Oh Curly Hair. It’s Beautiful. It’s Lucious. It’s Beachy & Wild. It’s Untamed. It’s what EVERYONE desires. BUT, it can also be a huge pain in the ass for us curly girls! While curly hair often seems effortless, it can also be frizzy, dry and hard to handle- It never lays or curls the same way twice! Curly hair seems low maintenance to those unblessed, but it’s a job of its own to get those curls bouncy and luxurious.
The first thing I want to mention about curls is that they can change over time. If you have straight hair as a child, it can get curlier as you get older. If you have curly hair your whole life, you can end up getting straight hair from extreme life situations occurring- puberty, menopause, having a baby, medication changes, cancer, stress, chemical services, illness & diet. The cells in your body and your hormones also change every ~7 years, so your hair will change over time. These changes are usually more permanent, but following the tips below will help to get those curls as healthy and consistent as possible!
The amount of curl you have is determined by the shape of your follicle (which will change as your cells change). The more oval shaped your follicle is, the curlier your hair will be, but even people with very curly hair can have frizzy and flat hair if they aren’t properly caring for the s-shaped hydrogen bonds prevalent in curly hair.
Your hair has 3 different types of bonds- hydrogen, salt and disulfide bonds. Hydrogen bonds are your “curly bonds” and are affected by heat, water, and anything that serves to change the moisture/water content in the hair. This is why your hair will shrink and seem more voluminous in humid climates- the water in the air is seeping through your hair cuticle. If you want to straighten your hair, you’re denaturing, or burning, the hydrogen bonds in your curly hair causing it to lay flat. That's also why when you wet it, it will revive the hydrogen bonds and recurl. When you want to have beautiful, natural curly hair, you’ll need to protect the integrity of those hydrogen bonds at all costs!
IN THE SHOWER
Moisture is key for bouncy curls that aren’t frizzy, and it begins in shower. When you shampoo your hair, you want to be SURE that your shampoo is free of sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate & anything similar), parabens, drying alcohols (any alcohol that doesn’t end in -yl is going to dry your hair or skin) & silicone. All of these ingredients will dry your hair out or weigh down the hair and compromise the integrity of the bonds. You also want to shampoo as infrequently as possible (once every 7-10 days is ideal). You want to follow up with a hydrating conditioner and deep condition every other week. When you put in your conditioner, make sure to thoroughly coat your hair from the ears down and comb through the conditioner with a wide tooth comb or wet brush. Whatever you do DO NOT brush or attempt to detangle it after the shower. If you feel the need to brush, use a wide tooth comb in the shower with conditioner in the hair. In between washes, I will occasionally wet my hair in the shower and run conditioner through the ends of my hair if I sleep on it funny or it looks crazy in the morning!
AFTER THE SHOWER
Once you are finished in the shower, DO NOT towel dry your hair. Don’t even think about touching that looped hair breakage machine to your wet tresses! Instead, try the plop method with an old T-shirt or microfiber towel to air dry your hair. The “Plop Method” is where you put the styling products in your hair with it thoroughly wet, then gently place your hair in a T-shirt or microfiber hair towel to preserve the curl pattern and help control frizz & damage. When putting in the products, you can twist the strands of hair to create tighter curls. Watch below to see this technique in action! The soft cotton T-shirt or the microfiber towel is much gentler on the hair, with no loops to tug and break your stands, and it will dry the hair faster than a terry cloth towel because it increased absorbancy, which helps prevent frizz and damage because the cuticle stays intact. I can’t reiterate this part enough: once you are out of the shower resist the urge to brush or comb your hair other than with your fingers and products, and do NOT use heat other than a diffuser on low heat on mostly dry hair.
Did you know that curly hair is the most fragile? This is due to the oblong follicle and shape of the hair that grows out of the head. This also means that curly hair is usually the easiest to split, dry out, fry, break off, or become damaged quickly when not not taken care of properly. In order to prevent this, and have long, beautiful and healthy curls, you NEED to be getting regular trims every 8-12 weeks with someone who knows how to cut curly hair! If you don’t cut the curls according to the S or C pattern that they lay in, you can risk more damage to the cuticle layer and ruin your curl pattern! Curly hair should be cut WET, curl by curl, and tweaked once dry if needed, This will allow the stylist to properly see the curl patterns in each strand of hair in order to cut your hair for maximum bounce. You can also sleep on a satin pillowcase or wrap your hair in a silk wrap to protect it from snagging, drying out, braking, and getting frizzy or unruly overnight! The satin will protect the hair cuticle and keep it laying down smoothly.
