Show Your Hair Who's Boss

Tame curly, shiny, limp, and frizzy hair with these essential tips.
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Curly Hair

Always fighting limp, frizzy, flat, or fuzzy locks? The problem's not your hair, but how you're styling it! Switch to the right products and tools and you'll feel like you've gotten the hair of your dreams.

Curly Hair

The problem: Your curly hair tangles, fuzzes, and just won't curl the way you'd like.

The solution: Mastering curly hair might seem like an epic challenge, especially since what works for one woman's tight ringlets might not necessarily work for another's waves. Confusion over how to master curls only adds to the trouble. "Women think their curly hair is thick and strong, but in reality 90 percent of curly hair is extremely fine and gets weighed down by the wrong products," says Ouidad, owner of a New York City salon devoted exclusively to curls. By using the right combination of products -- including ultra-hydrating conditioners and the best of the new curl-specific styling products -- you'll be one step closer to unlocking the secret code to your hair's natural rollicking, wavy beauty.

Your 3 Essential Steps

Pre Shower Kick off your get-perfect-curls routine with a conditioning treatment created especially for use on dry, dirty hair. These treatments, which are usually in oil form, are a cinch to use and will infuse curls with the moisture necessary to get them in tip-top shape. Simply soak the tube in a cup or basin of hot water and then use your fingers to saturate your hair with it. The heat will help soften the hair's outer layer and allow the treatment's ingredients to penetrate deeply. Leave it in for just a few minutes (even three minutes will do!) and hop into the shower. Rinse out the oil and follow with an extra-hydrating shampoo and conditioner created especially for curly hair. Wash your curls gently (no brisk rubbing!) and try not to shampoo more than three times a week; use a wide-tooth comb in the shower to distribute the conditioner evenly through your strands. Once you're out of the shower, resist the temptation to wrap your curls in a towel, turban-style. This only disturbs your hair's natural curl pattern, leading to less defined waves later.

Post Shower Since your hair is already untangled, there's no need to fuss with a comb or other tools. Instead, spray a leave-in treatment to add extra moisture (like a curl booster) and follow it with a styling product that will give you your desired level of hold. Gels will deliver the strongest result, followed by mousses and creams. Make sure to saturate every strand with your styling product and carefully arrange your curls with your fingers. Once they're in place, air-dry and don't touch! "Every time you touch your curls, you're disturbing them and leading to frizz," says Harry Josh, a stylist at New York City's Space Salon.

Finishing Touch If you have no time to air-dry, use a diffuser to dry hair under low heat and to keep curls in place. For added oomph, use a curling iron on random pieces around your crown and face and in the back of your head. Finish with a dab of silicone or smoothing cream for gloss and shine.

Continued on page 2:  Shiny Hair


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