Photo: Dan Hallman Photography
This & That

How to Style Curly Hair: You Asked For It!

I recently wrote a story for about why I’d never want to look 25 again, and about celebrating beauty at all ages. In spite of myself, I read every comment following the social media promotion of that post — which was meant only as rah-rah women in tone, but was taken in all kinds of ways.

A significant enough subset of those comments focused on my hair. [Bats lashes prettily!] Women of various ethnicities, ages, and hair lengths wanted to know how to style curly hair. Specifically, they asked me which products I use on my signature long, blonde curls.

Well, ladies? That’s all the encouragement I need! Here in plain terms are my easy-to-duplicate instructions for how to style curly hair. I know as well as any curly-haired queen that our hair is very specific to each of us, as are the methods for making it look its best. But this is my personal method, practiced over a whole adult lifetime, in case it can help you, too!

How to style curly hair:

1. Go out and buy a pair of great products: John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Mousse and KMS California Hair Play Molding Paste. (The mousse you can find in any drug store, or at a great price on Amazon Subscribe & Save, where I buy mine. Just over $4 at last check!) I have experimented with a zillion products over the years (and because I sometimes write about beauty, I have access to a host of wonderful products to sample), and I’m telling you — these are the winners. It’s the only way for my hair.

2. Start with conditioned and very wet hair, straight out of the shower. Apply ample mousse (a dollop to fill your palm). Then apply a generous dose of the KMS Paste (I use about five pumps for my long hair) and comb both through.

3. Create your part (or don’t, however you like). Then wrap sections of your hair around your fingers. This may sound fussy, but is an essential step toward minimizing frizz and rounding out curls. And by no means are you striving for perfection here: Sections can be any size between about pencil width and churro width. It takes me less than three minutes. At the end, I use my hands to scrunch a bit, especially at the top, so the hair doesn’t get weighed down, and so it feels bouncier when it dries.

4. That’s it! Let it air dry and you’re done — seriously easy. I used to diffuse religiously. When I had my twins in July, I figured I’d just let my hair air dry until we got passed the hectic first few months. But guess what? I found I preferred the look much more! It was less frizzy, more ringlet-y. And of course, less damage and less work. Quadruple win!

Additional easy styling ideas for curly hair:

Sometimes (rarely), for a going-out look, I’ll make my mane even rounder by using a curling iron on just the top few strands (as you see in the above photo). Or sometimes I’ll flip the whole thing over into a deep side part (after it’s dry) to get even more volume on top. Another going-out look? I sweep everything into a low, loose side bun and fasten with a (genius) Goody Spin Pin. People always ask about that look as if it required effort!

how to style curly hair

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What are your top tips and tricks for how to style curly hair?

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