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Archive for the Curly Girl Secrets Category

Curly Girl Secret #6

Curly Girl Secret #6

CLIPPING

There are many ways to clip and there are also many different types of clips on the market you can use.  I prefer to use DevaClips on most hair types due to their heavy duty hold, but some baby fine haired clients may benefit from using the old fashioned smaller type pin curl clips as the Devaclips can sometimes be too heavy for their hair and fall over.  I’ll likely post some more video’s on You Tube in future with an in-depth description of many different ways to clip and the different clips you can use to do it.  There is no wrong way to clip, as long as YOU’RE happy with the results!

Clipping will release the hair of it’s own weight so curls can start up closer to the scalp, it helps the air to flow through the hair for faster drying time, and also gives volume to curly hair which usually lays quite flat.  It’s one of the most valuable styling methods to s’wavy, wavy and curly girls for helping the hair visually look curlier.  Tighter curl patterns don’t always see a ton of benefit from clipping as their curls start close to the root and give them lots of volume naturally, but ANYONE with texture in their hair can clip and see benefit of some sort.  Personally, I don’t feel like my hair is completely styled unless I’ve clipped it.  Here’s a quick experiment in the picture below about clipping (diffusing tips will come later) that will show you the difference between not clipping versus clipping… and why if you’re not currently doing it in your routine, you may want to start…

ClippingResults

And without further ado…watch my video to learn some valuable tips on clipping at home…

Many thanks to my willing clients who helped me create the video.  Hair model Sandy and my camera person Lorelie!

Curly Girl Secret #5

Curly Girl Secret #5

HOW TO FIND A CURLY HAIRSTYLIST

Do you get a warm, fuzzy, happy and excited feeling that your curly hair is beautiful and accepted just the way it is, when you walk into a salon or go to visit your stylist? Or do you get the “oh lordy, we don’t have enough time to deal with your hair today look”, and you’re made to feel like your textured hair is something to be fixed?

Modern day media has been sending the message forever, that in order to be have beautiful hair you need to force your naturally textured hair into submission to be accepted.  Well, I’m here to tell you that’s a whole bunch of horse @*$# (pardon my french) and that you can wear your hair any which way that makes YOU happy! The biggest bunch of garbage I hear (that makes me so mad!) is: ‘curly hair is not professional’.  But here’s the thing…it IS professional because it’s YOUR HAIR!  You were born with it…it’s part of who you are, and you don’t need to change it for any workplace (unless you’re in the military, that’s a whole different kettle of fish).  Are people who wear their straight hair told that it’s not professional? NO!!!  So wavy, curly, and super curly hair should not be any different.  That’s called a double standard and I will not accept it.  Dr. Phil says, “you teach people how to treat you”, so let’s start teaching those around us about how our us and our curls are to be treated.

Sure, we can enhance our curls and create a more polished look with the right products and methods of applying them; but we should never feel we have to change our hair to be something it’s not, for anyone but ourselves. *Members of Curly Hair Artistry have been known to privately shed a tear for the young women who are given a brazilian blow out, or keratin straightening treatment in the stylists’ chair next to us.  Do those clients feel it’s their only option? Do they feel society has impressed upon them that their waves & curls are something to be straightened to be accepted?  Maybe they just don’t know they actually have curly options or that naturally curly hair will ALWAYS have at least a bit of frizz? (that’s what gives it it’s personality!).  As a collective group who’s passionate about helping others embrace their natural texture, we always wonder.  I have to admit I die a bit inside when I see curls being blown out beside me…

Curly Hair Specialists’ passion in life is to show people of texture their naturally beautiful hair.   Once they were shown how lovely it is, I know most wouldn’t ever feel the need to go straight again.  Yes, they may want to every once in a while for something different, but they wouldn’t feel any real need to because they’ve learned to love what natural texture they were given…If you’re someone who already knows your naturally textured hair, loves it, and you’re educated about the risks to your curls when having such procedures done and you STILL want to have it done; then all the power to you…“You do You and I’ll do me and we’ll be as happy as we can be”…sounds like a line from Dr. Seuss, but I just thought of it. HA!  Check out the image below…”Just when you thought straight was going to be your thing…and then you found your curls”.  I personally feel that what you were born with naturally, is what flatters you best. That’s just my humble opinion. 😉

