Curly and Wavy Hair in the Winter (Open Thread!)

Curly & Wavy Hair in the Winter -- for the Office & Beyond2018 Update: We still think this is a great discussion on curly and wavy hair in the winter, but you may also want to check out our most recent discussion on how to care for your curly hair in the winter.

Ok, guys — I know this is a common discussion in the comments, and, I thought I’d finally throw an open thread up here. My own hair has been getting wavier and wavier as I get older (yay, age!) and it seems like there are different routines for fall/winter versus spring/summer.  (Pictured: Wet Curls, originally uploaded to Flickr by YaelBeeri.)

How do you deal with your curly or wavy hair in the winter? What are your favorite diffusers? What hair products do you pull out when you do your seasonal swaps? I’m still trying to figure this out myself, so I’m curious to hear what the readers say.  (And a caveat — as anyone who’s spend any time on the excellent NaturallyCurly.com site and forum, everyone has their own technique, and it can be a process of discovery to figure out what works best for you.)

For my own $.02… my hair has always had a slight kink in it in the very back of my head — and as I get older, I’d say that it’s now about 60% wavy/curly (again, only in the back of my head) and about 40% straight. If my hair is longer, like it is right now (about 2″ above the top of my bra strap) the hair itself is so heavy that I can get it pretty straight with a quick 15-minutes with my hairdryer, diffuser, and (when it’s 95% dry) some time with the roundbrush. It’s still a bit poufy and, in the very back, kinky, but for a day-to-day look it’s more than fine. In more humid weather I was liking the Avon Anti-Frizz stuff; now I just try to be sure to use a gel or whatnot to protect it from the blowdryer’s heat. My own blow dryer is a pretty cheap one, bought a few years ago at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $30 — but I’d be willing to spend more if anyone has any suggestions. I’ll also sometimes use a flat-iron, which I think was about $120, also at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Kat Griffin

me, last November

Last fall/winter, though, my hair was so short I could barely put it back into a ponytail — in July I donated 9″ and did the post-wedding chop. Attempts to blow-dry it straight were largely unsuccessful — it seemed like I was just walking around with my head looking like a triangle, if that makes sense. However, my hair was short enough that I’d let it airdry most days into curls/waves. In terms of products and tools, when I let it go wavy/curly I use the little clips to “pick” the hair up to help it airdry (as they taught me the one time I went for a Devachon cut), and I’ll use a towel designed for curly girls to “scrunch” my hair as the water drips to the bottom of it. When it’s nearly dry I’ll throw on some gel or cream to help the waves hold their shape — my favorites are the Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls Cream and the Devachon AnGel. (I’ve tried a few of the “beachy” misters and hated the residue-y feel to my hair afterwards — same with most of the “curl revitalizer day-after sprays” that I’ve tried.  If I try to rock a second-day curly look, I tend to just spritz water on my hair and re-scrunch it.) (I still haven’t figured out how to dry it “curly/wavy” with a blowdryer — my skill set ends at airdrying!)  (At right: a pic of me on a day the curls came out okay…)

Personally, I like my hair both curly and straight, although straight feels more like “me” — but ultimately I just want to be able to spend as little time on it in the morning as possible!

Anyway — any tips for the care and feeding of wavy/curly hair as the weather gets colder?

Social media picture via Stencil.

How to Style Curly & Wavy Hair in the Winter

Comments

  1. windupbird :

    Love the curls on you, Kat! Such a fan.

    • Me too. And jealous that your hair grew from so short you could barely put it in a ponytail to only 2″ above your bra strap in one YEAR! It would take my hair probably 2+ years to achieve that feat!

    • That’s a great photo of you Kat!

  2. This sounds just like my hair. And yes, curly in the warm months, straight in the cold months. I can’t figure out a way to have good curls without leaving for work with a wet head.

    For curls: Redken curls shampoo and conditioner, then I add curling products (redken too, I’m nothing if not loyal) and I PLOP my hair with a microfiber towel (Aquis from BB&B). The key for me is products in before the towel – that way when I pull it off I am not tempted to play with it and frizz it up/ruin the curl.

    For straight…this is where I need HELP! I have to wash and straighten at night now because my hair just gets too poofy big and I need to sleep on it to weigh it down or spend 30 min with a flat iron (and with 2 kids and an 8am start at work that’s just not possible).

    • Had to look up what PLOP was – sounds interesting, I can’t wait to try it out! :)

  3. jules' law :

    Yay for the curly hair thread. I have a question for everyone. My hair is curly and the only way I’ve ever managed to get it straight is with a straightener which takes too long in the morning. I do not have the dexterity to blowdry it straight. Any suggestions for how to wear my hair other than down? When I wear it up I get those ridges, which my hair stylists told me so tactfully on my wedding day hair doesn’t look “nice.” When having a bad hair day sometimes I’ll pull the sides back but that tends to make me look plain. Any ideas?

    • maybe looser buns? I have wavy hair, which I always wear curly, and I almost always have it back in some kind of loose knot or other. Kat suggested those Goody twirly bobby pins (http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/192-9129491-0600516?asin=B003FVDNO6&AFID=Performics_Corporette&ci_src=15781033&ci_sku=B003FVDNO6&LNM=Primary&ref=tgt_adv_XASD0001), and those are pretty cool. Otherwise, I just use a bunch of bobby pins, no hair tie.

      • For Jules: When I need straight hair (only for job interviews, basically), I usually blow-dry messily, just to get rid of curls, and then, later (maybe after I sleep on my dry hair), I use a straightener. It’s a lot easier to straighten out friz/random kinks than it is to straighten out completely curly hair, in my experience.

