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How to Handle Curly Hair

Learn how to deal with curly hair with this Howcast hair tutorial featuring celebrity hairstylist Jacqueline Bush.


My name is Jacqueline Bush and I'm an editorial in celebrity hairstyles. My clientele has included Faith Hill, Mark Ruffalo, Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jane Krakowski. I want to be able to show you that hair isn't as intimidating or as hard as you think it is and I want you be able to have fun with it and do what your vision is with your hair

These are my tips for all you curly-haired girls out there. There's a few things that I just wanna explain about curly hair and if you follow these few tricks, I promise you that you can have those beautiful curls that you want.

The first thing is to understand that curly hair is different than straight hair. Now, I know that sounds really obvious but curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair. So, what you need is more moisture. What creates frizz is a lack of moisture and when you step out of the rain, your hair frizzes up more it's because its actually, all those little bits and pieces of hair need the moisture so bad that they're literally running for it and they're trapping it.

So, think of curly hair as the same thing. The first thing you want to start with is your shampoo. When you shampoo curly hair, the shampoo that you should be using should be very gentle. You want something Sulfate-free or very, very low on the detergent level.

Then, trick number 1, when you condition your hair, take a lot of conditioner. Using a light conditioner, nothing too heavy, even if it's like a big palm-size amount you want to emulsify it in your hands run it all the way through your hair. Then, when you rinse out your hair, when you rinse out the conditioner in your hair what your gonna do is your just gonna rinse it off the roots. You're gonna scrub your roots, but you're gonna leave all the conditioner on the rest of your hair.

So, after you've rinse out the conditioner just off your roots which literally means scrubbing your roots but not scrubbing it through the rest of your hair. After you do that, you're just gonna squeeze the hair dry and your hair should feel very soft and silky, not white and filmy, but just very, very, very soft.

At first, its gonna feel weird. It's gonna feel super, super silky. It's gonna feel very strange to you. That's OK. I promise you'll get used to that and then a few weeks, after you see the difference, you're gonna be happy that you've started doing that. After you do that, you get out of the shower. You squeeze your locks dry. Be as gentle as possible. Touching the hair as little as possible.

So, after you get out of the shower, you're gonna get your curling cream. I always like to start with 2 fingertips. Two fingertips amount of hair product, then I can always add more if necessary. I'm gonna take that. I'm gonna emulsify it in my hands. I'm gonna lightly brush it on the hair with my hands not a brush. Brush it on my hair with my palms. Scrunch it and just let my curls be.

So, the last thing I want to talk about curly hair is the cut. Curly hair needs to be cut differently than straight hair. I like to do the majority of cutting on curly hair dry because curls shrink a lot and if you cut curly hair wet, you can't necessarily tell how much length you're cutting off. It also needs to be cut at a point with scissors rather than bluntly across. That is because there's a natural wave pattern and if you look at a wave, it's not blunt. There is an angle to it. So, the scissors need to reflect that in the haircut.

Also, the way you texturize curly hair is different from the way you texturize straight hair. So, a good starting point if you don't live in a major city where you can get to a salon that specializes in curly hair or stylist that is known for cutting curly hair would be to seek out a stylist that has hair texture similar to your own. For example, you have really curly hair, go to a stylist that has really curly hair whose style you like, of course.

And lastly, I want to say one last thing. It's a great thing when you wake up in the morning. You don't have a lot of time but you want to just pull your curls together. Take a curling iron that is the same size of your curls so that if you have small, really kinky curls you can use a very thin, tiny curling iron. If you have larger curls, you can use a larger curling iron. Just take a few, very tiny, about 10 random pieces around the head. Just curl those 10 pieces, not uniform but one here, one there. Your hair will look put together and it takes about 4 minutes to do and it's the greatest, easiest trick you can do to pull your hair together in a few minutes.

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