adore the TIGI Catwalk Curlesque line; it really does give you volume and curl separation.  I love how it makes my wavy hair soft and beachy-looking without tangles or crispiness.  I see a difference even if I just use the shampoo and nothing else!  It’s so important to air dry during the transition period because your hair needs to learn to go back to its natural wave pattern.  If anything, you could gently diffuse-dry on low heat until it’s damp, then air dry the rest.  The most valuable tip I can give during this stage is that you must not, under any circumstances, touch or brush your hair as it’s drying or afterward.  It will stretch your fragile hair and cause insane amounts of frizz.  You want your hair to start looking like this if it’s wavy, or this or this or this if it’s curly.  These styles show uneven curl from processed hair, and I picked them because they do represent stages along the way to having even, clean, naturally frizz-free hair.

On tightly curled or coiled hair types such as African hair, it can be more difficult to embrace your natural texture for many reasons. I urge you to give some serious thought to going natural. Here is my favourite site for natural African hair. If you have used a chemical relaxer, there is nothing you can do but grow it out or cut it off. Relaxers cannot be re-permed.  If you are just a chronic flatironer, there’s hope! Try the All Soft line from Redken. I love it on natural African hair, but it works well for anyone who prefers a stronger and heavier smoothing product.

For thicker or heavier hair types, nothing beats Rene Furterer Karite for softening and restoring curl integrity. When I still worked in the salon, I had a client who was (and still probably is) an internationally known bellydancer.  Her perm had been ruined by another salon, and she came to me in desperate need because she could not chop off her long thick hair – a bellydancer with a pixie cut just doesn’t have the same sex appeal. Her waist-length hair had become hard and crunchy, and the curls had turned to zig-zaggy uneven crimps.  She started a strict regimen using the entire Karite line, with deep Karite oil treatments once a week for 5 weeks. It completely restored her curls and gave her back her signature soft, flowing hair!

Buy a quality protein conditioner such as Redken CAT and use it once a week for 4 weeks, then taper off to every 2 weeks for a maximum of 6 months.  Then take a break for a few months before starting on a regular biweekly application for regular maintenance.  Alongside this treatment, apply a cuticle sealer such as BC Bonacure Repair Rescue Sealed Ends as needed.  What this will do is help to restore the broken bonds caused by heat styling, and it’ll seal the hair cuticle to strengthen your hair from the outside.

3 stages of outgrowing a relaxer using my Curly Cut to enhance curl!

3 stages of outgrowing a relaxer using my Curly Cut to enhance curl!

I just reread this article and noticed I completely got ahead of myself. Sorry about that! To start the whole process, you need a curl-enhancing haircut, which I have called my Curly Cut. I learned an awesome technique many years back, and I always say I didn’t pay the instructor enough for the course. Once you understand how it works, it makes so much sense, but it’s a very weird technique. The only complaint I have ever had about this cut is that it made someone’s hair TOO curly, and they just weren’t ready for it. The photo on the right is of one of my clients who was tired of the damage her relaxer was causing and wanted to embrace her natural curl. It took about 4 haircuts over 18 months to get her curls in line, but as you can see, her hair now looks FABULOUS without any product in it!  The two upper left images are the Before shots from our first visit, then After shots from that visit are to the right of those, and the lower images are after her most recent Curly Cut.

I’m willing to bet that the majority of straight-haired people reading this right now actually have curly or wavy hair…

If you answered yes to any of those, there’s a really good chance you’ll benefit from my curly haircut.  Even clients with a slight bend in their hair will benefit, and you can get bounce and body with this cut even on the thinnest and finest hair. It works fantastic on wavy hair types, and gives them the elusive beachy waves with little to no effort (of course, the Awapuhi Sea Spray does help a lot to achieve this look..and it smells YUMMY). I have also done curly cuts on mixed race hair, Indian and African hair, and extremely damaged/overhighlighted hair…all with good results.  It even works awesome for men’s cuts too!  Yep, it sounds too good to be true, but I swear it isn’t. This cut was designed with plain and simple common sense, by a curly haired person who understands that curly hair just doesn’t respond very well to the standard long layer cuts.

