Monday, January 20, 2014

Six Secrets to Perfectly Tousled Tresses

Like most good stories, this one is mostly about french fries.

I started working on tousled waves in the hopes I could find a way to work with my natural post-baby hair and make it look a little more....intentional.  After my daughter was born, my hair (not unlike other parts of my body...I'm looking at you, boobs) was completely different. Basically the front of my hair is straight-to-wavy and the back is kinky-but-not-curly, sort of like when you order Arby's curly fries and a handful of regular fries make their way into the bag, too.

In all my attempts to perfect these tousled waves, I've collected six tried-and-true secrets for making people wonder whether you were born with perfect hair, which I'll totally back you up on if you decide not to correct them. Let's make that our seventh secret.

What You'll Need:

- a curling iron (I use either a 1" or 1 1/2" barrel)
- your must-have styling product (more below in Secret #1)

What You'll Do:

Secret #1: Pick the right products.

My hair holds curl like a pipe cleaner, so I don't use any holding products, but I do typically use a root volumizer (I love this one) if I have the time to blow-dry my hair before curling, which isn't always the case. I always spray this argan oil mister on my locks when they're damp in order to minimize frizz. It's a miracle worker, especially for my curly-haired friends.  If you have fine hair it may be worth trying a sea salt spray like this one to give a little texture.  And of course if your hair doesn't hold curl you'll want to use your favorite holding product, just be sure it's got a flexible hold.

Secret #2: Twist for texture.

This is my secret weapon, y'all.  This is one of the main differences between 'oh, you curled your hair' and 'I'm going to scalp you alive because you're hair is so lovely'.  I do one turn around the barrel that's flat, followed by a quick twist of the hair before wrapping the rest around the barrel.  This gives a natural taper to your curl (not unlike a tapered wand) and helps give texture and imperfection to your curls.

Secret #3: Tug your tresses.

Like the step before it, Secret #3 is yet another way to vary the pattern of your curls to make them look more natural. Rather than letting all your curls cool and set exactly as they came off the barrel, pull every other curl immediately after it comes off the barrel to give more of a loose wave to some of your locks. 

Secret #4: Mix up where you start your curls.

As you can see above, not all my curls match up in terms of direction and starting point.  You always want to curl away from your face, but make sure to start some curls higher and some lower to create more organic-looking curls. Speaking of...

Secret #5: Frame your face.

It's a shame this is next to last, because if not done properly, Secret #5 is one of the biggest giveaways to curled hair.  The most important pieces of hair are the ones surrounding your face.  After all, that's where people are looking for the most part.  The trick is to curl your hair starting no higher than your ear, as though you had tucked your hair behind your ear while it was drying.

Secret #6: Run your fingers through your hair.

After you've finished curling your hair, give your hair a generous comb-through with your fingers. Just like with this tutorial, what you do after you curl your hair is just as important as what you do while curling it. This will help to break up any of your a-little-too-perfect curls and should be repeated throughout the day.  If you want your hair to be natural, it should also be touchable, right?

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