Shakira's hairstylist, Cynthia Alvarez, broke down all of the secrets to her signature curls

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It is hard to believe there was a time when Shakira didn't have her signature blonde curly hair. The style is such a huge part of her brand, and she works with the best of the best to keep it looking amazing.

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I sat down with Dove Celebrity Stylist Cynthia Alvarez, who first met Shakira in 2011 and just wrapped doing her hair on the El Dorado World Tour, for the inside scoop on the pop star's iconic look. I also got the opportunity to have Cynthia give me the star treatment and see the results of her tips and tricks myself.

My hair is damaged from bleaching it and blowouts make it even harder for it to hold a curl.

My hair is damaged from bleaching it and blowouts make it even harder for it to hold a curl.

Cindy Diaz

My ends definitely need help! But my issues were no match for Cynthia, who knew exactly what to do to give me the killer Shakira curls I wanted.

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Shakira gets her style from either dry styling with a curling iron or wet styling her natural curls.

I decided to go with dry styling since I have been sticking to blowouts during the colder months.

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It is important to make sure your hair is well hydrated for this style, which you can achieve with deep conditioning treatments.

Cynthia recommended Dove’s Intensive Repair Mask. Healthy ends are also essential because stringy hair is going to get frizzy. “You don’t want to be able to see through the style," she said. "You want to have some weight on the bottom of your hair as well."

Cynthia prepped my hair with Dove Heat Protecting spray.

Cynthia prepped my hair with Dove Heat Protecting spray.

Cindy Diaz

She also applied some Dove Quench Absolute Supreme Crème Serum ($6, Target) to the back sections to help with dryness. “I always do a smoothing oil or a cream,” Cynthia shared, “because when hair is dry it’s hard to hold anything in. I like to seal in the moisture with an oil or a cream, and then I spray a light hold hairspray.” The layer of spray “allows the curl to mold onto the iron and keep the shape longer.” She sprays the hair again after it’s curled.

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The key to this look is a 1/2 inch curling wand and how you wrap your hair around it.

The key to this look is a 1/2 inch curling wand and how you wrap your hair around it.

Cindy Diaz

Take a small amount of hair at a time, and make sure you leave space between the hair as you wrap it around the iron. If you have long hair, you will need to curl each part in sections.

You also need to twist the hair as you wrap it around the iron instead of doing a flat curl.

This technique locks in the heat better, according to Cynthia.

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Once you’re done curling the entire length of a section of hair, pull on the ends to preserve some of your length.

Do this while it is still hot so that you can effectively stretch out the curl. “[Shakira] is not about a really tight curl," Cynthia said. "She wants her hair to be as long as possible, but still keep the movement.” If the clips weren’t enough, Cynthia would run a blow dryer along the length of her hair while pulling the curls from the ends. Adding heavy clips to the bottom of the hair helped stretch it out more as the hair cools off.

When we got to the side of my hair that is the most resistant to holding a curl, Cynthia added another product to that section.

When we got to the side of my hair that is the most resistant to holding a curl, Cynthia added another product to that section.

Cindy Diaz

She applied Dove’s Compressed Flexible Hold Hair Spray ($5, Target) and it did the trick.

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A good dose of Dove’s Dry Shampoo helped absorb the oil at my roots and kept my hair from looking flat.

A good dose of Dove’s Dry Shampoo helped absorb the oil at my roots and kept my hair from looking flat.

Cindy Diaz

Cynthia recommends letting the dry shampoo ($4, Target) sit in your hair for at least two minutes before rubbing it in. This will give the product enough time to work it’s magic. Otherwise, you won’t see a noticeable difference in volume in your hair.

Cynthia also showed me another trick she uses to keep curls from looking too springy.

Cynthia also showed me another trick she uses to keep curls from looking too springy.

Cindy Diaz

She staggers clips throughout the hair to weigh it down and relax the curl pattern. 

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I was ready for the finishing touch after the clips did their thing.

I was ready for the finishing touch after the clips did their thing.

Cindy Diaz

A small dose of Dove's smoothing cream on my ends polished the look.

I felt ready to hit the stage by the time Cynthia was done.

I felt ready to hit the stage by the time Cynthia was done.

Cindy Diaz

So good!

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I took more photos a few hours later and the style still looked great.

I took more photos a few hours later and the style still looked great.

Cindy Diaz

I am definitely trying this myself.

Cynthia also shared tips for getting Shakira’s look by wet styling her natural hair.

She broke down her whole system for layering products to keep Shakira’s curls intact throughout an entire show through sweat, rain, or both. “We do a leave-in [conditioner] first. I like to use the Dove Quench Absolute Detangler because it gives the hair a little bit of slip and allows a wide tooth comb to go through it without any breakage.” Next, she uses a hair oil. Cynthia recommends keeping that from the mid-shaft down if you have oily hair. The last step is a humidity control hair gel for hold and frizz control. “After all of those products, I literally wrapped each curl around my finger and then stretched it as I let it go. And then we dried it with a diffuser and it would maintain that shape.”

Cynthia recommends constantly moving the diffuser around your head as you use it and only drying your hair 90% of the way with the tool. “You don’t want to overdry your hair because then you can bring the frizz back and it makes it extra dry,” she said.

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Now we have all of the secrets to slay, Shakira-style!

Now we have all of the secrets to slay, Shakira-style!

Cindy Diaz

Thanks, Cynthia!

Topics: shakira  celebrity beauty  hair tips