Lucy Adams finds that the right cut and color, plus a little styling know-how, are all you need to transform fine or unruly lengths into shiny, sexy strands…

Description: Model: Akira Schϋttler

Model: Akira Schϋttler

You have: curly hair

Define your kinks with careful cut and color techniques

Description: Model: Jennifer Lopez

Model: Jennifer Lopez


The trick to mastering curls is to banish bulk with the right cutting techniques. To prevent your strands from looking dense, “ask your hairdresser to take weight out of lengths while keeping movement at the ends”, suggests John Frieda Australian consultant Rober Maiolo. This will help to encourage definition and boost your natural bounce. It’s also best to avoid styles that require too much blow-drying, which will dehydrate your hair. Instead, select a style that will complement your curls. While this may mean avoiding angular cuts or short styles, it will result in more controllable waves.


“Color can be used to define your curls – the more tones you use, the more defined the curl will be,” explains Belinda Jeffrey, Nice ‘n Easy color ambassador. Rather than opting for dark shades, which can make your kinks appear heavy, consider lightening your lengths a little. Try a lighter color near your roots only, or experiment with a few face-framing foils to give your strands a sun-kissed look. Avoid all-over bleaching at all costs, warns Jeffrey – as your hair type is already naturally dry, it will increase dehydration, making it prone to breakage and frizz.


Using a wide-toothed comb, distribute a curl-enhancing product through damp hair and then twist to add shape. Invest in a diffuser for your hairdryer – an essential tool for creating perfect curls – and gently place small sections of your hair inside the diffuser while you blast, leaving them to dry. Repeat the process all over your head until your curls are dry. Finish by smoothing a few drops of serum through your strands to keep them frizz-free and shiny.

Your toolkit

Wash: Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair Conditioner, $6.50; John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Shampoo, $16.

Hydrate: RPR My Vitaliser Leave-in Moisturizer, $19.95; Gernier Fructics Sleek Shine Smoothing Fortifying Mask, $7.95.

Calm: QV Hair Control Serum, $12.95; Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Mousse, $6.99.

You have: wavy hair

Transform your unruly lengths into a lustrous, frizz-free style



Description: Wavy hair - Adriana Lima

Model: Adriana Lima


“Texture is the secret to managing wavy hair,” explains Maiolo. He recommends choosing shoulder-length to long styles and subtle layering to increase manageability and movement. It’s also a good idea to avoid short, blunt cuts to prevent the “pyramid” effect – where your hair is flat on top and bulky at the ends. If your strands are thick, consider removing weight from your mid lengths to ends. “The aim is to break up wavy tresses, and to work with the natural texture and encourage movement,” says Maiolo. And unless you’re prepared to blow-dry your hair daily, stay away from fringes and sharp layers.


Exaggerate your movement with subtle shade shifts. Avoid significant color changes, which can make your strands more prone to frizz and fly-aways. To define your waves and boost shine, Jeffrey advises staying as close as possible to your natural hue and experimenting with three to four different tones of the same color. Or consider balayage – a technique focusing on lightening the mid lengths and ends to help enhance your natural movement.


To master that “I’ m not trying” look, begin by adding a styling mousse or spray to damp hair before roughly blow-drying. If your lengths are quite wavy, simply apply a sea salt spray, scrunch and go. Or if you’d prefer a more defined look, wind small sections around a curling tong at random before raking your fingers through your hair to break up the style. To prevent frizz, rub a few drops of serum or smoothing cream between your palms and apply sparingly from roots to ends.

Your toolkit

Cleanse: L’Oréal Paris hair Expertise EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo, $12.95; Palmolive Naturals Sleek & Smooth Frizzy Hair Conditioner, $5.

Style: Salon Only Sea Salt Spray, $22.

Smooth: TRESemmé Smooth & Soft Soothing Crème, $7.95.

You have: straight hair

Show off your smooth style with these insider tips

Description: Model: Coco Rocha

Model: Coco Rocha


“If you have straight, thick hair, you can experiment with a number of styles,” points out Maiolo. However, if you have fine hair, “the right cut is key to making it appear fuller”. He suggests a blunt finish that skims your collar-bone, such as a bob or shoulder-length crop. Care needs to be taken with layering, though. When cut correctly, layers give your style movement and versatility, but “if you start to chop into fine hair too much, it starts to look wispy”, warns Maiolo. If you’re after volume, keep your layers long to enhance movement and texture. And don’t be afraid to try a fringe – it will draw attention to your eyes and add fullness to your roots.


“It’s always better to go for an overall color when it comes to straight hair,” explains Jeffrey. Solid blondes, rich reds and glossy browns are a simple way to show off smooth, shiny strands. However, if your hair is very fine, she recommends asking for a subtle mix of highlights or lowlights to help create the illusion of depth by building texture. But be sure to ask for a fine weave, and avoid going more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural hue for the most authentic and even result.


After a straight ’do with movement? The trick: ditch your flat irons – they can make your hair look lifeless and limp. Begin by applying a volumising cream or mousse to damp strands, then divide your lengths down the center. Starting at the crown of your head, take small sections of hair and wrap them around a round brush while your blow-dry, pulling down firmly from the roots to the ends and directing the nozzle of your dryer down the hair shaft to help boost shine. Continue until all your strands are smoothed, then finish with a mist of hairspray to set your style.

Your toolkit

Clean: Sunsilk Co-Creations by Yuko Yamashita Straight Perfection Conditioner, $4.95; Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Shampoo, $8.

Care: Indola Innova Hydrate Bi-Phase Conditoner, $17.95.

Boost: VO5 Styling Lacquer Hairspray, $4.50; Cedel Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair, $8, Schwarzkopf Extra Care Push-Up Volume Lotion, $8.

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