(Before/After Photos, How To) From Straight Hair to Curly; and Tips for Maintaining a Curly Hairstyle

I guess I’ve always had a lot of hair. And, much like its owner, it’s always been a bit indecisive. As a baby, I was born with a head of hair, which promptly fell out in the coming months. As it grew back, my hair manifested itself as thin, fine, and straight. Then as I got older, my thin, fine hair, turned into a thick, wavy mess. Now, as I settle into my early twenties, my hair has settled into a nice thick curl.

Curly Hair Before

Before (Straight, sleek, curl-less)

When I was in high school, I would have killed for a straight, sleek head of hair, but as I’ve gotten a bit older and wiser, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with my curls. But that’s not to say that they take a bit of work to maintain. Ok am I kidding, ladies? Curls take a lot of work sometimes. And over time, I’ve learned that a curly girly is nothing without a good haircut. When shaped and layered properly, curls will do wonders for your look, but when neglected, they’ll rebel against you.

So to test out this theory, BeautyStat partnered up with our favorite Boston salon, the Jeffrey Lyle Salon, to explore the impact a good cut can have on your curls. Our stylist extraordinaire, Justine Piecuch, worked her magic on our locks, and taught us more than a few curl-raising secrets that we’re just dying to share with you. Read on, my curly, because we’re holding nothing back!

To cut or not to cut?

When we walked into the Jeffrey Lyle Salon, the wheels in Justine’s mind were already spinning. And that’s the sign of a great stylist—they’re already thinking about how to help you before you’ve even sat down in their chair. Justine had done our hair before, so she knew the back-story a bit, and she already had some ideas for sprucing up our saggy, lackluster curls—or lack thereof, since our curls had decided to run flat and only slightly wavy that day.

Was I ready to take a plunge? Did I trust her enough to change up my hair in a major way? Yep, I was. And I did. In Justine’s trusted hands, my curls transformed from “Oh God, it’s another bad hair day” to “Darn, you look good!” in under a half hour.

To get there, she had to change up the structure of my hair. Up until now, I’d worn my hair with the same part just about my whole life: worn to the left, sometimes bordering on a center part. But that wasn’t doing much for my curls, so it was time for a change. So Justine shifted my part to the right, adding a piece swept to the side, something new for me. She also cut weight from the bottom of my air to add volume to the top, making it easier for my curls to do their thing.

After setting and styling my hair, Justine was ready to show me the finished product: A new me! My curls had taken on a different character, and they LOVED this new role. They were curling as they’d never curled before, and if curls could do a happy dance, this most definitely was it.

After Curling Hair

After Curly Hair

And so it was true: when cut and treated properly, curls had a much more noticeable spring in their step. And I wasn’t the only one who noticed: everyone I saw over the next few days commented on my new ‘do, telling me my hair had never looked better. I chose to take that one as a compliment, thank you.

Post-Haircut Tips

You know that feeling of contentment you get when you just had a haircut? You feel like you can take on the world, just you and your fantastic head of hair.

But living with your hair for the next 4-6 weeks (the recommended time between cuts)? Now that’s a whole different story. In many ways, leaving the salon is like leaving a hospital with a newborn: You’ve got this precious thing thrown at you, but you’re not really sure what in the world to do and how to take care of it.

I feel your pain, ladies. But Justine offered me some great tips on how to deal with my curly locks, and I’m here to share the secrets with you all!

Keep That Just-Cut Curl

After Justine set and diffused my hair, it was looking pretty rocking, if I do say so myself. But what about the next time I washed my hair? I couldn’t just bring Justine home with me, keeping her on call when it came time to style my hair, you know! But I could take her tips for setting my curls. Note: Your curls might require a different type of product and application, but these are a good starting point.

  1. Work a generous amount of Kérastase’s Mousse Volumactive into hair, spreading all over.
  2. Spray Kérastase’s Spray Volumactive over 1-inch sections of hair in the crown of hair to create volume.
  3. Finish off with a bit of Kérastase’s Elixir Ultime to add shine.
  4. Divide hair into 1-inch sections, twisting each section around your finger in a spiral shape. This helps create luscious curls.
  5. Diffuse hair for 5-10 minutes until partially dry. Letting the hair air-dry a bit will help maintain the integrity of your curls.

Make Your Curl Last All Night Long…And Into the Morning

Any curly girly will feel my pain when I express my frustration with the morning after hair: You’ve just washed and air-dried your hair at night, then you sleep on that beautiful head of curls, hoping and praying to the hair gods that your ‘do will last ‘til morning, granting you an easy primping routine and sexy hair for the day. But when you wake up, that amazing ‘do has turned into a horrible don’t, and you’re sporting a horribly tangled birds nest of curls.

Instead of wasting time cursing the hair gods (although I must admit, I’ve done this many a time), prevent the morning mess. Sleep on a satin pillowcase or with a silk scarf wrapped around your rebellious mane, and your curls will hold their shape much better.

Some general rules for curls

Masques and oils are your friend, lovelies. They’ll help keep your locks moist and fresh, and your curls will thank you for it.

No two curls are alike, so no two cuts (or products) should be alike. Accept your natural curl, and it’ll make your stylist’s job a lot easier. And do yourself a favor, ladies, if mousse is your best friend (like it is for me!), stay away from unflattering products like gels. Just as you should dress for your body shape, wear hair products for your hair type.

To read about Elizabeth Taylor’s hairstyles and tips, click here.

Stay tuned for our next curly story. Next week, we’ll dish on the BEST curl products out there!

– Chrissy Callahan

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