5 easy steps to transforming kinky curls into soft waves

Though I came to terms with my crazy ringlets years ago, I have never stopped wishing I had sleek, shiny, more "grown up" hair. Of course I knew I could straighten it, but that just never looked good on me, even when I had a professional at a salon doing it with a high-quality straightener. My hair still looked frizzy and, frankly, blah. I became obsessed with getting rid of these ringlets, and I bought a straightener called "Wet2Straight," which was a horrible idea. All I managed to do was singe my hair. Finally, I figured out a system, and as long as I'm willing to spend an hour or so a few times a week, I can transform my ringlets into soft, shiny waves. Here's how I do it.

Step 1: Wash, Condition, and Prep

Obviously, I have to start with wet hair, or everything would just be completely frizzy. So I wash and condition with a high quality product, gently comb out any snarls, and apply a curl crème (I use "Strictly Curls-Curl Envy" by Marc Anthony, which can be found at any CVS or Walgreens. Most people would say to use a straightening balm, but my hair hates that stuff and just frizzes instead.

Step 2: Spend 40 Minutes With a Dryer and A Brush

This is my least favorite part, and this is also why I don't maintain my favorite hair style consistently. I pin my hair up into sections, and starting with the underneath I blow dry small sections while using a large boar bristle round brush. I work my way through all of my hair in this manner, and generally I emerge with straight-ish hair with a good bit of volume (the round brush is key).

Step 3: Hot Rollers

Call me crazy, but I actually like this step. I use about five or six hot rollers on each side of my head, and a helpful trick here is to twist the hair 180 degrees right at the root when you clamp the curler on. It adds volume, and the curlers aren't flopping down and leaving a weird kink at the root.

Step 4: Style

My very favorite styling product that I can't live without when I do my hair this way is John Frieda's Secret Weapon Finishing Crème. Once I remove the hot rollers, I flip my head upside down, rub a nickel sized portion of this crème into my hands, and distribute it evenly from the roots to the tip, finger combing the curls as I go. Then I flip my head back up, shake it out, and style as desired after that. I finish with a few drops of Redken "glass 01 smoothing serum" and then a healthy spray of Kenra's super hold finishing spray.

Step 5: Enjoy

I can manage to make this style last about four days before I have to wash my hair again. I simply use a dry shampoo every other day and put my hair in a sock bun at night to preserve the smooth style. Sometimes I don't even have to use hot rollers the next morning; I can just add a small portion of Secret Weapon and go.

I love having the option to style my hair in a different way, and I really feel wonderful about how I look. It's fun to experiment, but I don't enjoy the extra prep time twice or three times a week. However, if I can tame my curls, I'm sure it can be done by anyone.

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