Saturday, August 16, 2014

How I Style My Naturally Curly Hair: Part 3

How do you style your hair?  What products do you use?  Do you use a diffuser or other tool?

Step 0:  Wash your hair as described in Part 2.  Your hair should now look something like this.

Hey-o! Straight out of the shower selfie

I almost always use three products on my hair.  The first product depends on my hair's length.  For the medium length hair I have now, I love this texturizing cream.  As you know, my hair has a fine texture, and this cream gives it some "grip" and hold without being crunchy.  For short hair, sometimes I don't use anything besides mousse and hairspray, and for long hair, I typically use some sort of gel, because it helps with frizz (I've found that I have to touch my hair a lot more when it is long).

For a diffuser, I use Revlon Ionic Tourmaline Ceramic hairdryer, as I wrote about here.

The Lineup

Step 2:  Flip head over.  Dispense product into one hand.  Distribute product between both hands.  Apply product to hair, starting at ends. (We're only doing mousse and cream for now.)

MOUSSE:  I go ALL over, starting at ends and scrunching into roots.

CREAM:  I go on ends and middle ONLY.

Step 3:  Part hair and shape curls.  Shaping takes a little practice, and you may need to add some water to get it to curl like you want.  I typically just shape the curls around my face and maybe the top layer of my hair.  This helps the hair lay a little better.

Flip hair to opposite side.  Slide finger down scalp, gently separate top portion of hair, and flip it to the other side.

I'm parted, so now what?

Grab small sections of hair and twist to make ringlets (I only do this around my face)

A little tamer
Step 4:  At this point you have two choices:  diffuse or partially air dry.

If you want, of if you are especially busy, you can walk away and do something else for 30 minutes to let your hair partially air dry.  It still needs to be noticeably wet for the next part (around 50%-60%).

Otherwise, grab your diffuser, and let's get going.  There are a few tricks to using a diffuser, so I've made you a few gifs to help explain how to "hold" the hair with the diffuser and how to position the tool (and your head).  It's important to tilt your head towards the side you are drying so that the ringlet isn't stretched over your head, but is allowed to fall straight.  Hold the diffuser in each spot for 8-10 seconds.  If you move too fast, you'll cause your hair to frizz.  It's more like a curling-iron than a hairdryer at this point.  Dry to about 60%.

To dry the ends:
Start below the hair and come straight up, hold for 8-10 seconds and then grab a new spot.
This can also be done with your head upside down.

Step 5: Grab the hairspray.  Lightly grasp the top layers and spray non-aerosol hairspray on the roots all around your head.  Then, use your diffuser to dry the roots and add volume.  I usually go over each section only once or twice, because I just want to "set" the hairspray and not dry out my scalp.  My hair is usually 90% dry at this point.

Do your best to not break up the curls, and for heaven's sake do NOT push up from the bottom, because you will end up "fluffing" your hair and looking like you stuck your finger in an electrical socket.

 To dry the roots (for volume):
Start on the side of your head and stick the diffuser "fingers" onto your scalp.  Move the diffuser up a few inches to relieve the weight on the roots.

Step 6:  Admire your crazy, amazing hair.  Mine usually settles a bit after this, especially as it finishes drying.  When it's dry, I usually feel through it a bit and see if there's a spot that somehow didn't get any product.  If there is (there usually is), I spray a little more sprunch spray or an unscented aerosol hairspray on that section (otherwise it will puff up).  If you don't catch a section in time and it puffs up (hours later or the next day), just wet it down and reshape the curl and then add a little product (I usually just do a spritz of hairspray).  I also separate some of the curls if I end up with a Shirley-Temple-type ringlet, which happens occasionally.


See that crazy stray in the back?  Just pull it down and tuck it in.
(those curls in the front are on their way to Shirley Temple)


If you look at the clock in the background of these pictures, you'll see this took 17 minutes from start to finish, but I was also taking pictures.  It typically takes me about 10 minutes to do my hair in the morning.

Leave your questions in the comments.  Hope you enjoyed this series!


This post is part 1 of a series on how I style my curly hair. (I will update the links as the pages are posted)
Part 2:  How I wash my hair
Part 3:  How I style my hair


  1. I found these posts very interesting. I have wondered many times about how you style your hair. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have naturally curly hair also. It cracks me up to read different How Tos on curly hair and notice someone else doing the exact same thing you do when no one taught it to you! I hope that makes sense. I blow dry my hair the exact same way! I learned the techinique from trial and error, but it really is the best way to dry your curls!