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Dream Curls: Solutions to Control Your Hair

  • Dream Curls

    Tired of doing daily battle with your curls? You're not alone. More than 50% of the world's population has curly hair, according to the pros at NaturallyCurly.com, a Web site that celebrates wavy-haired women. But you can streamline your routine by learning your unique curl type and the product combos to tame and enhance it. We put our three makeover volunteers—each with different curl conundrums—in the expert hands of Christo, owner of the eponymous NYC salon. See how their curls went from lifeless to luscious—then, set your own hair on an upward spiral.

  • Candidate #1: Cheryl S. Grant

    Curl type: Tight curls

    Curl crisis: "My hair falls into a flattened mass of frizz," says Cheryl, so she resorts to blowing it straight every day (read: damage). Christo suggested an anti-frizz tamer, followed by a mocha color to de-brass her locks. Long layers will keep curls loose, instead of shrinking.

  • Styling Trick

    Separate wet hair into five sections. Twist each tightly, coating it with the gel-cream combo, so it coils around. Secure in mini buns for five minutes, then unclip. Curls will take their frizz-free shape as you dry with a diffuser.

  • Cheryl After

    "I'd never used gel on my curls, but now I see it's the key to having the hair I've always wanted."

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  • Candidate #2: Sasha Emmons

    Curl type: Heavy waves

    Curl crisis: The bottom section of Sasha's hair is long and heavy, weighing down the top and causing her do to puff out like a triangle. "You don't want curls to sit on top of one another—they should connect," says Christo. He cut a few inches off the length and reduced the bulk from underneath to help the style blend better overall.

  • Styling Trick

    At home, instead of flipping hair over your head to dry (this causes roots to flatten and ends to enlarge), lean your head from side to side with the diffuser aimed upward from underneath.

  • Sasha After

    "Spending a little more time doing everything right—shampooing regularly, applying products correctly—is worth it to have curls this bouncy."

  • Candidate #3: Liza Jernow

    Curl type: Dull, fine curls

    Curl crisis: With less density on top than on the sides, Liza's style looks too boxy. "I would love a cut that enhances my face shape," she said. To flatter her features and hair texture, Christo kept layers long on top and made them shorter on the sides. Two-toned highlights add dimension.

  • Styling Trick

    Semi-dry hair takes in product at different rates, which leads to frizz. Apply stylers when hair is wet so they are absorbed evenly, says Christo. Spritz sections with water, then comb product through to distribute it from root to tip.

  • Liza After

    "I didn't know highlights could do so much to boost the volume of my fine hair."

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