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What’s Best Way to Fight Frizzy Hair?

Q: I have naturally curly hair that I often-but-not-always wear straight, and in this humid weather, it becomes totally unmanageable. All the products I try don’t really seem to help. How do I beat the heat and fix my frizzy hair? —Victoria, Toronto

It’s the telltale sign of summer for me, you and just about everyone else: a halo of frizz that feels decidedly un-angelic when it crops up 20 minutes after you went to the trouble of blowing out our hair. I can’t tell you the number of times my hairstyle hasn’t lasted the length of the taxi ride to a steamy summer wedding. It’s frustrating, but luckily, I have learned from the error of my ways over the years.

The first step to tackling frizzy hair is to see it for what it truly is. It’s not a pointless thorn in your side, but rather, it’s a cry for help, says Janet Jackson, owner of Toronto’s JouJou Hair Salon and a Maui Moisture ambassador who has worked with top models from Iman to Winnie Harlow over her impressive styling career. “It’s searching for moisture,” she says. “When your hair is extremely dry and humidity kicks in on top of that, you’re suddenly dealing with a lot of frizz.”

Textured hair dries out in a snap, so curls need constant hydration in order to stay glossy. (No shame in slacking on your hydration duties: we’re busy, we have bills to pay and Internet wormholes to fall down for 28 minutes before we realize we really don’t care what vegetable we should never ever eat if we want to avoid belly fat.)

Your first order of duty is to treat your hair to a nourishing wash in the shower. Proceed gently with lukewarm water and a sulfate- and alcohol-free shampoo packed with natural oils and humectants. And don’t overdo it: While third-day curls are often a bit wonky, over-washing your hair will strip its natural oils and leave you frizzier than ever.

“If you work out a lot or just feel the need to wash your hair often, consider co-washing,” says Jackson. Co-washing is a huge beauty buzzword, but it essentially means just washing the lengths of your hair with conditioner (or a conditioner-like specialty product) and skipping shampoo altogether.

“Usually, when people have really frizzy hair, a lot of it stems from the fact that they’re not using the proper products,” says Jackson. “When you’re trying to tame it with products that have silicones or alcohol, you’re just damaging your hair and it will never look the way you want it to.”

Instead, use light, natural oils to prevent water loss, and add moisture regularly. Some of us may still shudder at the suggestion of adding oil to clean hair, but the key is to pay attention to your hair type and see what it can handle. (Bear with me and let’s briefly get into some necessary hair education here. There are four basic categories assigned to texture. Strands that are pretty much straight are type one; natural waves are referred to as type two; type three is associated with hair that forms natural ringlets; and coiled curls are type four.)

“Finer hair types could do with a little oil every couple of days, but type three or four hair requires more moisture, so you can use oils daily—or even twice a day,” says Jackson. “If you focus on products that help you define and highlight texture, the frizz will bother you less.”

Jackson is also skeptical of the go-to move of most people with frizzy hair: cocktailing. I’m guilty of doing it all the time—one product doesn’t offer enough hold and another doesn’t de-frizz to my liking, so I layer them on and hope for the best. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the practice, says Jackson, but curl systems are often designed to work as a set and mixing arbitrary brands can lead to crunchy or stringy curls.

“I recommend to my clients that they become familiar with each product on its own before mixing them,” says Jackson. “A lot of people jump from one product to another right away but it’s not fair to try a product for a day.” Jackson, who is A-type, it seems, suggests keeping a hair log to see how the products work over time, but I, not at all A-type, would never be that organized. Where we find common ground is in a common-sense approach that involves being patient and paying attention, moisturizing, avoiding drying ingredients and not heaping on different products every day aimlessly in the hopes of banishing humidity-related frizz.

It’s a losing (and expensive) battle—and it’s summer, don’t you have more fun things to do than moping about the fact that your curly hair isn’t straight? Stop flat-ironing, ditch blowouts and opt to air dry or diffuse instead, to suit your texture.

“Often the real root issue is that people are not comfortable with their hair texture, because frizz is just a form of texture,” says Jackson. “In most cases, when someone feels like their hair is frizzy, dry or unruly, it’s because they’ve been forcing it to stop doing something it naturally wants to do.”

