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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

How-To Manage Bouncy Natural Curls

By Sandra Flores


Wrestling with tangles, frizz and tons of volume can plague anyone with any type of hair, but for people with curly hair, it seems to be a constant and reassured obstacle we deal with on a regular basis. It can be hard to find the right way to style, wash, and wear our curls. We worry that our hair looks too messy, too big and is in everyone’s way, which could lead to inevitable bad-hair-day anxiety. Understanding the language of curly hair will help you manage it and feel more confident with your natural self.

According to National Geographic and a study by the American Physical Society, “how a hair shaft curves is influenced by the interplay among gravity, texture and the follicle from which the hair grows. Asymmetrical follicles yield hair that curls, symmetrical follicles yield straight hair.”

In other words, the longer curly hair grows and if the texture is thick and/or coarse, the more complex it’s structure is. As long as your curly hair is growing, than it’s complicated, so it’s up to us to show off and manage our natural curls in the midst of the beautiful craziness it creates. Keeping in mind how your curly hair differs from straight hair is key to letting go of the struggles and burdens that may linger over you while dealing with your curls.

First off, curls need constant hydration because it’s important for the way your curls grow and form. Washing your hair with the right shampoo and conditioner is crucial, even if it takes awhile to find the perfect match. Finding specific shampoo and conditioner that hydrates your hair and scalp and enhances your curls should always be on the top of your list when searching for shampoo and conditioner. Shampoo and conditioner sets such as Unite’s Boing Curl Shampoo and Conditioner brings softness and a much-needed bounce to curly hair and also refreshens with each wash. Other shampoo and conditioner sets such as Enjoys Luxury Shampoo and Conditioner are great for curls that need hydration and frizz control, but should only be used for people with thick, coarse, curly hair, as it can be too heavy on the scalp for those with thinner curly hair.

Even with certain shampoos and conditioners available for curly girls, it can still feel like we live in a world that caters to people with straight hair, especially when it comes to styling products. Usually we’re just left with styling products that still leave our curls flat and frizzy, but luckily a new trend for embracing natural curly hair is in, and with this so are products catered to curly haired people.

“Lately I’ve noticed more pro-curly hair or natural hair styles and I love it,” said 33-year-old Cynthia Blauvelt, who recently started to wear her natural curls on a daily basis. “There are a lot more hair products catered to curly hair nowadays than before.”

New styling products such as Redken’s Curvaceous Ringlet Lotion and Moroccan Oil Curl Cream help curls become more defined and give curls a much needed bounce post-hair wash. For those with thick, wild curls, using both of these products together after combing through wet hair will make your coils more pronounced and softer.

For 22-year-old Long Beach City College student Elie Mancia, styling products help her natural curls shine.

“On some of my products, the directions read to apply the products then to twist or twirl sections of your hair just to help form the curl, which I do sometimes.” said Mancia.

Styling products are always a must when it comes to calming or helping curls, especially when your hair is wet. What some styling products seem to forget is that curly haired people need products for their hair on days what they don’t wash their hair. Thick curly hair usually doesn’t need to be washed every day, but we do need our styling products for frizz and for keeping curls looking coiled. Products such as Moroccan Oil Argan Oil and Rizos Curls Refresh and Detangle Spray help with smoothness, frizz, and curl formation on non-wash days. Leave-in conditioners also help with curls staying untangled.

“My hair routine now consists of leave-in conditioner to help repair my damaged curls from years of straightening,” said Blauvelt. “I use a lot of different oils and styling creams to help enhance my natural curls.”

As shampoo, conditioner and styling products are a curl’s best friends, a curl’s worst enemy is heat. Hair dryers, flat irons or any form of heat in excessive amounts is going to damage the formation of your curls. Relax on the heat exposure, and always use a diffuser when you blow dry your curls.

The confused, frustrated journey almost every curly haired person goes through with their hair could either make you give up on curls, or eventually inspire you to learn about the intricate complexities of your own hair. For some, it comes sooner than others. Managing your curls with love, patience and care is essential to keeping your hair happy, healthy and beautiful.

“As a 33-year-old woman, I now could say I love my curls. It took me half my life to embrace my natural hair and not be embarrassed by it or try to change my identity to fit in,” said Blauvelt. “I am now confident in my hair care and in how to maintain my curls. I still have a ways to go to get to where I actually want my curly hair to be but I’m enjoying the journey to acceptance and to finally love my curls which have always been apart of me.”