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Tame Your Mane, Get Killer Curls

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Summertime means fun in the sun! Unfortunately, that often means increased agony for women with curly hair. But it doesn’t have to. Curly-haired women, you are not confined to ponytails and buns for the next three months! Here are a few simple suggestions to make your summer hair a source of pleasure and pride.

Know Your Hair

A basic knowledge of the anatomy of your hair will take you at least halfway. Curly hair is widely known to be drier and, as a result, frizzier than straight hair. This is because a head of straight hair contains about 120,000 hairs, while a curly head contains only 100,000. Consequently, there are fewer follicles with fewer associated sebaceous glands to produce oil to nourish hair shafts.

Another helpful thing is to know your enemy: The Frizz. Frizz is nothing more than a rise of the cuticle layer of the hair. The cuticle layer is the topmost, transparent layer of the hair, and is meant to protect the cortex (the innermost layer with the largest cells) and the medulla (the center layer that contains the pigment, lipids, and water that make up the bulk of the hair). Rough brushing can damage the cuticles, lifting them up and creating that poofy appearance. Humidity, as curly-haired women know, is another culprit. Hair that is too dry will absorb the moisture from the air, causing the hair to swell and the cuticles to break.

An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Cure

To strengthen your hair, the first thing you need to do is go to an experienced stylist. That is, a stylist with experience in cutting curly hair. It’s important to make sure of this from the get-go because even the best products for curly hair can’t fix the damage done by an unsuitable cut.

Once you’ve got a great cut, the next most important thing is to protect your hair from dehydration. Here, there are several options. Start with conditioner. There are three basic types of conditioners: daily rinses help hydration without weighing down hair; leave-in conditioners are similar, but lock moisture in longer; deep conditioners are heavier on hair, but can be restorative and a great help when used every few weeks. These can take the form of a hair masque, or even things you may already have at home. Bananas, mangoes, avocados, olive oil, and mayonnaise are commonly used home moisturizers. Just slather your scalp in an appealing salad, leave it in for 30 minutes, rinse, and voila! Delicious, moisturized hair!

Of course, once you’ve conditioned your hair, it seems silly to rough it up a common bath towel. Terrycloth towels tend to be too absorbent for curly hair. Nowadays you can find towels and even gloves made out of microfiber to extract just the right amount of water from your hair after showering. There are even special clips, dryers and diffusers designed just to protect and nurture curly hair. Better yet, the best products for curly hair can be found at your local department store and even outlet stores! Happy summer, curly-haired goddesses!

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