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Source: Modern Salon on Instagram

Stylists who are dedicated to curls (like I am) really DO spread the message of, “you’re beautiful, just the way you are”.  In fact, we live it out daily with the messages we uplift our clients with.  Hairstyling is one of the few professions where we are licensed to physically touch others.  We often touch things like hearts and minds too, when we show you how to bring out your natural texture.  Often, clients are so happy with their hair for the first time in their life…all because they’ve discovered their natural texture and embraced it.  People who have embraced their natural texture, collectively  feel that we didn’t “go natural”; we decided to cherish what we’ve been given  Curl Specialists want to give the gift of curLove to every person of texture we meet.  We know the freedom of spirit, lightness of heart, and ease of mind that comes with loving, accepting and rocking what you were born with.  We also know that when we share the curLove, there’s a ripple effect…our clients love to share the curlove.  It’s so exciting to bring joy to others, and isn’t that what life is all about?

The moral of my story is:  find a salon (and a stylist) that makes you feel welcome, that makes you feel that your hair is beautiful just the way it is when you walk in.  One that wants to enhance what you’ve been given naturally, but never makes you feel you have change it to be accepted to what society has ‘dictated as beautiful’.  That is the best place for you because your hair is beautiful JUST the way it is.  Work on loving your natural texture, JUST the way it is and the rest will fall into place.  The confidence you feel in your own skin when you come as you are, and leave as you; is nothing anyone can touch.

KL

*As always thanks to my Curly Hair Artistry members for sharing their hearts and helping me to create awesome blog articles!

Curly Girl Secret #4

Curly Girl Secret #4

WATER QUALITY

One thing you may not be aware of is how water quality can affect your hair.  Soft water is usually the kind of water you want to have, but if your water is hard;  it can weigh your hair down, cause a heavy build up on your hair shaft, and cause dryness and frizz!  It can really wreak havoc on your finished style.  You may never have thought about it before, but it’s something to be consciously aware of.  Here’s an example of how it could be affecting your life and you don’t even know it!  I’ll also share some solutions to the problem and a simple test to decipher the quality of your water…
* In the last few weeks I have really been struggling with my finished look. The curls have been weighed down; there’s barely a wave where normally there are lots of waves and curls.  No matter what styling products I chose to try and boost the curl, it just was hanging there; lifeless.  It dawned on me…I hadn’t checked my water softener in a while. I went down to the basement and this is what I found. It was EMPTY! The salt had run out.

My suspicions were correct as to why my hair wasn’t behaving.  The hard water that’s left when the salt runs out of my water softener unit, causes my wavy hair to flop and the curls to be barely there.

I solved the problem by adding a few bags of salt into the unit and voila!  I can’t wait to wash my hair again and have it back to it’s old curly self.  The bonus of having soft water is that it makes my shampoo lather and my curls bounce which makes me one happy curly girl!

The short and skinny is:

Hard water will not allow your haircare products perform as they should, which results in floppy, heavy waves and curls.  If you’re a s’wavy or wavy haired girl, you will have a more difficult time getting your s’waves and waves to show up when your water is hard.  It leaves heavy mineral deposits on your hair that weigh it down, your shampoo has a hard time lathering (also really hard to get products off your hair) and conditioners will not be washed out well either.  This leaves your hair feeling greasy, or that there is something heavy sitting on the hair.  Also, hard water can wreak havoc on your colour and cause blonds to turn rusty and warm.  In general, hard water sucks the life out of your hair.

Here are some suggestions that will help your curls get their groove back:

  • Water softener unit: Similar to the one pictured above is an excellent long term solution if you are planning to stay a while in your home.  If a water softener is not an option, the next best thing is a shower head that filters at least chlorine, dirt and odours from your water but not necessarily the minerals.  You can buy them at your local hardware store such as Home Depot (example in link).  It’s not the same as a water softener, but can help your curls if your water has these issues. There are many brands available on the market, so shop around and do your research to see what the filter actually claim to remove.
  •  Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse:  You can also clarify your hair on a regular basis (try weekly and see what your curls tell you) with a rinse of an Apple Cider Vinegar mix (1 tsp ACV into 1 Cup of water) and apply it between your cleanser and conditioner…scrunch in, let it sit for 5 mins and rinse well and continue with your conditioner.
  • Bottled Water Rinsing: Another alternative is to wash, condition and final rinse your hair over the side of your tub, or your kitchen/bathroom sink using distilled bottled water that is more pure and won’t have the heavy mineral deposits that your tap water may have.  It’s worth a try, as you will definitely notice better finished results when your water is soft.
  • Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo: Another suggestion could be using a sulfate free Clarifying shampoo about once a week (or as needed); one that lathers but doesn’t dry your hair out.  I’ve had some great success with Malibu Undoo Goo, and also Mop Top has a Clarifying Rescue Treatment I am excited to try and others have had success with.
  • You can also buy Malibu packets (or ask your favourite stylist to bring some into their salon for you to purchase) that can do the trick to remove the heavy mineral build up on your hair.  A more serious addition for super hard water build up can be adding a teaspoon of powdered Absorbic Acid to your sulfate free Co-Wash and working it in, letting it sit for 5 mins or less and rinsing well, followed up by your conditioner.  Be careful with this one as it’s a really strong treatment, don’t over do it. This would be more of a once a month treatment if your water was extremely hard and all the others suggestions above were not working.

Water quality does make a huge difference in your hair!  When people contact me through my social media, I often wonder if they are not getting the results they want for their hair due to the quality (or shall I say ‘poor quality’) of the water they use.  Maybe they are doing everything right in their styling methods and product applications, but their water is hard and the curls are limp and frizzy as a result.

If you aren’t sure if you have hard water, you can always try this simple test.  Try some of these suggestions and post some feedback in the comments below!

Yours in curls,

KL

* Thank you to my Curly Hair Artistry colleagues for sharing your wisdom with me so I can share with others. A special thanks to Beverly TurnerScott Musgrave, Brianne McCoy-Prince and Melissa Stites for their additions to this blog from their excellent curly hair solutions. 

* I do not get any compensation from any product companies for my suggestions above.  These products and ideas are just what I have found in my experience working on curly hair, including my own.

Curly Girl Secret #3

Curly Girl Secret #3

CONDITIONER

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Some of my favourite conditioners and deep conditioners

If you’re a wavy and curly girl, you already know how important it is to use conditioner on your hair, and you likely go through it triple the amount that you go through your shampoo… AND there’s no way you’d get out of the shower without using some! Can you imagine?  I shudder at the thought!

There’s a big secret to what type of conditioner you use and how you use it.  Did you know that the ingredients in your conditioner can literally either make or break your finished style?  Here’s a little insight as to why choosing the right conditioner is so important…

When you are shopping for conditioner; focus on these three things:

1) That it does not contain silicones.  You can find a list of silicones to watch out for here.
2)  The first two ingredients contain: Water and/or Aloe Vera.
3) It has a thick, creamy density, and also that it will give you ‘slip’ for detangling.  You can research the brand of conditioner you’re looking for online for lots of feedback before you even buy!  Some conditioners require the use of a comb to detangle your curls, and other conditioners allow your fingers to slip through like butter.  I would always recommend you stay with the latter.  Some of my favourite conditioners are: Innersense Colour Radiance Daily ConditionerDevaCurl One ConditionLong Hair Don’t Care, and Pureganique Moisturizer which can all be used on a daily basis and have lots of ‘slip’.

It’s not so much how long you leave the conditioner on, it’s how you work it in.  Spending time working it though your hair, and then also pumping water into it will give you the best frizz free clumped curls you’ve ever seen.  When I went to DevaChan and had my hair done (pics below), the stylist assistants spent AT LEAST 20 mins working in my conditioner at the sink… Not saying you have that kind of time at home, but that’s giving you an indication as to the time it takes to have fabulous curls, because I had ZERO frizz when my hair was finished. Your daily conditioner needs to be WORKED IN.  Read this Squish to Condish article by my Curly Hair Artistry colleague Melissa Stites that explains how to work your daily conditioner and pump water into your hair shaft to create the most gorgeous curls.  That is when you’ll get the most frizz reduction in your finished style, because we know that frizz is just dehydrated hair, right?

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Rosie Dasilva at DevaChan cutting my hair, January 2014…it was a GREAT haircut.

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The finished cut/style…I should have taken a picture close up because I’ve never seen my hair be THAT frizz free since.