        Also, I don’t mind the ridges so long as they’re somewhat uniform (meaning, not one single ridge and the rest is flat). But readers should tell me if this just means that I have bad taste.

        For EM: I find that loose knots/buns/ponytails end up looking a bit sloppy on my head, and I also think it’s more flattering to my face to have my hair up in a higher ponytail/bun. But then I know that some here think that looks young/unprofessional.

        For what it’s worth, I use Bumble & Bumble curly hair conditioner and shampoo, and both Bumble & Bumble and DevaCare cream when I want to add product (which is infrequent, usually just on humid days).

      • I’m also a fan of a low, loose bun, using bobby pins and no hair tie, when I need to pull my hair up at work. Also, do you part your hair when you pull it all back? I’ve found that mine looks better when I have at least a bit of a part, otherwise I look like I just got back from the gym.

    • What do you mean by ‘ridges’? When I wear my hair in a ponytail for a day, the next day I get a big “kink” in my hair at the ponytail elastic height. It doesn’t go away if I wash and airdry either. Is this what you mean by the ridge? Thanks!

      • Jules – I get the ridges when I pull back tightly, as well. I use clips/barrettes/claws to pull back more loosely at the nape of my neck, and let the curls sort of lay on top of each other – I find this is much softer and more flattering, and avoids the ridges. HTH!

    • I get the ridges too and have never figured out how to not get them. I can’t wait to see if someone knows a trick.

    • I don’t have curly hair, but I think the ridges you are describing look fine. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    • sittininla :

      that happens to me sometimes. I have thick blunt bangs now. When I am running late in the morning I blowdry/straighten them, whcih only takes a few minutes and then I put the rest of my hair back in a pony tail or bun. Works by making my hair look styled and not so severe as just pulled back.

  4. My hair is both thick and pretty curly. I think once I came to terms with the fact that my hair was going to do what it wanted to regardless of what I wanted, we started getting a long much better. =)

    I’m not a fan of blow drying, but will occassionally in the winter. I use a diffuser, and try not to move it a lot (otherwise you kind of defeat the point of the diffuser). I also use a Redken product that I LOVE (Ringlet), which got me through some summers in Houston. I also think a good cut (not necessarily expensive). To find somewhere new, I depend on recommendations from other people with curly hair. Anyway, enjoy the curls ladies!

    • I’m a Redken fan too – but I actually have found that my (very thick, very tight) curls do better when I use their smoothing line of shampoo and conditioner, instead of the line meant for curls. It tames my ringlets, whereas the curly products seem to make them even crazier.

      I’m also in love w/ Biolage Gelee – I’ve been using it since high school. I rake it through my hair, use my fingers to separate the curls, flip my head over and hold a towel to it to get rid of excess moisture (no rubbing!) , and then use a little hairspray before letting it air dry.

      I only blow dry my hair when I plan to immediately put it up, b/c it frizzes even w/ a diffuser. Luckily, I live in the South – there are really only a few weeks out of the year that I need to dry my hair before leaving the house.

  5. Curly hair :

    I have extremely tight curls and straightening my hair is not practical time-wise (plus it doesn’t even look good straight). I have used almost every curly hair product on the market. For the past few years I’ve been using Ouidad products and LOVE them. They are a little expensive but totally worth it, and you can buy some of the products in the big bulk salon containers on their website. I use the Curl Quencher shampoo (but I only shampoo maybe once or twice week) and conditioner, and then the Heat and Humidity gel in the summer and the Curl Quencher gel in the winter. I also use the Oiudad deep conditioner once a month. I usually only buy drug store products but I absolutely love these!

    • Ouidad has changed my life and I don’t even have stick straight hair. My daughter took after my husband and got his curly hair. My best friend recommended Ouidad (she can’t live without it) and I bought the Krly Kids products. L-O-V-E!!!! Her curls are perfect. People ask me if I take a curling iron to her hair. The 2-in-1 conditioner makes brushing her hair so easy. I can’t recommend Ouidad enough.

      Thanks, Kat for the recommendation on the special towels for curly hair. I will be ordering some.

      • That should read…I have stick straight hair.

        It’s been one of those days. ;-)

    • Ouidad + Toni & Guy :

      Ouidad rocks. If you live in NYC, invest in it once or twice. I thought their hair cuts were pretty basic but it was the first time I left a salon liking how my curls looked, and knowing how to get them to look like that. They teach you how to use each product they recommend for you and make sure you get it and like it. Personally, I found that 3 out of 4 products were too high maintenance for me and did not make much difference, but I cannot live without the climate control gel. I get stopped all the time by fellow curly-heads to ask me what product I use. – Now I go to Toni & Guy for better haircuts, leave thinking my hair is too puffy, get home to add some Ouidad gel, and love my hair every day.

    • I have really fine/thin hair and am worried that the “Ouidad cut” only works for thick hair. Can you advise? I moved to a new city and the stylist that a lot of people recommend cuts curly hair using the Ouidad technique, which I’m not sure will work on my fine hair. Perhaps others can clarify, but my understanding is that the Ouidad involves slicing and cutting into the hair to make it less thick.

      • Curly hair :

        Wondering — I have a lot of hair but the texture of it is actually pretty fine. When the salon in my hometown started doing Ouidad cuts, I was actually one of the guinea pigs for their training and got to hear the Ouidad people describe how they adjust the cut for all different types of curly hair. I think if you go to a salon that is actually Ouidad certified, they should have been trained to identify the different types of curly hair (including people with fine curls) and adjust the cut to that. IMO the Ouidad cut is expensive but worth it.

