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Dream Curls: Solutions to Control Your Hair

  • Lynda Jean

    Dream Curls

    Tired of doing daily battle with your curls? You're not alone. More than 50 percent 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.

  • Lynda Churilla

    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.

  • Lynda Jean

    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.

  • Lynda Churilla

    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."

  • Lynda Jean

    The Fix for Frizz

    Start: Tame unruly hair and mend split ends with a hydrating conditioner, such as Neutrogena Triple Moisture Pure Strength Conditioning Treatment, $6.99.


    Style: This hair type calls for a gel and cream cocktail to weigh down and define the ringlets. Try a mix of equal parts Extreme Style by VO5 Ultimate Hold Power Gel, $3.49, and Dove Frizz Control Therapy Taming Cream, $3.78.


    Finish: To keep frizz at bay, spray Joico Design Collection Humidity Blocker, $17.95, when you're ready to set the style.

  • Lynda Jean

    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.

  • Lynda Jean

    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.

  • Lynda Jean

    Sasha After

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

  • Lynda Churilla

    Catching a Wave

    Start: Worried that over-shampooing would dry out her hair, Sasha ended up with product buildup at her roots. A key indicator: flatness. Resuscitate moisture-starved strands with a scalp exfoliator, such as Bain de Terre Sugar & Fig Scalp Massage Scrub, $18.


    Style: To define waves, coat hair with a curl lotion like Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Defining Lotion, $7.99, and wrap inch-wide sections around your index finger. Scrunch in the style with a conditioning mousse — try Paul Mitchell Sculpting Foam, $8.95.


    Finish: Curls look their best when hair is shiny. Once hair is dry, spray Curlisto Glow & Shine, $28, over outer layers to help light reflect off your spirals.

  • Lynda Jean

    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.

  • Lynda Jean

    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.

  • Lynda Jean

    Liza After

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

  • Lynda Churilla

    Pump Up the Volume

    Start: Liza, too, believed that shampoo strips curly hair of moisture. Her once-a-week hair washings left her style weighed down and shine-deprived. To add lift, shampoo twice a week with L'Oreal Paris VIVE Pro Glossy Volume Shampoo, $4.99.

    Style: Fine hair requires lightweight products (creams and gels would wreck this look). Using two nickel-size squirts of mousse, work from the nape of your neck up, massaging into roots. Try Sunsilk Captivating Curls Scrunching Mousse, $3.69. Follow with a spray-gel, such as Garnier Fructis Style Play Style Liqui Spray Gel, $3.99, to define and control.

    Finish: A spritz of TRESemme Tres Two Extra Hold Hair Spray, $2.59, sets this style and keeps volume in place all day.

    Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the April 1 2008 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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