For this style, the longer your hair, the better. Part it the way you like, then separate a one-inch section of hair at each temple and clip those sections out of the way. Gather your remaining hair at the nape of your neck. Then create two or three low braids, securing the ends with clear elastics. Twist each braid until it curls into itself; bobby-pin in place. Last, unclip and twist the two pieces by your temples. Pin under the braided bun or, for a slightly fancier flourish, tuck their ends into the bun before securing.
Side Fishtail Braid
This braid, which works best with longer hair, needs a bit of texture for hold; if your hair is straight, give it some wave by winding one-inch sections around a curling iron. Gather your hair to one side in a low ponytail, securing it close to the base of your neck with a clear elastic. Next, create a fishtail braid: Separate the ponytail into two sections. Hold one section; with your other hand, take a narrow strip of hair from the outside of the other section and bring it over to the one in your hand. Repeat, incorporating hair from one section into the other until you run out of hair; then secure with another clear elastic. Finally, with a pair of scissors, carefully cut out the top elastic to give the braid a loose, casual look. For a more bohemian effect, gently pull the braid apart with your fingers.
Side French Braid
This style works even for short lengths. First create a deep side part. Starting from the part and working toward the opposite temple, French-braid a section of hair about an inch wide along your hairline, stopping at the temple. Secure with a clear elastic or bobby pins. Style the rest of your hair as usual.
Slick down center-parted medium-length to long hair with a comb and some gel (such as L’Oréal Paris Strong Hold Defining Gel, $7 at drugstores). Secure hair at the nape with a clear elastic. Form a fishtail braid, then twist the braid around itself to create a “flower.” Pin to hold.
Separate the upper portion of medium-length to long hair (from temples to crown) and temporarily clip it atop your head. Take a small section at each temple and tightly French-braid it, working back toward your crown; secure each braid with a clear elastic. Next, unclip the hair at your crown. Use one hand to hold this section up and the other to tease it at the roots with a fine-tooth comb, making a little pouf. Gently smooth over the teased portion with a paddle brush. Then anchor the braids to the bottom of the pouf with bobby pins.
I love wearing my hair curly, but it took a long time to say that. My hair was a mix of frizz, waves, ringlets and crazy hair until I worked out an easy routine to style my curly hair that made the most of my curls.
You might think I always straighten my hair after my 30 Braids in 30 Days hairstyles, but it’s not the case. I straighten my hair for tutorials as it is easier to photograph and restyle for the step-by-step photos.
Plus the more you touch curly hair, the frizzier it becomes. My first styling tip is stop touching your hair. The oil and dirt from your hands creates frizz and will mess up your curls.
How to style curly hair
This is my quick way to style curly hair when I want to wear it out.
- Wash your hair. Here are my top 10 tips for how to wash your hair.
- Use a conditioning treatment, or leave your conditioner on for 3-5 minutes. Use a wide tooth comb or tangle teezer to get rid of any knots. This is the last time you will comb your hair. Comb gently, as wet hair is more prone to breakages.
- Rinse your shampoo and conditioner thoroughly.
- Turn your head upside-down, and gently shake your hair to let the curls form their natural shape. I use my fingertips on my scalp to lift my hair and let the curls take shape.
- Don’t rub your hair with a towel. I squeeze the water out instead of rubbing my hair and breaking up the curls. A microfiber towel, or t-shirt is even better as they are smoother on your hair.
- Apply a curl cream or mousse. I used Aveda Be Curly Style Prep and Curl Enhancer. Apply the Style Prep first, then the curl Enhancer which has a creamy texture.
- Use a diffuser to dry your hair to about 80% dry. You can let your hair dry naturally, but a diffuser is quicker and gives more volume. I used the Anthony Nader WAHL dryer to dry my hair with my head upside down. Then I flip my hair back, and check how it’s sitting. I usually restyle the front and partline, then let it be.
- As a final touch you can use a serum or wax to add more definition to your curls. I used O&M Frizzy Logic in the ends of my curls. I also love Aveda Pure Abundance Styling Potion sprinkled on my roots to add volume.
This looks like a lot of steps, but I’ve just broken it down in detail. It takes me less than 10 minutes to blowdry and style my curly hair.
How do you style your curls?