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How to turn curly hair into soft waves

Erica Mayyasi is a Red Sox fan in Manhattan. After stints at various magazines she now works full-time in public relations, though she continues to write for a number of sites including her blog etsymay.blogspot.com.

Relaxing spirals

When you've got curly hair, it may seem that your only options lie on the two extremes: wear it natural in all its ringlet glory or fry it pin straight. Not so! It may take a little more finesse, however soft waves are well within your reach.

Products

Those straightening shampoos and conditioners that you see advertised all over the place aren't an intense Japanese straightening treatment in an inexpensive bottle; they won't magically transform your super curly q locks into flat-ironed straight, however they will help to relax your tightly-wound spirals. Sunsilk Straight to Perfection and Pantene Pro-V Extra Straight are two great options that are budget-friendly to boot. As tempting as it can be to fill your bathroom with products from a variety of brands, using one line of products exclusively can be a boon as many lines have products that need to work together to achieve the maximum desired results. As an added bonus, straightening products will also help to fight frizz.

 

Flat irons

The flat iron you usually use to get your hair, well, flat, can also be a great tool for creating waves. This is particularly true if you've got a flat iron with adjustable heat settings. If you do, put it on one of the lowest heat settings and then go over your hair lightly with it, always releasing before you reach the ends of your hair. If you get to the ends of your strands, you'll fry them, which will only look okay if all of your hair is pin straight so when going for waves this is definitely something to avoid. Go over your bottom layer of hair with your flat iron slightly more than the top layer. Since these bottom layer strands are naturally shorter, they tend to curl more so they're the ones that need the most relaxing.

 

Velcro rollers

While they do require a certain investment of both time and effort, velcro rollers seem like more work than they actually are and they achieve fantastic results. Check out eHow.com for step-by-step instructions on how to use velcro rollers for all different effects. For creating waves as opposed to curls, you should use wide-barreled rollers. Rollers are also a fantastic way to achieve waves with volume. For an additional boost of volume, try in colmbination with a voluminizing spray. We love celebrity stylist Robert Ramos' RR Robert Ramos Volumizer because it's alcohol-free, so it doesn't dry out your roots or leave hair feeling stiff.

 

Quick fix: hair ties

Are you trying to tame some of your curl factor down but only have t-minus five seconds to make that desire a go? Whether your hair is sopping wet, a bit damp or completely dry, if you put it all up in a tight pony tail for a few minutes, it will pull on the top parts of your strands, relaxing the degree of curl there. If you do this, however, make sure you that don't leave your hair up in the pony tail for too long - if you do, then you'll end up with a nasty and noticeable pony tail bump that will take hours to fade.

 

Need more hair tips & tricks?

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