        • Wondering :

          Thank you, Curly hair! That is very helpful. I’m not sure whether she is certified or not. She has tons of good reviews though. I might call and ask for more info about how she handles those of us with fine curls.

  6. Another Sarah :

    To dry your hair and leave it curly, you have to use a diffuser attachment. Otherwise it can blow out the curl, and then you have crazy Diana Ross-hair (or at least I have crazy Diana Ross-hair). It works better if you have the heat on as hot as it will go, but the fan on medium-low. If I put the fan on high, I have super-volume (which is good sometimes, not all the time). And then when your hair is almost all the way dry, blast it with cold hair to seal the hairs and set the curl.

    However, I only bust out my hair dryer if I’m going somewhere special. For the other 360 days of the year I use 1/2-1 pump of TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Curl Amplifier, distributed throughout my hair, and then spray with Dove extra hold hair spray. I then let it air dry. My hair’s short enough that it will usually be pretty dry by the time I get to wherever I’m going. If I want a little less body, then I comb it before hairspraying, and it lays a bit flatter on top. I use Dove shampoo and conditioner (separate, not shampooconditioner) and once I week I use a clarifying shampoo to get all the product residue out and to let the conditioner soak in a bit more. Comb, never brush unless I’m blowing it out straight.

    Like Leslie, I also had to come to terms with the fact that sometimes my hair will just do what it wants to do. Keeping it conditioned and with the product in it, however, keeps it pretty much in-line so it doesn’t look toooooo crazy on those days. :-)

  7. divaliscious11 :

    I put my products on while in the shower and PLOP while getting dressed etc…with a regular Haynes type tee shirt. Then blow dry with a diffuser to get as much water our as possible.
    I co-wash with conditioner only every 3-4 days and use water soluble styling products. After co-wash, leave-in then styling products, all while hair is very wet.
    I am looking for a good hood dryer so that I can dry more thoroughly and do my hair at night.
    I rarely, like once in the last 2 years, blow dry my hair straight…..

  8. I love Moroccan Oil, especially for fall/winter. It does a great job of protecting my hair from the blow drier and help my air look fabulous when I let it air dry. The oil is totally absorbed into my hair and it makes my hair super soft.

    I definitely recommend you give it a shot
    http://www.amazon.com/Moroccanoil-MoroccanOil-3-4-oz/dp/B0037EQTQ0/ref=pd_ybh_9?pf_rd_p=280800601&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_t=1501&pf_rd_i=ybh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0Y4F6DDW8X112PKRCWY5

  9. I have fine, wavy hair – which I normally blow dry straight. For products I’ve had good luck with biosilk shampoo, conditioner, and goo? balm? clear stuff in a bottle…. anyway I have long hair (hits the top of my boobs) and this line is great for blow drying straight or going wavy because it protects my hair from the heat but isn’t greasy and doesn’t weigh my hair down. And added bonus – I got huge 34 oz bottles from Marshalls of the shampoo and conditioner for $15 each. To go wavy I’ll blow dry the roots of my hair and get it so the majority of my hair is dry-ish (and because I have the long side bangs thing going on I’ll dry and style those as normal and then incorporate into the twist) and then twist into a bun on top of my head and bobby pin it in place. I’ll keep it like that while I do the rest of my getting ready in the morning thing (makeup, getting dressed, walking the dog, etc.) A few tips I got from a hairstylist for this include twisting the hair while it’s still “hot” from the blow dryer so it “cools” while twisted. Also, when going wavy to spray hair spray into my hands/fingers and run my fingers through my hair and when going straight to spray hair spray on my brush and then brush it through my hair.

    A look I use a lot when have “meh” hair days (or on night’s I teach til 10pm) is to part my hair to the side, and on the side with the majority of hair, to use bobby pins to pull up that side. Basically making a second part equal to wear the side part is and pinning that up, then taking a second “chunk” of hair and pulling it up over where the original is bobby pinned. It’s a take on the “poof” look I guess, but it comes off way more professional, keeps my hair out of my face and if I want to throw the rest into a messy bun or something it still looks pulled together.

  10. Curly headed gal :

    I have curly hair but have always been too lazy to be high maintenance about it (hair dryers terrify me). When I had longer hair I found that I liked it most when I used Paul Mitchell sculpting foam and let it air dry, which meant that I had to wake up/work out earlier to avoid going to class/work with wet hair.

    About two years ago, I decided to cut it all off into a pixie cut. I know short cuts aren’t for everyone, but I find that it works well with my facial structure and is incredibly easy. I anticipated that my short hair would be out of control, what with the curls, but it actually lays down pretty well. I just scrunch run product through my hair and scrunch/twist it with my fingers when I get out of the shower and am good to go in about five minutes. I love love love Lush’s King of the Mods to tame the frizz – it smells great, works like a charm, and is vegan and not tested on animals.

  11. Oh! and I used my mother-in-law’s ionic blow dryer while visiting recently and OMG! amazing difference, esp. for my fine hair ,over my $25 regular one from target. I used this one: http://www.folica.com/tools/hair-dryers/barbar-italy-3800-ionic-blow-dryer?s_cid=fgl_003999-B and it will be my next “I don’t really need this but I really want it” item! Dried my hair faster, no frizz at all for the whole day (and this was in Philly in the summer and my hair is used to Los Angeles and desert climates), and way more body and shine than normal.

