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Curly Hairstyles

Buying the right products—moisturizing shampoo, leave-in conditioner and styling aids that control frizz—is the secret to curvaceous curls.

 
 
Actress Amelia Marshall can lay claim to the cutest corkscrew curls on television.

The 46-year-old actress, who stars as Liz Sanbourne on NBC’s popular daytime drama Passions, had assumed her hair—and her age—would work against her when she auditioned for the coveted part. Most soap opera stars are twentysomething blondes, reasoned the 5’5” beauty from Albany, Georgia, whose brown hair, eyes and skin didn’t fit the profile.

But Amelia wowed producers and, since 2001, has been making life miserable for her fictional family in the ironically named town of Harmony, a picturesque New England community where Passions run high.

"Some days, laughter is the only thing I have,” Amelia told Soap Opera Digest last year. “There are days that I have such hateful things to say that if I don't laugh about it, I'm lost."

While Passions denizens dabble in intrigue, dirty deeds and the supernatural, the only supernatural thing about this former Broadway dancer (Cats, West Side Story, Big Deal) is her magnificent mane of curls, styled with glamorous precision. Amelia can wear them loose or upswept, tamed by a bejeweled headband. She handily pulls off this style because her hair is thick, coarse and super-curly, but a lot depends on selecting the right styling products.

To create Amelia’s look, you’ll need to use curl-enhancing shampoo, conditioner and styling aids that control frizz. Keep in mind that all shampoos are not created equal, and coarse, thick, curly hair requires a moisturizing shampoo that won’t strip hair of natural oils or leave a residue. Avoid all-in-one shampoos, which never live up to their claims.

You may think you know how to shampoo—after all, you’ve been doing it forever—but curly hair requires VIP treatment.

  1. Choose one hair-care line that offers all of the products you need so you can avoid mixing and matching brands. Products from the same line are designed to work in concert, with conditioner that augments the shampoo’s role, and styling products that build on the conditioner’s results. One of the newer product lines for curly hair is Catwalk “Curls Rock,” which has been appearing with increasing frequency at salons and beauty-supply stores. Manufactured by TIGI, the orange-berry–scented shampoo, conditioner and leave-in moisturizer are designed to define, detangle and defrizz.

  2. If you don’t already own one, buy a handheld showerhead attachment. Instead of standing under the showerhead and letting water rain down upon you, use the attachment for greater control, its variable settings, and the ability to reach all parts of your scalp so you can eliminate loose skin flakes and dust deposits.

  3. On shampoo day: Begin by gently detangling your hair with your fingers. Do not use a brush or comb—a curl’s greatest foes.

  4. Thoroughly saturate the hair and scalp with warm—never hot—water. Apply shampoo. Don’t pour it directly from the bottle onto your hair. Instead, place a small amount (the size of a quarter) in one hand, and rub it between your palms. Work it into your scalp and then downward, to coat strands of hair. If you require more lather, add water—not shampoo.

  5. Don’t commit a common mistake: rubbing shampoo into your hair and scalp in circular motions (like washing a window). This will tangle—and potentially damage—hair. Another no-no: Never use your fingernails to scrape the scalp when shampooing, as you’ll create nicks and scratches. Shampoo with your fingertips.

  6. Rinse shampoo thoroughly, running your fingers through your hair to prevent tangles.

  7. Repeat steps 4 and 6.

  8. Apply conditioner—first to hair closest to the scalp, then down toward the ends. Coat the entire strand, and gently detangle any matted areas. Let conditioner penetrate your hair for at least two minutes, while you continue normal showering; then rinse it out thoroughly. If hair is damaged, exceedingly dry or especially kinky, switch to a leave-in conditioner.

  9. Towel-dry hair when you exit the shower. Blot it gently; do not rub vigorously.

  10. Apply a small amount of curl-enhancing sculpting product (such as Catwalk Curl Booster), and gently scrunch. Blow-dry on a low setting, using your diffuser attachment. Finger-curl gently, but avoid over-manipulating hair, as this fosters frizz.

  11. If you have applied too much of your sculpting product and your hair feels hard or “crunchy,” scrunch it gently to soften the hair.

  12. Finish with a gloss spray to enhance shine.

  13. Have hair trimmed at least every six weeks

So my advice to you is to forget everything hear about curls, see if it works for you and take the plunge with Stellure.

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