Can Wavy or Curly Hair be Tamed?!? I know it can.
Can wavy or curly hair be tamed?
By Kim M. Ferry A.K.A “HairFerry”
Have you lost control of your rebellious, wavy hair? Do you wake up most mornings feeling like you have to gear up for a battle? Well, fret no more I am here to help. I may have some solutions that you can use at home to “tame the wild beast” growing out of your head. Are you with me? You may be wondering…what makes me an expert? I know all too well about naturally curly, wavy hair…I was born with it. I struggled with my crazy locks growing up in a time when everyone I knew had straight hair or the famous “Farrah Fawcett I really didn’t like my curls back then so I did the only style I knew how to do: braids. I braided my hair and pinned it up because, as a young girl, I had absolutely NO idea how to deal with my curls! It was really frustrating. My mother was Mexican with straight, thick, black hair. My sister got “mom hair” but my brother and I got dad’s wavy, curly light colored hair. Mom would patiently brush my hair through my many tangled “bad hair days” and it would always get super frizzy afterwards! I was raised in Northern Illinois, also known as “humidity hell” and every summer it would render me frizzy, puffy, uncontrollable hair. I continued to hide my hair in braids for years. Up side? I got pretty darn good at braids. Down side, I still needed to figure out how to handle my curls I inherited from my dad’s side of the family. (Yes Dad I blame you). I saw my hair as an unsolved mystery so I educated myself on how to care for my tangles and worked hard to have a hairstyle I could do daily, be happy with and recreate more than once. Sadly, the wonderful world of online education wasn’t around when I was a kid so you all have a huge advantage. You can open a computer and look up anything and everything you want to learn about hair!!
Eventually my skills improved and I could actually wear my hair down with the help of my new trusty blow dryer and curling iron. I practiced a lot. I used big sections and started in my nape area and worked my way up my head with the curling iron. I even got pretty good at doing hair for friends in the school plays too. I was on a roll and I was excited to try new styles. Ok, I admit, at the age of 17, I went to Cosmetology school, then I worked in 2 hair salons and finally moved to Hollywood to learn even more about hair to further my budding career as a hairstylist in television, film and print. Education is everything. I learned so much by watching and reading and doing. I understand curls, I can tango with waves and I believe you can do anything you want your hair to do. With a few simple steps you can wrangle that hair of yours and gain new inspiration to deal with your crazy, wavy hair days. I want to share my tips with all of you so you will never have to struggle like I did.
Currently, I run the Hair Department on a little show called Pretty Little Liars. My team and I do LOTS of hair on our wonderful PLL cast. I think we have mastered the ‘beach wave look’ and remarkably kept their hair looking great even when we work super long days on set. Our hairstyles have to sustain for 12-17 hours a day sometimes, and we rarely use hairspray! I have some great ideas on how you can TAME YOUR HAIR. I’ll breakdown my advice into 4 very simple steps. Are you ready?
Step 1: Your Hair is your crowning glory. Moisturize it.
There are many different kinds of curls and waves. Some tight, loose, others twisting and turning, thick and thin in texture. All of these hair varieties need one important thing: Moisture.
By this I mean replenishing Conditioners, hydrating hair Oils and even the weekly, monthly or bi-monthly treatments of Deep Conditioning Hair Masks. There are endless products available for you to try and use at home. Or if you really want to pamper yourself, go to the salon and a pro can evaluate your hair and specifically pick a perfect conditioner or deep mask treatment for your hair type. Next, they will most likely drench your hair in it, put a bag over it to keep the moisture in and have you sit under a warm dryer to really open the cuticle and let the conditioner settle into your hair and do its job. The results will make you a believer. By incorporating good conditioners into your home hair care routine, you are helping your hair replace lost nutrients and fight off dry brittle ends. These treatments also help protect and untangle hair that gets knotted by wind, heat, hats and weather so ends don’t break apart and spilt up the hair shaft. Most importantly you are also replacing the moisture lost when you use hot blow dryers, hot irons or if you color your hair often. (Like I do). If you want your curly, wavy hair to look good and feel good you must routinely keep a dependable moisturizing system in place. Everyone wants glowing, touchable, healthy looking hair right?
My Favorite products to try:
Shampoo & Conditioner combos:
Oribe Signature Shampoo & Conditioner
Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner
Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo & Conditioner
Redken All Soft Shampoo & Conditioner
Matrix Biolage Ultra Hydrasource Shampoo & Conditioner
White Sands Orchids Oil Shine & Moisture ***LOVE the smell of this one!
R+Co Tinsel Smoothing Oil
Hask Argan Oil Repairing Shine Oil
Marula Light hair Treatment & Styling Oil
Deep Conditioning Hair Masks:
Oribe Gold Lust Transformative Masque
Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Deep Conditioner
CHI Argan Oil plus Moringa Oil Rejuvenating Mask
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask
Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask
Step 2: Brushes and Picks and Combs…oh my.
