Paul is Material’s master of curls. This is his insightful advice for those of you, like himself, who are lucky enough to have curly hair.
- Think about how you want to wear your hair the majority of the time, always curly or more often straight?
- Do you want to expand or control your curls?
- Where are your favourite ringlets, the ones that sit really well and behave?
- A good stylist ideally wants to work your hair from wet to dry as this is the best way to understand the different elasticity (bounce) in your curls and ensure a true shape.
- For me it’s all about bringing the natural texture to the fore, just enough structure in the shape to let the curls ‘do they thang’.
- Your individual curls always dictate the length
TOP TIP: I advise against popping into the salon for a ‘quick trim’ before a big occasion. All the combing and tension involved in cutting hair generally leaves curls in a mild state of shock, give them a couple of days to relax.
- Go subtle: think richer, shinier, deeper. Play with different tones or go slightly darker to add depth.
- If lightening avoid going too light or using strong lifting agents. Aim for sun-kissed or ‘bronde’.
- Have colour applied freehand to your favourite ringlets to draw the eye to those areas. ‘Balayage’ and ‘Ombre’ techniques are particularly suited to curls and waves.
- Always book in a nutrition-based masque post colour and invest in a good quality one to use at home. Lightened curls very easily lose moisture and become crispy and dull.
Cleansing & Conditioning
- Only ever brush through before you shampoo.
- How often you cleanse your hair is a personal choice but make sure your shampoo is gentle, moisture-driven and nourishing. It shouldn’t be sticky, oily or heavy. No vigorous massage as this can just make curly hair tangled.
- Always condition after shampooing. Curls also need a moisture-based masque at least once a week, or twice if coloured. Apply conditioner or masque then comb through with a wide tooth comb working from points to roots while it’s still on your hair.
- Rinse gently and keep water flow going from roots to points.
- Squeeze out excess water with your hands then repeat with a good quality cotton towel, do not rub! Then use super absorbent tissue or paper towel and squeeze again.
- After cleansing, if needed, spray liberally with de-tangling spray and comb out with a wide tooth comb from points to roots.
- Use a light leave-in conditioner or anti frizz product to feed hair throughout the day. As a general rule avoid ‘hard’ products like mousse or gel (unless specifically designed for curls)as they will restrict the movement that is key to flowing curls.
- There are various ways to dry curly hair and most people establish their own system but below are some good general pointers:
– Let it dry naturally. Alternatively use a diffuser on your hairdryer, low speed & heat, keeping air flow directed from roots to points even if you turn your head upside down. Keep your hands out unless you want a big scrunch dried look.
– Try taking inch deep sections all over your head and twisting it into ringlets, it doesn’t have to be regimented but the bigger sections the longer the roots will take to dry.
– Once your curls are completely dry either use your hands to gently rake through and separate the ringlets or leave them to drop gradually throughout the day.
It’s all in the prep
Curls tend to look better one or even two days after washing, so while your straight and wavy haired sisters are rushing about blowdrying, ironing & tonging when getting ready for a big night out, pour yourself a drink and let your nails dry (smug smile optional).