If I’ve heard it one time, I’ve heard it a thousand; “I’d give anything to have curly hair like you!”. Usually at this point I smile sweetly, say thank you in the most polite Southern way my Mother taught me and say a few choice words under my breath. I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence because I’ve spent the better part of 40 years trying to straighten the Shirley Temple mane that the Good Lord and my Daddy gave me. Curly hair goes either one of two ways: fabulously defined ringlets that bounce effervescently or a frizzy rats nest that no brush can tame. The key to keeping your curls looking more like Rapunzel than a bad Twisted Sister video is in your choice of hair products. It can take a curly girl years and years of trial and error to finally find the hair product or combination of products that works for her particular curly hair style. Trust me, when we find what works, we stick with it and keep months of extra product, on standby, just in case the manufacturers shut down overnight. Trust me, it CAN happen! Now, in the event that you haven’t prepared properly for just such an emergency and have run out of your favorite frizz tamer, fro-killer or fuzz extinguisher, these 3 products, found commonly around most homes, will do a decent job in a pinch.
1. Conditioner: (the weakest at home curl fixer) The conditioner you use on your hair each morning in the shower can work very similarly to many commonly used hair products. Use a dime sized amount for short hair and a quarter sized amount for longer hair. Mix the conditioner with a little water in your hand to dilute and rub through ends of hair, careful not to deposit too much of the product in any one area or it will feel brittle when dry. What’s interesting about using conditioner as an emergency hair fix for curly hair is that the cheaper the conditioner, the better the results usually are.
2. Lotion: The lotion or moisturizer you use each morning on your skin can double as an excellent frizz tamer for curly hair. The trick here is to know your lotion. A lighter, thinner lotion will require more product; a denser lotion (body butters, intensive hydrators etc.) will require less product. The richer the lotion is, the smaller amount of product you actually need to get the job done. With lotions, less is always better. If you use too much, you can go from lustrous locks to a grease ball with one swipe of the hand (remember Something About Mary?). Never use any more than a dime size amount unless you hair very, very long hair. One side note, do NOT ever make the mistake of using self tanning lotion as a frizz fixer unless you want to come out looking like Ronald McDonald. Been there, done that.
3. Oil: (the strongest at home curl fixer) The olive oil you use in your kitchen for stir-frying and sauteing can also be used as an excellent hair polisher as well. The oil has properties similar to that of the silicone based frizz tamers sold at expensive hair salons and retail stores. Most oils used in the kitchen can be substituted: canola, corn or any vegetable oils will work but olive oil is the best. Like the actual silicone hair products we are simulating with oil, you only need a TINY amount to do the trick. Even with longer hair, you will only need a pencil eraser sized amount. Rub the oil onto both palms and distribute EVENLY throughout the hair. Be careful to not distribute the product onto any one area too much or you’ll come out looking more like an oil slick than Grace Slick.