Summer Curls: Beat the Heat, Fight the Frizz

We’re smack in the middle of summer, and for curly girls, there’s good news and bad news. The good: Big hair is in, so we can rock our hair wild and free. The bad: With humidity and big hair comes frizz.

It’s an endless battle that will never be completely won, but thanks to a recent trip to Aruba (where it’s hot and sunny with more wind and humidity; basically, a major formula for frizz), I was able to nail down a hair care routine that keeps ringlets defined yet natural and fun—even in the summer heat.

Me, embracing my wild summer curls on a windy boat road in Aruba.

Me, embracing my wild summer curls on a windy boat road in Aruba.

Before we begin: If you’re going to be hitting the pool or beach this summer, before you jump in, apply some leave-in or regular conditioner throughout your hair. It will protect it from chlorine, damage, and tangling.

Step 1: End showers with a fast rinse with cold water. It closes the hair shaft and prevents frizz! (This was a tip I got from a Ouidad stylist. No idea if that’s been scientifically proven, but it seems to work for me!) Post-shower, pat hair with a towel or paper towels instead of wrapping it turban-style; you want to create as little disturbance as possible for your curl’s natural pattern.

Step 2: Apply Ouidad’s Whipped Curls Daily Conditioner. I only recently discovered this product, and I don’t typically use it in the fall and winter—I find it can be a little heavy—but during the summer it really helps with keeping your hair moisturized and frizz-free. You’ll only need a nickel-sized dollop; rub it through your whole head. (If you don’t have thick hair, you might want to skip this step or only use a small amount so it doesn’t weigh your hair down.)

Step 3: Here comes the holy grail for frizzy hair: Ouidad’s Climate Control Heat & Humidity gel. Section hair into 4-5 sections, then thoroughly spread about a nickel’s worth of this gel through each section, raking with your fingers as you go and then scrunching the ends. I swear this gel is the secret to protecting your hair from the elements in every season, from heat to wind to rain drizzle.

Step 4: Once you’ve finished applying the humidity gel, give your whole head a quick spray with Ouidad’s Curl Last Flexible Hold Hairspray (not too much; you don’t want curl crunch). Then, let it air dry as long as possible. My Ouidad stylist told me—and I’ve found it to be true—that airdrying is the best way to avoid frizz because it allows your curl’s natural pattern to take shape. But if you don’t have enough time before you have to run outside, dry with a diffuser, finishing with a few minutes of cool air at the end.

Step 5: Once your hair is dry, if you want a bigger look, you can pull apart some of your curls for volume, separating bigger ringlets into two. Finish off the whole process by spreading a dime’s worth of anti-frizz serum throughout your ends: I love John Frieda’s Anti-Frizz Serum, but I hear Ouidad’s Shine Glaze Serum works great, too.

Try my step-by-step and send us photos of the result! Remember, this is just a guide to tame frizz, but the bigger your hair is, the better: Part of your hair’s personality is its imperfection, so have a little fun!

Here’s to keeping up with the curls!

xo Arianna

Seeing in Color: Arianna’s Venture into Ombre

Once I got my hair to a healthy place, I started thinking about trying color again. But I avoided it for three main reasons: First, I was scared any chemicals, especially highlights, would take my hair back to its previous limp, dead state. Second, I was traumatized by old photos of a young Arianna with blonde highlights she thought were cute but were actually way too blonde. Lastly, I have a hard time keeping track of my calendar as it is, so going to the salon regularly for touch-ups was not happening. (And, let’s face it: Color upkeep isn’t cheap.)

But there was one hair trend that captured my attention for about a year: Ombré, which leaves the roots natural and brings in color at the bottom. It looks great on starlets like Lauren Conrad, Rihanna, and Khloe Kardashian, and I loved the idea of not having to go to the salon every month. But I wasn’t sure how well ombré would work on curly hair, and I only came across a few curly girls on Pinterest who’d tried it.

So I went to Ouidad’s 57th Street salon to try it myself. I had an appointment with Melissa (who I highly recommend! Super sweet, honest and helpful—I’ll be sharing some of her tips in blog posts to come), a color specialist who reassured me that ombré wouldn’t harm my hair as long as I took care of it properly and didn’t try to keep piling color on top of color. We decided to go with a warm brown, and since it was my first time attempting the trend, we went subtle.

You’ve seen the before photo: 

aricurly3

Now, here’s the after:

ombre

At first, I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for a little more drama, but since my hair is naturally really dark and ombre doesn’t show up quite the same way on curly hair, it wasn’t as noticeable. But the longer I’ve had it, the more I like the slight pop it adds to my curls. Melissa told me that the summer sun will lighten it up, and my next product purchase will be Ouidad’s Color Sense Shampoo and Conditioner, to preserve my new shade. I also got a cut because, as I mentioned, I tend to forget when I’m in need of salon visits. I was more than a few months overdue for a trim, but it was a reminder for us all: Regular cuts help fight frizz!

What do you think? Do you like the ombré look on curly hair? Should I go back to Melissa for round two to go even lighter? The jury is still out.

Here’s to keeping up with the curls!

xo Arianna

PS: I’ve loved all your questions and comments, so keep them coming! I’ll be sharing my personal tips (and asking Ouidad stylists for there’s!) in upcoming posts. 

The Superfruit Smoothie by Alina Z.

 Not only are the ingredients in Ouidad’s Superfruit Renewal Clarifying Cream Shampoo wonderful for your curls, 

they are amazing ingredients to create a nourishing and healthy smoothie.

Curly health coach, Alina Z, created her own recipe infused with superfruits – Blueberry, Acai, Banana and Papaya – especially for you!

superfruit smoothie

(more…)