If you still need reasons why it’s so liberating to go natural, here you go:

So!  Any questions? Are you wondering right now if your hair wants a curly haircut? Contact me today and we’ll chat about it.


Credits for the photo above:

Hair by myself, Vancouver Mobile Hairstylist

Model Tuesday

Photography Kin Chan

8 responses to “Calling All Curly Folks!”

  1. Barb says:

    Hi! Thanks for your article! It’s refreshing to read from someone who really is passionate about hair and extending this knowledge to others around the world. I have curly hair and it’s been a good year of quitting the straightening iron and hair dryer. However, my hair is still frizzy and dry. I’ve noticed that the little baby hairs are starting to grow out as my diet is changed and I’ve decided to stop bleaching/highlighting my hair. (It’s been a year since my half-head highlights) Naturally I have dark blonde hair but I’m still struggling to find a good hair conditioner. I only wash my hair once a week, and the top half of my hair is always so much frizzier then the back (it might be because nearly all of the bleach blonde has grown out there whereas the top has a while to go). Would you recommend the Karite line for my type of hair?

    Also, I’ve read your post on Moroccan line, and unfortunately I bought the conditioner yesterday. So I’m just wondering what specific ingredients should I be staying away from? You mentioned that certain ingredients such as the Moroccan line basically cannot penetrate the hair shaft.

    If you could list some brands which you think I should use – I would forever be grateful! Also I’m trying to stick to a vegan friendly choice but I know that’s not always going to be most ideal – especially for my hair as most of these products haven’t really done much to tame my hair.

    (PS – I’m happy to send a pic of my hair if it helps).

    Anyways, thank you again!


    • victoria says:

      Hi Barb, thank you for your kind words! Yes, I would recommend the Karite line for your hair type, unless your hair is very fine – then I’d say try the Carthame instead. I’m sorry to hear you bought Moroccan Oil…return it if you possibly can! One brand you would love is Kevin Murphy; they have been awarded by PETA as an ethical line, and although I don’t know if they’re vegan they are the next best thing. The Kevin Murphy Hydrate shampoo and conditioner would be best for you. Malibu C is an 100% vegan line and although they only have a few awesome products, you probably don’t actually need anything from their line unless you swim a lot (then use their Swimmer’s line) or have hard water where you live (then use their Hard Water line). Schwarzkopf OSIS #3 Curl Gel with Oil is the best anti-frizz product on the market, so definitely give that a try if you need a new styling product. Finally, one of the best ways to fight frizz is to use the ‘plopping’ technique for drying your hair. Check out Youtube for some good plopping tutorials! I hope that all helps – best of luck to you with your hair 🙂

  2. Stefanie says:

    Thanks for the tip on Catwalk. I’m on the eternal search for a product that works with my fine curly hair.

  3. jean says:

    I came to your site looking for expert advice about how to grow out my medium brown hair color and head back to gray hair, and your article about that was awesome, so I checked out your listed articles and found this about curly hair! I am actually sad that I live no where even reasonably near Vancouver or I would make the trip to see you! I have naturally curly, thin hair that I would love to have the perfect cut and the perfect plan for growing out the gray! now, how to look for the perfect stylist/colorist in northern NY…!?

    • victoria says:

      Hi Jean, I’m so glad to hear that you’re starting the Gracefully Going Grey process! Good news for you – grey hair has become a big trend and there are many different lines that make grey hair colour. The best way to find a stylist who can help you is to call around and ask if there is a colourist who specializes in colouring hair grey. It will take a few hours, and may even be pricey, but it’ll be worth it! You can also ask if there is a curly hair specialist on staff, but I have to admit they are rare and you may not have an easy time with that. It may be best to do the grey transition first and then head to another salon to find the perfect cut. Best of luck to you!

  4. Anne says:

    I just read your article on naturally curly hair. I am one of those strange people who actually likes my curls. My problem is finding a hairdresser who knows how to work with curly hair and colour.
    I have very fine hair and tight curls. It never seems to grow past my shoulders. Probably because I’ve coloured it bleach blonde for a very long time. Do you think you could help me? Do you come out to Burnaby?
    I look forward to hearing back from you.

    • victoria says:

      Hi Anne, I would love to help you with your curly hair. Please fill out the contact form (the Contact Victoria page on this site) and we can chat!

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