In the TikTok fuelled shift towards authenticity, natural hair is making a serious comeback. From Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande moving away from pin straight strands, to Zendaya and Yara Shahidi owning the heritage that comes with their curls — audiences are following suit and embracing a pared-back, time efficient styling routine…welcoming their natural hair in the process.
But after years of flat-ironing, blow drying and heat styling, returning to (your best version of) natural curls isn’t as easy as it might seem. We spoke to Global Director of Training and Education for Color Wow, Giles Robinson to find out what to do, what not to do and the go-to products to try to get your natural curls back in shape.
The most common mistake people make with curls is towel drying, Robinson explains. “[Towel drying before] air drying or styling…roughs up the cuticle and curl pattern, making it hard to get a great result.”
What is the key to great natural curls?
When it comes to getting natural curls back in shape, Robinson recommends stopping the use of heat immediately. “Start embracing your natural wave or curl without diffusing or hot tools.” Additionally, he explains “Give your hair regular trims. The stronger your ends are the better your hair will curl.”
While going cold turkey on heat-styling might seem terrifying, Robinson explains that combining the right drying technique and the right products is key. Firstly, “leave the hair soaking wet, don’t even towel dry.” Then, he explains “apply your product. If you need to gently comb you can (use a really large comb with plenty of space between the spikes), but the less you touch your hair the better.”
When it comes to products, new-age haircare brands like ColorWOW are here to save the day. “In the past if you wanted to wear your hair curly, you’d need to layer on creams, gels, serums and mousses. This would produce results but often be sticky, crunchy and dull,” he says.
Instead, Robinson recommends Color Wow Dream Coat for Curly Hair as a one and done product, perfect for air-drying curls. For coarse or dry hair, Robinson recommends using Color Wow Coconut Dream Cocktail to boost hydration, before adding Dream Coat.
Lastly, “Air dry or [if you must heat-style – don’t worry, we understand] gently diffuse on high heat and low speed. Move your head around as you diffuse to get a more natural voluminous look,” he says.
With a little time in lockdown in the interim to give your curls a head start – you may never heat style your hair again (a girl can dream).