31/08/2017 7:30 AM AEST | Updated 31/08/2017 7:37 AM AEST

How To Embrace Your Curly Hair

Top tips from an award-winning hair stylist.

People with curly hair will know it can be both a blessing and a curse.

And while you may envy your friend whose hair dries straight as a sheet even in 98 percent humidity, there's something pretty special about a gorgeous curly 'do. (Provided you can keep the frizz at bay, that is.)

But how do you embrace your curls without spending a fortune (or hours in front of the mirror?)

HuffPost Australia spoke to award winning international hair stylist and founder of RAW, Anthony Nader, to find out.


Shampoo and conditioner

"First and foremost, invest in a really good moisturising shampoo and conditioner," Nader advised. "Moisture is the key for hydration, so you want to sway more toward moisture rather than protein for those of you whose hair strands need that extra thirst."

Treatments and masks

"The best way to save your bucks is by buying a treatment or a mask at the salon because you'll find the ingredients far more superior than a chemist brand," Nader said.

"Also you'll get on average, 15 to 20 applications out of a treatment from a salon, which is really going to save you big bucks in the end."

If you don't feel like you have the extra time in your day to sit around with a mask on your hair, Nader says it's easy to incorporate into your everyday routing.

"If you are cleaning the house once a week or taking time out to do yoga or some kind of exercise, pop the mask on and rinse it off after 15 minutes or one hour, whenever the directions say. That's a good way to spoil yourself while also hydrating your thirsty strands."

Styling products

"As far as styling products go, look out for anything that is too alcohol based," Nader said.

"Cut down on anything that has got sodium lauryl sulfate for example. That will dry out the hair a little bit quicker than a moisturising styling cream or a leave in conditioning spray."


Hair cuts

Anyone who's left a hairdresser looking like they have just stuck their finger in an electrical socket will know the importance of a good cut. Pro tip? Do not, under any circumstances, try to cut it yourself.

"I would definitely go easy on the razor blade and the thinning shears, and by this I mean your hairdresser, not you doing home haircuts in the kitchen," Nader said.

"What it does is, it actually makes the ends of the hair quite wispy and fragile and you don't get a strong technical haircut out of that.

"Have a thorough consultation with your hair stylist, but what I recommend for this kind of hair texture is keeping the ends blunt but with texture, if that makes sense.

"Point cut the ends so they sit softer and seamlessly into the haircut. You will also find your ends are going to last the duration -- being six to eight weeks -- before you need to make your next salon appointment."

Averie Woodard / Unsplash
Long hair? You need regular trims.

"For those of you that have long hair, and want to keep your hair long, my best advice to you would be maintaining a four to six weekly appointment and just having the end nibbled off," Nader continued.

"Because there is no point in letting your hair grow for three to four months, then you take a seat in the hairdresser's chair and only want a couple of millimetres off... but in the end you are going to need a couple of inches off because it's so wispy and so damaged. More importantly you won't be able to style your hair properly, so regular sessions are best."

Up dos

"For those days where you are running poor on time and you want to whip your hair up to look stylish for the office, pop your head over and distribute a five cent piece of moisturising cream on your mid-length to the ends," Nader said.

"Then work it through your hair from the mid-length to end and create a really fun top knot sitting high on the crown, twisting it into a really cool shape and leaving the ends out.

"Or we could create a fun loose braid which is very model-worthy, which a lot of my clients really love. The fun thing about braids and plaits is it doesn't take precision and you don't need to be a hairdresser to accomplish this.

"When your hair is about 80 percent dry, create any kind of braid or plait, but keep it looking more softer than tighter as you want the feeling to look current and not looking like you're off to the gymkhana.

"To top this look off, don't be afraid of little tendrils escaping out the braid and around the hair line as this adds to the cool girl factor."

Easy curls

"If you don't have time for styling and you have to get out the door quickly due to taking the kids to school or running to the office for a board meeting, apply moisturising cream on hair that is 80 percent dry and work it through to your mid length and ends," Nader said.

"Then take like one to two inch chunky sections and create coils. In this way, when it dries, you are going to end up with waves that are more formulated with more of a purpose rather than a haphazard kind of frizziness. Doing this technique will form your waves beautifully and [keep them] controlled."

Other tips

  1. Be careful with your dry shampoo. "If you want to keep your hair looking really supple and beautiful, steer clear away from flaky and chalky dry shampoo sprays," Nader said. "There are excellent ones on the market and there's even a coloured dry shampoo for your hair, so have a look out for those. And always shake the can up before you spray and massage into root area. Always apply less than more and work it up from there.
  2. Ask for a natural sea salt spray. "If you're looking for sea salt spray, ask your stylist for a spray that is more natural with not a lot of hold, as you don't want your hair to appear scrunchy or brittle."
  3. Rinse in cool water. "The other thing which is my absolute favourite tip for curly hair is when you're rinsing it, for this type of hair texture, always rinse in the coolest possible water temperature as this closes the hair cuticle and imparts sheen and control. Cut down the hot temperature in the shower and you will find your hair will stay hydrated for longer."
  4. Be selective with your heat products. "Blow drying your hair is fine, flat ironing or curling your hair is fine, but what I want you to look out for in your hot appliances is not just a regular old hair dryer," Nader advised. "By this I mean look for the mechanics of your hot appliance. You want the words on box to say ceramic or heat protection, or thermal bionic. So what these do is these replace the moisture in the hair so it won't zap your hair of any moisture, so it doesn't fry your most prized possession which is your hair strands."

Finally, make like Beyoncé and embrace those beautiful curls. They might be high maintenance, but they're worth it.