If you have curly hair, you are likely cautious of hot tools, are prepared for the all-too-real frizz, and try to avoid humidity at all costs. While we find natural curls to be absolutely stunning, we know that general curl care can be a bit daunting. Hence we created a series called Girls With Curls in which we ask top models and influencers for their best-kept curly-hair secrets.
With an Instagram account featuring many curly-hair selfies, Grace Mahary, a 27-year-old Victoria's Secret model and founder of Project Tsehigh, seemed like a natural choice for an interview—we wanted to know just how she keeps her hair so springy. From her favorite moisturizing products to the way she dries her tresses, Mahary gave us the inside scoop on how she takes care of her perfectly defined curls. For the model and activist's master tips on embracing your natural hair texture, taming frizz, and the deep-conditioning product she is dying to try, keep on reading.
BYRDIE: What is your curly-hair story?
Grace Mahary: I grew up in a community where not many, if any, looked like me. It made me want to press my hair straight and never let out my natural hair because I wanted to fit in. Only until I moved to Toronto and started modeling did I feel comfortable enough to wear my hair free and natural. I saw more girls with curls like me, and modeling helped boost my confidence.
BYRDIE: Do you brush your curls wet or dry?
GM: ALWAYS BRUSH WET WITH CONDITIONER! That's my rule above all others for hair protection.
BYRDIE: You have such well-defined curls—what are your go-to frizz-taming products?
GM: I love to test out new products for curly hair. Currently, to tame the frizz, I am using Moroccanoil Curl Defining Cream ($34) because it also acts as a hair moisturizer, with Bumble and Bumble Curl Defining Creme ($31) to set.
BYRDIE: What are your thoughts on hot tools?
GM: Can't live with them; can't live without them.
BYRDIE: How often do you suggest washing curly hair?
GM: It depends because as a model, some of my clients prefer me with straight hair versus those who like the natural curls, which means I have to wash it more often to alternate looks. In a perfect world (or extended vacation period), I would wash my curls every 10 days, rinsing and conditioning every three days.
BYRDIE: Can you run us through a typical day of how you do your hair?
GM: Yes! If I am leaving my hair natural, I wash and condition; rinse, leaving a little conditioner behind in hair; give it a shake (with my perfected neck whip) to get out most of the water beads; then moisturize, style, and continue to let air-dry.
BYRDIE: How do you style your hair on the go?
GM: I usually pull it back into a high, slick bun.
BYRDIE: In your experience, what hair style has worked the best for your natural texture?
GM: In terms of haircuts, I think it really is more about the consistency rather than style for my hair. The more consistent I am with trimming, the less opportunity for my hair strands to go dry and tangly at the ends.
BYRDIE: Curly hair has a tendency to run dry—what do you do to keep your tresses moisturized?
GM: I like to soak my curls in conditioner and sometimes do a deep treatment. The last one I just tried was the Flawless by Gabrielle Union's Hair Repair Masque ($29), which I loved! Next up, I'm excited to try DevaCurl's Heaven in Hair Moisture Treatment ($28).
BYRDIE: You always sport such cool hairstyles. Where do you get your inspiration?
GM: My environment, fashion, music, art, throwbacks and past decades, and of course from traveling and meeting such inspiring, cool characters around the world.