As someone who publishes their email address for all manner of creep to see, the ratio of kranky/non-kranky emails I receive is suprisingly low. Mostly, I just get the nice ones and recently I've had a few emails about my hair, which may or may not be the handiwork of some fringe fetishist. Coincidently, I received an email from lovely Jilly on behalf of John Frieda regarding their new set of YouTube tutorials (on their new UK channel here)so I decided to kill two birds with one blog post and do a little tutorial on how I do my hair and some advice from the professionals.
Firstly, as you can see from the photos above in 1 & 2, my hair is embarassingly in need of a re-colour. I can't quite believe I'm even publishing these photos of my bog-brown roots.
It's not that I haven't got the time or the money (I usually use a box dye at home), it's because I'm attempting to give my hair a jolly good rest. I've been dyeing my hair since I was 15 years old (10 years!), from purple to black to red to orange, and in that time my scalp has become hardened to most chemicals I slap onto it. However, using the same dye I've used for over a year- L'Oreal Feria in Mango- I've started to get a tingly, stinging scalp. After reading the PPD/Resorcinol scare stories, I immediately stopped and am now stranded in a land of dark roots and fading lustre. There's nothing to be done but ride it out until I summon the courage to become a henna user.
My hair is naturally wavy (my Dad was the proud owner of a ginger afro in his youth), so I blow dry it using a paddle brush to smooth it out so that the curls take to the hair more (1). When I curl my hair, I split it into three horizontal layers and curl one at a time to add volume.
I've used curling tongs in the past and never liked the result they've given me, always too uniform and not particularly natural. When I started using my hair straightner instead, it was a revelation. With each layer, I take small, inch-wide sections of hair and starting at the top, nearest the scalp, clamp the section with the straightner (2). I pull down, rotating the straightner as I go, taking the pressure off about an inch from the end of the strands.
When I've curled each layer, it's much too perfect so I brush it all out with my Tangle Teezer, turn my head upside down and shake it all out (4). I'll apply a bit of hairspray (Tresemme's Freeze Hold is my current choice) and I've found the curls will tend to hold all day.
The California Waves video above shows you an alternative way of doing it with curling tongs if this is your preferred method. They also have a fantastic one for retro curls which I'd like to try out once I get my mitts on some rollers. Do you have any other tips for a natural curl? Perhaps you're a rag-rolling fiend or a connoisseur of bendy curlers, so whatever you're preferred method, let me know what I'm missing.