Get a haircut that works well with your texture, suggests Jackson, and then embrace it. “If you have frizzy hair, you want to stick to longer layers and lobs,” she explains. “The thicker and coarser your hair, the more you want to avoid cutting it too short.”

Well-moisturized curls are the first step to a carefree summer, because it’s not really the frizz that’s the issue: it’s the fight.

For more information on fighting frizz, follow the link here.

Have a question about frizzy hair? Drop your question in the comments below!

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Easy Do-It-Yourself Hairstyles for the Summer

Every time a celeb attends an event, they have a whole hair team crafting the perfect ‘do. But we, regular folks, don’t have that luxury. What we may have in common though, is that as soon as summer rolls in, our calendars tend to fill up with events we have to glam up for. Yes, we might treat ourselves to a salon blowout once in a while, but to visit the hairstylist for every birthday party, wedding and baby shower? It can get a little too much – time-wise and money-wise.

Believe it or not, you can achieve a sophisticated, “who did your hair?” look from the comfort of your own home. Our hair stylist, Janet Jackson, shared three easy and trendy hairstyles for any summer event:

LOOK 1: BALLOON PONYTAIL

Having your hair up during an outdoor event on a hot summer day is a good call. If you’re a fan of the standard ponytail, this is a cool way to take it up a notch. Section off the ponytail with elastics, then pull the hair outwards to achieve the balloon effect. Then tease each section and apply hairspray (Tip: use texturizing spray or powder to tame unwanted frizz). And voila – you’ve got yourself a Princess Jasmine-esque pony!

LOOK 2: SLICKED BACK

As of lately, the slicked back, wet hair look has been seen all over runways and red carpets. JLO, Zendaya and Sophie Turner are just a few stars who’ve rocked this style in the past and you can totally do it too! To get your hair to look wet, without looking over-gelled or greasy, use a setting lotion or mousse. Then, Janet recommends finishing off your fresh-out-the-shower look gel or pomade. If you don’t want your entire head to look wet, opt for a pomade, clay or working wax. Play it up by having two textures – the top can be slick and shiny while the bottom is crimped or curled.

LOOK 3: LOOSE TWIST

One way to soften the look of your typical, structured ponytail is by adding a twist to it, literally! Start by spraying texture spray starting at the base, then spraying throughout the hair to secure the ponytail. Anchor everything with hairpins, bobby pins or any other hair accessories. Feel free to have some fun with accessories – you can use pearls, flowers, or create an “x” formation with the pins!

For more amazing summer hairstyles, check out Janet’s segment on The Social at the link here!

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3 Things You Need To Know Before Colouring your Natural Hair

Natural hair looks amazing with colour! But if you’re considering colouring your natural hair for the first time, there are precautions you must take before doing so. You have to consider not only the colour your going for, but how it’ll affect your curls and if you can maintain the colour you’d like to switch to. Not to worry! We’re sharing three things you need to know before dyeing your natural hair for the first time. 

1. If you’re trying to lighten your hair, you’ll need to make a trip to the salon!

Everyone’s hair is different (especially between Naturals!) so the exact formula to achieve great colour results may be complicated. A professional stylist who’s specialized in colour will be able to achieve the results you want for your curls. 

2. Don’t try to rush the process.

When colour is done properly, your curls should remain intact. However, trying to lighten your hair extensively in one day can seriously damage your hair and your curl pattern. A trained stylist can provide a dyeing schedule to eventually achieve your desired colour, as well as provide techniques that’ll help your curls avoid major damage. For example, to achieve a platinum blonde colour, you’ll need multiple processes and higher volume developers – which can become a disaster if you’re not experienced in colouring hair. The bigger the difference in your natural hair colour and your desired colour, the more applications you’ll need to achieve that colour safely. Be prepared to experience a temporary loosened curl pattern after a drastic colour change. 

3. Proper shampoos, deep conditioning and salon treatments are a must!

Colour-treated hair needs extra TLC, especially after intense dyeing. You should deep condition at least once a week to maintain the health of your curls. In between salon visits, be sure to do home treatments! When doing a treatment at home, apply your treatment, put on a plastic cap and leave it on for at least 20 minutes. Go under a hooded dryer or simply use your body heat (workout, house chores etc..) with the treatment applied for best results. Then rinse out the treatment (with cool water always!) and style.

