How to Embrace Your Natural Hair Texture, According to Five Fave Stylists

Your natural hair texture is your prettiest, healthiest look. Five stylists prove it here.

natural hair

These New York City hair whizzes know every trick in the book for transforming strands, but when it comes to their own, they go natural — no crazy hot tools or chemical treatments. Why should you consider following their lead? Because doing less can get you more shine, volume, and personality. Use their tips and product recs to embrace your tight curls, gray streaks, and anything else the hair gods gave you.

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Piles of Curls

Amanda Troisi, stylist at the Julien Farel Salon 

"Growing up, I wanted to fit in, but now I realize my hair is quite unique. These big curls are what make me…me." 

Pump Up the Volume: Got curls? The next time you go in for a trim, Amanda recommends asking your stylist to snip when your hair is dry. "She'll have a better idea of its true shape, and you'll get a more flattering cut," she says. Post-shower, Amanda grabs 1-inch sections of hair at the front, and using metal clips inserted vertically, pins them up to lift her hair at the roots while it air-dries. If her strands get droopy, she mists them with water, adds a bit of leave-in conditioner, and scrunches her curls back to life. 

What Amanda Uses: Giovanni Direct Leave-In Weightless Moisture Conditioner ($9, amazon.com), Renpure Black Label Coconut Whipped Crème Leave-In Conditioner ($8, amazon.com), Julien Farel Hydrate Shampoo ($25, julienfarel.com)

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Silvery Smooth

Mayumi Honda, stylist at John Sahag Workshop

 "I used to color my hair, but I got tired of the maintenance. I wanted to be more organic and natural, which is very true to my personality."  

Increase Shine: Mayumi washes with a hydrating shampoo and follows up with an argan oil-rich conditioner. After air-drying most of the way, she touches up her hair with a warm blow-dryer for a few minutes, pointing the nozzle downward. "Any broken or shorter pieces will lay flat so they reflect the light." Her advice for keeping silver streaks glossy: "Go easy with styling products; using too much can make gray hair look dirty. I mix shine drops with a cream." 

What Mayumi Uses: John Sahag Revitalizing Drops ($14, amazon.com), Pantene Smooth & Sleek Conditioner ($5, amazon.com), It's a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Product ($18, amazon.com)

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Twisty Coils

Whitney Green, stylist at Warren Tricomi Salon

"Some days, styling my hair is like taming a wild beast; on others, it complies like a sweet little kitten. I love the texture, even when it's being difficult."

Work That Shape: Whitney's advice to all women with bendy hair: "Mix your styling gel, cream, or mousse with a serum until you find the exact right cocktail for your curls." Work it through wet hair, then make friends with the diffuser attachment on your blow-dryer. It will distribute heat evenly to protect delicate strands. Also, any stylist who wants to tackle your texture should know how to slice, angle the layers down, and cut at the end of each curl. "Seriously, quiz them on these phrases before you let them touch your hair," she says. 

What Whitney Uses: Carol's Daughter Hair Milk Nourishing and Conditioning Styling Foam ($12, carolsdaughter.com), Kérastase Paris Elixir Ultime Original Oil ($58, kerastase-usa.com), Milbon Moisture Collection Weightless Replenishing Mist ($24, milbon-usa.com)

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Casual Crop

Miranda Shaffer, colorist at Adel Atelier 

"When I wear my hair a little messy, it makes it look like I have more than I actually do. Plus, it's just so much easier to style."

Coax Out Flattering Fullness: Miranda swears by coconut or olive oil, applied to her fine-ish hair before shampooing. "The oil protects against the drying effects of shampoo without weighing my strands down," she says. She also waits a bit to style after showering. "Allowing hair to air-dry part of the way lets you get texture without frizz." Miranda works a lightweight cream into her hair, then dips her fingertips into a flexible wax to create wispiness at the ends, playing up the angles of her pixie cut so the every-which-way texture of her hair works. 

What Miranda Uses: Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue ($69, shuuemuraartofhair.com), Adel Atelier Flex Paste ($25, adelatelier.com), John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch-Up Crème ($6.50, amazon.com

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Easygoing Waves

Kattia Solano, owner of Butterfly Studio Salon 

"I love my thick, wavy hair because it's always just a little bit different when I wake up than it was the day before. It keeps things playful." 

Add In Moisture: Kattia shampoos with a cleansing conditioner to keep her waves from drying out. Come styling time, she uses a pomade. "Melt it with your fingertips, and then twist it onto the ends for definition," she says. And even when Kattia uses her blow-dryer, she doesn't scorch her hair straight. "The beauty of wavy hair is that it looks effortless, and should be," she says. "To play that up, I spritz on a beach spray."

What Kattia Uses: Kérastase Paris Discipline Cleansing Conditioner Curl Idéal ($48, kerastase-usa.com), American Crew Pomade ($18, amazon.com), Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray ($39, amazon.com)

This story originally appeared in the January/February 2017 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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