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At Mark Hill we strongly believe that if you understand a bit about hair, you can get the gorgeous hair you’ve always wanted.  So, rather than write straight forward How to’s, our woman in demand, Gill is going to pass on her words on wisdom. First on the list is curls! "Believe me, as someone with natural curls I’ve had a real love hate relationship over the years with my hair.  When the trend was for straight hair, mine just kinked.  When the trend was for loose boho waves, mine just frizzed.  It’s taken me a while, but I’ve now embraced the natural look and even though I say so myself, my hair has never looked better! 

Why have I got curls? Hair grows out from follicles – small bulb-like structures just under the scalp.  If these follicles are slightly misshaped, your hair will grow either wavy or curly. Each strand of hair is covered in cuticles.  Think of cuticles like roof tiles – they should sit tightly together and overlap each other slightly to protect the internal structure of the hair.  With curls, it’s impossible for the cuticles to lay completely flat, which is why your curls never feel as silky or look as shiny as naturally straight hair.  If the cuticles are damaged or broken your hair can become dry and brittle. 

How do I care for my curls? So now you know why you’ve got curls, you’ll need to know how to look after them.  Because there is nothing you can do about the shape of your follicles, it’s best to embrace the curls rather than resent them!  So, the first things to think about are the cuticles.  Remember, ideally, you want them to lie flat and tightly packed.  Using a conditioner every time you shampoo is essential.  A conditioner helps replace any lost moisture and also keeps the cuticles smooth.  Choose a conditioner to suit your hair type - this doesn’t always mean one for curly hair!  Because you know you can’t do anything about the curls, think about what would be your problem number 2 if you made a list –

  • Frizz – choose a product to eliminate flyaways.  Defrizz-ilious Oh, So Smooth Conditioner will smooth your curls and stop frizz in between shampoos.
  • Flat roots curly ends – choose a conditioner which won’t weigh your hair down – Love Big Hair Big is Better Volume Conditioner is light weight and suits all hair textures.
  • Dry damaged hair – you need to replace lost moisture with a hydrating range – MiracOILicous Nourishing Conditioner with Moroccan Argan Oil will ‘feed’ your hair and make it feel great (smells amazing too!)
  • Unruly – you want to tame your mane and calm things down – Straight-a-holic Straighten Up Straightening conditioner won’t make curly hair poker straight, but it will help smooth and add control.

Try using cool water as a final rinse – hot water expands the hair and opens up the cuticles, cool water contracts the hair and closes them.  I know it’s an old wives tale, but a final rinse with beer also helps.  This is because beer is slightly alkaline, again, helping close the cuticles and adding shine.  Now you have to think about styling.  Most people with waves or curls need a product to help define, enhance and eliminate frizz.   Again, don’t just think about using products formulated for curls and think about what you actually want your hair to do.

  • If you want to enhance your waves and curls and make them last longer, a product with a light hold is best.  Va Va Voom Blow Dry Mousse is great as it does not leave your hair feeling ‘crispy’
  • If you want to try to define and soften your waves and curls, try using Straight Talking Straightening Cream.  It won’t give you poker straight hair, just soft, natural feeling hair with beautifully defined waves.
  • If you want to eliminate frizz, Glam Goddess Shine Serum is best.  A drop rubbed through your hair when damp will help the hair dry into shape, and another drop when hair is dry will keep frizz at bay for longer whilst adding definition and shine.
  • Beach Babe Wave Spray is best when you want soft, tousled beachy hair.  Just spray through and twist sections of hair around a Wonderball brush.  Leave to dry completely before combing through with your fingers.

Once you have the basic knowledge about how to deal with your curls, the styling world is your oyster – nothing is stopping you.  Now, over to you!  What are your top tips for curly hair – what products do you like using – have you a styling secret you want to share?  Drop me a line and share your hair story….."  Gillian xoxo Gillian Atkinson is trained hairdresser who has lived and breathed hair for longer than she cares to mention! Although no longer a stylist, she is always popping in and out of the Kirk Ella salon making sure everything is running to order!

Posted on 7th May 2015

By Holly D

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