My curly hair has always had a mind of it’s own. It’s on the thick side (although my sister’s is thicker). It is coarse. It is curly. There’s a spot in the back of my head I call “the nest” where I have found bugs, crumbs, and bobby pins from 2 days ago –not kidding. You cannot run your fingers through my hair. And despite all of this, I embrace my curly hair. Embracing means it takes some time to “do” it. I don’t mind. I’ve been “doing” it pretty much the same way since 9th grade. Yes, it has varied in length. Of course, there were big sprayed bangs in the early 90’s. But the general way I “do” it has always been the same.
Around 2006 I hacked all of my hair off. (See below photo.) It just wasn’t the same. I couldn’t get it to curl any more. It looked like a cat sucked on it. It gradually got really short – a pixie at one point. What was I thinking?
I had my fourth and last baby in 2007. A pregnancy in which I laid on the couch for the better part of the year and ate Oreos. I gained 90 pounds. My boobs were 38 EE’s. My hair – brown, mousey, lifeless.
Two years after my last baby I went in for a routine Pap smear. Rob asked: “Are you going to ask why you’re so tired all the time?” After a simple blood test I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease. After several years of figuring out my new autoimmune disease my curly hair started to come back. It took a full year to grow it back to a length where my head didn’t look like a dead animal was sitting on top of it.
I soon discovered YouTube where I began to learn more about my curly hair. I learned to steer clear of sulfates and Parabens. I learned how to better “encourage” my curls. And the best part was learning about what styling products worked best with my hair. Of course today Instagram keeps me abreast of curl trends and new products.
Below are the basic steps I take on a “wash day”. I only wash my hair about every 4-6 days–Another thing I learned on YouTube. One thing I want to be clear about is that I alternate products. I never use the same shampoo, conditioner, gel, etc…two times in a row. My hair likes it better and my head doesn’t get as itchy.
Curly Hair routine:
After my shower I squeeze the water out and wrap it up in this microfiber towel while I brush my teeth and put my face lotion on.
When I take my towel off I work my way through my hair with a wide tooth comb – starting at the bottom ends and working my way up to the crown of my head. I never brush my hair.
Once it’s combed through I apply a curl cream starting at the ends and working my way up. Giving special attention to the “nest” in the the back. I use maybe a nickel size amount for my hair.
I loosely twist it all back up in my towel while I do my makeup.
I take it out of my towel and gently dry it on low heat and low wind with my stupid silly hair dryer. I say that because the price of this hair dryer is totally whack. That being said, I love the way I can control the temp and the wind. I love the way the curl diffuser connects with a magnet. And I love the sound it makes – like a jet taking off. I’ve had it for probably 3 years. It’s hardcore and heavy duty and I do love it despite the price. My blow dryer will probably last longer than I do.
*Note about using a hair dryer: It’s best to let my hair MOSTLY air dry. I try NOT to use the hair dryer until it’s about 50% dry. I use the lowest heat and wind setting and I ALWAYS use the curly diffuser that looks like a cone shape with knobs coming out of it. I begin at the ends and I’m constantly scrunch, scrunch scrunching up toward my scalp. I tip my head over and blow dry upside down to get maximum volume and lift at my roots. While I’m upside down I make sure I’m constantly scrunching up to “encourage” my curls.
During my blow dry I determine where I want my hair to part.
After I blow dry I take my handy dandy curling iron to a few pieces (mostly in my “nest” and a few around my face) I want to define better. I curl away from my face.
I then take my wide tooth comb and gently hit JUST the ends of my entire head of hair.
I take my dry texture spray and shape and scrunch my curls. It has light hold. I mostly aim it toward my roots.
I take one pump of the brilliant serum rub it in my hands and touch the ends of my hair to help protect the ends, increase shine and tame frizz. But who are we kidding? My hair is frizzy. That’s what I love about it.
That’s it! Is it putzy? Yes. But remember, I don’t do this every day. I wash every 4-6 days. My no-wash day routine is different and easier. That will have to be next on my blog list.
In the meantime, if you are a curly girl I hope this was helpful. These are things that work for me. I encourage you to embrace your curly hair. I have so many women who ask: “Is your hair natural?” I say “Yes!” They say “Mine too, don’t you hate it?” This makes me so sad! I’m here to tell you that life is too short to constantly hate your natural hair. And I hope this helps or inspires you in some way.
Disclaimer: I’m not a hair dresser or professional. I have an excellent qualified hair professional that colors and cuts my hair every 6-8 weeks. Kristen is a magician.