How do you choose the right conditioner for you? Read on…

  • If you have fine textured, low porosity hair:  you will want to use a daily conditioner that is protein based, and use protein treatments as needed to rebuild and reinforce the structure of the hair shaft and to restore the strength of the hair (even your stylers can have protein in them).  If your conditioner doesn’t have protein in it, you can always do overnight coconut oil treatments at least weekly (which are shampooed out the next morning).  You can use a plastic bag or a plastic shower cap, then wrap your hair in a towel to keep that cuticle open and allow the protein to do it’s best work.
  • If you have normal hair texture and porosity, you can use a wide variety of ingredients in products;  sometimes daily conditioners with protein, sometimes just a regular conditioner.  You can use protein treatments and emollient based deep moisture treatments, trading them out as needed.
  • If you have high porosity and/or coarse textured hair, it likely already has lots of natural protein and won’t need regular protein treatments as much as it needs moisture.  Stick to hydrating deep treatments and ones that contain emollients such as Aloe Vera Oil Extract, Abssinnian oil, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Coconut oil and the list goes on but you get the idea.  Apply heat over a plastic cap covered with a towel or purchase a Thermal Deep Conditioning Cap to help deepen your moisture treatment, re-hydrate dry hair, and improve moisture retention. Using steam treatments will also help with adding moisture because it’s adding water back into the hair shaft. The Q-Redew is a great steaming tool for those of you who don’t have room for a hooded steam machine at home and can be done a few times throughout the week.  Use protein only when you feel your hair is limp, it just needs a little protein pick me up.

*Some of my favorite deep moisture treatments are Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment and DevaCurl Heaven in Hair Deep Moisture Treatment.  Remember when it comes to protein treatments, they are like a semi-permanent colour; it washes out and needs to be redone as needed…usually every 6-8 weeks or so.  Also, protein treatments need to be followed up by conditioner.  Use heat with your conditioner AND deep treatments to help pry open your tight cuticle, then follow up with cold water or acidic solutions (lemon juice in your palm with conditioner-do not pour lemon juice into your bottle) to lay the cuticle down and to help moisture stay within the hair shaft.  Examples of proteins for ingredients are: hydrolyzed casein, hydrolyzed collagen, hydrolyzed hair keratin, hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed rice protein, hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed soy protein, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hydrolyzed silk amino acids, hydrolyzed oat flour, wheat amino acids, and other large complicated names…

Leaving a deep treatment or protein treatment to sit on the hair is the only time you don’t need to work your conditioner in; because that’s one type of product that works best when heat is added and it is allowed to sit on your hair.  Boughten protein treatments (Joico K-pak Recontructor, Aphogee 2 Step Treament, Redken Extreme Cat Reconstructing Protein Treatment) usually contain silicone.  Staying on the hair for longer than 20 mins can cause breakage over time and should not be used more than once a month.  Some coarse hair textures may experience dryness, brittleness, and decreased elasticity if protein is used, so be careful as your hair may be sensitive.  This is general information, so always let your hair be your guide. It will tell you what it likes and doesn’t like if you pay close attention.

As an extra piece of advice, I feel that leave in conditioners are an added expense and not a necessary purchase.  In my opinion, it’s just as good if you rinse out all of your regular conditioner and then just put a little bit of it back in as your leave in if you like your curl that way.  Usually leave in conditioners are watered down versions of regular conditioner, kind of like how lotions are a lighter version of creams.  If your hair has enough water pumped into it, you can get away with just using regular conditioner.  Just an insider tip 😉

So, there you have it.  Gone are the days of putting on your daily conditioner and letting it ‘sit’.  You’ve got to work it curly girl! 

Cheers, 
KL

Curly Girl Secret #2

Curly Girl Secret #2

IT’S ALL ‘BOUT THAT LEAN!

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Alrighty Curly Girls…this one secret I have to share with you is short and sweet.