Coloring your curls is a tricky thing, especially if you’re lightening your hair. Lightening is essentially bleach that is removing the color pigment from the hair. During this process, the bonds of your hair are also altered, causing the curl pattern to be weakened and your hair usually won’t curl as strong or hold onto moisture as well. This is why it is absolutely crucial to use bond builders such as B3 or Olaplex in your color and get the regular trims after you color to keep those ends from splitting. If you are going darker with color, you don’t have as much to be concerned about, unless you plan on trying to go lighter again later. Otherwise, just depositing color doesn’t damage the bonds of the hair like lightening, it only rearranges them slightly to add the darker pigment to the hair!
At the end of the day, you have to remember: healthy & happy curls are a marathon, not a sprint, and you have to treat it as so! If you’ve been using products with harsh chemicals or lightening your hair to the high heavens it's going to take some time to restore those curls, often a few months to a year to reach maximum potential. First, your hair will have to go through a detox process to fully rid the cuticle of the junk it’s holding onto, and it will most likely be oiler and maybe even frizzier than before! Then, after 2 weeks to a month, your hair will start to change for the better, leading to amazing, bouncy, more luscious curls than you thought possible! You can’t give up using the new products, because nothing will be a quick-fix, and washing your hair less, I PROMISE it will benefit you more in the long run and give you healthier hair.
Are you a curly girl who’s never found her holy grail routine? Try these tips, schedule a consultation with me, and let’s get those tresses bouncing like you wouldn’t believe!
Today, I wanna talk about a sensitive subject for any of my gals lightening their hair: brassy, yellow, orange hair. Why does it happen? Why is it that when I leave the salon my hair is white, but within a few weeks it’s yellow again? Am I doing something wrong?
First, we have to talk about the chemistry behind lifting pigment from the hair. See, you can’t just put a blonde color on your hair and expect for your hair to become blonde.
Blonding requires first bleaching the pigment out of your hair.
Think about it like you would crayons or markers. If you’re coloring on brown paper, you can’t put yellow crayon on it and expect to see vibrant color. It will look murky or muddy, and not yellow. The same concept is true for your hair. Coloring hair is actually removing and adding different amounts of red, blue and yellow pigment to create the perfect shade for you!
As another example, think of a black shirt or material: when you splash bleach on it, what happens? You get tiny reddish orange spots! If you keep adding more and more bleach, the orange spots will continue to get lighter until they are white. But at that point, the material is nearly disintegrated. This is EXACTLY what can happen to your hair!
That’s why when a stylist says it’s going to take multiple sessions or one HUGE appointment to reach your hair goals! It’s not us pumping you for extra services or money; it’s us wanting to help you reach your goals while maintaining the integrity of each strand of hair! Unless you want to leave the salon with your hair on the floor!
WHY is my hair BRASSY?
Now let's dig into the visible spectrum of color for a minute. It may not seem like it, but all of the pigment in hair is composed of the 3 primary colors- yellow, red, and blue. Each strand of hair contains different ratios of these pigments, resulting in the perceived color.
For instance, people with brown and black hair have more blue pigment in their strands. Someone with blonde hair, like me, has more yellow (if not mostly yellow) pigment in their hair. These ratios all depend on how dark or light your hair is, and no two people’s hair is the same!
When a stylist lightens (bleaches) your hair, these pigment molecules are removed, with the blue coming out first, followed by red, then the yellow to create a “white” strand of hair. While this sounds easy peasy lemon squeezy, it’s not as simple as following a prescribed recipe, and it’s incredibly damaging to your hair! Usually, unless you’re seeking to FRY your hair off, you can only lift about two or three levels at a time, all depending on technique, formulation of products, and condition of the hair prior to service.
I just PULL WARM!!!
As you begin lifting the hair, you naturally expose the underlying pigments. There is no way to completely strip these pigments. No one person’s hair just “pulls warm,” everyone’s hair pulls warm! This warmness is caused by those red and yellow pigments remaining in the hair once the bleach has deactivated. This is why we TONE your hair after lightening! If you have very dark hair, you will typically lift to a very orange color during the first session. During follow-up sessions, after a safe amount of time has passed, you can bust through that brass to achieve a truly ashy tone. Blondes usually don’t see much of an orangey undertone following bleaching, but we can struggle with cartoon character YELLOW tones! I can tone my hair white as snow and within 6 weeks, the underlying yellow pigment shines through again. Candidly, I’ve decided to embrace my warmth in favor of healthier hair.
What does the toner do?
Toners are demi-permanent glosses that change the hair from the raw lift color to the desired tonal result. Toners can be warm, neutral, or cool (see photo below). These icy-white colors that you see are all created through the use of toners! Following lightening, the raw color of the hair will often be light yellow like the inside of a banana. The toner acts to deposit the desired amounts of blue, yellow, and red to get the icy, cool-toned blonde that we love so much.
