Get expert tips on how hair clips, certain cutting techniques, and even a paper towel can create perfect curls! By Dori Fern

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Curly Hair Care Guide
Expert tips for the perfect curls!
Lauren Dobkin, AOL

A Curly Girl Guide to Loving Your Locks

    For years our author overdosed on products, potions and processes all meant to rid her coils of frizz and poof. That is, until Lorraine Massey, Devachan Salon co-owner and co-author of 'Curly Girl: A Celebration of Curls,' shared these amazingly simple less-is-more tips to getting smooth curls every time. Want to know the best way to cut curls, or how to use a paper towel to dry hair perfectly? Just read on!

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL

    Paper Towel Tricks

    Using a regular towel to dry hair will remove too much of the products you put on. Instead, use paper towels or an old T-shirt to gently squeeze out excess water.

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL

    Keep Frizz At Bay

    If you use gel for hold, try this trick: spread gel onto a paper towel, then let it soak solely into the top of your hair, where the frizzies tend to rear their ugly, um, hairs. Massey says this method is a favorite among her teenage clients. Tip: Massey advises refrigerating gel in the summer. The cold seals the hair.

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL

    Cut Curls When They're Dry

    Massey prefers to cut hair dry, so that each lock can be ''shorn as it's worn.'' She believes this technique works best for straight and wavy hair as well.

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL

    Avoid "Curl-Killing" Products

    Lorraine believes the number one curl-killer is conventional shampoo. Harsh on scalp and hair, she says most dry-haired curly girls can scrub their scalp with just conditioner and water to cleanse. To get rid of sweat or chlorine, use DevaCurl's mild No-Poo Cleanser or simply mix one-half lemon in with conditioner. Make sure to apply conditioner liberally, coating your curls with at least a golf ball size of product depending on your hair's length and texture. I use DevaCurl's One Condition.

    Preserve Your Curl Pattern

    Rub conditioner between your palms, then gently run your fingers through your hair from the root -- but not touching your scalp -- out to the ends. (At home I do this with my head upside-down), Make sure every strand is well-coated. Another no-no is combing or brushing, which breaks the curl patterns.

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL

    For Faster Drying, Separate Your Hair

    To give the top of your hair room to dry and additional definition, get some flat clips, take small sections of hair and clip to lift at the root. Another trick is to clip the underneath curl at the bottom to give it some length as it dries.

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL

    Dry With Gentle Heat

    The neat thing about the DevaSun Dryer DevaFuser is that its ergonomic design gets heat right up into the root of the hair to seal and dry -- but at $185, it's not cheap. I just use a $10 diffusing "sock" over the end of my blowdryer on the rare occasions when I don't air dry. Remember, whether you sit under a salon dryer, use a diffuser or air dry, keep your hands off your curls until they're dry. "Blow-frying" -- the full-on blast from a blow-dryer -- is deadly to curls, Lorraine warns.

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL

    Loosen Up

    Once your hair's dry, loosen up the curl. Turn your head upside down -- remember: no flipping -- and gently agitate the hair at its root.

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL

    Voila!

    Your curls should fall into their naturally beautiful place.

    Lauren Dobkin, AOL