Almost everyone with curly hair knows it can be a challenge. There is no doubt that curls are beautiful, but they do not always cooperate with styling attempts. Some people use straighteners and other products or techniques to remove the curl from their hair, but naturally curly hair can look elegant and stylish too.
Many women have discovered that a combination of healthy hair and curl-enhancing hairstyles produces gorgeous results. The secret to curly hairstyles often lies in layer cuts and letting curls flow naturally.
A very simple layering cut can be done at home. Cut damp, but not soaking wet, hair after a shower or bath. Comb out all knots or tangles. Lean forward and flip hair over the top of the head to capture it in an elastic band at the forehead. Slide the elastic down 2-3 inches from the head for shorter layers, or slide the elastic farther away from the head for longer layers. Hold the elastic in place while cutting the ponytail in an even line from the bottom. Take hair out of the ponytail to trim uneven sections.
Sky-high ponytails can be worn simply or styled more extensively for dressier events. Gather hair into a ponytail right in the middle of the crown, or top of the head. Secure hair with a strong elastic band, and place three or four bobby pins underneath the ponytail. The bobby pins add extra support to keep the ponytail high instead of slowly falling towards the neck. A curl-defining cream or spritz helps define and hold curls in place. Use curlers or a curling iron to add extra volume to the ponytail, or adorn hair with clips or jewelry.
A side-swept ponytail looks elegant, but it takes very little time to style. Part hair along the side, and sweep it back from the face. Gather hair from the temples on both sides of the face, and twist it around to one side with a bobby pin. Gather chunks of hair around the ears to pull across the head in the same direction. Cross this section of hair across the head twice for a more complex twist. Use a large bobby pin to hold each twist in place. Sweep all remaining hair over the shoulder, and use a piece of hair from the bottom layers to wrap around the final section of hair and the other twists. A strong elastic or hair bungee holds the twists in place in a side ponytail.
Start with clean, product-free hair. Add jojoba or argan oil to make hair shiny and soft. Divide hair into four equal sections with duckbill clips. Fold the lowest section of hair over, and secure the end with bobby pins. Repeat the process with the next section of hair, but fold it in a different direction. Divide one of the remaining sections of hair into two smaller sections. Pull one small section over the other small section to fold them across the head. Secure hair with bobby pins as needed. Pull the last section of hair over the top of the head and across the back of the other sections. Tuck in any loose ends with bobby pins or decorative clips.
A curly twist works best with long hair and requires three elastics that should match hair color closely. Pull a section of hair from around the temples into a ponytail. The hair around the ears goes into a second ponytail, and the rest of the hair around the nape of the neck goes into a third ponytail. Separate hair in each elastic band to create a hole. Pull the hair from the second ponytail into the hole in the first ponytail, and repeat the process with the second and third ponytails. Roll the ends of the three ponytails up and pin just above the nape of the neck. Pull a few pieces of hair out to frame the face.
Half-buns work with almost every hair type or length. Gather hair above the ears into a high ponytail. Twist the ponytail around itself, and twist it into coils until there is no more hair left to twist. Use five or six bobby pins to secure the bun in place. Pin down stray pieces of hair with more bobby pins or small decorative clips.
Put the hair into a loose, messy bun after showering to create a different hairstyle. Leave hair in the bun to dry until it is slightly damp. Pull damp hair out of the bun, and work argan oil through it. Use a wide-toothed hair pick to separate strands and create loose, tousled waves.
The pineapple technique starts after washing hair and before going to bed. Gather damp hair at the highest point on the crown. Wrap hair in a satin scarf, or use a silk or satin pillowcase, to prevent frizz. Take hair out of the ponytail in the morning for bouncy, flowing curls. Use anti-frizz spray or cream for a sleeker look, but avoid hairspray. Hairspray interferes with the flowing, natural look. Apply Moroccan or jojoba oil to damp hair and scrunch it a few times before bed to add more texture and shine.
Start with freshly washed and combed hair to create a chignon style. Work a generous amount of mousse through damp hair, and let hair air-dry. This style can be accented with extra texture using a 5/8-inch curling iron. Stabilize curls with a light holding spray. Separate hair near the front of the face into clips to use for bangs. Grasp half of the remaining hair starting behind the ears. Twist that section of hair towards the back of the head using bobby pins to hold it in place.
Pull the rest of the hair into a ponytail with a strong elastic or scrunchie. The ponytail should be right below the nape of the neck. Roll the ponytail into a messy bun and pin it to the top of the head with large bobby pins. Take bangs out of the clip, and pull them backward. Secure bangs into the bun with decorative clips.
Maiden braids take approximately five minutes to style, and they look good with or without bangs. Start by parting dry hair down the middle. Grasp a small section of hair from the top of the head. Hold the section out to the side, so it forms a triangular space between the hair and side of the face. Split that section into three strands to create a thin braid. Secure the end of the braid with a colorful or metallic hair clip. Repeat the process with another section of hair on the other side of the head. Hold the bottom of the braids firmly and gently pull the hair at each section to make the braids appear fuller. Tie the two braids around themselves across the back of the head. Dress up this style with clips, ribbons, or flowers tucked into braids.
A French twist can be done with damp or dry hair. Pull hair back into a ponytail at the back of the head. Twist hair around itself then use large bobby pins to secure hair at the top, middle, and bottom of the twist. The number of bobby pins depends on hair thickness. Pull a few pieces of hair out of the twist to frame the face, and pull a few strands down to the nape of the neck. Finish the look with a gel curl-enhancing spritz or de-frizzing product.