Curls

How to Style Curly Hair

Since my big chop back in 2009, I've loved wearing my hair curly. I get a lot of questions from readers on what products I use and how I style them, so here's a quick tutorial post I've done in conjunction with my stylist, Casey, at Adelaide Salon in Brooklyn on how to style your curls. This process works no matter the length of your hair, the key is being sure to have a good haircut. If you haven't done so already, find a stylist who specializes in curly hair. Curls benefit from being cut while dry, and there's a specific method to "carving" the curls together so the corkscrews interlock. A specialist will know how to do this for you and give you amazing, low-maintenance curls. It all starts with washing your hair.  I use DevaCurl No-Poo, which doesn't suds up and keeps my curls moisturized.  I also only wash my hair max twice a week.  On other days I only condition.  So start off by washing your hair with your favorite vegan, non-sudsing shampoo and rinse it out. How to Style Curly Hair 3 Now comes the styling.  I usually do this while still in the shower, but for demonstration purposes Casey shows you how to do it here.  Using your fingers,  rake your conditioner (I use DevaCurl One Conditioner) through your curls while sopping wet, making sure the curls are defined and "clump" together.  As you can see in these photos, Casey grabs my hair in small sections working the conditioner through it roots to end until she's covered all my hair.  You don't want to comb your hair, finger raking works just fine and makes for nice, fat curls. This is also the time you'll want to part your hair if you wear your hair parted.  In this demo, Casey gave me a side part. How to Style Curly Hair 4 How to Style Curly Hair 5 Next, change your water pressure to low, and rinse the conditioner out.  The low water pressure is imperative, otherwise you'll separate the curls you've just spent so much time forming.  When this is complete, turn the water off and flip your hair over. How to Style Curly Hair 6 Now it's time to apply your curl defining product.  Again, this is done while still in the shower while your hair is sopping wet.  During the summer, I like to use DevaCurl AnGEL, being it's a strong hold gel that prevents my curls from frizzing in the humidity.  I'll often switch to something lighter in the winter when it's not as humid out. How to Style Curly Hair 7 Squirt some product in your hands, rub them together, and then gently scrunch your curls from tips to roots.  It's important to keep your touch gentle, other wise you run the risk of frizzing or separating your curls. How to Style Curly Hair 8 Now it's time to towel dry.  Take either paper towels, an old tee-shirt or a specialty microfiber towel and gently scrunch the curls again from tips to roots.  You still have to keep it gentle. The reason you don't want to use a regular towel to dry your curls is because the texture will disrupt the curl pattern and make your curls frizz.  The key here is not disturbing the curls. How to Style Curly Hair 10 I usually while doing this process at home plop my curls in a microfiber towel while I put on my makeup.  That helps me get some extra moisture out before drying it and cuts down my drying time substantially.  It's not 100% necessary though. You can learn to plop (or plunk) here.  It doesn't work for everyone, it really depends on how your curls are.  Mine luckily are pretty loose and plunking works really well for me. How to Style Curly Hair 12 One your hair is towel dried, flip your hair over. How to Style Curly Hair 13 This step is optional but makes a big difference.  Now using small banana clips, clip your hair at your roots to create some lift.  Curly hair is often so heavy while wet it just dries flat to your head.  By clipping the roots up, when it dries it creates some extra volume. How to Style Curly Hair 17

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Depending on your hair style, now would be the time to blow out your bangs if you have any.  Even though I had grown out my bangs, we decided to blow the front of my hair out during this haircut for a more polished look.  After the front was blown out, Casey put it in a pin-curl while still warm so it would dry with a loose wave. Now that it's summer and it's hot as hades outside, I've been skipping this step and wearing it all curly. How to Style Curly Hair 15 Now it's time to dry your hair.  You have a few options.  First would be a bonnet dryer, like shown at the salon here below.  Nice part about the bonnet dryer is you set it and sit back, relax and read a magazine or something until your hair is fully dry. How to Style Curly Hair 18 How to Style Curly Hair 20

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I wish I had room for a bonnet dryer in my apartment, but I don't.  So I usually use a blow dryer with a diffuser.  This will be essential if you have really long hair, because a bonnet dryer only really gets the top of your head down to your chin dry.  A dryer and diffuser gets the rest.  The diffuser allows you to dry at a higher heat without blowing your hair all around and disturbing the curls. Your third option is good ol' air drying.  Most days, especially during the summer I'll just hit my roots for a few minutes with the dryer to get the lift from the pinning, and then remove them and let it dry the rest of the way naturally.  It's healthier for your hair.  The only downfall for me with this method is my hair takes forever to dry.  Even while in this short bob it still takes over three hours to fully air dry. With a blow dryer and diffuser I can usually do the job in 15 minutes.  This is a huge improvement from my long locks, which took close to 40 to get blown dry and 5-6 hours to air dry.

