Know yourself: the best ’do for you

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Jennifer Aniston straight hairStraight story

CUT: Most women with straight hair find it can be wispy, fine and flat. If your hair is long, try a haircut with a few long (not short) layers, like Jennifer Aniston’s. But be careful – too many layers can thin out the bottom of your hair, which makes you look like you have less of it. If you prefer a short, more manageable style, ask your hairstylist to emulate Michelle Williams’ pixie do or Carey Mulligan’s elegant pageboy style – these are a no-fail for fine hair.
STYLE: Long, fine hair looks best when it’s either super-sleek, à la Aniston (blow-dry damp hair, then give it a going over with a straightening tong, and finish off with a lick of shine-enhancing serum), or blown-out and bodylicious (add a volumising mousse to the roots of towel-dried hair and blow-dry upside down; then flick hair back and curl the bottom half of your hair with a pair of curling tongs, working in sections).

Amanda Seyfried's wavey hairWavy wonder

CUT: Cutting naturally wavy hair has its set of challenges. Layers are important to ward off the dreaded ‘mushroom effect’, but your hairdresser needs to account for ‘spring-back’ – the layers shouldn’t be too short or too numerous. You also want to ensure they’re placed throughout the interior and exterior of the hair, which helps create that desired draping effect.
STYLE: To get Amanda Seyfried’s gorgeous waves, apply volumising mousse to damp hair and blow-dry using low heat and a round brush. Once your hair is dry, wrap large sections of hair around a two-inch curling iron and hold them in place for several seconds. Gently brush through all of your waves with a paddle brush to soften them. Spritz a little lightweight hairspray (try Revlon Flex Natural Hold non-aerosol hairspray, R16.99) all over to hold the style.

Taylor Swift's curly hairCurly cue

CUT: Because no curls are created equal, the cut is that much more important; you need to work with the natural nature of your curl. Curly hair dries differently every time so you need to have it cut wet to guarantee balance. The technique most curly-hair specialists use is known as ‘carving and slicing’, which means your hair is cut with the curvature of the curl pattern, so the curls fit together like a puzzle, as opposed to stacking, resulting in less frizz.
STYLE: The best way to style curly hair is to embrace it. Few things are more glorious (or more envied by those of us with fine straight hair!) than a full mane of beautiful, natural curls – just ask Taylor Swift. First, deep condition your hair and comb it with a wide-toothed comb while wet. Towel-dry hair gently, apply a little wax and leave to air-dry. Don’t use too much wax though, as you’re likely to end up with the dreaded ‘wet’ look. If you don’t like the feel of wax in your hair, try a long lasting volume mousse like Revlon Flex Firm mousse, R29.99.

Esperanza Spalding's afroKinky afro

CUT: The right cut is crucial for kinky or ‘highly textured’ hair, since the shape of the cut is more noticeable. A layered cut is best because it adds shape, removes bulk and helps to create a cascading effect where the curls fall into each other. If your hair is long, have long layers cut throughout the hair; shoulder-length hair can take longer layers as well, while short hair can handle shorter layers, but make sure your stylist accounts for the ‘spring-back’ effect when cutting shorter layers. Avoid bangs like the plague.
STYLE: Jazz singer Esperanza Spalding rocked a truly righteous afro at the 2012 Oscars. You might not want yours to be quite as, um, voluminous, but luckily it’s one of the easiest styles to achieve for kinky hair. The big drawback, though, is that you have to start from scratch. So, trim your hair one last time before beginning to grow your hair out. Using a wide-toothed comb to prevent breakage (smaller combs break hair follicles). Moisturising your scalp is important during the growth process as it helps keep hair from breaking and splitting, so apply a deep conditioning treatment (like Dr Miracle’s Tingling Intensive Deep Conditioning Treatment Packet, R15.99) every second week. Have your stylist trim your afro to ensure growth is neat and even on all sides. Enjoy!

Written by

Rachel McGregor is a Cape Town journalist (and part-time narcissist) specialising in food, health and lifestyle-related features. In her spare time she loves to cook and poke fun at hipsters. Sometimes she dreams of giving it all up and becoming a millionaire.

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  1. Rochelle Stewart

    When I’m straight – I want curls, When I have curls, I want straight hair. Never satisfied!

    7 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    Don’t fit in any of these categories..

    7 years ago •

  1. Zu

    Love this article… Love the straight story!

    7 years ago •

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