Experts share their tips for embracing your natural hair texture

model backstage at Tibi fashion show

Looking to ditch the heat tools and embrace your natural hair texture? Three industry experts share their best kept secrets for au natural locks.

with Grant Bettjeman, owner of Bettjemans Salon in Auckland and Kerastase ambassador

“Thick curls are perfect for air drying. The best way is not to towel dry too much, and to add a tablespoon of Kérastase Crème Oleo-Curl, a soft cream to define curls, combing through and making sure every hair has a coating of the product. Encourage the curl by ‘scrunching’ with your hands. The best trick for getting curls to pop up from the scalp and tumble is to get about six long sectioning clips (available from most salons) and squeeze slightly open and slide at scalp level directly into the hair and then release the clip so that it pinches a weft of hair and stands the roots up. Work your way around the hairline lifting the wet hair away from the face. The secret to beautiful defined curls is to not touch them until they are completely dry. You can then take out the clips when almost dry but do not disturb the hair. Once the curls are dry flip your slightly crunchy curls upside down and break apart with your fingers or a cold dryer.”

with Hayley Pullyn, creative director for Matrix New Zealand 

“Air drying is a great option for thick, coarse hair as it minimizes the volume and frizz that naturally comes with heat styling.  The challenge with having so much hair is getting it fully dry.  To help this, use products like Matrix Style Link Turbo Dryer (even though this product is best with heat styling) as it does help with air drying too.  Do not play with your hair while it air dries as this will only encourage further frizz and unwanted volume. With thick coarse hair being the hardest hair type to style, the haircut is just as important as the product. One without the other is like only having one hand as opposed to two!  In saying that, a fantastic haircut will do wonders for removing unwanted weight and creating a styled shape.”

with Nic Apaapa, Joico expert

“There are lots of ways to enhance waves without using product. Try twisting sections of hair and pinning it into 4-6 sections to your head before going to bed. Random braids undone in the morning can leave a great lived in texture which can look really current when broken down with your fingers. Rags are becoming a favourite for some clients. Wrap you hair from ends down to the roots with a strip of fabric. Once at the scalp tie into a knot or bow to secure. Undo in the morning, shake waves out and voila!”

with Grant Bettjeman

“Air drying fine hair is a very quick process! Place your hair in the shape you want it to be when it is dry. Encourage the hair to lift off the scalp with your fingers. Don’t touch it for at least 15 mins. Fine hair will stick together and look skinny, so after 15 mins or when the hair feels just slightly damp, rub your hair vigorously with your hands to break up the product and expand the volume back into your hair.”