Tara's Take: Hair Tips

By: Tara Wheeler
By: Tara Wheeler

Last week I wore my hair naturally curly and got some great feedback from viewers! You all have been asking for more details on how I keep the curls fresh without fighting frizz; and my tips on straightening your locks without doing major damage. So, here you go!

Last week I wore my hair naturally curly and got some great feedback from viewers! You all have been asking for more details on how I keep the curls fresh without fighting frizz; and my tips on straightening your locks without doing major damage. So, here you go!

Some background: My hair is naturally curly... VERY curly. It's great for weekends and would be great on air if I was covering only sports or entertainment. However, covering hard news with spunky springy hair that's big enough to fill the whole screen, could be distracting to the story. That's why, 99.9% of the time, I will have straight hair on TV.


More background: It took me a loooooong time to figure out how to do my hair. My mom is a hairstylist but I was a stubborn child who wanted to learn the hard way instead of taking mom's advice. If you see any pictures of me as a kid, you can see I had no idea how to manage the crazy mess on top of my hair. I actually had the nickname "Mop-head". Finally I gave in and let my mom teach me a thing or two... and life has been better ever since!

Another note: I'm very flattered when people are interested in my advice so please feel free to ask me questions! I remember meeting a Sports Illustrated supermodel once. She had really curly hair and I thought she was so pretty. I asked her what kind of products she used and how she got her curls to look so sleek and springy and she looked me up and down and said "It's from Europe. It's very expensive." I told myself I'd never be like that!

OK, now to my tips:

Whether you're wearing your hair curly or straight, having a good hair day starts in the shower with the right products. I love Redken's line of "fresh curls" shampoos and conditioners and I like the Catwalk brand of sleek and smooth shampoo and conditioner. After shampooing and conditioning my hair, I'll use some sort of a restorative treatment that I leave in for 5 mins and rinse out. This is important since your hair can really get damaged from blow-drying and flat ironing and all that jazz. Then, I'll always put in some kind of leave-in conditioner.


If I'm wearing my hair curly, I'll put in a curl-enhancing cream once I get out of the shower. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people wear their hair curly and it looks wet and crunchy all day. That happens when you put too much gel in your hair. My hair is relatively touchable and soft when I wear it curly. The trick to that, is using a cream-based curl enhancer. Work it through your hair then blow-dry. It's super important when you blow-dry your hair to use a diffuser. This makes it so your hair doesn't blow all over the place and helps keep away the frizz. The diffuser spreads out the air and dries your hair in a calmer manner. My trick for volume: flip your hair upside down while you dry it. To keep the frizz away, touch your hair as little as possible! The more you mess with it, the frizzier it will get!


This dryer works miracles!

Straightening my hair is a 2 hour process. After I shower, I use several smoothing products, along with heat-protectant to keep my hair safe against all the hot tools I'm about to abuse it with. After I've put in all that product, I take Velcro rollers and section my hair out, wrapping each section around a roller. I use the bigger ones in the front  and work my way back around my head. Then, I sit under a dome dryer (above) for about an hour while I hammer out some e-mails or paint my nails.

Once my hair is dry, I take out the Velcro rollers and use a fabulous contraption that's a mix between a blow dryer and a round brush to smooth everything out. I try to use the flat iron as little as possible since it causes such bad breakage.

Disclaimer... this next part is kinda gross... I don't have time to go through the straightening process every single day... so after I straighten it, I try to go as long as I can without getting it wet again. Usually around 4 days. I'm definitely that girl at the pool saying "don't get my hair wet!!". Some people have to wash their hair every day or else it gets oily. My hair is the opposite. If I wash it every day it gets dry and brittle. I've got an array of shower caps that make it so I only have to go through the straightening process once every 4 days!

A 180 degree hair transformation! Soooooooo Coooooooooool!

That's my tips for now... Please feel free to e-mail me with questions or share your own tips in the comments below!


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