Variety is the spice of life but if you have wavy or curly hair it is really important to carefully select the right tools because battling the wrong hair brush isn’t much fun. Luckily, there are wonderful new brushes that have technology behind them to take on even the toughest tangles, snarls and knots. I am excited to use brushes again! Me, the girl who hated them in her youth. One of my favorites: The Wet Brush. This spunky brush comes in many fun colors and it is designed with innovative bristles that allow it to detangle without snagging, pulling or breaking your hair! I use this brush right out of the shower and it works like a champ and glides right through my curls (my hair is past my shoulders). You can also brush through dry hair, if you plan to ‘brush out’ your natural curls and then use hot iron to make looser waves. Depending on your hair thickness and texture you may determine if you are a brush user or a pick or comb user. Handling the wrong comb in thick tangles hair can be your undoing. Carefully choose a pick or comb that works best for you. This is a bit of investigating on your part, some trial and error and always make sure you are not unnecessarily ripping your poor hair out. Hair Picks work best on tightly curled to kinky hair. Styling Combs work on thin or loosely wavy hair. I use these all the time on set. Tail Combs can be used on all hair to part hair. It’s the BEST parting tool ever. Variety of options for combs with teeth closer together or further apart. Again, whatever works best for you! Rat tail combs are also wonderful to make sections for braiding, updos or roller setting purposes. Always replace ANY styling/rat tail comb when the teeth break off and always start at the ends and work you way up. Shower Comb is usually the biggest and widest comb and perfect for use in the shower. Most commonly used after shampoo and conditioners are rinsed out, it really helps remove tangles before you towel dry out of the shower. I always had a wide pick in our shower growing up so I could use it right after my conditioner while my hair was still soaking wet. Again, it’s your choice what size you think works best but detangling gently and not “ripping through those ends” is really important. Choose wisely and take your time. Note: Always throw a comb out if any of the teeth break and/or missing. You are worth it. Get a new one.
My Favorite products to try:
Hair Brushes: Mason Pearson Mixed Hair Brush, The Wet Brush (best detangling brush ever!)
Styling Combs: I use the Comare 352 Celcon comb the most. It’s my favorite comb.
NuBone II combs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I like Super Rake Detangler comb, the Classic Plus Cutting Comb and the Master Pro Rake Tail Comb.
Picks: Goody Hair Picks work well and are very affordable, so is the Mebco Large Dip Pik and it also comes in assorted colors and sizes. Cricket Friction-Free Pick Comb also makes the list.
Shower Combs: Mebco Shower Detangler Comb, Wet Look Shower Comb, Conair Styling Essentials Shower Comb.
Step 3: To Blow Dry or Not to Blow Dry.
I love my blow dryer. I couldn’t do what I do for a living without one but there is a time and a place to use it. This incredible tool can be used in many ways but just because I have one, doesn’t mean I use it all the time. Natural curls and waves are finicky. Their needs are different then straight hair and they change on a daily basis. Depending on the time of year, and where you are, your hair can be a ‘beauty or the beast’. I prefer to fully blow dry my hair when I am working on set. I like smoothing every bit of my natural curl out. I blow drying my hair with a brush then I use a 1-inch flat iron or my trusty 1 inch curling iron so my hair shaft really gets smooth and I create a more polished, softer look. If I am at the beach, or at home, I let the natural curl do it’s thing but to avoid the “frizzy attacks” I lightly drying my damp hair with a Hot Sock, a light diffuser that really helps cut down on fuzz. I also use conditioning styling crèmes, light hold gels or mousse made for curls and always a great product; Sea Salt SPray. Just watch out when using sea salt too much, it can dry your hair out over time. My last option for you; Braid it! But I already mentioned how I am fond of braids from my youth! Also, keep in mind you don’t have to wash your hair every day. Some people with dry hair or curly hair can wash much less frequently without problems. There is no right answer, just do what feels good for you. Another option, wet your hair and braid it. I have been wetting hair with a spray bottle until its damp, split head into 4 big sections, (front to back, side to side) and braid each section. To hold braided ends use small single prong clips, rubber bands or nearby bobbi pins if they are handy and then blow dry all sections for about 12-18 minutes or until hair feels dry to the touch. Gently pull out the braids, dry a little more in damp areas as needed and then use your fingers to comb hair out so it falls into perfect “Beach Hair-Salt Water” waves. Try it! I think you’ll like it and it’s a fast, fun little hairdo.
My Favorite products to try:
CHI Air Vibe Digital Touch Hair Dryer
Hair Religion Hair Dryer
Ed Hardy Geisha Hair Dryer
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer (it’s the Koenigsegg of hair dryers!)
Hot Sock Ultralight Diffuser
BaBliss Pro Plimatic Mitt Diffuser
Moroccanoil Hydrating Style Cream
Artec Textureline Smoothing Serum
Enjoy Texture Cream
Gels/Mousse for Curly-Wavy hair:
Oribe Curl Shaping Mousse
Aussie Miraculously Smooth Tizz No Frizz Gel
Paul Mitchell Round Trip Liquid Curl Definer
Biosilk Style Glazing Gel
White Sands Curl Up in Silk Mousse
Sea Salt Sprays:
Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Spray
Step 4: Patience People.
As a gal who grew up in Chicago humidity, tormented by my crazy curls in my youth, I fully understand the need for patience. It’s the last part of my advice for taming curly or wavy hair. Some days you just have to listen to your hair. It might not do what you want, so throw a braid in it or a ponytail, a high bun or an impromptu updo. Work on it later or try tomorrow. Don’t let hair frustrate you like it did me. It’s ok to take a break for a little while and try again later. Now…I love my hair. I love my curls and I still love learning new ways to deal with my curls. Of course I continue to look for new ideas, product suggestions and hairstyling tips with hopes that I can always learn something new. So can you. Hopefully, some of my suggestions will resonate with you and be helpful when you are at home, working out those curls and taming those waves. Just keep in mind the need for patience. If you feel defeated by your hair, just breathe. Allow yourself plenty of time when you are trying something new as it may take a little longer when you are doing it for the first time. Ok? Just look in the mirror and show those waves who’s boss! Bottom line, your hair is the only hair you got; take good care of it. Treat it well and it will react to the maintenance you give to it.
I wish you the best of luck on your hair adventure and may you have the happiest hair on the block. Go Team= Go Tame!
***LAST MINUTE TIP: If you feel your hair needs a little more oomph or you just want to give it some texture when it is falling flat or looking lifeless…try my Favorite 2 ‘go to’ products: