How to keep curls from frizzing

Learn how to manage your curly hair and defeat frizz. Cut your salon expenses and discover new methods of caring for hair yourself.

When attempting to control frizz in curly hair, remember that most advice out there is given by and directed towards straight- or wavy-haired people - people who genuinely believe that it's possible to get all of the tangles out of your hair, who didn't spend their entire childhood screaming and running away from any parental figure holding a brush, who used to tell you all the time that "you're so lucky, I know people who would pay a fortune for that hair!"Never, ever take advice from these people.They're enthusiastic, they're optimistic, and they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about.They haven't been there.I have, and I've finally reached the point, through sometimes desperate trial and error, some truly great advice (from my sister) and some magnificently terrible advice (from the rest of the world), where I can wear my hair down more days than I pull it back.So here goes - listen up.

Start by simplifying your cleansing ritual.Anyone with curly hair should throw away your store bought shampoo.It sounds rash and maybe a little unhygienic, but trust me on this one - you may as well pour laundry detergent in your hair as wash it with shampoo, no matter how expensive or high quality.Curly hair not only responds well to natural oils, but also hides any oil near your roots that, in a person with straight hair, would stand out and weigh hair down - score one for the curly team.

Instead of spending money on shampoo that leaves your hair drier than it should be, create your own shampoo by raiding your kitchen.For a light, cleansing rinse, use lemon juice, vinegar, or -- for the most effective oil absorber -- baking soda dissolved in warm water (if your roots are visibly oily, you can also pat on dry baking soda before or during your shower).White or brown sugar, mixed with hair conditioner or even body lotion, makes great scalp exfoliant for ladies who have a little problem with itching or flakes (hey, it happens to the best of us).

You should only need to clean hair with these substances a couple of times a week.On other days, simply rinse your hair by running your hands along your scalp, giving hair a shake and dislodging any residue on your scalp.If your hair still seems heavy or oily after being rinsed, coat it thoroughly with conditioner (any type), rub your scalp as though you were shampooing your hair, and then rinse it well.Let some conditioner remain on the lower half and ends of your hair, or reapply it, as this area nearly always needs extra moisturizing.

At least once a week, lather conditioner thickly on your hair, cover it in a plastic shower cap, and then relax in a long, hot or bath - the heat will have the effect of a deep conditioning treatment.Afterwards, rinse the conditioner out with cold water in order to seal in the moisture.It will leave your hair full, soft and glossy.

With the right cleansing routine, styling your hair becomes much less of a battle - no more battling with hairbrushes.In fact, you really don't need to brush your hair at all.When it has conditioner in it, run your hands through in order to remove any dead hair.If you do want to brush it, use a fat toothed comb, and try not to do it too often - it just breaks up that beautiful curl.

If possible, avoid blow-drying your hair - leave time for it to air dry.Don't rub it with a towel - I find that the best method is generally to wrap it for a few minutes, then turn my head upside down and shake my fingers in the roots, and finally let it dry more or less on its own (if your hair looks like it's drying flat, or if you develop "triangle head," with your hair slanting down and outwards, flip your head upside down and shake it a few times to boost the curls and give the hair some body).

If you must style using heat (a blow dryer or a flat iron), invest in some good heat-activated conditioning treatment.Experiment to find a brand that works with your hair, but this is one area in which salon quality is likely to pay off.And be sure to give your hair at least a few days of rest every week.

Finally, as tempting as it is to play with your newly frizz-free curls, touch your hair only as much as is absolutely necessary!After it's dry and styled, keep your hands away from it - over-handling is probably, next to shampoo, the biggest cause of frizziness in curly hair.Any frizz-free advice that involves too much labor or too many products should be disregarded - caring for curly hair should be simple, straightforward, and quick, as it tends to respond badly to too much handling.

One more important piece of advice - when all is said, done, and styled, you're never going to complete conquer frizz, so why drive yourself crazy about it?Embrace your wild side, and go with it!Remember that hormone fluctuations, weather changes, and quite possibly the position of the planets can all cause your hair to spring into a slightly larger, less controlled version of itself, despite the best you can do to keep it healthy and happy.Instead of always forcing your hair into the same style, try to work with what your curls give you on any given day by playing up the frizz.Think of it as your hair's version of red lipstick, stiletto heels, or a miniskirt - frizz might not be for every day, but it's a sure-fire attention-grabber for those days when you're just feeling too gorgeous to blend into the background.

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