    • Getting the right dryer is key to getting better results.
      I can’t even attempt a decent straightening w/a regular, drugstore dryer.

      • I tried a salon ionic dryer for a couple of weeks, and it literally caught on fire while I was using it!! Needless to say, I got scared and had to go back to a Revlon dryer from Target.

        Wish I knew what happened – I think it might have been a defective ionic dryer. Rather than be extra-hot, it was barely hot at all – not even close to being as hot as my old Revlon. I was suprised, but I thought at the time it was something that I didn’t understand about the dryer (i.e. it was “hot” but designed so that I could not feel the heat?). Anyway, I was already frustrated by its lack of heat and how long it was taking to dry my hair when it did a 180 and burst into flame.

        Maybe someday I’ll give it another shot, but for now, just the drugstore dryer for me!

        • OMG – glad to hear that you’re ok. Out of morbid curiosity, what part caught on fire? The coils at the back?

  12. Amanda Lee :

    Kat, I have hair a lot like yours. I used to dry it straight every day, but this, for me, was madness! Particularly because mine honestly looks better with some body than it did absolutely straight.

    I wash my hair at night and scrunch some gel/ leave-in conditioner into it. The Ouidad line is the best I have tried! Then, I let it air-dry overnight– I will put it into a very loose braid when I sleep to avoid tangles. The next morning, I dry with a blow-dryer the rest of the way dry (this usually only takes a couple of minutes). Then, because my hair does not dry in perfect curls, but is a mixture of curly/wavy/frizzy, I will put sections up in hot rollers to make the whole thing look more deliberate. The hot rollers literally take one minute to warm up and five minutes to put in. I leave them in while I’m eating breakfast and doing my makeup, smooth on some John Frieda’s Secret Weapon, and then, ta-da-, lots of body and looks-intentional curls!

    The whole process does not take very much time at all, and even less when you figure in that, with curly hair, you can get away with only washing your hair every 2nd or 3rd day.

  13. Does anyone have wavy or curly, FINE hair? Mine is wavy (more so in the summer/humid times) and I have a hard time finding a product to support the wave/curl and not weigh it down, because it is also very fine. Any tips?

    I always air-dry, if that helps. No interest in blow-drying it straight (would take too much time).

    • I have similar hair (normally blow dry but will sometimes air dry) and I’ve had luck with bioskilk line and the herbal essences “wavy” hair line (the purple bottle).

    • I’ve had good luck with Matrix and Bumble and bumble brand curl “holders” when I combine it with mousse. I mix the gel + mousse together in my hands, and then scrunch it through my hair … I also ALWAYS have my hair upside down as much as possible while it’s drying. It’s not perfect, but I’ve been wrestling with my fine, sparse hair for years, and this is the best combination I’ve tried yet.

    • My hair is very fine but very wavy – I use Aveda be curly (sparingly – the size of a peanut for shoulder-length hair) and some kind of pantene curly mousse.

      • oh, and there are lots of youtube videos demonstrating how to “wrap” wet wavy hair in old t-shirts or microfiber towels. This process helps the curls form and accordion against the hair as the hair dries, it’s immensely helpful for good formation with fine hair.

    • This. The only thing I’ve found that works for me is using no product at all, or using a tiny bit of alcohol-based curlinig mousse. Anything else weighs it down at makes it so drooping it ends up looking far worse that if I’d done nothing with it at all.

      For what its worth, you might be suprised how quickly you can “cheat-dry” your hair. I do this frequently. I let it air dry while I do everything else in the morning, then just before I get dressed, I divide it into two sections (top and bottom) and blow out each for about 2 minutes. It doesn’t look anything like a salon blowout would, but it makes me look and feel a little more polished than I do when I just let it air dry.

    • I have curly thin hair. I used to have a thick halo of curls that unfortunately has thinned out considerably as I’ve gotten older (I’m only 30 though). I’ve had all sorts of tests and nothing is wrong with my thyroid, so I guess it’s just genetic (my dad went bald by 30 :( ). The only thing that works for me is to use a bit of mousse (not gel, which is too heavy) and then use an ionic hairdryer to diffuse my hair. I also think that it’s very difficult to keep hair long when it is so fine. My hair is almost to my bra strap and it’s getting too long for that, so I’m due for a cut.

      Anyone try Rogaine? I would love to try it but I’m trying to get pregnant this year so that’s a no no. I would love to find something to make my hair look thicker.

    • Curls in the LBC :

      I made a similar comment in the winter thread. But for fine hair? I think that adding some protein products helped me a lot. Using a high-protein, firm hold gel (Biosilk Gelee) + Iso Bouncy Creme (more than a half-pea amount weighs my hair down, so I may stop using it) + Curls Rock Amplifier (which is amazingly good for ringlets and frizz control) is plenty for me–I find that my fine hair needs a very firm-hold gel or the curl collapses into waves. Also, my fine hair has more body and curl if I apply my hair products once my hair has plopped dry a little bit, so it’s not soaking wet (which is what everyone at Naturally Curly recommends, except those with very fine hair).

      And for thinning hair, here’s what helped me–I have PCOS and a year ago, I lost a lot of hair to dissertation stress. I take high-dose (5-mg?) biotin and a b-vitamin, which seem to help and has finally made my nails strong. I also treated my scalp with health-food-store castor oil a few times, rubbing some on my scalp at bedtime and then shampooing thoroughly in the morning–I can actually see spots that have grown back by my temples and it let me fill out my over-plucked eyebrows. Of course, now I have a huge halo of 3 to 6 inch frizz, but I am counting the days till it grows out!

