How to style & tame curly or mixed race hair

1 August, 2013

 

yoyo

Where are all my curly girls at!!?

I know this post isn’t going to be for everyone but after I wrote this post on how to grow your hair, I started receiving afew emails from young girls asking me how I style my hair and what products I use so I thought I should just write another blog post about it. Curly hair is a funny thing, throughout your life you develop a love/hate relationship with it going from one extreme to the other, usually as you get older you fall in love with your curls when you realise you have the best of both worlds. When I was a teenager I used to polish off an entire tube of hair gel within a couple of days trying to plaster down my unruly, frizzy hair with the hopes of it looking vaguely socially exceptable. The reality was my hair looked like the dodgy guy from the movie, Coming to America, “Let your sooooooouuuuullll gloooooo!!!!!”

Example below for any younger people who are yet to see this movie….

Yep….don’t let this be you :(

Thank God my styling techniques and knowledge of general hair-care improved! So if  you’re a teenager/adult/granny (hey it’s never too late!) who wants  to get clued up on your general haircare hopefully this article will help alittle.

Oh and before we go any further I’m not claiming to be any type of hair expert, this is just what works for me and afew tips and tricks that I’ve learnt along the way that I believe is every womans duty to share :)

Ok I think the first thing we all need to understand is that all curls are different, it took me years to realise this (I’m a slow learner)  Think of curly hair like a pair of boobs no two pairs are the same. Just because your curly haired friend uses and loves Dr Miracles hair care products it doesn’t mean your hair will love it too, I discovered this the hard way. One girl could have thick, dry, mixed hair and another could have very fine, dry, mixed hair. Then you may come across a girl who has shiny, bouncy, thick, strong, long hair with super defined curls finishing just above her butt whose hair is just perfect! Lets all throw stones at her!!! I’m joking!!!! I used to hate my hair too but now I actually quite like it and you will too if you start to take extra special care of it! Ok let’s go!

What hair type are you?

So firstly lets figure out your hair type, there are afew great websites online that can help you with this, a particulary good one is Blackgirllonghair.com it feature’s advice for anyone with curly hair so whether your white/black/yellow or purple  is irrelevant.

Our hair type is marked into four categories from 1 to 4, check out the hair types below to identify your own..

TYPE 4

Natural Beauty Portrait

4C

extremely tight coils, very wiry and kinky, very,very fragile

erykah-badu-trace-march4_0_0_0x0_450x6604B

Has a “Z” pattern, Instead of curling or coiling, the hair bends in sharp angles like the letter “Z”; has a cotton-like feel

EsperanzaSpaldingSignsCopiesNewAlbumtMYWoLLJ2x_lCopy4A

Tightly coiled hair that, when stretched, has an “S” pattern, much like curly hair

 

TYPE 3

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3C

The hair has tight curls in corkscrews,curls can be either kinky, or very tightly curled, with lots and lots of strands densely packed together

jennifer-freeman-attacks-earl-watson3B

Medium amount of curl, from bouncy ringlets to tight corkscrews

Screen shot 2010-08-18 at 8_28_18 PM3A

Curls are loose defined ringlets

 

TYPE 2

daisy

2C

Thick and coarse and more resistant to styling and will frizz easily

Joss+Stone2B

Medium-textured and a little resistant to styling; has a tendency to frizz

scarlett-johansson-hairstyle-32A

Fine, thin and very easy to handle; easily straightened or curled

bosworh

TYPE 1

Straight hair, with no wave or curl pattern, does not frizz in humidty,  gets oil quickly and seem to handle heat from styling products well.

Ok so now you’ve indentified your own hair type you need to distinguish whether your hair is fine, combination or coarse as this will make a huge difference to the products that will be beneficial for your hair.

I found  a great chart online which explains this all perfectly…
The Only Hair Type Chart That Really MattersCourtesy Of BlackHairInformation.com

For example my hair type is 3B and I have fine hair (when it’s curly I can manipulate my hair to look alot thicker then it actually is) so I can’t use anything too heavy on my hair as it will weigh it down and cause it to become greasy too quickly. When I was younger I used to just think that all girls who were mixed race could use the same products, this is not the case, you have to match your styling products to your own hair texture!

My pet hate is when I see girls walking around with their hair packed full of grease from root to tip looking like they’ve stuck their head into a chip fryer because they believe all the thick oils or heavy shea butter creams on their hair are giving it the much needed moisture it craves. The truth is it’s not letting the hair breathe, which prevents it from growing. It’s also clogging up the pores, causing spots around the hair line and just generally looks like a hot mess! Hey listen I’m not claiming to be Halle Berry myself I just know that soft, clean, hydrated hair looks far better and healthier then greased down heavy looking hair everytime. So if you’re guilty of plonking a load of oil on your barnet stop it now please!

