Embracing Your Curls: A Curly Hair Style Guide

Curly hair is a blessing, but sometimes it feels like a blessing in disguise. Bad hair days suddenly turn into bad hair weeks, and you’re not sure if your curls will ever maintain the style you want. Well, it’s time for your curls to do the talking and for you to do the listening.

Story by Audrey Heitmann

Photos by Taylor Hall

Curly hair is a lifestyle, and these five models are sharing their tips, tricks, and life experiences with curly hair.

From left to right: Myah Taylor, Isa Kauffman

From left to right: Myah Taylor, Isa Kauffman

Finding a hair care routine that works best for you takes trial and error, so it’s important to pay attention to what products respond best to your curls. Girls with curly hair have to do more than sing in the shower to get the results they want. They have to decide what conditioner to use, whether to shampoo, and if they should be washing their hair in the first place.

Most of the models wash their hair two to three times a week with conditioner, but some said they do it everyday. Their shampoo usage ranges from once a month to every time they shower. Myah Taylor admitted to shampooing each time, but says, “I use a lot of curl product in my hair, so if I don’t wash it out, there’s a lot of build up.”

The majority of the models start their routines right after they shower, so that their wet hair can effectively absorb the products they use. The hair products the models use are tailored to their curl pattern. Avery Somma prefers creams over oils and uses Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream. On the other hand, Leela Brassil uses avocado oil everyday and says, “I use coconut oil when my hair’s dry, but that’s right before I’m going to wash my hair.”

If you really want to make someone with curly hair laugh, ask them why they don’t brush their hair. It’s important to note that brushes can be a difficult tool for curls and while they may come out once in a while, using a comb or fingers usually does the trick without breaking the natural curl. Many of the models have escaped the unwanted dreadlock, but Isa Kauffman says, “No one notices if a curl is missing.”

Curly hair never gets a break. Before and after bed, the models have to tend to their curls in some form or fashion to avoid the “hit by a car” look. Taylor mentioned that she “pineapples” her hair, and no pineapples are needed! She simply gathers her hair into a high bun, wraps it in a silk bonnet, and sleeps on a satin pillowcase. This prevents her curls from being flattened and damaged while you sleep.

The texture of curly hair is great for styling, which is why a lot of the models put their hair up in either buns or braids. All of the models use scrunchies, but they also suggested hairbands, thicker hair ties, and claw clips. This is perfect for those desperate days when humidity is on the loose. On a typical day, the models tend to wear their hair down and Brassil explains that the way she styles her hair has “changed over the years, but it’s changed because I have gotten more confident with my hair.”

From left to right: Leela Brassil, Avery Somma

From left to right: Leela Brassil, Avery Somma

Growing up with curly hair can be confusing and challenging when surrounding friends have straighter hair textures. Taylor grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood in Colorado, and says, “it definitely was very isolating, and I remember not feeling as pretty.” She used to put chemical relaxers in her hair so that when she got out of the shower it would already be straight.

Brassil also admitted to using shampoos without her parents’ permission that would “tame” her curls and leave her hair straighter. Many of the other models also said that they struggled to accept their natural hair. Alanna Benderly says, “I thought it would be easier if I had straight or wavy hair, because [curly hair] takes so much time.” The models stated that it’s very common to hear compliments after they straighten their hair and that these comments make them question the beauty of their natural curls.

Over time, the models realized how much they love their curly hair. Kauffman appreciates that “every girl with curly hair has a different kind of curly.” Benderly loves that it “gives more to your face and your look.” Brassil considers it her own “accessory.” Taylor praises her hair for its versatility, and Somma adds that she loves that it’s different every day and that “my curls are never the same.” Curly hair doesn’t have any rules, so don’t treat it like it does.

It’s important to be patient with your curly hair and take the time to learn its worth. It also doesn't hurt to look your curls in the face and let them know that you love them.