Search Results: Alicia Ward

4 Tips for a Perfect Blow-Out
Lady with curly bob hair style

Curly hair is beautiful in it’s natural state. We love to see woman embrace their natural curls, coils and waves. However, we know everyone likes options and variety. No one person can eat the same lunch everyday for their entire life just like no one curly can wear her hair the same her whole life. Blow-outs are a great way to change up your look and help you understand the length and health of your hair. When a blow-out is done correctly, it can leave your hair without extra damage or dryness. Going to a salon is a great option for a blow-out since a stylist has the professional knowledge on how to care for and manage your hair. Here are four tips to achieve the perfect blow-out at home or in the salon.

1. Start Clean and Detangled!

You should always start fresh and clean for a smooth blow-out. When selecting a cleanser, pick one that has smoothing properties like Matrix Total Results Sleek Shampoo. Choose a conditioner that is very moisturizing and has smoothing and de-frizzing qualities. We recommend the Matrix Total Results Sleek Conditioner.

You will need to do a thorough job of wide-tooth comb detangling before you get started to ensure you get every curl smooth. Before you detangle, be sure to apply a leave-in conditioner. Again, when selecting products for a blow-out, choose products that have a smoothing properties like Matrix Total Results Moisture Cure 2-Phase Leave-In Treatment. Hair should be damp but not dripping wet when you get started. Remember to use a microfiber towel to gently dry your curls before starting which will help reduce frizz and friction.

2. Protect and Separate!

To ensure that your curls are protected from heat damage, apply a heat protectant and smoother. Matrix Total Results Sleek Iron Smoother works to protect and smooth curls for heat styling. To apply this heat protectant, place a dime to quarter size into your hand and distribute it evenly with your hands. Then separate your curls into sections to make the drying more manageable and reduce tangles.

3. Dry: Hot and Cold!

Now it’s time to start drying your hair in sections. Grab the first section and start drying it at the top, aiming your blow dryer downward and moving it from the top of the hair to the ends. Alternate between hot and cold settings on your dryer. It’s best to use a round brush and a dryer with a concentrator nozzle. These are must have tools for a good blow out. Using high heat and a concentrator nozzle to direct the dryer’s airflow, dry hair from root to tip for about 8 seconds, then lock out the frizz by using the cool shot button for 5 seconds. If hair is excessively curly or coily, start by drying hair from mid-shaft to end to minimize styling time.

4. Stop the Frizz!

When you are done drying, dab a pea-sized amount of smoothing oil onto your hands and smooth it into the ends of hair to define and separate your tresses and lock out frizz. Matrix Total Results Silk Wonder Smoothing Oil will smooth frizz and flyaways. Finish your look by applying Matrix Total Results Amplify Volume Flexible Hold Hairspray, a light hold flexible hairspray that will really lock out the frizz.

Get your curls back after your blow out. Deep condition with Matrix Total Results Color Care Intensive Mask to get your moisture and definition back.

Win Big!

Matrix is offering you and your stylist an opportunity to show off you best blow out!

Matrix Curly Girl is challenging six salons to throw down their best blow-out techniques to see whose smooth style reigns supreme. Vote by June 30th, for the salon you think will give our Curly Girl the best & longest lasting blow-out. If your salon wins you will be entered to win one of 50 gift baskets filled with the products the winning salon used on our Curly Girl (a $100 value”>! Get your stylist involved and enter here.

Easy Curly Hairstyles for Summer

Summer Tip

Use shampoos, conditioners and hair styling products that contain sunscreens and nourishing agents to help protect your hair from the summer elements.

We’ve checked in with a veteran hairstylists to get the best curly hairstyles to welcome the summer. The big trend for summer 2011 is natural and loose—great for curlies! Summer curly hair styles can look very glamorous and beautiful with little to no effort. Summer is the season of sitting by the poolside, lying on the beach and being outside more that usual—thus, we need some easy styles to rock this summer.

