Coming Out in London: a Straight Girl’s Guide to Going Curly

Coming Out in London: a Straight Girl’s Guide to Going Curly

I’ve spent most of my adult life straightening my hair and fighting its natural wave; but it only took a week in London’s unforgiving climate to convince me to go curly. While I’d been characterizing my hair as frizzy, the truth is I’ve got curls that with the right products, look great and take little effort to maintain. I’ve gotten compliments from everyone from my teenage daughter (and those are hard to come by!) to the postman to old friends on Instagram.

This is how it happened: Somewhere over the Atlantic, I turned to my girlfriend, Shawn, who has dark, glossy curls of her own, and told her that I wasn’t planning on doing a damn thing with my hair in London since it was going to rain everyday. She offered to do my hair that night and show me how to wear it curly. This woman is an expert.


In London with Shawn, my hair guru and BFF

Since I’ve converted, I’ve passed on this advice more times than I can count. Try it yourself and you’ll find that you can tame and define your curls too. You’ll be surprised how much extra time you have in the morning; it’ll take you five minutes tops to do your hair. As you work with your hair, be careful to not scrunch it (like we did in the late 80’s) or rake products through too strongly as this will break up your hair’s cuticle and cause frizz. Also, don’t be afraid to use a lot of product. Curly hair is notoriously dry and absorbs more gel, cream and mousse than straight hair. If you want to see results, you have to use more ¬†than you think and more than recommended on the labels.

  • First, wash your hair and apply conditioner. While the conditioner is in your hair, use a wide tooth comb to separate and detangle. This is the last time you’ll use a comb or brush. Wash out the conditioner and wring out as much water as possible.
  • (At this point, Shawn says not to wrap your hair in a towel because that causes your hair cuticle to separate and frizz. I’m too cold this time of year to wear it wet on my shoulders, so I cheat and put it up for a few minutes.)
  • Next, spray on a leave-in conditioner like Ojon’s Revitalizing Mist.
  • Then, use a good frizz tamer like Phytodefrisant, my favorite, or Biosilk, Shawn’s choice. Pay attention to your roots since this is where the first frizz will pop up. Work some through your ends as well.
  • Lastly, use a curl enhancer like Rusk’s Wired on your curls. Let your hair dry naturally for the best result, or if you have to dry it, use a diffuser making sure to not man-handle your hair. You can use a curling iron to define the curls around your face though I don’t bother.

Try it yourself and let us know how it worked. You’ll be as shocked as I was at how liberating it is to give in to your natural texture.

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