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How To Get Natural, Frizz-Free Curls

By Ashley Hume
Posted On Apr 16, 2016
How To Get Natural, Frizz-Free Curls

Curls are all the rage right now, which is great news for those of us who are sick of struggling with our straighteners every morning. However, frizz and coarseness are the enemies of anyone trying to achieve a smooth, well-kept head of ringlets. For tips on perfecting your mane of curlicues just in time for summer, we sought advice from the “king of curly hair” himself, stylist Ricky Pennisi.

According to Ricky, it all starts with your shampoo and conditioner. He said, “For years, shampoo and conditioner were disregarded and everyone focused solely on styling products. What we’re realizing now is the more hydrated the hair is, the more control we have over the frizz. So start in the shower by getting as much hydration as possible. The conditioner on top of it is just going to overlay and lock in that beautiful curl.” Ricky recommends using a sulfate-free shampoo since it won’t strip the natural oils in your hair that act to prevent frizz and damage.

Next, he says you should gently squeeze out your hair with a T-shirt or a towel. Section your hair into three levels and starting at the bottom, apply a gel for definition and a setting spray to lock in the curl. Ricky said, “You need styling product with enough moisture in them, that they are not only going to keep the curls supple and soft but at the same time they’re going to make sure you don’t have any fly-aways or frizz.”

Ricky advises against getting too caught up in structuring the style at this point. “If your hair wants to go to the left today, let it go to the left.” He said, “Let the curls go where they want to go. It’s time for your curls to have a voice and for you to listen to them.”

Finally, attach a hair diffuser to your blow-dryer before you start drying your hair. Ricky said, “Just to lock in the beginning stages of your curl, go with the diffuser and take about 30 percent of the moisture out using heat. For the last twenty seconds, put a cool shot in there. Then let it dry naturally the rest of the way. That’s going to really add shine and form the curls where you want them to be.” You can then brush out the curls with a big comb or teasing brush for a softer look.

For those of us who initially can achieve that perfect curl but latter battle poufiness, Ricky provided a couple of helpful tricks. “When you are first styling your gel, apply it in a downward motion. When you do that, you are sealing the cuticle and creating a shape that is less voluminous and has more movement.” He noted, “But when you finish, one of the tricks we have is if it comes out looking bad and is too poufy, I put my conditioner in a spray bottle and spray it all over the hair to tame it. You can take individual strands and shape them then and they will dry in that looser shape.”

For his part, Ricky loves the comeback of curls, which he thinks should be “controlled chaos.” He said, “It’s taken about thirty years for curls to be accepted the way they are now. So many more girls naturally have waves in their hair. It’s all about embracing having a strong, beautiful wave to your hair.”