 

Styling my curly  hair

Taking all of the above into account I always make sure I use light, hydrating  products on my hair. About once a month I also use a protein treatment such as this aswell to make sure my hair doesn’t become brittle or weak. I also use coconut oil daily  as I mentioned in my previous post on how to grow your hair, in the evenings I add this to the ends of my hair to prevent them from drying out. Coconut oil is a light oil which is easily absorbed by the hair, just make sure you dampen your hair first before you apply the coconut oil as remember oils seal in the moisture which is already in your own hair so if the coconut oil is applied to dry hair it will just end up blocking any moisture coming to your hair.

My morning routine

If I’m washing my hair I usually wash it with either one of these two shampoos and conditioners below, I tend to mix it up every so often though, as I’m a product junkie so I like to try out new brands. I only ever use sulphate free shampoo’s and conditioners too, which the below products both are. Sulphate is extremely drying for the hair and I need all the moisture I can get so make sure you check the back of your shampoo bottle’s the next time you go shopping if you’d like to avoid it too.

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LorealEverROnce my hair is washed I then use this product, Bed Head Ego Boost Split End Mender. I cannot recommend this product enough, it’s amazing, lightweight, moisturing and seals in those ends….

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Next I let my hair air dry for as long as I possibly can, then I use a diffuser to finish off drying my hair which really defines my curls and gives my hair some serious volume. I just take my hair section by section and lay it on top of the diffuser then I hold the diffuser up to my head and leave it for five seconds or so then I repeat with the next section, the whole process takes about five minutes.

A great tip for when wearing your hair curly if you want to add a litle bit more length I take the very bottom section of my hair and and go over just the roots with a quick blast from my hairdryer to straighten it, then I take my hair straighteners and quickly go over it just a couple of times at the roots and this all adds about an inch of length to your final hair look. Sneaky.

 

If I haven’t washed my hair and my curls look abit dreary and I don’t have time to wet it I use my Nicky Clarke slim barrell hair tong I bought mine in Superdrug but I’ve just seen it online at Argos for £17.99 here . I do about 8 to 10 random curls sporadically placed throughout the top section of my hair then I just run my fingers through it and all my curls kind of blend in to one another and look revived. Yay!! I always make sure I spray a heat protector spray all over my hair before I use them though!

 

How to deal with humid, frizzy summer hair

Ok, there’s a couple of products I use to tame the mane in the summer time, I’ve listed them below…

loreal

L’Oreal Paris EverSleek, Humidity
Defying Leave-In Crème

and..

serum-oleo-relax_z

Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Relax Serum

Apply both of these products to wet hair and then style as usual, they may not be miracle workers but they definitely lend a helping hand.

Ok wait, I feel I need to keep it real on this blog because at times (summertime) my hair isn’t completely natural and there is one product I use that gives me a little “helping hand” now and again, don’t judge meeeee natural ladies at least I’m being honest here. It’s called a Brazilian blowdry or a Keratin treatment. A brazilian blowdry is not as harsh as a relaxer or a texturiser and only lasts between 1 to 3 months in your hair before it washes out. You can apply it over relaxed, coloured or seriously damaged hair and basically what this product does is coat the hair with Keratin (which is what our hair is made up of) leaving your hair silky and more manageable. Brazilian blowdries became all the rave in London around three years ago when finally it was claimed there was a product that could temporarily tame your frizz and leave you with smooth, silky hair. At first afew hair salons refused to stock the product as some brands contained a harmful chemical called formaldehyde which can be highly dangerous. Nowadays all Brazilian blowdrys come formaldehyde free although it’s always best to double check and ask before you have one done. The first time I had this product applied to my hair I was completely blown away, it didn’t straighten my hair, it just loosened the curl ever so slightly leaving my hair looking super shiny, soft and frizz free. The treatment can be quite pricey though with most salons charging between £150 to £300 for the treatment. A friend of mine actually found a DIY brand online which she said worked just aswell (ok maybe 85% just as well) I’ve tried this paricular one myself and I must admit for the price it was actually pretty good you can buy it online from Amazon here

 

 

So there you have it, embrace your curls ladies! I feel for any young readers who are  in high school and currently hate their hair because they want to look like a particular celebrity in a magazine. Remember their hair will have been styled and blown out to perfection by professionals and they’re most probably wearing hair extensions for the photoshoot too. Believe me when I tell you their hair does not look like this everyday, even if they’re sporting naturally curly hair on the cover of a magazine and the curls look perfectly defined, even then they will have  had a curling tong taken through their entire head of hair to define each of the curls individually, they didn’t wake up wih their hair looking like that, to keep your curls defined takes styling and abit of effort.  Hopefully the advice I gave above will help you alittle.Whether you’re thirteen or thirty-eight it’s never too late to start really caring for your hair.

Oh and did you know that girls with naturally curly hair  are secretly deemed Gods special children who will go on to live a life filled with love, prosperity and success!!!

