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Aveda Be Curly Style-Prep — All the Punch, None of the Crunch

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This month, Aveda unveils the latest addition to its "Be Curly" range: the Aveda Be Curly Style-Prep, a lightweight, slightly creamy serum that wakens your senses with its zesty, citrus-y scent, a mixture of the lime, lemon, bergamot and orange extracts in its formula. Aimed at hydrating tresses and sealing moisture inside the hair cuticle for the appearance of plumper, more voluminous, dynamic curls, Aveda's Be Curly Style-Prep helps to lock humidity out, fight frizz, and keep hair smooth and manageable.

Aveda's Be Curly Style-Prep features a blend of wheat protein and organic aloe that expands when your mane is wet so that, as it penetrates the hair cuticle, moisturizing it from within, accentuating the form of the natural curls, waves, or coils in your mane and making hair appear more corpulent. Once your hair is dry, the molecules in this botanical blend contract, helping to lock in the curls it previously helped to boost. Organic babassu oil, organic baobab seed oil and macadamia nut soften and moisturize hair, again improving the appearance of curls and keeping frizz at bay. Guar bean and plant-derived cellulose make hair manageable and give the look hold, ensuring that curls don't go limp in the middle of the day.

As a curly-haired girl who is always on the hunt for products to activate, mold, and define curls, I was thrilled to test out this product. I was instantly smitten with the styling aid's lemon and orange fragrance, not to mention its soft consistency, which feels less oily than a serum but way milkier and more watery than a lotion. To use, you simply have to pres down on the pump dispenser and, once you have about a quarter-sized amount on your hand, you rub palms together and then smooth onto hair and comb strands, so that the product is evenly distributed.

Now, here's the key: if you have really dry hair (one of my gripes since, as a woman of color, my hair is aleady on the parched side of the spectrum, and all of the color treatments to which I've subjected my mane have further dehydrated my strands), I'd suggest applying a leave-in conditioner or a moisturizing detangler before smoothing on the Be Curly Style-Prep since, although it does hydrate strands, it doesn't do much in terms of detangling.

The Aveda Style-Prep will, in fact, invigorate curls without making them feel crunchy or impeding you from running your fingers through your hair, but it seems to work best for women whose curls aren't all that uncooperative. In other words, if your curls have been falling flat or are a bit unmanageable, this product might not be enough to give you the type of luscious lioness mane you desire. Personally, I think it's best when used as a primer of sorts since, as mentioned, it won't give curls quite as much oomph as, say, Bumble and Bumble's Curl Conscious range or help to mold each curve and coil as effectively as Nick Arrojo's Curl Creme or stretch and volumize as impressively as Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding. Still, it's a good starter step for your hair styling regimen.

That being said, if your main concern is fighting frizz (as opposed to adding volume and definition to curls), you'll love how effectively this product controls curls, preventing static-y strands from sprouting up and ruining the sophistication of your 'do.

Aveda Be Curly Style-Prep, $24. Available at Aveda.com

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