As the toner fades and escapes the cuticle, the hair reverts to its yellowish/orange raw-lift color. There really isn’t anything you can do to prevent this, and permanent toners don’t really exist. However, there are things you can do to slow the degradation of your hair color! Toners and hair color, in general, can be affected by any of the following: hard water, non color-safe shampoo/conditioner, heat styling, apple cider vinegar, overexposure to the sun or other environmental factors, over-washing, frequency of wetting, & the type of post-shampoo care products used!
Tips for Toners
Ultimately, if you want to keep your hair as icy as possible, it’s best to get a touch up every 3 months with a toner in between. The longer you go between appointments, the brassier your hair will be. Hair that is closer to the scalp uses heat from the head to safely lighten the hair! I also highly recommend the Malibu Crystal Gel Treatments, they remove any mineral buildup & left over toner from the hair to make it as bright as possible!
I started this post with the best of intentions…I planned to show you a flawless blow-dry from start to finish….. But Imma be honest, I don’t even blow dry my own hair! That’s right, I NEVER round brush my hair dry. 99.1% of the time I air dry, and the other .9% of the time I just rough dry my hair with the blow dryer! When I style my hair, I prefer to use a curling iron. This is because the heat from the curling iron will allow the style to hold longer with less risk of heat damage. To be honest, it’s way easier for me!
So….. I tried multiple times to film this, each time failing miserably. I hit myself in the head with my brush & blow dryer. I got my hair stuck in my round brush multiple times. I can’t even twirl my round brush on myself.. but guess what?! THAT’S OK! Your technique doesn’t have to be perfect! Below I’ve listed my tried and true tips and tricks for achieving a nearly salon-perfect DIY blowout!
Most of the time when people want to blow out their own hair, they just start going at it with the brush and blowdryer. This is NOT the best, easiest, or even safest way to do it. The biggest secret to the Hollywood blowout is the pre-dry! Most people skip this part, attempting to get their hair from wet to styled in one shot, and their blowout falls apart before lunchtime! This will happen if your roots aren’t 100% dry before you style- the moisture will slowly slip down the length of the shaft, causing all of your bonds to reform and your hair to fall flat! When you rough dry or pre dry the hair, you want to focus on the roots, getting them as dry as possible. Then you can start to use the round brush to focus on styling.
Another VERY important aspect in getting the perfect blowdry is the quality of tools you’re using! A cheap blow dryer can literally burn your hair off and leave burns on your scalp. Personally, I think an ionic blow dryer works the best even though it is pricier! Ionic blow dryers use negative ions to expel the positively charged water molecules out of the hair without lifting the cuticle layer. This helps to prevent frizz and leaves a smooth, sleek finish. Nonionic blowdryers just heat the hair so hot that it turns the water to steam- which is also severly burning/damaging your hair in the process. I've seen broken hair from a cheap blowdryer, to me, it's just not worth it. I'd rather invest in a quality product that gives me the results I need and lasts a long time. I currently have the Sam Villa Ionic Dryer, but I’ve also used GHD’s and Paul Mitchell’s ionic dryers. Using an ionic round brush will also help. I use the Cricket round brushes- the ionic bristles will also heat up with the blow dryer, helping to dry the hair even faster!
I also NEVER go without heat protection… If you do, you’re asking for damaged hair! The J Beverly Hills 5 in 1 is the best stuff out there right now! It has heat protection, styling hold, moisture & smoothing properties- all necessary for healthy, beautiful hair from root to tip. Next I always follow with a volumizing mousse directly on my roots for volume. I promise that investing in good tools will go a lot further than even the best treatments in the long run. Without the proper tools you’ll never get healthy, luscious hair!
Tips & Tricks
This week we’re continuing on the dry shampoo train! As we all know, dry shampoo can be a pain, but it’s also vital to not washing your hair. I struggled for years trying to find the one for me. I've spent PLENTY of money on different kinds, all to end up leaving it half used in the back of my bathroom cabinet..
I don't want that happening to any of you beautiful people, so this week I've decided to try out different dry shampoo brands to see how they work! I'll be going over the coverage they give (how much oil they soak up), the ingredients, and my opinion on each one. This way you know before you try, and even if you still don't get the right one on the first try, you'll be on a better track than before! (If you need to know why dry shampoo is beneficial and a breakdown of the types click here!)
In the video, you can see me use each type of dry shampoo on myself. I'll give you a breakdown on the feel and show you how to apply! Below the video, I have a breakdown of each of the products I used with pros/cons and ingredients if you're interested! If you want to know about any dry shampoos not on this list feel free to message me.
The biggest thing that I learned through this dry shampoo experiment is that ingredients and price do matter!!
