By Alison McGill
It’s time to park your flatiron, put smoothing blowouts and straightening treatments on hold. Embracing your natural hair texture is a beautiful thing, and something most of us have finally done because of months spent in lockdown. “I think we’ve had a breakthrough moment when it comes to loving our natural selves,” says Brianna Cook, stylist and manager of Acqua Quebec Studio & Retreat in Guelph. “I definitely attribute this shift to the lifestyle change we’ve all experienced with more time at home, and not feeling the need to do our usual primping and letting hair dry naturally for a change. I love that we are seeing so much diversity in the world of beauty and that means lots of curl, wave and coil texture.”
Cook says the best way to wear texture this fall is softly and naturally. She loves a curly fringe paired with a shag, a cut that will volumize your curls. “I also love the way soft textured bangs look when hair is pulled up,” Cook says. “They put an incredible emphasis on the eyes.”
When it comes to working with your curls, there are a few key styling tricks and tips to keep in mind. Here’s three of the biggest according to Cook.
Use A Diffuser
If you are blow-drying your hair, this will control frizz and keep your curls intact. “The diffuser game changes depending on what you are looking to achieve,” Cook explains. “For finer curls, you probably want to maximize volume, so use a higher heat and power setting to amp things up. Though you have dialed up your power levels, take things low and slow with the time it takes to dry your hair. Start at the roots to create lift and eliminate any fuzz factor.”
Air Dry FTW
“Air drying is always the best bet for less frizz and the most long-lasting natural curl, but not an easy option,” Cook says. “If you have the time to do it, start by using a deep conditioner and rinsing with cool water to seal the cuticle. Gently remove excess water with a towel or t-shirt by squeezing hair from the bottom up—never, ever rub hair as this will create frizz! Add your product in the following sequence: moisturizing leave-in treatment, curl enhancer, and then your hold product like mousse or gel. Let your hair dry naturally with as much of a hands-off approach as possible.”
Find Your Best Products
You may have to experiment with a few products to find the perfect fit for you. “Before you shop, you need to fully realize what your actual hair texture is—fine, thick, course, super curly,” Cook says. “From here you can determine what you need and make sure product is not too heavy for your hair, and won’t weigh things down. Because curl products pack a lot of moisture, remember using less is more. Lastly, if you are using multiple products don’t mix them together, but layer them so each product is able to do its job effectively.”
Curl Enhancers We Love
Aveda Nutriplenish Curl Gelée, $47
This delivers soft and shiny curls with an intense hit of moisture to deliver curls with beautiful bounce.
Pattern Beauty Leave-In Conditioner, $32
Tracee Ellis Ross’ cult curl line has landed in Canada and this hero product works as a conditioner and styling cream and is perfect for all textures.
Living Proof Curl Moisturizing Shine Oil, $40
This gem recently nabbed a 2021 Allure Best of Beauty Award because it’s simply the best frizz fighter and shine enhancer out there.
Noughty Wave Hello Shampoo, $12
This will gently cleanse hair and infuse it with a hydrating cocktail of sea kelp extract and avocado oil to guarantee seriously luxe locks!
Amika Power Hour Curl Refreshing Spray, $33
The perfect rescue remedy for when your curls need a refresh. Spritz on dry hair then work gently into hair and watch it spring back to life.
Hairitage Ahead of The Curl!, $12
This nourishing, featherweight curl créme delivers touchable texture and hold that lasts all day.
Design Me Bounce Me Curl Spray Gel, $24
This is the gel of curly hair dreams—it delivers hold, structure and definition without crunch! Spray on damp hair, then diffuse or air dry.
Moroccaoil Curl Control Mousse, $32
This super-hydrating mousse is the perfect pick when you want to air dry your curls. It delivers soft hold, hydration and the brand’s signature heavenly scent.