How To Retrain Your Curly Hair

One look through Emery’s baby pictures and it’s always the same response: “WOW! Her hair was soooo curly!” And it was.

Both she and Jett had big, bouncy curls that were only matched in size by their eyes.

But as she’s grown up, we’ve styled Emery’s hair, applied heat, and allowed it to grow long. In fact, her curls got to the point where I wouldn’t even call them curls anymore. They were more like big waves. They just didn’t have any LIFE!

About 18 months ago Emery decided she wanted to rediscover her curls. She had read a few books on it and watched a bunch of videos about people and knew that if she followed the steps she discovered, that her curls would come back in full force!

Beginning The Hair Damage Detox

The first thing she had to do was lay off the heat. That meant saying goodbye to the curling wand, flat iron, and the crimper. The only thing she kept was her blow dryer in order to diffuse her curls. During this time we introduced new products that are specifically made for curly hair.

First up was her shampoo + conditioner. If you’re serious about helping your hair, you’ve got to get products that enhance it and bring it back to its healthiest state. Emery switched to a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner and also worked on repairing and strengthening her hair. It’s super important to cleanse product buildup on the scalp thoroughly so switching up your normal product with a clarifying shampoo once a week helps!

See how much curlier it got after a few months? Her natural curl was returning and it was so fun to see my little girl with all of her curls once more!

Getting A Curly-Hair Cut

If you’re going down this same path, you’ll want to weigh when you get your curly hair cut. On one hand, they usually cut off way more than you anticipate. This is because they get rid of the anchor hair (the ends of your hair weighing all of your fresh curls down) and cut your hair according to the shape of your curls. If you’ve got a lot of damage, you may want to give your natural curls time to grow in before you give your hair the chop.

If you’re like Emery, and your hair just doesn’t grow, then getting a curly-hair cut first might be your best bet. For Emery, this was a game-changer! The top layers of her hair were super long and heavy which made them straighter. If you are a DIYer and want to try this cut at home, there are so many tutorials on YouTube that show you exactly what to do!

This is the tutorial that we followed most closely! It is basically grabbing each individual clump of curls and chopping them a little shorter. It freaked me out because there wasn’t much rhyme or reason to the cut but it made a HUGE difference almost immediately. Shortening those curls allowed them to bounce right back up!

Isn’t that insane? Her curls responded so well to her cut and it will continue to do so. From everything we’ve researched, you’re going to need more than 1 cut to get your hair in a style you love. Your hair is going to change with each cut and when you get rid of the weight of longer, anchor pieces.

Styling Your New Do

When it comes to styling, don’t stress it. This is something that will evolve as your hair gets curlier. You will get to know what your hair needs and it will totally reward you if you keep off the heat and wash it 1-2 times a week.


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Emery’s Curly Hair Instructions:

Emery washes her hair every 3 days. You may be able to go longer based on how your curls recover each day when you refresh them. USE HEAT SPARINGLY AND DON’T STRAIGHTEN YOUR HAIR. Your curls will have to go through a few washings to get it back super curly again, so avoid if you can!

In the shower, shampoo using a sulfate-free shampoo – super important. Condition as usual. As I said above, we switched Emery to Prose and Deva she’s loving it!

Brush hair with a wide-tooth comb in the shower. Once out, use Devacurl towel. Try not to separate the curls and definitely don’t use a regular towel on it. Regular towels make frizz. If you don’t want to invest in a special towel, an old t-shirt can be used to get the moisture out of your hair without adding to the frizz.

Apply a leave-in conditioner and make sure you’re not separating your curls. Mix a little bit of Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother and Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil in your hand and pat onto your hair.  Again, don’t separate your curls.

Take a generous amount of Verb Curl cream (we chased a lady down in the mall for this miracle worker!), take your hair in sections, and pat the curl cream into your hair. Sometimes Emery will twirl some of her straighter curls around her finger to give that hair direction before diffusing.

If you do decide to use a blow-dryer on your hair as the last step, only use a diffuser and only on low heat. Too much messing with your hair creates frizz so we try to touch it as little as possible. With your diffuser, collect your hair mid-shaft and scrunch towards your crown. Do not diffuse just the ends of your hair – get in there and make sure you’re creating volume and drying your roots!



Curly girl handbook – tons of good tips. I really recommend reading a book about it.



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Good luck and we can’t wait to see your curls transform!

Xx Tara & Emery

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