7 problems every curly-haired woman has ever had: solved.

Image: Princess Diaries.

Humidity. Knots. Frizz. Dryness. You name it, anyone with curly hair will be all too familiar with it. There seems to be an endless list of problems we curly-haired women face, but where are the solutions?

Right here.

As someone with long, super thick, curly hair (and not the graceful, gentle waves you see celebs sporting on the red carpet) I’ve had enough with my only two options being to use a straightener, or look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards.

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So through my own experimentation and with a LOT of help from the experts, here are the solutions to seven problems all curly-haired women have faced.

1. One word: Humidity.

According to Remington Schulz, Senior Stylist at Edwards and Co, it's all about moisture.

"The key to beating to humidity and frizz is to not dry the curls out. That means not washing it daily," he says.

For those who worry about getting sweaty or having a greasy scalp, Schulz recommends trying to at least limit washing your hair to every second or third day.

"If you have to wash your hair, try rinsing your hair and not shampooing it. You can add conditioner if you like though. The reason for this is every time you wash your hair, you remove moisture and shatter the curls," he explains.

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Hair stylist Anthony Nader recommends investing in a rich cream conditioner that's packed with goodness.

"It may seem like a gimmick, but the ingredients you have in a higher quality brand means the product is formulated from a better lab and is based on solid research," he says.

"When you're next in the salon, it's also worth asking your hairstylist for a moisture treatment, rather than a protein treatment. Moisture is what you need for now to hydrate and replenish the hair, whereas protein just strengthens".

2. Brushing your hair is painful, difficult, and leaves you looking like a witch.

There are few products that can truly claim they will change your life - the Lady Jayne Tangleze Detangling Brush ($12.99) is one of them.

The first time I used it, I actually heard a choir of angels singing in the background. It didn't tear my hair out, it could tackle any matted knot and I wasn't screaming in pain during the process.

The magic lies in dual length bristles which help to minimise hair breakage, and its snazzy, flexy shape is super handy (and gentle) for de-tangling. A lifesaver.

3. Every day is Frizzday.

"Remember frizzy hair is dry hair," says Schulz.


"Try tip-rinsing with lukewarm or cold water, which closes the cuticle and makes your hair look shiny."

Nader agrees.

"Turn down the hot water temperature on your final rinse after washing your hair. The cooler the temperature, the more your waves will keep in shape and won't become fluffy looking," he explains.

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"You can also use a light weight serum (try Josie Maran's Argan Oil Hair Serum, $37) on your hair strands for extra protection and shine which fights unwanted frizz. A tip though - skip the roots here otherwise your hair will look like you haven’t washed it for two weeks!"

4. You can't cut your hair short for fear of looking like a mushroom.

"If your hair is on the shorter side and you're lost with how to style it, try using a large, hot barrel tong and just curl the ends as this will now define your hair shape more. Using a molding paste will enhance the texture," says Nader.

"If you're thinking of going for the chop, opt for your ends not to be razored or thinned out but  instead cut more blunt. This will make your curls easier to work with."

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When choosing a short haircut for your curls, Schulz recommends telling your hairdresser you want them a style that rests at your jaw line with layers through out.

"And ask a LOT of questions, like, 'Is there anyone here who specialises in cutting curls?' and, 'Do you cut the hair dry or wet?'

The answer should always be DRY. There are few hairdressers that are confident in cutting curls, so it's worth doing your homework."

5. Your curls look perfect... the one day you're doing absolutely nothing.

To get more than just one day of good curls, Schulz advises leaving in your conditioner (we recommend Pantene Pro-V Ultimate 10 Conditioner, $7.95) after washing, and using a brush or comb on your hair to get rid of any knots.

"This is the only time you will use a comb on your curls. Then while your hair is dripping wet, add a large amount of curl cream or moisture-based product, like Evo's Happy Campers Hard Working Moisturiser ($25.95)," he explains.

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"Finishing off with an oil product like argon or pear extract will also help to keep them tame."

To lengthen the life of your curls, I find a spray like John Frieda's Curl Perfecting Spray ($16.99) works wonders at refreshing your curls (even if you've slept on them!) without the crunchy feeling of mousse. It also adds great shine too.


6. Straightening your hair takes days.

And it only lasts all of two minutes.

Aside from asking your hairdresser to do it for you or blow-drying it straight after washing, there's no real way to shorten the length of time it takes, but you can make sure your hard work at least doesn't go to waste.

While they may be more expensive, using professional quality straighteners will make the world of difference to how painful the process is and how long your hair will actually stay straight. The GHD Eclipse ($300) straightener is one such wondrous tool (and is also great for curling as well).

I apply a pea-sized amount of John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme ($16.99) on each layer of hair after straightening, to seal the cuticle and lock out the frizz. You really don't need much as it can get a little sticky, but it can be reapplied throughout the day or evening to keep the hair looking sleek and under control.

7. It looks great when wet, but dries terribly.

Maybe you couldn't bear the thought of battling with a hairdryer, maybe you fell asleep with it wet or maybe you even spent an hour drying it properly and it still turned out badly.

According to Schulz, the best way to dry curly hair is to air dry it.

"When using a towel you want to scrunch rather than shake dry. Scrunching is the only way to handle your curls."

Unfortunately it's not quite a wash-and-go process - time and products are still required for best results.

"Squeeze a five cent piece size of moisturising styling cream on your mid-lengths and ends and comb through evenly," says Nader.

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"Divide the hair into four horizontal sections and start at the bottom area. Twist up two inch sections and let them hang, then repeat this method all the way from the bottom to the top and you're good to go for the day.

"As the day ticks away,  you can scrunch up your twists to make them look more dry looking rather than wet, and you’ll also get more body by doing this as well," he explains.

"If you do need to blowdry your curls, then a diffuser is the way to go," says Schulz. "Throw your hair upside down and slowly dry with a a diffuser on a medium temperature. If you can, try not to dry it completely for best results".

Here are some of our favourite curly-haired heroes. 

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What are you magical products for dealing with curly hair?

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