The hottest hair trends for the summer of 2011 are perfect for curlies—they are messy and loose. Much of this is driven by celebrities who sometimes take inspiration from the fashion trends of yesteryear. Anna Craig of Trashy Root Salon & Spa has the scoop on the hottest trends for summer 2011.

Craig, Pravana Artistic Educator and DevaCurl Specialist, has more than nine years of experience and gives us the lowdown on the latest trends and how to achieve these effortless looks. Here is Craig’s list of some of the newest curly hair styles for the hottest months of the year.

messy hair

Keep it messy!

In fact, the messier the better. You want it to look natural and effortless. Unkempt, loose pieces of curls and waves will help to achieve this.

How to get the look:

  1. Try pulling hair back and twisting it into a bun, sans the help of a rubber band.
  2. Then, using bobby pins, pin the hair in place. The lack of a rubber band will help the hair to look more natural, and keep it messy.
  3. Apply hairspray to keep the look in place and, most of all, keep it very natural — show off those beautiful curls, kinks and waves!

Side everything!

Rock your curls to the side. This summer, side ponies and side buns are in. These looks are very easy to achieve, plus they keep our curls off our neck—perfect for those hot summer months.

How to get the look:

  1. Style your hair as usual or use second day hair. Make sure to apply frizz control products to make this look last.
  2. Pull your curls to the side – right behind your ear.
  3. Smooth down your curls with your hand and loosely pull them into a ponytail. Don’t pull the hair tightly from the root. Instead, leave it slack and keep it loose.
  4. When the ponytail looks right to you, pinch it tightly in place with one hand and then work the elastic band on your wrist over the curls, and secure it tightly so that your ponytail doesn’t flop. We recommend you use a clear rubber band or one that matches your hair color. Another alternative to a rubber band is the Goody Simple Styles Pony Pouf Hair Styling Clip. This is an easy way to get the messy bun look.
  5. Optional: Pull some front and side pieces out to give the look a more glamorous appeal.


Messy-braid those curls for a quick and easy summer look. The messy side-braid is an effortless, boho chic look for this summer.

How to get the look:

  1. Spritz in some curl-enhancing spray and scrunch your hair to enhance your curls
  2. Gather hair to one side and part in three sections
  3. Braid hair loosely and secure it at the bottom.
  4. For a messy effect, pull out some strands and apply a texturizing product, like wax or pomade.
  5. Spray on a finishing hair spray and scrunch up hair again for extra volume.

Silk-wrapped strands

Scarves are the perfect accessory for summer and a great way to protect your hair from the summer heat, which can dry hair out and cause frizz!. Slipping a colorful scarf around your curls is an easy way to glam up simple curly hairstyles this summer.

How to get the look:

  1. Fold a bright scarf several times until it’s about 3 inches wide. Twist the ends. Check out these beautiful Shimmer & Bliss scarves.

  2. Push your curls, kinks and waves back with your hands, then place the scarf 2 to 2.5 inches behind your hairline. Make sure the ends are an even length.

Tip to prevent slipping: Tie the scarf twice at your nape underneath your hair. First, knot it horizontally, then do it again, but this time pull each side of the scarf vertically. This will keep the knot tight and also make the ends lay down evenly.

Celebrity Curls: Nikki McCauley
Nikki McCauley

I’m “the girl with red curly hair.” – Nikki McCauley

Nikki McCauley

Hair Type: 3B with some 3A

Nikki McCauley, the daughter of an Irish Air Force Colonel father and Venezuelan mother, was born in Texas and lived all over the world before settling in Los Angeles to pursue her acting career.

To date, she has had numerous television achievements, including national commercials and spots on such shows as “The Office,” “Veronica Mars” and “Ghost Whisperer.” McCauley is active in the Los Angeles theater scene, and has still managed to find time to get her undergraduate degree in psychology from UCLA.

McCauley was very gracious to talk about her curly red hair with us (and with hair like hers…”>. All that business about actresses being difficult? Not McCauley. Her easy-going manner goes to prove that this star is on the rise.

