5 Brilliant Tips for Styling Curly Hair

styling curly hair tips

Every time Sarah, my lovely assistant here, is photographed you guys ask about her curly hair (it’s amazing,  I’m obsessed with it too). So today, I’m making her spill the beans and tell us all of her styling secrets! Here are 5 brilliant tips she has for styling natural, curly hair…


But first, a little known fact: I used to have really curly hair…

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 8.56.11 PM

Pretty much exactly like Edie above. My mom would brush out the curls since back then in the 80s it was all about BODY and VOLUME. Here’s a classic childhood picture of me looking particularly wild I posted on this blog almost 10 years (!!) ago.  When I was in high school I tried using a diffuser (which Sarah says NO WAY to, btw). I hated my curly hair, flat ironed it straight all through high school and most of college and then in my early 20s it slowly started straightening out on its own. Now it only has a touch of wave left. I miss those curls sometimes though! I wish I had Sarah’s tips back then.

Here’s what I coulda woulda shoulda done with my curly hair:

styling curly hair tips

1. Comb and hair dry. Comb hair when wet with a wide toothed comb just to get the tangles out and let hair air dry after applying product (see #2 below). The hair dryer is no friend of mine! If it’s too cold out to let hair dry like this I’m sure your stylist could recommend a good diffuser and give you some pointers on how to use it.

styling curly hair tips
2. Lather on the cream. Find a good curl cream (I like this one). A small amount applied while the hair is damp will define the curls without weighing them down. My hair is pretty fine so I go with a lightweight product but there’s all sorts of options out there.

3. Hands off!!  I find the less I fuss with my hair the less frizz I end up with. But when you need a little help controlling the frizz, there are some great finishing creams or leave in conditioners out there. (I’m currently loving this). I also like to use that same finishing cream or leave in conditioner to perk up the ‘do before I head out at night.

styling curly hair tips

4.  Skip the shampoo. Don’t wash hair too often as we all know dirty hair is so much better behaved. If you have to wet the curls because you woke up looking like your fourth grade school picture, maybe just skip the shampoo and condition the ends only.

5. Stock up on bobby pins. Humidity is tough on the curls, so on those foggy/ rainy days when I feel like a ball of frizz, I just keep the bobby pins handy. Or, if your hair is long enough for a bun that’s also super easy.

styling curly hair tips

6. Be picky about your stylist.  Find a hair stylist that understands curly hair and how to shape it in a way that is flattering. I learned the hard way that I can’t do the blunt bob (and I have the drivers license photo to prove it) and have to stick to shaggy layers.

Thanks so much for your great tips, Sarah! Also, your hair always smells amazing (this is me while we’re working)


I clicked through to your old link and am sort of dying over the Primary spotlight. Those are the best.

I have naturally curly hair too.
I also suggest drying your hair with a cotton t-shirt.
and clipping it on top of your head (if you’re air drying) to help add lots of volume!

Your hair looks amazing! My hair is completely pin straight, which makes walking out of the house a breeze since I never have to style it and its incredibly low maintenance, but I love the gorgeous look that natural curls like this give!


Great tips. I want to know where Sarah’s bag is from? It’s just what I’ve been on the hunt for.

Hi Amanda! The bag is actually mine, it’s from Good West Co http://www.goodwestco.com/. It’s a custom item but I’m sure she’d make another, just let her know I sent you! I’m thinking of getting another larger version to fit diapers etc 🙂

Oh my…Thank you soo much for These tips!
I have hair that is thick and frizzy curly so it becomes hard to style, I’m sure this will help!
Have an amazing Day!!

Comments are closed.