Ask Hairloom: I have naturally wavy hair – how do I make it look good?
May 29, 2013
I have naturally wavy hair. Hormonal changes wreaked havoc during those puberty years and turned my childhood straight hair into a wavy, thick head of hair. I spent most of my teen years fighting it, not quite accepting that my hair type changed literally overnight. Wishing for stick-straight hair, I’d rebonded it and basked in its straightness – for what felt like five minutes – till my roots grew out and I had to rebond it again! (…and again, and again.) It was a vicious, costly cycle and I thought I would be trapped it in forever.
This all changed when I decided to accept my hair for what it is. Or to accept my roots, so to speak.
It started when Calvin cropped my hair short after years of rebonding it, and I learnt the first golden rule of dealing with wavy hair:
[superquote]1. Get the right cut[/superquote]
In fact, getting the right cut is a must for dealing with any hair type. So often we pore over glossy magazines and the equally glossy, superhuman-seeming models that inhabit its pages, who have perfect manes, and we covet them – without realizing the sheer amount of work that their army of stylists had to put in in order to create the perfect look for them.
Yes that’s right – these looks were created for them – and not you. You, my dear reader, are a unique individual, with unique hair texture, face shape, and a million other unique qualities that make up your look. You are not cookie-cutter, so why should your hairstyle be that way, superimposed from someone else’s head onto your unique, awesome self? Simple as it seems, this discovery was magical for me, because it allowed me to fully accept my hair for what it is and to start having fun with the way it looked, instead of fighting it down to its very last DNA.
Calvin used the thickness, volume – and what I used to think of as unruly – wave of my hair to its advantage and created a myriad of looks – pixie, edgy cuts, undercuts. (He’s a genius, we all know that!) Hairloom stylists are all finely attuned and highly trained, and will work with your hair type and texture to bring out the best in your hair – so you can trust them 100%.
That was the first step. The next?
I summed my entire hair care process into one item, because to me, it felt like just one big thing – dedication. Because vanity is really one of my biggest vices, I couldn’t go back to bad hair days once I discovered that, hey, with some consistent effort, you can make your hair look good every day!
These are the steps that I take so that my wavy hair doesn’t become a frizzy, tangled mess. In Singapore, this is further complicated by our humid, muggy weather. Humidity really amps up the volume of your hair and creates the look I call The Pouf – or in Calvin’s words, the ‘pong-pong‘ hair – because wavy/curly hair is more porous and absorbs more moisture from the air. For me, that is really Super Undesirable, which I guess is what motivates me to stay disciplined, and follow these steps religiously every day:
1. Finding the right hair products. Sticking to it.
Curly/wavy hair tends to be naturally dry. So get a shampoo that moisturizes your locks. I use a conditioner daily, and put on a treatment mask once a week. This is doubly important if your hair has also been colored. I use a few off-the-shelf brands and found the right one through trial and error. If possible, wash once every couple of days so your hair doesn’t get too dry. When toweling your hair, don’t rub – instead, squeeze or pat gently to wick away the water. Rubbing causes frizziness!
TIP: settle on the one that doesn’t make your hair too sticky, or too oily, or weighed-down. Those without sulfates work best. e.g. the L’Oreal Eversleek range.
2. BLOW DRYING
Even when I am ultra tired, I somehow manage to find the energy to blow-dry my hair, half-asleep, arms on auto-pilot. This is a crucial step. (You can also reference this post for blow-drying tips.) Blow-drying is crucial for making the cuticles of your hair lie flat and neat – so that the hair still retains shine and doesn’t descend into frizzy territory. I tend to wash and blow my hair at night, and make sure my hair is neat when I go to sleep so I don’t wake up with too severe of a bed-head! (I know, sounds nuts – but it saves so much time in the morning when my hair is kink-free!)
Tip: Get a hairdryer that’s industrial strength for a quicker blow dry. Psst – we might be able to help you get one, just ask us the next time you’re at Hairloom!
Waking up and walking out with tousled bed head isn’t really possible. (See? This is where dedication comes in again.) Your stylist will show you how to recreate the best look at home and will recommend the right products.
4. Not touching my hair too often
Touching your hair too often, or combing your fingers through your hair, actually spreads the oil from your scalp onto your hair, giving your hair a shine of the unattractive kind.
5. Visiting the salon for regular cuts!
Bringing us back to the Golden Rule – regular cuts are essential to upkeep the shape and style of your cut. While this might be considered the downside of having short hair, I don’t really mind, because I love my salon visits. It’s so therapeutic, and I walk out feeling like a new self every time.
If all these sounds fairly effortful – you’re right, it is. But nobody ever said beauty came easy! It’s all worth it when you no longer feel you have to manage or tolerate your hair – but now freed to simply enjoy the way it looks on you. The confidence it brings is priceless!