The Reflect Beauty Award season is in full swing!  It’s a first-of-its-kind celebration honoring the best in makeup, haircare, and skincare products that meet the unique beauty needs of multicultural women. This week: haircare! 

By “Curly”Nikki Walton 

I love me some big hair.  Like block-your-whole-view, disrespect-your-personal-space. ‘is that really all your hair?’ big hair.  But, alas, I wasn’t blessed with those genes.  So, over the years, I’ve learned not only to love the hair I’m in but also how to occasionally create one heck of an optical illusion! To achieve the voluminous looks I crave, I stretch my hair with a blow dryer, use small amounts of my favorite styler, and/or reach for the hair rollers.  Let me explain:

Stretch It

Sometimes, if I have something incredibly important to do and I need BIG hurr fast, I’ll use heat to get the job done.  I simply ‘stretch’ my just styled twist-out with the air concentrator attachment of my blow dryer. I do this by grabbing large sections of my dry, styled curls and angling the blow dryer down the hair shaft (up by the roots). I apply a light, oil-based heat-protection spray as I go, with the entire process taking about 2 minutes.  This relaxes the curl just a little and frizzes things up just right, creating massive volume and added length. However, if you have the time (and the desire to avoid heat damage), a 30-minute pineapple (gathering all of your hair loosely at the top of your head in a scrunchie) works even better!  You’ll get great stretch at the root and, when the hair falls, it’ll have a lot of bounce and life. 

Find a Fave Styler and Go Easy  

I used to be as heavy-handed with my stylers, as I am (and continue to be) with my conditioner.  Sometimes, I’d even layer multiple stylers at a time, wondering why I ended up with ramen noodle curls: very stringy, very hard, and very see-through. For a softer, fuller look, I started using less styling cream– with amazing results!  Now I apply only a very small amount of my favorite product (usually a liquid leave-in conditioner or a light, cream-based one) on damp (never soaking wet) hair.  This is incredibly important. After jumping out of the shower, and wringing my hair, I tie it in a t-shirt as I go about my morning rituals. About 15 minutes later, I remove the t-shirt, to reveal barely damp, naked hair. I then apply my light-weight styler in sections as I twist my hair.  The results are a little less definition — but a whole lot more volume and length. My hair also dries MUCH faster! 

Roll It  and/or Swoop It 

One of my signature styles for the last 10 years has been the Twist-n-Curl.  I simply two-strand or flat-twist my damp hair and roll the ends on flexi or perm rods.  Rolling the ends of your twists brings all of the length up to the same height, which gives the illusion of bluntness and volume!  The curls on the ends also add a lot of bulk and movement, so it’s truly a winAlternatively, or sometimes in addition to rolling the ends, I’ll swoop all of my hair over to one side (think Prince and the Revolution), securing it with bobby pins. This gives amazing volume (albeit on one side) and a little edge to my style.  

Check out the videos below to see how @ulovemegz and @Jessicapettway achieve their biggest hair.  Spoiler: Jessica employs one of my favorite special-occasion techniques of styling on blown-out hair, laying them edges with the Reflect Beauty Award-winning Kiss Colors and Care – Edge Control.  A twist-out on blown-out hair will give you all the Tracee Ellis Ross feels!

Next, watch Megz prep her curls for the perfect twist-out using the Reflect Beauty Award-winning Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo and Cantu Argan Oil Leave in Conditioning Repair Cream. After drying her twists, releasing and fluffing, she clips in some very realistic-looking textured hair to give her an awesome and absolutely believable increase in volume and length!

 

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