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How to Make Fine, Curly Hair Look More Polished

The right cut and the right products.
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Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Bill Angst, follow the instructions here.

Q: I have fine, curly hair and getting my hair cut or styled is always a challenge. I used to have long hair and I thought I looked best then, although my hair wasn't at its healthiest. Then I cut my hair very short and I have been struggling to grow it back. 

Jessica wants a more polished-looking hairstyle for her fine, curly hair.

It is often dry with lots of frizz, especially on humid days. Even straightening it doesn't last, and the frizz comes back. I also don't have much hair to work with.

I am looking for advice on a few different fronts: how to grow my hair back, a haircut that would suit me best and different ways to style it. I have a very public profession and I don't feel I look the part. I sincerely appreciate your help! — Jessica

A: Jessica, your request to look more polished for your career is the agenda today. 

My recommendation is to cut your hair above your shoulders, keeping as much weight at the ends as possible. This will help avoid your shoulders separating it and making your hair look thin. The long layers should be done gingerly so your curls do not clump up.

Charlize Theron at the 2011 New York premiere of 'Young Adult.'

There are so many new products now for curly hair. I especially like the new mousse products for your roots. This will help create a foundation for your styling.

On the ends, a creamy, moist product would be best to help separate the curls. I would load up on your product and scrunch-dry your hair as big as you can get it. 

Instead of straightening your hair, why not polish it up with a curling iron or a wand? Smooth the top of your hair with your tool of choice and shape the ends into soft curls.

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Charlize Theron at TimesTalks in 2011.

In the case of humidity, you will have a head start with this style. A little frizz could add character instead of ruining your 'do. 

Maggie Gyllenhaal at the 2010 premiere of 'Nanny McPhee Returns.'

There are anti-humectant products that really help with moisture as well. You must spray it throughout your hair and not just on the outer shell of your style—all the hair needs a coating to really work.

For your colour, I would suggest a two-step process such as highlights first (like the ones you have) and second, a rinse to create a more tone-on-tone effect. Curly hair usually doesn't reflect light the way straight hair does, so the thin light highlights on curly, dark hair seem ropey. A rinse will fill in the cuticle to add shine and blend the highlights so it looks more natural.

These three photos reflect the curling possibilities at different lengths for you.

Charlize Theron's wavy bob.

Curly brown hair.

Curly shoulder-length blonde hair.

Once you become accustomed to adding the curling to your regimen, you will find shortcuts in the morning, such as not having to wash it as much. A little help from your magic wand and presto, you are good to go. 


Bill Angst is one of Canada’s top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Angst Salon at 240 Queen Street East in Toronto. Call 416-360-5942 to book an appointment.

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