How to Style Your Curly Hair Without Drowning in a Sea of Frizz

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I was in the midst of extricating half a broken tortilla chip from a bowl of guacamole at a Mexican restaurant last Saturday when my friend asked me, “How did you get your hair to look like that?”

I fingered one of my freshly air-dried curls. “What do you mean?” I asked. “You’ve seen my hair curly before.”

“Yeah, but…” she hesitated. “Isn’t it usually frizzier?”

I had to laugh. One of the trickiest things about my naturally curly hair is not being able to predict how it will look. Sometimes I wake up with perfect squiggles, other days I’m confronted with Medusa-like snakes or an explosion of frizz. There are so many uncontrollable variables — weather, movement, the angle of my head when I sleep, Brad Pitt’s mood, etc. I manage it as best as I can with a healthy pump of DevaCurl styling cream (the only product that’s ever successfully tamed my frizz) right after washing, but after that it’s sort of a choose-your-own adventure situation, and I’m not the one choosing the adventure. My hair is.

That’s why in terms of “styling,” I always just leave it down when I’m wearing it curly. No fuss, no muss. It’s the safest option. With straight hair, you can mess around with it and still return to a clean slate if you don’t end up liking the result, but with curly hair, any touching inevitably exacerbates the frizz or upsets the curl pattern. It’s risky.

Leaving my hair down every day isn’t much fun though. It feels pretty limiting. I want options — foolproof curly-hair styles I can factor into my rotation. So I reached out to DevaCurl, the brand responsible for my favorite curly-hair products, and asked for help.

Two days later, I was sitting in a chair at Man Repeller HQ experiencing delightful ASMR chills at the hands of Eladia LeBron, DevaCurl stylist extraordinaire. She kindly demonstrated two curly hairstyles (a fancy “night-time” one on me, and a QT pie “daytime” one on Erica). They’re both so easy you can do them at home in just four steps, potentially with your eyes closed, but I have yet to attempt that myself. In the meantime, watch and learn, fellow curly whirlies:

The style: Fancy schmancy fishtail bun
Recommended for: Wavy to curly hair

1. Mist the hair with water, then slick it back using a soft bristle brush and a light pomade (Eladia used DevaCurl’s Beautiful Mess Sculpting Pomade).

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2. Secure the hair into a ponytail with a soft elastic and divide into four sections.

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3. Create a fishtail braid with each section, securing at the end with a small rubber band. Holding the ends of the fishtail, gently push the braid up towards the root to condense it and make it look extra textured.


4. Wrap the braids around the base of the ponytail, securing with bobby pins to create a bun and teasing the ends of the braids to even out the shape if necessary.

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The style: Casual twisted pony
Recommended for: Curly to super curly hair

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1. Start with dry, defined curls. Section out the hair above the ear to the nape of the neck at both sides.

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2. Wet and slick down the remaining middle section, securing in place with a styling cream (Eladia used DevaCurl’s Wave Maker Touchable Texture Whip).

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3. Take the left section, and starting at the root, twist the hair up and in, working your way down until the entire section is twisted. Secure with bobby pins and repeat on the other side.


4. Take a loose curl from the bottom center section, and wrap it around all of your hair, including the twists, to create a ponytail. Secure in place with a pin.



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Special thanks to DevaCurl and Devachan stylist Eladia LeBron. 

Photo by Edith Young.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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