The cheapest options all use VP/VA Copolymer or Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate for coverage as the "powder." These ingredients are not good for the scalp. I mean, you’re basically putting metal aluminium particles on your scalp.. Eeek! The Ulta and Salon brands usually use higher quality “powder” options like tapioca starch, rice starch and corn starch. These ingredients are naturally derived and therefore safer for the hair during extended use (also why they cost more.)
The dry shampoos with Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate are going to cause more of that “tacky” or “sticky” feeling due to the chemically processed compound & the dry shampoos with natural “powders” are going to give you that “clean” feeling!
Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate is also going to produce more of that white, powdery or cakey look. It doesn't soak in the oils as well as a natural ingredients thus leaving that filmy look.
Other ingredients that are often used in dry shampoo are alcohols, butanes and propanes. All of these chemicals are designed to light shit on fire…. But they also come in our beauty products? They are what help propel the powder out of the bottle and onto your hair. While these ingredients aren’t awful for the hair, If you’re truly looking for a natural option, I’d go for the Aveda Shampure.
Ultimately, you have to use what is best for you.
If you want to have hydrated hair, I recommend the foam option. If you’re looking for volume, I’d recommend a dry shampoo with alcohol and Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate because they will give you that tacky feel for volume. If you want a “clean” feeling I’d recommend using one without Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate. If you need to be cost effective, maybe the aluminum doesn’t bother you so much. If you want it to last, I’d recommend a powder or foam because they stayed for days!
If you try one and don’t love it, don’t give up! I promise there is a dry shampoo out there for everyone, you just have to weigh the pros and cons to decide what is best for you. If you need any help deciding or have any questions, feel free to message me by clicking here!
Watch Me Trying All 10 Types!
Breakdown of Each Type:
Spraying this foam directly onto my roots really scared the heck outta me. I thought I was going to turn into a sticky mess, but I was pleasantly surprised. Foam dry shampoo does take the longest to apply, so if you’re in a hurry I wouldn’t choose this one- but if you want it to last, I would! (Click Here to Buy!)
If you have the time for application, I highly recommend this one! It works well and doesn't contain any harmful chemicals at all! (Click Here to Buy!)
I love this dry shampoo! This is the one I used when I had too. It's lightweight and I feel like it gives the cleanest feeling with no tacky or sticky residue. It does run out faster than some of the others, but totally worth it to me! (Click Here to Buy!)
This dry shampoo wasn't awful, but the smell was. Personally, I'm not a fan of strong artificial smells, but other than that it's not a bad cost effective option. It did have good coverage. (Click Here to Buy!)
This aerosol dry shampoo is very cost effective. It'll last a while, but it does contain aluminium particles so it doesn't work as effectively as the other dry shampoos. It does have a tacky feeling, but that will help promote volume. (Click Here to Buy!)
I loved this dry shampoo and it was my first time using it- the downside, it definitely took the longest to soak in. It is a foam to powder, so you rub it in with the tips of your fingers. It did have a stronger citrus smell than the Kenra foam, but I thought it smelled amazing! (Click Here to Buy!)
This one is jam packed with chemicals and just asking to dry your hair out. Honestly, I didn’t even want to put this one on my hair, but for you guys… I did it. 10/10 just wouldn’t recommend it. (Click Here to Buy... Or Not!)
The Joico dry shampoo is lightweight, which is awesome if you are worried about dry shampoo weighing your hair down! Overall, a great and basic aerosol dry shampoo. (Click Here to Buy!)
If you’re looking for volume with your dry shampoo, this is the one for you! It has that tacky, hairspray feel that helps to provide volume as it cleanses the hair. I do not like that feeling so I did not like this one! (Click Here to Buy!)
Out of all of the aerosols, I think this dry shampoo smells the best! I didn’t experience any white powder or tacky texture and it lasted all day. The downside is that I did have to use a lot, I feel like this one would run out the fastest. (Click Here to Buy!)
I am SO GLAD I was able to make this blog mini-series about dry shampoo. If you have any questions about dry shampoos or other brands, don't hesitate to contact! Also, if you want to see anything in my blog send me an email and I'll make it happen!
Hi There! I'm Ashley and welcome to The Sunkissed Hair Co. Blog! Here you'll find the latest tips and tricks to achieve your dream hair! After all, hair is the crown we never take off! Read more about SHCo Here!
-WHY is my hair BRASSY?
- Why You Should Wash Your Hair Less
- Dry Shampoo & What's Best for YOU!
- Dry Shampoo Brand Reviews
Tips & Tricks:
- The Ultimate Guide to Healthy CURLS!
- Not Washing Your Hair
- Dehydrated Hair Tips
- Beach Wave Curls Made Easy
- Determine Your Hair Type
- Get the Perfect Blowout