Perfect tresses are something that most people rarely achieve naturally. Getting that perfect look, healthy bounce and smooth texture can take a lot of time, attention and preparation using specially formulated products and proper techniques.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your curls.
Perhaps the main thing necessary to keeping one’s mane looking silky smooth, shiny and as healthy as possible, is moisture. Hydration is important as it keeps the shaft full, the cuticles closed, the strands flexible and the frizz under control. Applying styling and conditioning products while tresses are still wet, and allowing the post-shower steam to penetrate curls naturally will provide both lift and volume.
One of the most common mistakes made by most individuals is selecting shampoos that contain a lot of sulfates, salt and detergents that are designed to strip oils from the strands, leaving them unprotected, dry and rough. Cleansing formulas that are made using blends of just oil and water will produce little to no lather but will do a more productive job of cleaning. Reducing washes to no more than twice a week will also aid in maintaining a healthy glow and voluminous bounce.
When it comes to conditioning, people who have curls need to take extra care to get moisture along the entire shaft to prevent frazzling from the middles to the ends. Applying styling products with leave-in conditioners directly after showering, concentrating on the tips, is a very effective way to get optimum smoothing. It is recommended that one select formulas that abstain from using heavy oils and are balanced for one’s specific texture.
Avoiding products with a high alcohol content, which literally sucks the moisture from each strand, can help eliminate tresses that feel hard and crunchy like dried soup noodles. Hair sprays are some of the worst offenders. Leading stylists suggest using gels of a water soluble nature or aerated foams and mousses to get fullness, bounce, control and shine without that sticky feeling.
Curls also require a bit of special attention when it comes to styling routines. Replacing brushes with wide tooth combs or picks, using a diffuser when blow drying – concentrating on getting the roots to middle completely dry but leaving the ends damp – and avoiding touching dried tresses excessively will go a long way towards decreasing frizz. It is also a good idea to request cuts be done without dampness in order to get a truer idea of how locks will fall naturally.
On the subject of cuts, an individual should consider the various factors particular to their own locks. If in doubt your hairdresser will be able to help. For example, someone who has curls that tend to be very tight and springy may wish to stay away from really short styles which often result in a triangular or helmet shaped finish. This is a prime reason it is strongly recommended that one request their stylist to do all cutting on tresses that are dried naturally, with no dampness or product to alter the way the strands lay.
Not only does the high heat generated by styling tools drain the moisture from one’s locks, it also changes the configuration of the proteins in natural oils that give curls their flow and bounce. It is recommended that blow dryers, flat irons and curling wands be used at low to medium settings, never exceeding 400 degrees and used no more than twice a week. Applying moisture treatments and conditioning masks as part of a showering routine may also help keep beautiful tresses hydrate and silky.
Frizz is also caused by friction that may occur while one is sleeping and unaware of body movements. Cotton fibers not only absorb moisture, leaving locks dry, they also have a tendency to snag individual strands, leading to breakage and weakened shafts. Switching to silk pillowcases, or using a satin night bonnet, may not only be beneficial in keeping curls under wraps, but also holding in hydration and reducing tangles.
Following these useful guidelines and going through a little trial and error to find the perfect combination of products and techniques for one’s individual needs, can lead to a head covered in beautiful, smooth, bouncing curls. Remembering that moisture and hydration are key requirements as much as heat, friction and alcohol are things to avoid, makes maintenance significantly simpler. Though adjustments will have to be made depending on the thickness, length and tightness of the lilt of one’s locks, these suggestions are quite effective methods for obtaining and maintaining a desired look.
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