  14. Thanks for posting something for the curly girls!

    My hair is really curly and takes longer than I am willing to spend to straighten it. I really recommend the Deva line and, if you can, getting a cut from a Deva trained stylist (or at least a dry cut). I use the One Condition and Arc Angel. The products are pricy, but they work so much better than anything else I have tried and I don’t have to use nearly as much. I scrunch with an an old t-shirt and then air dry (if I have time) or diffuse.

    For conditioner, I actually swear by the Suave humectant conditioner which costs something like $3 a bottle. But it works for my hair.

    • Ditto! I love Deva’s No-Poo shampoo (takes some getting used to as it doesn’t really lather) every third or fourth day, followed by One Condition, wringing out with my hands, scrunching w/ a paper towel, Arc Angel, more scrunching, and clipping my crown with those tiny metal clips. Once I get to work after my 45 min commute, my hair is dry enough to get away with air drying. I sleep with my hair down and a tiny headband to keep my hair out of my face.

      Day 2: slick wet hands through hair to reconsolidate frizzies (that’s a technical term) and work in a quarter sized dab of Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Milk. Wear down. Sleep in low loose ponytail.

      Day 3 (winters only – can’t get away with this in the summer): use baby powder as dry shampoo above ears (the only place I get greasy). Wear hair in low ponytail.

      Day 4: as most curls are gone, I comb straight and wear in a low bun at the nape of my neck / in a chignon.

      Obviously a particularly sweaty workout, yardwork session, or emergency ponytail on Day 1 (late night or windy day) will cause the routine to start over. But this is the routine I adopted after FINALLY getting my first Ouidad dry cut and it has allowed me to actually like my thick curly hair for the first time in my life.

  15. My general winter hair tips, coming from someone with a “Jew-fro” who grew up in a very, very cold climate:

    – For women with softer hair texture, the absolute best product I’ve found is Bumble and Bumble Curl Creme for fine curls. They also make a product for coarse curls; my hair feels coarse/rope-like, but the stylist advised me that the coarse curls product is suited for African-American women or women of other with extremely, unusually coarse hair. I use about a dime-sized amount of this product and it works great (if I use more my hair feels gross). The bottle is $27 but it lasts about 4 months. It works either blowdrying or air drying.

    – I spray Frizz-Ease leave in conditioner on every single day (in addition to my usual conditioner) and this helps immensely with preventing winter dryness and frizz. I have to wash my hair every day because I exercise a lot and it gets so sweaty.

    – I’m lucky to have the type of hair that bounces right back after I take my hat off. However, in general, I’ve found that “hat hair” and frizz is caused by sweating under the hat more than by the hat itself. I’ve found that a thin cashmere hat is the best way to stay warm enough to be warm but not to sweat. Satin-lined hats are nice but too hot for me. And whatever you do, don’t get a fleece-lined hat unless you love static cling.

    – If my hair gets out of control dry, I heat up about half a cup of olive oil (any oil will do but I prefer the smell of olive to coconut or other oils), work it through my hair, tye it up in an old scarf and sleep that way. Do this on a Friday night because your hair will look a little greasy for the next couple of washes, but you should be fine by Monday morning. This really helps restore moisture more than any deep conditioner I’ve ever used.

  16. Thread jack (though hair related): Can I get longish, side swept bangs cut into my shoulder-lenth straight hair … if I have a natrual center part??? Must decide if this is do-able by TONIGHT! Thanks for any thoughts!

    • Can you have a “natural” part? I’ve never heard of that before … and trying to imagine straight hair that has a natural part is even weirder to me, for whatever reason.

      • You know, where your hair naturally falls if you just shake your head. Mine is in the middle — unless I try to retrain it?

        • OK, I guess other people have heard of it … but wouldn’t everyone who has a natural part have it in the center? Unless their head is asymmetrical, or they tip their head one way or the other? I guess I’m just having a hard time wrapping my head around this idea – I’ve had my hair parted all over my head at different times in my life, and never really had a problem switching it, or noticed where it parts by itself – I mean, I’d have to let my hair dry uncombed for it to do that …

          • Nope not so! My natural part is on the left. It’s kind’ve weird I always wanted it to be in the middle so I could wear it parted on either side but it naturally parts to the left!!

    • I’ve tried repeatedly to change my natural part and it just won’t work. I can do it with hairspray. If you’re ok with having to hairspray your bangs at the roots to get them to lay how you want them, then go for it. But you should also discuss this with your hairstylist before she starts cutting.

    • i'm nobody :

      yes; definitely. i’ve got very long, fine hair and side-swept bangs. i vary where i part my hair, although my natural part is off to one side, but i really like how it looks with a center part.

    • Yes, you absolutely can. Ask your stylist to show you what it would look like before he/she cuts it. My natural part is to the side but sometimes I like the look of my sideswept bangs when parting my hair in the middle. Some stylists are able to cut the sideswept bangs so that they look good parted on the side AND in the middle.

      If you go for it, let us know how you like it!

      • Thank you guys! I think it is so cute on others (esp. Reese Witherspoon!). We shall see what my stylist has to say!