(Ok thats a blatant lie but then again maybe it isn’t!) Shut up Rebecca, seriously just stop typing…

Right I’m off to enjoy the sunshine and I hope you are too!
B xx

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Purple Ivy August 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Thanks for sharing this Rebecca. I used to hate my natural hair and did all sorts to it as a teenager but I chopped it all off earlier this year to let is just groow naturally.

xoxo
Ivy
http://www.purrpleivy.com/

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Thiswomansstyle August 1, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Aww amazing!! Natural is best xx

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ichraq August 2, 2013 at 11:07 am

Thats an amazing post! My hair is curly as well or actuallt more wavy than curly! I believe i’m more of a type 2C but i tend to straighten it a little more of the time because the frizz just gets out of control sometimes! However i ordered quite a few natural hair food products lately that i’m gonna try to give myhair a little break from the heat! YOur hair is amazing though and i’m def going to try some of your tips!

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Thiswomansstyle August 2, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Thank you gorgeous I’m in love with your hair too though long, thick, wavy hair is basically what everyone wants! lol xx

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Denise August 2, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Oh, I liked the blatant lie, it’s sweet! Special children, why not? Well, this is such a great post that covers pretty much everything about hair, with great suggestions! I would like to try the Bed Head Ego Boost Split End Mender that you suggested! My hair is very thin, hairdressers say “like a baby”. The things is that I – thank God – have loads of hair to look full, so that people mistakenly say I have thick hair – it’s fine. And it’s wavy, so it creates natural volume. But frizz, ah, yes, I fight against that sometimes!

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Thiswomansstyle August 2, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Aww thanks Denise yes try the bed head product it’s amazing and if your hair suffers from frizz now and again maybe try out the brazilian blowdry! xx

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winnie August 5, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Oh what wonderful tips – you have such gorgeous hair. I’ve always wanted curly hair but then again, you always want what you don’t have!

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Thiswomansstyle August 6, 2013 at 9:12 am

Thank you Winnie and yes you are quite right, we always want what we don’t have! x

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Ashley August 7, 2013 at 12:13 am

Loving this, lady! I think it’s so important to identify what type of hair you have first- don’t just go buying up products that promise this or that. You have to know what you’re working with.

Excellent post!

-Ashley
http://lestylorouge.com

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Thiswomansstyle August 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

Thanks hunny Ashley your hair is gorgeous! x

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Gabrielle August 10, 2013 at 12:06 am

Bexy (can I call you Bexy?), just want to say that I love your hair! You got the perfect curls :) I love my curls too xx

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Thiswomansstyle August 10, 2013 at 8:36 am

Of course you can thank you! You have beautiful curls too I love your hair! Curly girls do it better ;) xx

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Mira August 14, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I’m the type shit it’s frizzy and curly why can’t it be sleek? Soul Glo Lol. Thanks for sharing Rebecca. I’ll try your tips but so far nothing helped.

xx

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Thiswomansstyle August 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Maybe try a brazilian blowdry Mira I absolutely swear by it in the summer months when humidity strikes! xx

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Rebeccajohnnysdotter August 31, 2013 at 11:02 am

oh, youré soo beautiful!!

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Thiswomansstyle September 2, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thank you! xx

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Beautiful_Ifriqiyah November 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

Thank you so much, I can’t wait to try out these tips and products. Im desperate!

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Amina January 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm

I love this post, its really useful, as a mixed race woman I’ve had to learn a lot about hair care in order to keep my hair, long and healthy too! Check out my blog on nautural hair care as I’d love to feature you.

http://www.mixedracehairstyles.com

Thanks

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Thiswomansstyle January 15, 2014 at 9:56 am

Hi Amina,
Thanks for checking out my blog, I’ve just had a look through your blog now and I love it, it’s the perfect space on the internet for curls like you and I and all our curly hair woes lol. I’m actually in the middle or writing a hair post now that should be up my the end of the day and I’m going to include your blog in my post! xx

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Thiswomansstyle January 15, 2014 at 10:39 am

Oh and forgive my spelling, just read through my response yikes! It’s early and I haven’t had my coffee yet! lol xx

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Nancy April 1, 2014 at 10:38 pm

What do you do with your hair the next day? Do you wet it and comb it? Really struggling with my 10 year old daughters hair

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Thiswomansstyle April 11, 2014 at 10:48 am

Hey Nancy with curly hair unfortunately you do need to wet it every day to redefine the curl that will have been lost while sleeping, you don’t need to wet it thoroughly just dampen her hair. Buy a spray bottle and spritz it all so it’s damp in the morning, scrunch it up to redefine the curl and apply some product to hold xx

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Sibyl Boyx June 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm

My 11 year old is half Caucasian and half African American with hair to her waitst. Its a 3b-4a I think. Every 2 weeks I wash it, condition it, blow dry it, then straighten it. It is usually about a 2 hour process. But, thats how she likes it. Last week she said she wishes she could wear it curly sometimes. I tried this several times when she was small, but everytime it just seems to grow and be an afro by the time it dries. Im hoping some of your tips will help cause we are doing an experiment in a few days, LOL. Thanks.

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Thiswomansstyle June 5, 2014 at 9:40 am

Aww hopefully they’ll help! Let me know how you get on xx

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annessa June 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm

OMG This helped a lot! everyday I am struggling with my curly hair always trying to figure out what I can do with it. Thanks so much!

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Thiswomansstyle June 24, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Ahh yay I’m so glad, let me know how you get on x

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