In Seattle, WA, Beatrice Basnight is known as the go-to hair stylist for men and women with every kind of curly, kinky, unmanageable hair (Allure Magazine rates her as one of the 'best of the best').
In person, she is incredibly genial and supportive to folks living with this kind of demanding hair, since she lives the challenges herself. She may actually set some kind of record for the massive amount of curls she has personally corralled in her lifetime.
Off-hours, though, Basnight is a little less sympathetic and a little more frustrated. She feels her clients don’t always listen to her basic advice about living with curls, and so keep coming back with the same issues of frizziness and displeasure over and over again. “All people have unrealistic expectations from their hair,” she says. “But curly-haired folk are some of the worst.” And “no one wants to spend time on their hair. No one wants to be thought of as fussy and high-maintenance.”
But she has rules and requirements. Here they are:
1) Stop shampooing so much — Wash about ¼ as often as you normally do. Get a great shampoo and use it sparingly. Afterwords, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse. “Overall your hair will be less frizzy, less dry, and less flyway if you stop over-washing. You’ll have a better medium to build upon.”
2) Treat your hair like a Chanel silk blouse, not like a dirty t-shirt. After you wash and condition, use a wide tooth comb to gently work through a leave-in product (conditioner, oil, pomade) covering every strand. (Throw away all your hairbrushes, she says. Unless they are wide-toothed.) After that, finger-comb your hair gently to help “your natural curl-friends find each other.” Then let the hair fall where it may. Once it’s fully hydrated, let it air-dry or sit under a hood dryer (only).
3) After your hair has fully dried, gently scrunch the curls to break up any crispness that’s formed from the products. “Not a hard ‘80s scrunching,” she says, “just a soft, gentle crunching.”
4) Between shampoos, use a conditioning spray to keep down the flyaway bits and bring spring back to your curls. But DO NOT expect it to look exactly that same as the day before.
“The only consistent thing about curly hair is that it’s inconsistent. You will not have the same exact hairdo for two consecutive days of your life. Curly hair requires letting go and embracing the adventure.”