  17. I keep it curly in the warm months, straight in the cool months. For curly hair, I just use like Suave shampoo or whatever is on sale (I’m not a hair product person… you’ll see) and I 90% of the time shower at night. I towel it dry-er, but not dry. I comb it, apply a dollop of cheap LA Looks gel (see?!), and loosely make a “bun” on top of my head, secured loosely with a big claw clip that doesn’t leave marks. When I wake up, my hair is still damp enough to play with the curl, at which point I may add a but of gel to finish it, but I always finish off with aerosol hairspray. And I promise, with this routine, I do NOT look all “cawfee tawk” like the Nanny or Teresa Guidice. It’s natural looking, not the wet look, and stays for most of the day!

    When I go straight, I only change my morning routine. I have a wicked old school blowdryer that is a brush (though not one with bristles– the hot air comes out of hard plastic “tines” that are widely spread). It looks a bit like a torture device, but it is amazing. I have NO coordination to do a real blow out with a round brush and blow dryer, so this is perfect. I do the ends and underside first, then finish with the top. I do have a flat iron around for days when my hair just won’t cooperate.

    This post is making me really want to cut my hair, too! Next week!

  18. Oh, and I would marry those Goody “spin pins” if that were allowed. They are amazing.

    Hold my very thick heavy hair through boxing classes, elliptical sessions, etc. Not to mention, I can finally pull off a professional looking bun/chignon!

  19. I have pretty wavy hair and I prefer the curlygirl/jessicurl method – i put product in my hair while sopping wet, then wrap it in an old tee or microfiber towel, then diffuse until it’s about 80% dry, then try my best not to touch it until it’s dry. In the winter, I will shower daily but “shampoo” with conditioner, only truly washing my hair once a week or so. I live in a place with temperate but VERY WET winters, so straightening it is usually reserved only for summer. I wear a gore-tex jacket with a hood in the winter, so the whole hat hair issue is not really a problem.

  20. i'm nobody :

    i’m a let you finish, but . . .

    i just want to say–as a woman with baby-fine straight hair that won’t hold a curl no matter what, and who suffered through too many at-home perms in the 80s (but dayumn i thought i looked good)–i can’t believe that everybody is straightening their hair now.

    i really want every woman’s hair to look how *she* wants it to look, but part of me, maybe a leetle bit jealous part of me, also wants the curly-haired ladies to rock their curly hair!

    ::climbs off soapbox::

    • This. My straight baby fine hair is also thin, which means I basically have absolutely no styling options other than keeping it short and wearing it down. I am utterly jealous of anyone with any sort of curl or body, and I wish I could wear a pin or clip in my hair. Sigh.

      • Same. I grew my thin, baby-fine hair out for… a year and a half, only to notice that I hate all photos of me with that stringy, desperate hair. Just had to cut it all off and go back to the boring old bob. I just want so badly to have GOOD HAIR. I might have to go buy some someday. :(

      • i'm nobody :

        oh! do hairpins and barrettes and all the pretty accessories just slide right out of your hair, too?

        *solidarity*

        every time a curl gets flat-ironed, a little piece of me dies.

        • L from Oz :

          Oh yes. I have very thin, fine hair that I have to keep extremely short or it looks stringy. Forget about using any sort of decorative bauble.

          And in winter hats are wretched – I look like my hair is glued to my head, but it’s too cold to go without.

          So those with lots of hair, enjoy it!

    • wait, did I write this? I don’t know why I’m even reading the comments (other than the fascinating look into the coveted curly hair world) because my hair is straight, fine and thick. Which means everything slides out – especially curls. So jealous of volumes of curls that so many women seem to want to get rid of. . .

      • Hahaha, ditto! I’m reading each comment with rapt attention — so jealous! If there is zero humidity and I haven’t washed my hair in a day, I can use a curling iron or hot rollers and TONS of hair spray and my hair will be wavy (at best) for about 2 hours.

    • I have the opposite problem – my hair won’t hold straightness. I have very determined curls. Although I’m glad it gives me an excuse not to screw around with a hot iron.

  21. I have fine hair, but A LOT of it. It is super curly, and prone to getting crazy big. Hands down, Bumble and Bumble Curl Creme (fine hair) is the best product I’ve tried. And I feel like I’ve tried everything. Its “secret” ingredient is the same stuff they put into curling mascara, so it can even help wavy hair hold more curl.

  22. LInLondon :

    After a very long time of have seriously NO idea what my hair actually did (I used to brush it and let it dry, never knowing that I have chronic bell head cause my hair is actually curly), I have mastered the art of curly and the srt of straight!

    For curly, I wash and condition with whatever shampoo/conditioner I’m keen on at the moment, then i put it up in a towel to soak up the water, then I flip my hair over and use a thick leave-in conditioner cream (and nothing super-nice, just Garnier) and use a lot of it to scrunch my hair. The main reason my curls don’t look nice is if they’re too dry, so I followed that logic and decided to stop using styling products cause they seem really drying, and just go for plain ol leave-in conditioner, but a lot of it. Works like a charm! The first day my hair looks very properly curled, then the next 2 days it looks more beachy and wavy, but not messy.

    For straight, I wash and condition (Dove Heat Defense conditioner, I don’t know if it’s available in the US, but it is the best thing EVER, it makes my hair soooooo nice and soft). Then I take my “outer” haor (what’s actually on the surface when my hair is down) and pin it on top of my head. I use my round brush to do a quick, pretty cursory dry of the lower sections, then I use my flatiron (GHD, which are expensive but soooooooooo worth it, cause you only need to go over a section once) to do the bottom bits. Then I flip my head over and dry the top part upside-down, then I straighten that by pulling my hair straight up and doing it that way, rather than leaving it down, so it gives the roots some lift. That probably doesn’t make sense, haha, but it really works. Anyway, I clip each finished section into a mini-pouf to let it cool while I do other sections, again, making sure the roots aren’t flat against my head. And that’s that!