NaturallyCurly: How and when did you start embracing your curls?

Nikki McCauley: I actually didn’t start growing hair until I was 6 years old! My mom had to tape bows to my little red spikes until then. Little did we know I would grow to have so much hair and that it would be so curly! And, actually my hair didn’t start to get curly until I was 14 and then it just kept getting curlier and curlier. At first I didn’t know how to work with it, but once I started learning how to master the curl, it got to be a lot of fun! And it’s crazy the response I get from it. They’ll be days that I wake up and wish I had straight hair and then I’ll get several adoring comments from strangers throughout the day—and I’ll realize how lucky I am to be blessed with my locks.

NC: What is your current routine?

NM: Over the years I’ve tried out so many products that I can’t even count… but the key has always been over-conditioning my hair and applying the product when my hair is super wet and then letting it dry naturally for a bit before finishing it off by drying it with a diffuser. Not using a towel to dry it after getting out of the shower has always worked well for me. I use different techniques depending on if I want it to be big and wild or tamed with perfect ringlets.

NC: What about your hair stylists?

NM: Finding the right stylist can be tricky… but I’ve found that having it cut while it’s dry is the key. Living in Los Angeles, there are many expert stylists to choose from… but Byron Williams in Beverly Hills might be one of the best cuts I’ve ever had.

NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

NM: I’ve been using Miss Jessie’s Quick Curls lately—and that has really helped on the days that I want my hair to be a bit more weighed down and more “commercial friendly.” I also like Redken’s Ringlet 07 and Iso Bouncy Cream. I use them together and then diffuse. At times that I don’t want to use product and give my hair a bit of a break, I will use Wen’s Fig Cleansing conditioner— and that’s all I have to use. It gives my hair a natural style without product that can be helpful if I’m going to a shoot where they want to put my hair up.

Nikki McCauley and Elisha Cuthbert

Nikki McCauley and Elisha Cuthbert in a still from the pilot for ABC’s “Happy Endings.”

NC: What do you do at night time for your hair?

NM: At night I will apply argon oil to help with the ends, which can be a bit dry and brittle at times, and I’ll put it up in a loose bun to avoid breakage throughout the night.

NC: What is the best thing about being curly?

NM: The best thing about having curly hair is that it’s unique. I’m “the girl with red curly hair.”  It’s also so much fun to try different things out with my hair. I have bangs that are long enough where I will at times wear them down a la Flashdance or put the bangs back for a more bohemian clean and fresh kind of look. Sometimes I will put it up in a high bun and make a little pompadour on the top for that rocker style. Or I’ll put it up in a bun with curly bangs to get a ’50s “I love Lucy” thing happenin’. I can also do a side part finger wave action in the front for a ’20s look that can be nice for those “fancy” times. [Smiles.]

NC: What would you tell others to encouraging them to embrace their curls?

NM: For other gals out there with the curly locks… Experiment! Have fun with your hair! You’re different and beautiful and you should embrace the uniqueness. Don’t always tame the curls—get wild and crazy with them!

NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects.

NM: At the moment I’m working on an art/film project called “Make Your Own Happy” that I’ve created with a friend of mine. We’re currently shooting a short film for the project.  It’s all about embracing happiness in life by using imagination and creativity. I’m really excited about it! You will be able to see the final product in a few weeks at — and my curls will be in full effect, so check it out! I’m also working on a couple of writing projects: a comedy for television and a one woman show piece for the stage.

NC: As a working actress in mainstream Hollywood, I can only imagine the pressures you must experience to keep your hair long and straight. Tell us a little about that.

NM: I do feel the pressure of taming the curls at times and not making my hair “look so big.” But for the most part people have been pretty accepting of my curls. In the past, when I’ve mentioned getting it permanently straightened to my agents, they’ve quickly put the kibosh on it. It’s sort of my signature. It allows me to stand out from the masses of straight haired actors in Los Angeles. I also look like a totally different person with my hair straight… so much so that when I do wear it straight, people I know don’t even recognize me. Which can be fun at times, but only temporarily. [Smiles.]

