Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Love Your Curls: Part 2

If you haven't read How to Love Your Curls: Part 1, check it out, important steps before you worry about Heat Styling & Colouring your curly hair.

3. Handling & Heat Styling

  Handling & heat styling are both very important because if you are not careful with both it will greatly damage your hair. Improper handling can lead to split ends and breakage. Excessive heat styling will dry your hair out completely. There are ways to prevent your hair from damage but there are careless mistakes that are commonly done that will damage your hair no matter what you do to protect it.

  It is so important to be gentle when handling your hair. Never brush curly hair (unless you're blowdrying), brushing pulls on the hair, causes breakage and split ends. Always use a wide tooth comb. Start combing your hair from the ends and work your way up. It's best to comb the hair when wet or damp, disturbing dry curls generally causes frizziness. I usually like to comb through my hair while the conditioner is in, it keeps the hair soft and easier to detangle.
  When handling your hair properly it's all about the little things you do that keep it healthy. Use a microfibre towel, the fabric from most towels will roughen up the cuticle and you guessed it, cause frizz. For that same reason I also recommend to sleep on a satin pillowcase, especially if you move around in your sleep. Another thing I see often is people who tie their hair back when it's wet. When your hair is wet it stretches and pulling it back keeps it stretched so when it dries it pulls on your hair and creates a lot of breakage. If you need to pull it back wet, tie it loose with a scrunchie.

 Air drying is always healthier for your hair, but its not always the best option. Water is heavy and weighs the hair down so as it air dries it loosens the curl and it usually falls flat at the roots. Diffusing it will create more definition in the curl, and will create more volume. I always diffuse when my hair is wet, right after putting in the product. You can scrunch it, twist it but it's best to do that wet, as it's drying you don't want to disturb the curls. It's okay to use a curling iron on some pieces to define the curls more, but to use a thermal protector and make sure your hair is one hundred percent dry before touching it with the curling iron.
 If you do occasionally like to wear your hair straight, it is absolutely necessary to use a product to protect from the blowdrier. Using the right product and technique you should be able to get your hair pretty smooth just from blowdrying. Always aim the nozzle down to keep it smooth. If a flat iron is necessary again, make sure the hair is 100% dry and use a thermal protector.
It's very important not to overdo it with heat styling. If you've blown it out straight then make sure to wear it for a few days. Give your hair a break from heat styling at least once a week. Use a moisturizing treatment to restore the moisture back into the hair from the heat. I'm seeing more and more people lately damaging their hair from the heat more than from chemicals. It's important too put the moisture back into the hair that's been drained from the heat.

4. Chemical Processing

 A lot of people are afraid of colouring their hair because they're afraid of damaging it. Hair colour does not always have to be damaging on the hair. It's important to take it easy and not to too much of a drastic change in one visit, not so much when going darker but it's important to be careful when going lighter. There are a lot of misconceptions on hair colour. While I always recommend to go to a professional for hair colour, I do think it is important for a client to know a little bit about hair colour and what it does to the hair.
 Going darker is the healthiest type of colouring you can do. Unless you have a lot of gray you don't even have to use a permanent colour. Darker hair appears less frizzy and shinier, so going darker can actually make your hair look much healthier.
  Lightening the hair does not always have to be done with bleach, but if you're trying to lighten previously coloured hair then bleach must be used. Colour over colour will always go darker. When lightening the hair an undertone is exposed. All haircolour has an undertone and this is why hair turns brassy when bleached. This is your hair's undertone and it will change depending how light and dark you go. This is why we "tone" the hair. Toning cuts out the brassy tones and is what creates the hair colour. Every person and situation is different, this is why it's especially important to see a professional for this type of service. Permanent hair colour actually lightens the hair and tones it in one step. Again, permanent hair colour can not lighten any artificial hair colour. Undertones are the same reason why some people turn their hair green when going a lot darker. The proper undertone must be put back into the hair, depending on what your target colour is.

Now how does colouring the hair affect the curl? A little bit of damage is okay, and with some types of curls it will actually create better curls or be easier to style. Colouring the hair can sometimes make it appear shinier and healthier. Colour is damaging when we overdo it, this is when your hair is overprocessed. If you want to go from black to blonde in one sitting, be prepared for a good haircut and say goodbye to your curls. Overprocessing can be a result of overlapping permanent hair colour multiple times, or over bleaching. Overlapping demi permanent hair colour won't really overprocess it, it will just make it go darker and darker. However, I have seen hair over processed so much that it couldn't even take a demi permanent hair colour without snapping. Once it's over processed it's almost impossible to bring it back to being healthy, however using products can temporarily strengthen your hair and prevent it from breaking off and becoming more damaged. Like over heat styled curls, overprocessed curls can be so frizzy that there is no defintion at all.
  It is possible to lighten the hair over time if a drastic result is wanted and still keep the curls. As long as you take proper care of your hair, including home maintenance and treatments you can lighten your hair each visit. When colouring the hair it is very important to take good care of it, follow Steps 1 - 3 before colouring the hair and your result will be much much better.

Remember what my hair looked like before I was a hairstylist? That was me about 10 yerars agoish. Now that I've learned to control my curls, this is what they look like now.

I hope you enjoyed my guide for curly hair. As long as you take care of your curls they will be beautiful. I've been playing around with a different line for curly hair and I will be posting up a review of it soon! 

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