    I know this was an essay, but after over 20 years of bell head, I was so relieved when I finally figured out how to control my hair!!

    • I wish you had before and after shots! I am wondering if I have bell head. :)

    • Thanks for describing how you straighten your hair. As someone who has to work *really* hard to keep my hair properly contained under a scarf, I’m utterly befuddled by how to straighten my hair (years of tying my hair in buns has turned it wavy). I’m inspired to straighten my hair the way you described.

  23. Question (or “threadjack”): I have fine, curly/wavy hair, which I mostly wear straight (the fineness allows it to blow-out easily). I just got bangs a couple of weeks ago, and I love them. But I am starting to get concerned about how they will fare under hats in the winter. Others with bangs: do you do something with your bangs to avoid getting a dent from your hat in your bangs? (i am particularly concerned about those wet winter days, b/c the moisture will just make my hair curl)
    Are certain styles of hats better/worse?
    Thanks in advance!

  24. I randomly discovered an AMAZING thing for drying hair into curls quickly – bought a Remington hair dryer at Target on clearance for $20, and it came with this “beach wave” attachment. It has this tornado effect when you put a lock of hair in there, and dries it into wonderful curls. I have very thick hair, and when I use a diffuser, my hair ends up HUGE, but this has the same effect of when i let it airdry overnight into great loose curls. This link is no longer in stock – so not sure where you can get your hands on one, but HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend! It is pretty fun – one of the oddest hair styling experiences I’ve ever had!

    http://www.amazon.com/Remington-D1001-Ceramic-Attachment-Technology/dp/B001LF4G44

    • The video on Amazon is HIGHLY entertaining. Whoa.

    • This product was featured on another site I like. There is a version of this attachment offered in another Remington model. Here’s the link.

      http://momgenerations.com/2010/08/remington-hair-products-beachy-waves-with-airwave/

  25. I know all too well about triangle head. After donating my hair last winter and getting a bob, my hair had finally grown enough achieve the undesired triangle head look. I went to a cheap salon and the stylist and I were not on the same wavelength. I walked in with triangle head and walked out with a cone head. I have neen wearing a ponytail or bun since then.

    Kat’s hair sounds just like mine, and I can’t wait to try some of the things mentioned here.

  26. My curls made me nuts for years, so I tried thermal reconditioning. I’ve had it done yearly since 2003 and I’ve never looked back. Makes my hair straight, which I prefer, and it’s very low maintenance.

  27. Like Kat, my hair gets curlier the older I get. It’s just below shoulder length now, but it wants to be curly no matter how long it is. It actually got to the point where I really couldn’t blow dry it straight anymore at all, so I got a keratin treatment. That makes it doable in about 10-15 minutes of blow drying and 5-10 minutes with a flat iron. Even with keratin, it still wants to be curly.

    For doing it curly, I like a curl product by bumble and bumble. I can’t remember the name, but I think it’s the one for wavy hair. I use quite a bit–probably two quarter-size dollops or more–but I have extremely thick hair. I start at the roots at the bottom and work my way up and out, scrunching as I go. I do like the Dream Curls product, although I can’t remember who does it. It’s a “revitalize your curl” type product that really helps for second day curly. I also use a bumble and bumble finishing serum that I rub on my hands and then over my hair like I’m pulling it into a ponytail. That takes care of any crunchiness from the product. The only difference in the winter is more conditioning and less washing.

    • Reading the other comments reminded me that it’s the Bumble and Bumble Curl Creme for fine hair that I use (even though my hair is actually coarse and thick).

  28. I am willing to invest serious money in a fancy blowdryer if there is one that will really work and will really cut my blow-drying time down. (I wash my hair every morning without fail, and am getting sick of spending valuable time with the hairdryer.) Does anyone have a recommendation? Do those T3 ones really work?

    • Also, I have medium length mostly straight (but getting wavier as I get older) hair.

    • I bought a T3 at Sephora. It did dry my hair a few minutes faster. I also started getting tons of compliments on my hair right after I started using it. I’d recommend the investment, as long as you buy it from a store with a good return policy. Some of the reviews said they break quickly, I’ve had mine for a year and no problems.

    • I bought a Rusk Speed Freak dryer at Ulta a couple of months ago and it has changed my life. Blowdrying is so much easier and faster and I actually have the energy to straighten my naturally SUPER CURLY hair with a round brush instead of a flat iron. I just Googled it and it seems they are selling on Overstock right now for about half what I paid for mine. My loss; your gain :)

  29. My daughter has a very strong side part, and her head is not assymetrical! :-) It depends on the direction your hair grows. Her hair grows sideways in the front, and it’s impossible to do anything but part it on that side. My son is still a baby, so has very little hair, but he actually has hair growing in a strong part just off of center. He’ll have a crazy cowlick I’m sure.

    Does that help visualize natural parts? Fwiw I don’t think I have much of a natural part. My kids get their crazy hair from their dad.