2011 Hair Styles: Trends from the ABS Hair Show!

Do you know where trends come from or wonder why your stylist is telling you that something is the latest and hottest look? It’s because of events like America’s Beauty Show. America’s Beauty Show is where thousands of salon professionals converge to learn from top industry pros about the latest products and techniques in hair, skin and nails. They then take what they learn and make it available at a salon near you—thus, creating the trends.

This year at America’s Beauty Show there were lots of hot new trends. Below we detail the hottest trends for curlies.

Platinum locks!

Make those dark locks a thing of the past with the new hot trend of platinum curls! Everywhere you looked woman and men were rocking platinum locks. If you want to be bold this season try a shade of platinum to kick your look up a notch.

ABS hair showABS hair showABS hair show

Seeing Red!

Big bold red is very hot this season. The red of this season is a deep almost maroon and looks amazing on olive and dark skin tones – however, those with plate skin can pull it off too! This color will make you stand out and add some serious dimension to your curls.

ABS hair showABS hair showABS hair show

Cut it Short!

Say goodbye to those long layers and hello to short curl bobs! The bob has always been a classic style for curlies but it’s being taken to new extremes this year with fun layers and super short styles. Ready for a big change? Try a super short style today. Short styles allow you to show off your other features and play with accessories.

ABS hair showABS hair showABS hair show

Check out Farouk Systems at ABS: Speed cutting video! This was one of the wildest things we saw at the show. Enjoy!

2011 Oscar Fashion Hits and Misses

Playing Dressup—Big Time!

Scarlett Johansson

Hit: Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

Rear view

Actress Scarlett Johansson wears a lacy Dolce & Gabbana gown. The dress is form fit to her beautiful figure. There is Victorian influence in the bodice and pattern. Her hair was very casual but it was the trend for the night—wavy bob.

Hilary Swank

Hit: Hilary Swank

Oscar winning actress Hilary Swank shimmered in her amazing sequined gown by Gucci. Hilary looked like pure glamour and showed off her amazing figure. The front of her dress has feather embellishments. Swank sported her straight hair in a classic up do adorned with a fancy hair pin.

Marisa Tomei

Hit: Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei arrives at the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood in high style! Her dress was a 1950 couture Charles James dress from Lily et Cie. This dress stood out among all the others tonight.

Sandra Bullock

Hit: Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock was a classic beauty! Her crimson Vera Wang gown looked stunning along with her prefect red lips. Was it too safe for Sandra?

Natalie Portman

Hit: Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman, winner of the 2011 Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her part in “Black Swan,” arrives at the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Pregnant and looking fabulous, Portman was gorgeous in a plum Rodarte gown. This off-the-shoulder neckline was a great pick for her baby bump!

Helena Bonham Carter

The Jury’s Out: Helena Bonham Carter

Did Helena miss again? Helena, who is always bold with her fashion choices, was bold again tonight. Oscar nominated for her role in “The King’s Speech,” Helena Bonham Carter shows off a Union Jack tied to her leg as she walks the red carpet at the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Her dress was not a total miss and we are proud of Helena for staying true to herself and her curls!

Jennifer Hudson

Hit: Jennifer Hudson

Hello, gorgeous! Jennifer Hudson looked amazing and has for a while now. Major props to her for her weight loss—and for keeping the weight off. Her look on the red carpet was breathtaking. Jennifer’s Versace gown complements her skin perfectly. Of course, we would have preferred curls, but her hair did look great with that gown. A slicked back pompadour shows off her flawless face.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Hit and Miss: Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow sparkled as she walked the red carpet in her silver metallic Calvin Klein gown. This was the most modern gown of the evening, playing on its minimalist silhouette with a deep v-neck. Gwyneth took a note from practically all fashion books—simple dress, great accessories. Gwyneth rocked Louis Vuitton earrings and bejeweled belt. Her locks were stick straight—wish she had some texture in those locks. Her dress was a hit but her hair was a miss.

