The curl is back. Yes, it's official. Never mind your chintz, chuck out your straightening irons and cancel that appointment with a bucketful of chemicals. Straight hair has finally been shown up for the boring stuff that it is. For the coming season, curls are to be celebrated.
But, of course, it's not just any old curl. "The new curl is larger. A set curl, created with curling irons, or a solid, singled-out curl. A defined curl that bounces," says Paul Windle of Windle Salon in Covent Garden, London. Damn. My curls do many things, but bounce is definitely not one of them, not unless some idiot with a death wish is pulling them - and even then it's more of a recoil than a bounce.
Ironically, those with natural afro hair will have the greatest trouble achieving this look, and those who have had their hair straightened will find it relatively easy - just smooth in a curl cream, such as the fab Curl Conscious Creme by Bumble and Bumble, then get busy with the curling tongs. "Hold the irons for 10 seconds and then release. Allow to cool and hang loose," advises Windle.
In case the significance of what just happened passed you by, let me explain it again. Those with a natural curl have the wrong curl. Those who have gone to great lengths, and expense, to have their curl eradicated should put a "new" curl back in. And they say that fashion is humourless?
For hair that's in its natural state, the best you can hope for is more defined curls, ie, curly rather than frizzy. There are plenty of frizz-free products around, but many tend to turn afro hair into a sticky, lumpen mess. The best I've found are the aforementioned Curl Conscious Creme and my long-standing favourite, Twisted Sista, by Urban Therapy. With both products, wet the hair thoroughly and then apply. Don't comb or towel-dry the hair, but blot it gently with a towel, then finish off with a diffuser. The resulting curl may not bounce, but it is well defined and pretty much immune to frizz.