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Big Hair, Don’t Care: Advice for Curly Hair from W&M Women

If you’re anything like me, then you probably go through the daily struggle of fixing your hair. Even after 20 years, I have yet to find the perfect solution for making my curly hair look presentable. If I shower at night, my hair is half-curly, half-straight in the morning. If I shower in the morning, my curls get frizzy. I’ve tried several products – mousses, gels, sprays – but nothing gets my curls to look quite the way I want them to.

 I’ve always been jealous of girls who seem to have a flawless hair routine. Whether it’s a specific product, or a certain way they dry their hair, they have it down to a science. You might have noticed someone like this around campus. Maybe you sit behind a girl in your History class whose hair looks perfect even when it’s pouring outside! Or perhaps you see that one girl at Marketplace all the time, and you’ve be dying to know how she gets her hair so shiny and voluminous! Here’s your chance!

Adrienne, ’14

− For shampoo and conditioner I use Pantene Pro- V specifically for curly hair.
− Use extra, extra, extra conditioner because curly hair is naturally dry.
− After I wash my hair I brush it out. Never comb! Combs separate my tight curls and make it kinda frizzy, which is the last thing I need.
− The next item I use is the Garnier leave in conditioner (green bottle) and I put it evenly throughout my hair to.
− After I apply that, I use Pantene-Pro-V gel for curly hair.
− I then style it however I want! Whether that be a bun, ponytail, or leaving it loose.

Amanda, ’14

− Personally, I don’t like using gels on my hair. The crunchy/sticky feeling that they leave makes me feel icky by the end of the day and I feel like they leave residue on my hair. Gross. The same goes for mousses.
− Curl creams are a Godsend. They have just enough hold to keep everything under control, but they still leave your hair soft. My personal FAVORITE hair product right now is Miss Jessie’s Quick Curls. It might be magic. There’s a delicious scent and my hair is soft and more manageable after I use it.
− On really humid days (thanks Williamsburg) I use a frizz serum too. I don’t really have a favorite, but I know that John Frieda has a good one.
− Leave in conditioner is also a must, and the Garnier Fructis one smells yummy, as does the Bed Head one.
− I only use shampoo and conditioner about twice a week. I just use conditioner on the two to three other days. It may sound weird (or gross depending on how much you judge me), but my hair has definitely become softer and less frizzy after I cut back my shampoo use. Shampoo can be really drying, and curly hair really needs those natural oils from your scalp to look healthy.
− One other thing I do for healthy curls, I never brush my hair. Seriously. Never. The frizz, knots and general insanity that are the results are just not worth it. I just use my fingers in wet hair to protect the curl pattern while I get rid of knots.
− Lastly, I’ve learned to love my absurd hair. Yes, it can be a huge pain, but I like having something that makes me a little different. Added bonus: it’s a great conversation starter. People love to ask me if it’s real. Or if they can touch it.
− So if you’ve got curly hair, embrace it. Once you learn how to make it work for you, you’ve got something unique and beautiful that’s all yours.

Adrianna, ’14

I have been asked the question “Is that your natural hair?!” way too many times to count. Yes, yes it’s my natural hair but there is a secret behind it. I have tried SO many products over the years in order to tame my curls. Everything from mousse to sea salt spray to leave-in conditioner, you name it, I have tried it.

− Right now, I use this leave-in conditioner called “Mixed Chicks”. It’s amazing and I have stuck with this line for a long time. I also use a little smoothing serum in case my hair gets super frizzy by the same company.
− Frizz is one of my “mane” issues but I have somehow fought it. My normal routine when doing my hair is to put in about a quarter size of leave-in conditioner into my hair is damp with my head flipped over.
− I attempt to keep hair products away from my roots because it not only makes my hair greasy, it tends to keep my hair flat to my head (and that is not a good look for me). I scrunch and work the product through my hair while upside down and leave it be after. Touching it too much makes it frizzy and straightens the curls.
− I finish off with a very little amount of the smoothing serum and hairspray. It doesn’t require a lot of time or energy to have and maintain curly hair.
− Bobby pins and clips are often included when styling my hair because they help to keep my hair from falling in my face; cute clips add a chic look to my curls.
− If it gets humid, my hair just gets big but I tame it and pull it back in a loose braid.

Megan, ’14

− I wash my hair with whatever is available…can’t be picky on every aspect. Right now I think I’m using some kind of Garnier Fructis, but shampoo and conditioner is totally not important (just the fact that you are washing your hair at some point). It’s the method that counts.
− After I wash my hair I brush it then take a pretty generous amount of “Pantene Pro-V Curly Hair Style Curl Defining Hair Mousse” and run it through all of my hair.
− Then comes the secret agent…really cheap hair gel. I use a little quarter-sized amount “L.A. Looks Sport Activity Proof Power Gel, Mega X-Treme Hold” and run that through all of my hair. This keeps my hair from getting frizzy even when in the Williamsburg humidity.
− After putting in the product I let my hair air-dry for at least 10 min. Then I blow-dry with a diffuser…the diffuser is KEY. If I don’t use a diffuser my hair is just a frizzy mess.
− A little light hairspray after blowing dry is alright to keep curls intact but not necessary.

Don’t be afraid to try out some of these tips and ideas! Everyone’s hair is different. Yours might work well with the diffusing technique, or the hair gel might be the product you’ve been searching for. After all, practice makes perfect!

Lydia is a senior at the College of William & Mary. She is an American Studies major with a Psychology minor.  Lydia is the Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus: William & Mary, maintains an active role in her sorority, and works at a frozen yogurt shop. This summer Lydia was an editorial intern at The Daily Meal in New York City. 
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