Mandy Moore

Hit: Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore was a vision during her performance with Zachary Levi when they sang the Oscar nominated song “I See The Light” during the 83rd Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Cate Blanchett

Hit or Miss? Cate Blanchett

Presenter and Oscar winner Cate Blanchett walks on stage during the 83rd Academy Awards in a dress that reminded us a bit of an Easter egg hunt. The color works great with her pale skin and her new platinum bob, but we still have mixed feelings. What do you think?

Halle Berry

Hit: Halle Berry

Halle Berry wears a stunning Marchesa gown. She was truly a vision. The color complimented her skin, and her makeup and jewelry were beautifully understated. Her “big chop” look and clear neck helps you focus on the beauty of the dress and her natural beauty.

Beauty Budgetnistas: Affordable Hair Care

With the economy still recovering, the cost of hair care can be quite challenging especially for curlies since our product use is high. Even things as simple as conditioner and stylers can cause financial stress these days. Stop your worrying— here you will learn about affordable hair products that will actually make your curly hair look great.

Here is a list of hair products that won’t break the bank but will keep your curls looking great.


Conditioners can be expensive and are one item most curlies like to splurge on. If you are trying to save some cash check out these two conditioners under $5.

Sunsilk De-Frizz Conditioner

  1. Sunsilk De-Frizz Conditioner This product is a great option because it helps hair from getting frizzy or poufy.

    Price: $3.40

    Average CurlRating: 4

    Reviews: click here

  2. Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner Orchid and Coconut Milk 2010 NaturallyCurly Best of the Best Winner! This is a great conditioner because of the moisturizing component of the coconut milk. It provides great slip and works wonderful as a co-wash.


    Average CurlRating: 4

    Reviews: click here


Shampoo is an area where most curlies cut back on cost. Here are two wonderful options for your shampoo routine.

Crème of Nature Shampoo

  1. Crème of Nature Detangling Conditioning Shampoo, Regular Great shampoo! No sulfates so it’s shampoo free friendly. Leaves hair soft and hydrated without stripping the hair.

    Price: $5

    Average CurlRating: 4

    Reviews: click here

  2. Trader Joe’s Refresh Citrus Shampoo with Vitamin C This all-natural shampoo is very refreshing but provides moisturizing benefits and has an amazing smell. This shampoo is gentle, sulfate-free and clarifies without being harsh.

    Price: $2.29

    Average CurlRating: 5

    Reviews: click here


An area curlies do not like to skimp on, but we need a lot of these products so why not get great results while saving some green?

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Gel

  1. Fruit of the Earth Aloe Gel Made with fresh, cooling Aloe Vera, this gel forms a protective barrier that helps retain moisture and promote healing.

    Price: $3.60

    Average CurlRating: 4

    Reviews: click here

  2. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Curl Dreams Curl Perfecting Spray A great curl refresher! Gives curls their bounce back and adds shine!

    Price: $5.99

    Average CurlRating: 4

    Reviews: click here

Deep Treatments

Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Reconstructor

  1. Pantene Curly Hair Series Deep Moisturizing Treatment Repairs dry and damaged hair, leaving curls moisturized and defined. Apply heat to get a more intense deep treatment.

    Price: $5.09

    Average CurlRating: 5

    Reviews: click here

  2. Aussie 3-Minute Miracle Reconstructor for Damaged Hair Leaves your curls feeling soft and bouncy. Provides the right amount of moisture with huge detangling abilities.

    Price: $4

    Average CurlRating: 4

    Reviews: click here

Go-Straight Products

Getting your curls straight can be time—and money—consuming! Save some time and cash with these budget-friendly, go-straight options.

Pantene Anti-Frizz Straightening Crème

  1. John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Semi-Permanent Styling Spray It’s easy to use and lasts 3 days. It seals your hair with keratin protein, which helps protect hair from heat damage and also blocks frizz.

