Here at OUAI HQ, the hunt for curly-haired girls who are down to share their hacks is like the world’s love for Beyonce: endless. So when we find one whose red-colored coils curl ever so perfectly on the chin-grazing haircut of the season, we get really excited. Case in point: Claire Geist, Brooklyn-based data strategist and founder of fashion and lifestyle blog De Lune (which she started back in 2009 during high school, and has kept up ever since). Ahead, Claire breaks down her everyday curl routine, the cotton towels she swears by, and more curly hair tips including how she keeps her copper hue looking brand new all year round.
How would you describe your natural hair texture?
Curly, especially with the right cut-I get random tight ringlets interspersed between less coiled, wavy sections.
Did you ever have an “aha moment” or story about embracing your curls full speed ahead?
When I was sixteen, my hair was past my shoulders and blonde (my natural color). I was invited to model at a local hairstylists' convention- basically ComiCon for hair brands and stylists. The stylist who hired me took one look at me and said “Ok, you’re gonna be our redhead, and we’re gonna have to cut your hair short, is that ok?” Once my hair was cut short, my curls REALLY stood out, and I haven’t looked back since. Now I know that the shorter my cut, the less weight my curls take on.
Break down your everyday curl routine for us.
I try to wash my hair as little as possible- probably one or two times a week. Shampoo is either DevaCurl Low-Poo Waves Cleanser or Original & Mineral Fine Intellect Shampoo to help it add body. My conditioner, however, is usually this amazing Goldwell Soft Color Foam in 8K. Red and Copper hair dye fades incredibly fast, and this keeps my hair looking vibrant in-between visits to my salon. I’ll use gloves to apply it, leave it in (and dance around my apartment), and then wash out. I can’t live without this stuff! This is super important and can make or break my curls: I scrunch water out of my hair using a 100% Cotton T-shirt or Turkish towel. This prevents frizz while my hair dries (a trick I learned from my dear friend Grace Chin, who is a hair stylist at Arrojo here in NYC). Once excess water is scrunched out, I’ll take a few pumps of OUAI Curl Jelly if it’s humid out and scrunch up into my hair. If it’s dry, I’ll take Label.M’s Soufflé between my palms and fingers, and twist into sections.
I prefer to air-dry my hair, but when I’m short on time, I’ll take my Amika Hair dryer with a DevaFuser Attachment and diffuse. My Project Sukuroi Golden Smoothing Balm from Original & Mineral seals and adds some final shine. In-between washes, when my curls need a refresh, I’ll take sections of my hair and like, “waterfall” it & drop it while spraying OUAI Wave Spray throughout. I’ll also zhuzh a nickel-sized smear of R+Co Death Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste and shake my hair if it needs lift.
What’s your favorite curl:
- Shampoo- Original & Mineral Fine Intellect- Smells amazing and feels super clean
- Conditioner- Goldwell Colorant Soft Color Foam in 8K - I can’t live without this, it keeps my red color vibrant and rich
- Conditioning mask- Amika's Soulfood Nourishing Mask
- Gel/oil- Original & Mineral Project Sukuroi, OUAI Curl Jelly
- Hairspray- OUAI Wave Spray and DevaCurl Flexible Hold Hairspray
- Travel curl product- a travel pot of R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste. I buy Muji’s travel cases for products with weird textures that I can’t get in travel sizes
Do you have any post-shower curl rituals you swear by?
Scrunching with a cotton T-shirt or Turkish towel for sure. My boyfriend and I have swapped all our terry towels with the thinner, more elegant Turkish-style cotton towels. They dry super fast and wick your body dry post-shower like nothing else. I love my Cacala Cotton Towels, you can find them in a million colors on Amazon.
Are you a fan of the diffuser?
Totally! I have a DevaCurl Diffuser. It’s been confusing roommates and boyfriends for almost four years. I’ll attach to my Amika Hair Dryer and set it on high heat and low blast for a good 20 minutes or so.
What are your go-to products for keeping curly bangs looking fly?
OUAI Curl Jelly really is the best for targeting my bangs because the texture is nice and light and doesn’t get gross on my forehead. Once it’s dry, I’ll just take some of that R+Co Dry Shampoo Paste and lift them back up.
Who cuts and colors your curls?
Janelle Chaplin (@heywhatschaplin) over at Original Mineral’s NYC salon is brilliant. My current cut is more of a blunt bob, but we have done shaggy waves and all sorts of different bang lengths. I always leave her chair feeling so much cooler and confident, and she’s always willing to try something new. Shadey at Original Mineral is super sweet and keeps my copper on-point.
What’s the best curl advice you’ve ever received, and from who?
It seems so obvious, but if retaining your natural curls is important to you, look for a curly-haired stylist who can cut and give you styling advice that works for you- nearly all my best cuts were done by stylists like Grace Chin and Janelle Chaplin who know how to play with and embrace their own texture.
Is there a pricey curl product that you think is worth every penny?
DevaCurl shampoos and conditioners will change. your. life. if you don’t know how to care for your curls. I love their products and system, it’s just a little heavy for my haircut these days.
Is there an overlooked drugstore curl product that you think every curly babe should own?