  30. I have very thick wavy to loosely kinky curls that look best long (down to my bra strap in the back, with some layers). My naturally brown hair is colored with a bit of blonde, but it is not overly processed. I’ve had the thermal reconditioning, which was a nice change, but I’ve ended up finding a good way to wear it wavy/curly without all the damage from hair-drying, straightening, etc. I wash my hair at night with one of the Wen hair cleansers (I’ve used lavender, tea tree and sweet mint and almond and love them all), put my hair up in one of those aquiis? hair towel-wrap things while it’s still dripping wet and after leaving that on for 5-10 minutes, I mix a very small (dime to nickel-sized) amount of Carole’s Daughter’s Mimosa Hair Honey with a squirt of the Wen styling creme, work it through my hair (mostly on the ends, but my hair gets frizzy, so I even use some almost all the way up to my roots, which most people tell you not to do). I life the roots in spots and put clips in to give it some volume at the top and then let it air dry for a little bit (30 minutes or so – my hair is VERY thick and takes a while to dry) and then I pull it into two low pig tails down by the bottom of my ears and use those Goody or Scunci ouchless thick rubberbands, then I lift my roots a bit so that there is still a bit of volume on top. I sleep with it that way, wake up in the morning, and use a curling iron to work with any kinks or straight bits that might not be looking right. I can go for days afterward without washing my hair, and only need to touch up the occasional curl, either with the Wen styling cream or with the curling iron, which makes it so much easier and less time-consuming. At first I felt sorry for my husband having to see me with those silly little pigtails, but he likes them (or at least that’s what he says)! After many years, this is what works for me.

    • I do almost the exact same thing for my very thick , coarse, wavy to curly hair. I like using curls rock amplifier cream, amazing stuff.i let it air dry overnight , fix a few curls with a spiral iron and I’m done.

  31. Laura Wilson :

    My hair is thick and wavy, to the point where I have always wanted to tame it down, and I generally envy people with thinner, lighter, less curly hair. It’s a constant struggle to find a cut that works and to keep it under control. But I am generally much happier with my hair in the WINTER. During the summer, it seems like it just gets bigger, coarser and more out of control, mostly due to humidity in the air. So when fall comes, it’s always a relief in that way!

  32. I’m also a follower of the Curly Girl method – to an extent. I still use non-sulfate shampoos (though more in the summer – in the winter I use Curl Junkie Daily Fix to wash). The biggest help to my wavy-curly (some spirals, some distinct waves) hair has been getting more moisturizing conditioners, stopping the use of silicones so my hair can get proper moisture, and using enough protein.

    As far as drying, I am devoted to my diffuser. I use what we at Naturallycurly.com call the “pixiecurl” method, where, after I have all my products in my hair, take a few strands, scrunch them into the diffuser, hold it up to my scalp, and turn on the dryer, and hold it there for a few minutes. I do this around my head (in probably 8 sections, all together), then diffuse more normally after my hair is crunchy and set. When it’s completely dry (and before I leave my house), I scrunch out all the crunch in my hair, and it looks totally natural and like I used no products at all. In the winter specifically, I use more moisturizing products (nothing expensive – Garnier Triple Nutrition conditioner or a knock off of the Biolage Conditioning Balm), more protein, and cut out most glycerin, because it makes my hair frizzy in cold weather. All year round I use lots of gel to keep my hair under control, but scrunch out the crunch once it’s completely dry.

    That’s what works for me, though it may not work for you.

  33. When I was a kid, I had a mop of Shirley Temple curls. A rather punitive stepmother resorted to a pixie cut that made me look like a street urchin. In rebellion I let it grow out until it was the middle of my back and the natural wave came back. Like others, the weight alone of that much hair pulled out any real curl.
    Now I’m in my early 50’s and as a result of menopause, my hair is much thinner (thankfully not see-my-skull thin). I use moisturizing lotions like Pantene’s Time Restoration and use their moisturizing/curl products, including the curl cream. I do not color my hair and have very minimal gray, but that’s added another layer of complexity – the gray is more wiry than the rest of my hair, while also remaining curly. I’d love to hear of anyone has found a good product line to handle this dual problem.
    I’m also looking for a good mid-length cut – I’ve been thinking a kind of old-school shag – but I’ve had limited success with stylists in Indianapolis.
    (And I’m a lawyer, so I need my hair to look professionally presentable.)

  34. No one has recommended the Living Proof No Frizz products yet so let me be the first! A friend turned me on to these – they are silicone-free and are great for curly hair. They have products to help straighten or boost curls — I have only used the Wave Shaping, Curl Definining product for medium to thick hair. I use a very small amount and then use the diffuser on my hair – it’s very lightweight, very little to no crunch at all! They are available at Sephora.

    http://www.sephora.com/browse/brand_hierarchy.jhtml?brandId=Living%20Proof&contentId=C20513

  35. Molly Fanning :

    I have been using www.mydevacurl.com products for about 6 months. The Low-Poo shampoo and conditioner, the hand shaped “devafuser.” I use a drop of Marrakesh Oil and DevaCurl AnGel then dry most of the way. If I need more oomph I use Kenra clear paste. If I need to refresh, I like to spritz the DevaCurl Set It Free. My hair is fairly short so I make sure there are no funny “holes” in the back with a pick style comb.

  36. I have long and wavy hair. I do not play with my hair a lot and spend very little time on it. The Shielo Hydrate conditioner helps me in that.

    After using Shielo’s conditioner my hair is so manageable that I do not have to blow dry my hair even and they are so soft, smooth and silky all day long, Using this conditioner can reduce your visit to a hair salon so often and you can still look beautiful.

    Its smell is great too and its long lasting. Shielo has different shampoos and conditioners for different hair types and so everyone can find one suiting their hair needs. It also makes the hair less frizzy and what I do is I do not wash it out completely from my hair. I would definitely recommend thsi conditioner to anyone who wants a quick, easy and affordable solution to make theri hair soft, smooth, silky and manageable.