Also, opt for a colour-preserving shampoo to protect your curls after you’ve dyed them. Most colour-preserving shampoos are sulfate-free and offer an extra layer of protection that’ll protect your colour from fading, and save you money by not having to go refresh your colour at the salon too often.

Those are all of our tips! Share your experiences with colouring your natural hair below!

To learn more tips about colouring natural hair, you can read them here!*

*Disclaimer: Although we appreciate much of the advice outlined in the article linked, we don’t promote/condone the use of certain colouring techniques; including using box dyes or any other techniques that could potentially damage natural hair.

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Three Ways to Style and Treat Naturally Curly Hair

It’s 2019 and there is finally a huge conversation happening around hair, notably around black hair. Most recently in a piece for Teen Vogue, model Olivia Anakwe called out hairstylists in the fashion world for their lack of ability to handle curls on women of colour. She says that although there has been an influx in inclusivity when it comes to diverse models, many teams are still not hiring stylists skilled enough to work with textured hair.

Lucky for us, #BossLady Janet Jackson has all the knowledge on how to celebrate and embrace our natural curls.

KNOW YOUR CURLS

There are three different types of curls, which mean they curl and react to products and frizz differently. Most of the time, people tend to battle with their curls rather than work with them. By knowing your curl type, you’ll be able to easily enhance them.

The Hair Type classification system, originally created by hairstylist Andre Walker and later expanded on by the natural-hair community, breaks down curls into types and subtypes.

  • Type 1 – Straight hair
  • Type 2 (A to C) – Wavy to curly hair
  • Type 3 (A to C) – Curly to kinky hair
  • Type 4 (A to C) – Kinky to coily

LOOK 1 – 3B CURLS
Use light gels and creams with extra moisture and serious frizz control. Finger combing or twisting works best with this curl type…and be generous with the product!

HOW-TO

Before drying, shake out your curls and let hair air dry or use a diffuser.
Once your curls are dry, rub a little pomade/cream paste into the palm of your hands and smooth over your hair gently to get rid of any frizz.
Do not use a brush or comb on your dry curls. Scrunch or pull them into shape.

LOOK 2 – 4A COILS

Type 4 hair can be very tight. This curl tends to retain moisture better than any of the other type 4 hair, which means they also experience the least amount of shrinkage. Still, as you already know, your curls need some serious hydration to keep them healthy, especially if you’re mainly doing wash-and-go.

HOW-TO

Co-washing is very important for curls. There are many companies that now sell co-washes.. but here’s a great way to save money: wash your hair with you favourite conditioner! It’s the same thing.

All curls need moisture…sometimes daily! Argan and coconut oils would be great for Curl types 3a to 4a! Also if you wash and go daily, put a few drops of your favourite oil into your spray water bottle. This will soften the water so it doesn’t dry out your hair.

LOOK 3 – 4C COILS

This is on the tighter end of the spectrum of curls. These kinds of curls are prone to intense shrinkage. Although this hair isn’t represented by one single texture (you can have fine and soft, coarse and wiry, or even a mix of both), it does tend to be the most delicate of the curl types, leading to breakage and dryness.

HOW TO

This hair type needs a heavier natural oil like olive, avocado, or grape seed oil. These natural oils will work wonders on this hair type and should be used on the scalp and hair strands!

For more info on how to style your curls, check out Janet’s segment on The Social at the link here!

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Five Ways to Refresh Dull Natural Curls

There’s nothing worse then spending the night perfectly styling and defining your curls for the next day, only to wake up to undefined, frizzy curls. If there were a magic product to keep your curls defined and moisturized through a night of tossing and turning, we’d all own it. For now, we’re offering you these tips to refresh your curls quickly and efficiently during your morning routine!

1. Water

Dull curls is typically caused by dryness; and because of this sometimes the key to refreshing dull curls is moisture. If you’ve already applied leave-ins, stylers or gels to your hair in the days before, these products may reactivate with a spritz of water and scrunching or finger coiling.

