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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

Multiple Hair Day Guide

Multiple Hair Day Guide

Want great multiple day hair?  Here are some secrets I have learned through my training with CHA ( Curly Hair Artistry), my research online and personally in my own bathroom!  Remember, a curl refresher may not work well on all hair types.  It is especially difficult for fine haired curly girls and guys to get multiple day hair…but sometimes you can find a good spritz solution and get even better volume on the second day.  As a general rule, the thicker and curlier your hair is, the more days you can go using a refreshing method. Some people don’t like the look of multiple day hair and just choose to wash everyday.  That is perfectly fine, but the cleanser needs to be sulfate free if you’re going to do it. Here are my main tips on how to prolong your wash day…

1) Sleep on a satin pillowcase

Sleeping on a satin pillowcase, you can ensure there is little to no friction to cause breakage and thinning, as your hair glides over the pillowcase instead of getting stuck on it, such as the ones you can purchase from Sweet n’ Smart Designs.  Tell her I sent you!

2) Pineapple your hair

When your hair reaches near shoulder length, it’s very easy to ‘pineapple’.  You can do it during the day while you’re at home, and it’s the last thing you do at night before your head touches the pillow. It protects your curly style.  Although the underneath of your hair may get flattened, the top remains untouched.  When you get up in the morning and shower, keep the pineapple in until you get out ( you can also wear a shower cap too).  Then, just spritz the underneath and wherever may need some TLC, scrunch n’ go with a curl refresher spray.

Just take a gentle one-knotted elastic like the ones pictured below, or satin covered scrunchie and bend over forward so all your hair is hanging upside-down.  Then gather it all at the front of your forehead (as if you were making a unicorn horn) and gently put the elastic around and let your ends hang out free.  Only make the elastic tight enough that you keep the ponytail in, as you don’t want to crush your curls. It’s completely fine if some of your hair at the back falls out.  Here is a DIY link to how you can make your own! It’s so easy and inexpensive.  This first picture is what I do at night…

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3) Get yourself a spray/spritz bottle and make your own curl refresher.

Great multiple day hair can easily happen when you are spritzing it down about 50% of the way damp, gliding a closed hand down over the hair to calm the frizz, and scrunch-squeezing your mid-shaft and ends.  I always add a little bit of product such as DevaCurl Frizz Free Volumizing Foam or Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel after I have spritzed my hair damp, gliding it down over the frizz.  Then I re-clip my roots with my DevaCurl Clips and diffuse as I normally would until 80%-90% dry.  I usually air dry the rest of the way.  I like to diffuse because it gives my waves a boost. 

For fine S’wavy, wavy hair, I recommend using:
Jessicurl Awe Inspiring Spray, DevaCurl Mister Right, or some DIY beach spray to refresh.

For medium density, botticelli curls, I recommend using:
-1/16th to 1/8th  of the bottle filled with conditioner
Optional: 1 tbsp of curl boosting product ( like DevaCurl B’Leavin, or even a little bit of DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel)
-Fill the rest up with distilled water

For coarse texture, heavy density, low porosity hair and tightly coiled curls, I recommend using:
-1/4 bottle filled with conditioner
-Fill the rest up with water

*Remember these are just suggestions and you need to find the right amount of conditioner and or curl booster added, for the best results for your own hair.  

You have to shake it up before you use it each time.   A great pre made curl refresher  is DevaCurl Mist-er Right and another is called Jessicurl Awe Inspiring Spray. These sprays are also handy to carry around in a travel size in your purse, so you don’t have to use bathroom tap water to refresh your curls during the day.

Alternatively, you can get yourself a Q-Redew handheld hair steamer and refresh it even more quickly in the morning! The steam refreshes and reactivates the product that is already in your hair.  The Q-Redew is a great way to reshape, boost volume and rejuvenate second day hair without rewetting the hair. It can be used with or without product. Experiment a bit to find what works for your routine.  It is also an excellent tool to deep condition your curls; the steam from this wonderful tool opens up your cuticle and lets in moisture (from water) and the ingredients in the deep treatment can penetrate deep into the core of your hairshaft.  The result is softer, more hydrated curls. 

4) Don’t be shy using product on your initial wash & set day.

The biggest tip to achieving multiple day hair is ensuring you have used enough product on your initial wash day.  Using a little more than usual that day gives you something to work with on your refresh days.  What we are doing is reactivating the product each day when we spritz.  It may feel a little firmer on the first day than you normally like, BUT it will allow you to have multiple days worth of great looking hair.  I personally go 5-7 days just using this method of spritzing and diffusing; and I do use A LOT of product.  I do NOT get it wet in the shower during that multiple day period.  I have wavy/botticelli curls, or a combo of 2C and 3A curls; whichever curl identifier system you use.

Best of luck to you with your multiple day hair adventure.  It’s all about experimenting to find what works for you, but these tips are tried and true and when used in combination; can make your mornings even easier!

KL

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