When I show & tell clients this movement during my Private Curl Class, it’s very easy to remember when you pair it with that cute catchy hit song by Megan Trainor, ‘All About That Bass’.  It can make a huge difference in the final look of your curls!  The more you lean, and I’m talking LEEEEAAAAAAN into that diffuser (90 degrees to each side and upside-down) and when applying your styling products; the more lift and life you’ll have to your curls when you’re done styling!  Even cleansing the scalp is easier upside-down and conditioner gets worked through the curls more thoroughly and is kept away from the roots for fine haired curlies. Leaning upside-down also lifts curl clumps off your scalp for more height in the root area.  Applying your products while leaning to the sides and scrunching curls upside-down pulls curls away from the head and will help your curls start up higher in your finished style.  You can achieve more rotation and wave in each clump of curls when you lean.  Even plopping/plunking your hair into your t-shirt towel is better when you lean into it, almost like going into a summersault right down on top of the curls.  It also makes clipping WAY easier when the hair is already lifted off the scalp in ready-made clumps; it’s like the curls are showing you where to put your DevaClips!  This leaning secret just an all around excellent tip for everyone with curly hair.

So, the next time you’re styling your curls from shower to drying phase to ‘scrunching out your crunch’ stage; remember this article and that catchy song.  Just change up the lyrics to, “It’s all ’bout that lean, ’bout that lean, no trouble’ and you’ll be loving your curls!

<3 KL

Curly Girl Secret #1

Curly Girl Secret #1

TOSS THE BRUSH”

*This blog post is the first in a series of Curly Girl Secrets that I am sharing with you, so you in turn can share the curLove with others you meet.*
BEFORE: LEFT-Brushing my hair when dry

AFTER: RIGHT SIDE-Using the Curly Girl Method to Style, No brushing. Fingers only to detangle when wet.

There are people walking around in every city and town across the globe with frizzy, poofy, brushed out hair.  Brushing naturally textured hair has been the norm for a long time.  Just look at the above picture of my hair brushed out!  As a child, I was taught that I needed to brush my hair in order to ‘control it, keep it neat and remove tangles’.  That same advice has misguided too many curly girls, for far too long.  Those people who that have figured it out, are now enjoying their hair everyday following the Curly Girl Methods.  When people come up and ask, “HOW do you get your curls to do that?! They are beautiful!”,  you can reply with some curly hair secrets.  The first one can share with them is…

Secret #1TOSS THE BRUSH!  Whether wet or dry, brushing does nothing more than shatter your curls and create MORE FRIZZ! Use your fingers while in the shower when your hair is saturated with water and conditioner, and YES, the brand of conditioner does matter. Some don’t have enough ‘slip’ and you end having to rip through it with a brush or comb to get your tangles out.  Look for ones with good ingredients such as DevaCurl One Condition or Jessicurl Too Shea Extra Moisturizing Conditioner.

At the recent ‘She Makes it Happen’ Women’s Fair in Barrie, Ontario on March 8th in celebration of International Women’s Day; I decided to have a booth and showcase what I do to the public.  I’m new to the town I’m living in so I thought what better way to get out and meet people.  I completed a few basic ‘wash & sets’ on some new models to share a true picture of a ‘real before and after’ for the show-goers.  This particular model was a perfect example of why you shouldn’t brush away your curls…
This model normally uses shampoo and conditioner, then picks her hair out when it’s dry.    As I was co-washing her hair she said to me, “I don’t think it’s right, not to brush your hair”.  When we were done and her hair was dry, her curls revealed; she said she never wanted to wash it again!  I’m assuming she won’t want to brush these awesome curls again either…

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BEFORE

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AFTER

Are you a curly girl practicing these NEW modern day methods of ‘controlling your curls, keeping your hair neat, and removing tangles’?  Now that you know better, you can do better.  So now here is my call to action for those of you who have figured it out.  SHARE the CURLOVE!  Share your secrets with those who compliment you on your hair.  Those tips and tricks have a ripple effect and can help people on their path to embracing their curls too.  You know, that cashier at your favorite grocery store, the acquaintance you KNOW has waves & curls hiding under her frizzy locks, or your family member who you’ve been dying to help? What tips can you give them in a loving way that will encourage them to try and define those waves and curls?  Well, you can start by mentioning how you notice they have wavy/curly hair, that you have some secrets you would love to share with them.  Then you can tell them a few tips that have helped you along your path to loving your hair.  You can start with SECRET #1 above, and then refer them to my blog and have them read about all the tips that I share here.  It’ll do their curls some good, and you’ll feel great having helped someone else.  Sometimes it’s just about planting a seed, and when they are ready, they will seek out the information to help themselves.

KL

Love Your Curls: #KristaLeavittCurls #campaignforcurls