It was only a few years ago, when—freed at last from the traditional call for runway uniformity—models took to the catwalk with their own unique curly hair in a celebration of individuality. Since then, everyone from street style stars to fashion’s favorite men have embraced their natural texture. And while the spiral-maned can take heart knowing that hours beneath the blowdryer are no longer required to transform hair into something that it is not, curls nevertheless present their own set of problems—problems that are only accentuated by the extreme weather we’ve come to expect from the final stretch of summer. Here, six models share their professional tips for managing ringlets, waves, and full heads of frizz.
I love [my curls]. They’re part of my personality. I try to moisture my hair as much as possible. I use a Moroccanoil mask. I also like Kérastase mousse and oil. Whenever I am in New York I try to go to Frédéric Fekkai and get a good hair mask or deep conditioning [treatment]. When I’m not working I keep my hair in a tight wrap and let the oils sink in for at least an hour and let it air-dry naturally. I try not to apply heat.
I haven’t always loved my curls; as a kid I especially hated them. I would always straighten my hair or just wear it in a bun because I didn’t know how to style it. It wasn’t until probably my freshman year of high school when I finally started to love wearing my hair curly! [Now] I always try to take really good care of my curls. I don’t wash my hair every day because it dries them out, and I also only shampoo my hair once a week. I find conditioning my hair often and using frizz-free products helps! My favorite products are DevaCurl’s No-Poo shampoo, conditioner, and volumizing mousse. They’re meant specifically for curly hair and these products actually do what they say for your curls!
I’ve always loved my crazy curls! But curly hair requires a lot of care, and it was perhaps a little harder when I was a teenager. I don’t wash my curls everyday, but I always have to moisturize and wet them to recreate [them] every morning. [When I do] wash my hair [I use] a basic shampoo and a conditioning mask—one of my favorites is from Dessange Paris—to untangle under the shower. After drying my hair with a towel, I always put in in a little bit of leave-in conditioner. I also like to use a few drops of oil to keep it hydrated and I love doing oil treatments. I use any oil I have (argan oil, coconut oil, even olive oil works for me…) and leave it in as long as possible. Lately I’m all about monoi, because it [smells like] summer and island vibes! I usually braid my hair, go run, and afterwards give everything a rinse.
Growing up, I always struggled to find a way to manage my curls. The Caribbean weather didn’t help either! Then modeling came and straightening and weaves seemed to be the way to get the job done, so I adopted them. Now I totally embrace [my curls] even if it’s a lot of work! I started to learn about natural hair by watching videos and researching types of hair and ways to revive them. I only wash my hair with shampoo after I work out and in between that time I co-wash, which is washing using only conditioner. Curly hair needs a lot of moisture, and shampoo can take too much out of it. Sometimes when I have extra time I like to use a curl-defining cream and tie my hair into bantu knots and go to sleep. The next day I take them out and separate them and it makes my curls more defined and last longer. Also, you must deep-condition very often. I like Coconut CoWash from As I Am, strengthening Braid Butter from Shea Moisture, Supershine Light Moisturizing Cream from Oribe, Shusu Sleek Masque from Shu Uemura for deep conditioning, and Sacred Tiare Shampoo and Conditioner from Carol’s Daughter.
I used to dislike my curls as I didn’t know how to maintain them, and often they just looked fuzzy. [Now] I try to wash my curls as little as possible and keep my hair super moisturized at all times. Two tips for curly hair: Leave a little bit of conditioner in after rinsing, and never towel-dry. I find my curls less frizzy when air-dried. My favorite curl products are Mizani’s curl lotion and DevaCurl’s No-Poo and One conditioner.
When I was younger, I didn’t really like my hair. It was cool to have straight, long hair, and I had big, curly hair that I always tried to blow-dry. It didn’t work out for me so at one point I just gave up. [Now], my only trick is to never blow-dry it. The best texture is when you let it dry naturally! Also, layering your hair helps in making curls more beautiful and organized. [In general,] I don’t use any curl products. Sometimes if it’s really humid outside, I’ll put on Klorane Leave-in Cream with Mango Butter to help my ends and calm down my hair a little bit.
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Originally published on Vogue.com