    Price: $9.99

    Average CurlRating: 5

    Reviews: click here

  2. Pantene Curly Hair Series Anti-Frizz Straightening Crème Great product that leaves hair soft, shiny and frizz free. Doesn’t weigh down your hair, so you can keep your body and bounce.

    Price: $3.39

    Average CurlRating: 4

    Reviews: click here

10 Winter Hair Tips for Your Curls

Hello winter! Colder winter months always mean paying extra attention to our coily tresses. The dry air and cold wind affects the health and appearance of your hair. Just as we fight frizz during humid summer months, you want to prevent any damage to your hair during cooler dry months. Here are 10 winter hair tips for healthy, happy curls!

Add Moisture

Winter hair thrives on moisture. You can’t have too much. Winter can be a great time for curlies, as frizz-causing humidity plummets along with the temperatures. But the cold weather, along with indoor heating, also can wreak havoc on those curls and kinks in other ways, leaving them parched and brittle.

To battle the dryness, it is essential that curlies stick to a strict deep-conditioning regimen. Deep condition at least once a week (twice if you already tend to be very dry”> with a deep conditioner that provides moisture only. You can’t control the weather, but you can moisturize, adjust your product routine and do your best to keep the dry frizzies away.

Honey, Please

Honey is awesome when used in conjunction with a conditioner fortified with olive oil and avocado oil. If you are worried about the hair being too oily after the deep condition, use a light shampoo as a topper. Honey is a natural humectant and helps your hair retain moisture, making it a great treatment for dry, winter hair. Honey can be added to cleansers, conditioners, deep conditioners and oils. Honey also works well works when combined with other ingredients, so you can look for products that contain honey.

Get a Trim

Every 10-12 weeks, trim off what is dead to avoid choking the life out of your hair. When ends are split and frayed, nutrients don’t know where to go. Often stylists will recommend 6-8 weeks, but this is not necessary for curly hair (when you get a cut tailored for your type”>.


Avoid Protein

Drying shampoos that contain too much protein and not enough natural oils are not what winter calls for. When you use products that contain protein, your hair needs extra moisture so it won’t become dry and brittle. (sometimes an after-effect of using too much protein.”> Since you’ll be deep conditioning more make sure to pick one that is not protein rich, as too much protein can cause more frizz. A few great ones to try are: DevaCurl Heaven In Hair or Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Nourishing Masque.

Natural Oils Are a Must

In the cold winter months, make sure to always seal hair with an easily absorbed oil before heading out of the house. Natural oils such as jojoba, rosemary and lavender are so important in the cooler months because they help keep your scalp and hair in good condition.

Avoid the Towel

Never use a regular terrycloth towel after you shower. The coarse texture of a typical bath towel can roughen up the hair’s cuticle and cause curl separation, resulting in frizz. Curlies need to use super-absorbent microfiber towels designed to reduce frizz and dry time while creating beautifully defined curls.

Wide-Toothed Comb

The wide-toothed comb is your friend; do not use your hands. It’s important to use a wide-toothed comb because it works through the hair more easily with less damage. Always start from the bottom and work your way up.


More Product

Indoor air is extremely drying to curls so make sure to use extra product this winter. Listen for hair to squish, to make sure there’s enough product in the hair. Remember, most curly hair is dry, so don’t be afraid of product.

Extra Gel & Scrunch

Since you are using more product on your winter hair, make sure to get the most out of it. Scrunching allows your product and curls to go further. Scrunch with a liquid-y gel to ensure equal distribution of the product. Scrunching product into curls allows for better distribution and removes excess product. Scrunching also defines curls and adds volume.


Wash-and-go is a thing of the past now so make sure you diffuse to set curls all day. Don’t be afraid of the diffuser. As long as it has prongs, it’s designed to bring out the best of your curly hair. Set it on high heat, low speed. This may take a while, but if you are patient, you’ll love the way your curls look!

5 Healthy Hair Tips to Get Your Curls in Shape

Having trouble getting to the gym? You can still have great looking hair all year long with these healthy hair tips for working out your curls.

5 Healthy Hair Tips