Curly Girl’s Guide to Rainesville

Curly hair has two kinds of hair days. There’s the day when everything is going right, and your curls are comparable to Lorde’s locks circa 2013.

Then there are other days — the days us curly girls have come to dread — when you wake up, and your hair resembles Mia Thermopolis pre-makeover.

Living in Gainesville, I’ve started to notice that my Mia days (aka my messy bun days) have become a popular occurrence, so I’ve had to learn to adjust. I’ve gathered an arsenal of hair care products and found a few new hair tricks that are taking my curls back to Lorde’s level.

First off, good curls come from how you wash and dry your hair. Sulfate-free shampoo is a must. Regular shampoos are too harsh on curls because they strip your hair of its natural oils, which will cause your hair to become frizzy and dry. After you’ve washed your hair, you should use products that you know are going to work best in your hair. I use Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Scrunching Hair Gel, but everyone’s curls are different — so I suggest searching around and finding the right gel for you. After you’ve scrunched your way to oblivion, you should use a microfiber towel or an old high school t-shirt to scrunch out the excess water in your hair. Again, regular towels can cause frizz from too much static.

When you can, you should always let curly hair air dry. It can be hard, but you should stop yourself from touching your hair too because again, it’ll cause frizz. Honestly, curly hair is about as finicky as a wild bear. It’s easily angered and will attack if touched. Curly hair, in my experience, always looks best when it’s allowed to dry how it wants to, but if you need to use a blow dryer, make sure to blow dry your curls with a diffuser.

Once my hair has dried (which probably took around four hours), I’ll either completely leave it alone or take out my curling iron and touch up a few funky looking pieces. Personally, I think hair spray is a must in Gainesville’s ungodly humid air but user’s discretion.

I usually keep my freshly washed and dried hair down and let my curls run free for the day. But after I’ve spent the night tossing and turning, by the time I wake up the next morning, an unruly hair day is almost guaranteed. I’ve figured out a few go-to hairstyles that are quick and actually easy, unlike all of the Pinterest “hacks” you’ve tried.

My go-to is a half-up-half-down look, putting my top layer of hair in a cute, small bun. I usually leave my bun loose, letting some curls spill out, and I pull some front hair pieces to make it a more boho look.

My second go-to are Dutch braids. Pigtail braids have made a triumphant come back, and I couldn't be happier because there is no other hairstyle that keeps my curls locked and in place all day long. A Dutch braid is basically a French braid turned inside out. If you need help figuring out the braid, YouTube always has the answers.

Related: Curly Hair Tips For All Curl Types

Lastly, a hairstyle I go for when I feel like doing something more than a simple messy bun are space buns. Space buns can be funky and unique, and they keep your curls under control.

Curly hair can be work, especially in a place that rains 24/7, but it can also give you some of the best hair days of your life. So be proud of your locks, and embrace those curls.