L.A.-based hairstylist Larry Sims has worked his magic on celebs like Tyra Banks, Queen Latifah, and Gabrielle Union, and now he’s here to help you. He just launched a sweet-smelling, new line of products made specifically for curls. The Smooth 'N Shine collection includes a hydrating shampoo that gets rid of buildup, a deep conditioning gel for coarse textures, a gel, and a refreshing mist that adds softness and moisture to all hair types. But gorgeous strands don’t come from products alone — you have to handle your curls right. So Sims shares what he thinks every curly girl should know, ahead. Photo Credit: Mark Iantosca; Model: Christina Cardona.
Take a break from your bun: “A lot of girls with curls air-dry their hair when it’s in a bun. But if you constantly pull your hair tight, it'll eventually break. Wearing a tight bun too often can also cause thinning along the hairline and in the area where you always position the bun. You should switch up the placement, and do a looser bun," he says. Sims also suggests tying your bun with an elastic band that has a hook since they don't snag the hair.
Ease up on heat: “One big mistake curly-haired girls make is that they put too much heat on their hair when they’re going from curly to straight. It damages the cuticle and then they can’t get their natural curl back because they’ve basically cooked it," says Sims. "What I’ve learned as a hairstylist is that it’s not about the amount of heat you put on your hair, it’s about the technique that you use." He suggests blow drying, using a Denman brush that stretches the cuticle and pulls it straight. If you do a proper blow dry, you won’t have to use as much heat when you go over it with a flat iron. "But I’ll admit it takes a lot of practice," he says.
Detangle the right way: "Take the time to brush your hair properly and get rid of knots. Apply a conditioner before you brush through your hair in the shower, or you could use a moisturizing shampoo, like Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Frothie Shampoo. Then use a vented paddle brush to detangle. Just graze the ends of your hair and work your way up. I think when people use a comb, they tend to rake it downward [from the middle], which is stressful on the hair.”
Play with your texture: “If you have super-tight, springy curls and you want to elongate them, try Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Gelle Parfait. Apply the product to damp hair, do a double strand twist then let it air dry. When you take out the twists, you’ll get a beautiful texture.”
Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Frothie Shampoo, $12.88, available at Texas Beauty Supplies; Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Curl-Licious Mist, $12.88, available at Texas Beauty Supplies; Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Gelle Parfait, $14.88, available at Texas Beauty Supplies; Smooth ‘N Shine Go Pro Curls Butter Bouncin Gel, $14.88, available at Texas Beauty Supplies.