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Once your hair is about 90% dry, it's time to take your clips out.  Let it air dry the rest of the way, and then flip your head over and "scrunch the crunch" out.  When you flip your head back over, you have beautiful, frizz free bouncy curls. How to Style Curly Hair 21

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How to Style Curly Hair 23 Using this method and drying my hair all the way dry, I'm usually out of the shower, dressed, made up and ready to go in about 45 minutes. I hope this tutorial helps out anyone who was wondering how I style my hair.  If you have any questions, feel free to let me know! PHOTOGRAPHY  BY // Joel Stigliano

Pinning / Curly Bobs

It seems just about every single year once it gets nice out, I have this urge to chop off all of my hair. By the end of winter, I'm totally over having to blow-dry my hair for close to 30 minutes because I have so much of it. While I love my current really long length, it's now becoming impracticable for me to keep up with. I also think it's kind of boring. I usually like a little edge to my haircuts and the current one just isn't doing it for me anymore. Walking the streets of NYC there are tons of girls with long loose curls like mine. When I did my last big chop back in 2009, the shorter curls were ridiculously easy for me to manage. It was literally wash and go. I'd like to get back to that for this summer considering how active I've been lately. Last year at this time I was totally macking on Keri Hilson's bob below, but as of recent I also love the soft, inverted bob that Marion Cotillard wears.  So I'm kind of undecided what version I want to do, or how short I want to go yet (at or below the chin).  I also haven't decided yet if I want to stay a red head, dye it back to my natural brunette, or even maybe an ombre brunette.  All I know is I want all my hair gone and for my hair routine to only take 10 minutes again. Here's some of my favorite inspiration images I've been pinning lately to try to come up with some ideas of what to do.  My next hair appointment is in less than two weeks, so I better hurry up and make up my mind! So what do you think?  Should I cut it all off?  Dye it?  Both?  I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Keep It Conservative

Keep It Conservative {What I'm Wearing: Sweater: no name brand (thrifted); Skirt: Michael Kors (thrifted, similar one here);  Boots: Aldo; Bag: Cornelia Guest} I learned a few new things this week. First is I should always let Jim take my outfit photos for me. He helped me out twice this week because I was short on time and didn't feel like setting up my tripod. It took way less time, and the photos came out great because he has such a great artistic eye. In fact, in these photos he insisted on using this wall as the backdrop, and I didn't understand why until I saw the images. Rock on Jim, rock on. Second thing I learned is I can't wear what I used to wear to work now with my super red hair. The hair is accessory enough, and if I wear something else really colorful or busy looking it doesn't come across super professional. The hair color is pretty punk rockish. Before the change I would very easily pull off neon heels and bright graphic blouses at work and with the new hair it's almost sensory overload. While I'm lucky my job adheres to a business casual dress code (plus most of my colleagues are men, and know nothing about professional women's attire), it's still extremely important to me that I'm taken seriously. While I don't really talk about it on the blog, I have around 40 people who report to me just within my own company, and scores of colleagues who are vendors or customers. So this week I've learned to lay off the bright accessories and let the hair do the talking. It seems to be working well, since most people noticed the hair but didn't really make a huge deal out of it. That alone helped assure me that I towed the line between conservative and punk to the best of my abilities. Now what I wear on the weekends, that's another story. I'm really excited to experiment with my faves, like leopard. That and I'm excited to do some shopping. For some reason I'm really feeling I need more gray to compliment this red. What additions do you think I should make to my wardrobe that will compliment my new hair color? I'd love some suggestions! Keep It Conservative Keep It Conservative Keep It Conservative Keep It Conservative

Crisp

Running in the Rain What I'm Wearing: Rain Jacket: Aryn K. (via Crossroads Trading Co.) Shirt: H&M (via a yard sale); Jeggings: Unknown Brand (gifted); Bag: Cornelia Guest; Rain Boots: Dirty Laundry Friday night after my hair appointment I went out with some friends and didn't get home until late in the evening. So instead of waking up early on Saturday to get my chores and errands done, Jim and I instead took the day to relax and recharge. I went to Crossfit, got to Skype with my friend Gina for a bit (Which was awesome! Miss you girl!), and then had a Homeland marathon. This was all well and good, but it was absolutely gorgeous Saturday. Like 80 degrees gorgeous. Slightly overcast, but it still was a total waste not to be outside doing something. Sunday I got my ass up to start getting some things done around the house and around the neighborhood, and it was miserable outside. Temperatures dropped, rain coming on and off. Apparently it's now officially fall. It's like overnight all the leaves turned and are falling off the trees. When I was about 75% done with my chores and projects and there was a break in the drizzle, Jim and I took a quick run to The Blue Stove to grab some baked treats for dessert after dinner. No better way to finish a productive cold and rainy day with a nice vegan ginger pear crisp. Running in the Rain Running in the Rain

Dip Dye Diva

Dip Dye Diva Here's the result of my hair appointment on Friday. I decided to go with the dip-dye in red. I'm honestly kind of shocked I actually went as bright as I did, and love it! I can't believe I waited this long to finally do it. Now I'm all excited to clean out my closet and do some shopping for some new clothes to compliment the new 'do. Stay tuned tomorrow for some more photos from this shoot. Dip Dye Diva Dip Dye Diva Edit: For anyone interested, the dye used for my hair was Organic Color Systems and is 100% vegan and cruelty free.  Believe it or not, the color is that bright without bleaching.  It's only available in salons.  I highly recommend their brand, and no I'm not being paid to say that.  I had my color done by my long time stylist Casey, at Adelaide Salon in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Pinning Hair Change Ideas

Happy Friday! This past week has been another whirlwind one for me. I had a big year and a half long project finish up at work that launched Tuesday, and I had to put in extra hours to work out all the kinks. Yuck.  I also started Crossfit, as well as celebrated my 4th wedding anniversary with Jim.  I'm looking forward to the weekend and getting to kick back a bit and slow down. I have a haircut appointment tonight, so I've been pinning some ideas on how to change it up. I know I'm keeping it long, but love the idea of adding even more curly layers, and maybe even dip-dying the ends (which I've been thinking about doing forever). Whatever I decide, it'll be a surprise! Are you on Pinterest? I'm an addict. Check out my pins and follow me here.

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