2. Leave-In Conditioner (in Spray form)

You can either purchase a leave-in conditioner spray or make your own by mixing your favorite leave-in conditioner and water. Either way, a light spritz of leave-in conditioner can moisturize and refresh your hair for the day.

3. Gel

For curls that have lost definition overnight or throughout the day, gel can help provide definition and help your style last much longer than it would without it. Simply spray some water or a leave-in conditioner spray on your hair to add moisture to your curls, and then apply a minimal amount of gel to the section or curls to regain definition. You can either scrunch or finger coil afterwards to bring your curl pattern back to life. Finish it off by air-drying or blow-drying the section of hair on a low, cool setting.

4. Finger Coils

Transitioning hair has a much harder time holding definition and moisture than healthy natural hair. Try applying a styling product to your curls, then twirl your hair around your finger until it appears curly once more. Since transitioning hair has a harder time retaining moisture, it’s better to let your hair air dry vs. blow-drying.

5. Perm Rods or Flexi Rods

If you’re trying to refresh a perm-rod set or a flexi-rod set, you want to rewrap the section of hair quickly especially if this is during your morning routine. Simply apply a setting product to your hair, then re-roll the undefined section onto the rod to reset. Then blow-dry on the lowest heat setting until the section is cool and dry. You can then unravel the hair to reveal the defined curl once more.

What’s your favourite way to refresh your curls? Let us know in the comments below!

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How To Successfully Transition From Relaxed to Natural Hair

Women of colour are embracing their natural roots in droves. The natural hair movement is made up of ladies who are either tired of the damage that can come from years of chemical relaxing, making efforts to re-discover themselves, or are simply looking to switch it up by rocking a new style. In each of these cases, many women opt not to do the infamous “big chop”, choosing to grow out their curls instead. The problem is, when growing out a relaxer, the drastic difference in the two hair textures can cause major breakage if hair isn’t cared for with special attention.

If you’re trying to go natural without the TWA (teeny weeny afro), here are five ways to ensure that your transition is a smooth one:

 

1. Deep Condition

It can’t be stressed enough. Deep. Condition. Regularly. This is a no brainer for keeping hair intact while tackling two textures at a time. Monthly fortifying protein treatments combined with weekly moisturizing deep conditioning will help your relaxed ends maintain strength during your transition and nourish the incoming new growth. 

 

 

2. Detangle With Care

The ‘line of demarcation’ is where your natural texture and relaxed hair meet and is arguably the weakest point in the hair strand. Many brave transitioners have suffered devastating breakage at the line of demarcation.

To avoid this, try to reduce the amount of detangling and styling done with combs and brushes, instead using your fingers whenever these tools aren’t absolutely necessary.

 

3. Minimize Heat

Every aspiring natural knows that too much heat is bad news. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always translate into action during those frustrating hair moments when it seems easiest to just grab a flat iron. However, using heat as you go-to bad hair day solution can result in loss of curl from heat damage and– you guessed it– breakage. There is no remedy to this type of damage and it will only slow the process of your transition.

 

4. Blend Your Textures

So, now that frequent heat styling is a no-no, how will you make your two textures work on a more than occasional basis? The trick to a successful transition is to make your roots blend as well as possible with your ends. Depending on your curl pattern, the textures may not always match perfectly, but isn’t that the whole point of experimenting with your natural texture? Embrace all your new found kinks, coils and curls! Twist-outs, braid-outs, roller sets, braids, buns etc.. will soon become your standard hair styles. Remember to be gentle when handling your hair and don’t skip your moisturizing routine!

 

5. Be Patient

Growing your hair out is essentially a waiting game. Dealing with two different textures can be frustrating at times and extremely overwhelming, especially if you haven’t seen your natural hair in years. But if you’re not willing to take the drastic step of the big chop, you and your hair are going to need to learn to become friends. So wait it out, and while you’re waiting, be sure to appreciate the process every step of the way.

 

Here’s to a healthy, happy, and soon-to-be natural head of hair!

 

What is your biggest challenge with transitioning to natural hair? Share with us in the comments below!

 

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