Curly Cues: 10 Style Tips for Curly-Haired Ladies

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Curly Cues: 10 Style Tips for Curly-Haired Ladies
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Good news for all you curly girls out there: the days of fussing and fighting to control your curls are in the past! Whether your hair is long, short, wavy or super curly, all it takes is a few simple steps to maintain, control and style those beautiful curls. From keeping hair healthy and eliminating frizz to finding the perfect cut and creating an updo, these tips will have your curls looking glamorous and gorgeous in no time.

Say Hello to Healthy Hair
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Say Hello to Healthy Hair

The most essential key to having fabulous curls is keeping them healthy. Use moisturizing and conditioning masks, and wash hair only two to three times a week, says Sharon McReynolds, co-owner of Sharon Daniel Salon in Schaumburg, Illinois, who's also been a stylist for television commercials and runway shows. Shampooing too often can eliminate the natural moisture needed to maintain curls as beautiful as singer Alicia Keys', seen here at a "Gotham" magazine event in New York City.

Kick Frizz to the Curb
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Kick Frizz to the Curb

If there's one complaint every curly-haired girl has, it's about frizz. To keep your hair from looking like a lion's mane, pat wet hair with an old T-shirt — a towel simply produces frizz — to remove moisture after washing, advises Gregory Alan, celebrity hair stylist who has worked with stars like Dianna Agron. Next, toss on an anti-frizz product, like a conditioning gel or serum, to keep hair looking as flawless as actress Marissa Jaret Winokur's, shown here at an event in New York City.

Turn Down the Heat
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Turn Down the Heat

To keep hair healthy while also eliminating frizz, put down the hair dryer! Alan suggests air-drying hair with a leave-in conditioner for the best look. But If you've got long locks like model Camila McConaughey — seen here at a "NYLON" magazine event in Santa Monica, California — that take forever to dry, use a diffuser on a low-heat setting. "A diffuser will also get you an airy and light look to your curls," Alan says, "but be careful not to use too much heat."

Turn Up the Volume
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Turn Up the Volume

Don't all curly girls want a voluminous, va-va-voom look, like the one Beyonce's rocking here at the 2012 BET Awards? McReynolds suggests starting with a root-boosting product to get volume at your scalp. Next, gather small sections of hair at the top of your head and create pin curls, securing with bobby pins, Alan says. "Use a diffuser to dry," he adds. "This will make sure your hair will keep volume and not look flat."

Wow 'Em With Waves
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Wow 'Em With Waves

For a relaxed but smokin'-hot style, messy "beach" waves — like the ones singer Shakira is sporting at the 2010 European Music Awards — are a total knockout. They're also one of the simplest styles to achieve. While hair is wet, Alan says, spritz and scrunch hair with a salt spray, then let hair air dry. With hardly any effort, you'll "look as if you spent a day at the beach," he says.

Go for Old-School Glamour
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Go for Old-School Glamour

Want an envious but elegant style for your curly hair? Kinky waves like Taylor Swift's, seen here at the 2009 BMI Country Awards, are just the trick. To achieve the look, McReynolds suggests using a curling wand, a clip-less curling iron that makes it simpler to get spiral or kinky curls. Try wrapping small sections of hair around the wand, hold for 10 seconds and then release. Finally, set the style with a light and flexible hairspray, Alan says.

Opt for Au Natural
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Opt for Au Natural

Soft, natural curls — like the style actress Rachelle Lefevre is donning here at a fundraiser in Santa Monica — can be a great option for those days when you want to give off a romantic, effortless vibe. For ladies with naturally curly hair, all it takes is a "soft hold with moisture," McReynolds says, adding that a mix of leave-in conditioner and hair glaze, which gives hair a natural shine, will do the trick.

Choose the Perfect Cut
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Choose the Perfect Cut

Though Alan says curly, textured hair works best with long layers — short layers can create a wide, boxy look — curls can work with short hair, too. "Short, cropped styles are becoming more and more trendy," McReynolds says, and celebs like model and actress Lily Cole, shown here at the 2012 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Berlin, are proving it. For your best cut, "consult with your stylist about your face shape, lifestyle, and look you are trying to achieve," she suggests.

Experiment with Updos
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Experiment with Updos

Take a peek at any runway or red carpet and you'll see tons of models and celebrities rocking curly-haired updos. These styles lend a natural air of elegance and sophistication, and even the simplest updos — like actress AnnaLynne McCord's at a CW event in Beverly Hills, California — look great with curls. "I adore updos with natural curls and love to accent a few locks with a curling wand for added definition," McReynolds says.

Keep It Casual
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Keep It Casual

Even if you aren't walking down a red carpet or attending black-tie events, updos look amazing for women with curly hair. For an everyday updo, go casual by leaving your curls and hair style loose, like actress Vanessa Hudgens does here at a "Variety" event in Hollywood. You can also play with wraps, barrettes and headbands to keep curls under control, Alan suggests.

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