Ask Chuck: Does your wavy or straight hair have control over you?

My wavy hair is naturally hard to control, and I think it is getting the best of me. Also, my wiry grays are making it worse. I have never permanently colored my hair, and the thought of cutting it too much frightens me that it will become too frizzy. Am I thinking straight, or is this just rumors I have in my mind?

Many thoughts like these are simply natural because rumors do fly quite fast without correct knowledge in hairstyling with your natural wavy hair. Have you ever noticed that when it gets to a certain length, it begins breaking off and even appearing frizzy at the very ends?

It is quite natural for this to happen because wavy hair only likes to stay at a certain length, or it will take over and will control you before you can control it.

Roberto Rios, a stylist from the Cutler Salon in New York City, does a good job of explaining how to keep wavy hair looking soft and silky. He speaks of the hair being wayward; does this sound like how your hair is now? I fully agree with him when he says wavy hair can be transformed. He suggests choosing a bob cut with texturized layers that harnesses the hair's natural wave.

This method releases the hair's weight and allows the waves to fall smoother, thus making it easier to hold different styles. Keeping natural wavy hair too heavy can present problems in trying to achieve a style of your choice.

There are many cases in which women have found, after wearing a long length for quite sometime, that they have natural wavy hair underneath all the heavy long hair. What a great surprise this can be.

Now, for the wiry grays problem. If the gray is not really dominant and is only about 30 percent coverage, blending the gray can be easily camouflaged by simply using a light amount of streaks throughout the hair. This way, it will be harder to detect where the gray really is.

If the hair is quite gray, sometimes the best solution is to choose a natural dye shade as a base color and finish with highlighting streaks. This can easily be touched up at the roots periodically. And then, when necessary, start the process all over again.

Rios also suggests wearing side-swept bangs as an opening effect for facial features. When naturally wavy hair is permanently color treated, you will have more control over the cut and style because of the porosity created in the hairshaft.

Call your favorite hairdresser to help you acquire all of these suggestions for that perfect personal style just for you.

My hair is very fine and won't keep a style because it gets too oily from setting lotions I use. What in the world is going on that I am having so much trouble?

Many things could be happening that may be beyond your control. For example, if your hair is very fine and limp, the length may be affecting your limits of using different styles. Remember, fine hair does not perform well at all one length. Fine hair easily weights down.

Also, believe it or not, your hair may be heavy in certain places where it needs to be tapered out to where it doesn't feel bulky. Hair grows different textures all over sometimes. This can occur as you get older and even with metabolism changes.

Usually, layering fine hair will give it much more body, and many times not using any hair solutions, only water, will amaze you at the outcome. You might have found the perfect length finally, but using some hair lotions will weight it down without even trying. Also, carefully choose a fine hair spray and use it sparingly. This allows fine hair to look fuller and have more volume.

To add more body, you might think of coloring your hair mainly with a permanent dye or using soft highlights. This is an excellent way to control oily hair.

Dyeing the hair will begin a customizing controlled effect that happens because you have changed the hairshaft condition. From then on, the style will require much less attention, and I bet you will be a happier camper because of it.

I have tried many types of straighteners to relax my extremely curly hair problem. The longest that the results lasted was no more than 90 days. Is there something stronger I can use to take care of this short-lived problem and extend more time for me to enjoy straighter hair?

Hair straighteners can cause many unexpected problems for very curly hair. As you say, I'm sure you have tried them all and still not showing much success. This is because if you have straightened your hair to that perfect point, your new growth will immediately begin growing, and within 90 days, you probably need to start all over since the solutions can not control new growth coming in.

Also, if your hair is color-treated, hair straighteners can be very damaging to the condition. They cause extremely dry effects because the chemicals used are quite strong. I am sure you have become aware of heavy conditioning treatments that are required during and after the process. Sorry to be so discouraging, but the important thing is to always remember hair needs to be kept healthy at all times to perform well.

There are a few exceptions to this in which the hair stays in perfect condition after straightening. That is wonderful, and more power to you. I remember on Good Morning America one day, broadcasters showed people having their hair straightened over in Europe and really didn't want to mention that all clients and stylists had to wear masks in the entire salon because of the strong chemicals used.

Tell me who will go down first, the hair or the people? This was quite expensive. So being realistic, would it be worth it? I bet I know your answer.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to crcolsonrmt1@sbcglobal.net or call 361-575-5331.