When I was about 11 years old I participated in my older cousin’s Sweet 15. On the day of the party, all the girls had to get their hair done. The style was a simple, blow out – not wavy but pin straight. I saw what I looked like in the mirror and I couldn’t believe how great I looked. This was the first time I had ever saw myself with straight hair and began hating my natural hair.
Bleach. Dye. Gel. Repeat.
All through middle school, I rocked a pony tail with my frizzy hair because I didn’t know how to style it. Once I hit high school I would wake up, dunk my head in water, then in a tub of gel (which held a BUNCH of alcohol as ingredients) that I would buy from the dollar store, make it nice and crunchy and then break the gel once I got to school. If I couldn’t be bothered to do that or flat iron it, I would just wear pigtails and call it a day.
The darkest time my hair faced was college. During those years, I had blue, purple, green, orange, yellow, red hair and that meant a lot of dying and frying. I was completely oblivious of the harsh chemicals bleach gave off and on top of that, I would take a flat iron to my damp hair. I wouldn’t even let it completely dry before going over it with my Chi flat iron.
Blue da ba dee
At the age of, oh, let’s say 28 or 29, bleaching everything and dying my whole head blue sounded like a good idea. Not highlights, not ombre – all blue. Although, I wanted to fuck with my hair as much as my dark roots allowed me to, I made sure to talk to the colorists and stress the fact I wanted to protect my hair as much as possible and they understood. From then on, I began to deep condition my hair, use cool/cold water, and only wash it once or twice a week.
As much as loved my blue hair, I found myself actually missing my curls and decided mid November 2017 that I will no longer straighten my hair. Of course, to achieve my goal, I would have to give up dying it as well. I was conflicted! On one hand, I have always loved having extreme hair since college, my husband adores and encourages it, and we joke that our dogs can always spot me out because of my blue color (yes, dogs can see blue). While on the other hand, my hair will never reach its full potential of healthy curls, I’ll be spending over $100 every couple of months for the upkeep, and constant frizz!
So, I decided to switch up my hair care
I started to research articles, magazines, and YouTubing beauty gurus. CurlyPenny has an excellent YouTube channel where she shows her curly hair routine, what products she enjoys, and even searches for products at reasonable prices. I use only CF (Cruelty Free) make up so it is only natural I look for CF hair products such as the Shea Moisture line. January 27, 2018 was the first time I did a cowash, meaning, when I went to wash my hair, I washed with only conditioner and omitting shampoo altogether. These were my results after my first co washing, using Shea Moisture Curl and Style Milk and using a blow dryer diffuser. Keep in mind, I had not applied heat to my hair for over a two months, I massaged Jojoba oil on my scalp to promote hair growth, and limited my use of products with sulfate and parabens.
I am stilling in the trial and error phase on finding CF products that work for me. Lots of money down the drain but it’s not as annoying as the next paragraph!
No, you may not touch it
Please… don’t touch my hair. No, I am not being rude, I’m not being uptight, I don’t think I’m full of myself. This is what I have to do to my hair:
- Use a satin pillow case, which by the way, IS NOT AS COMFORTABLE AS YOU’D THINK!
- Use scrunchies because, suddenly, it’s the 90’s!
- Sleep with my hair in a loose pony tail INSIDE a silk bonnet if my satin pillow case is dirty
- Immediately use product while my hair is still wet to control my curls. This means my shower routine is still not finished by the time I leave my shower
- Delicately and lightly dry my hair with a T-shirt BUT ONLY FOR A MOMENT or else frizz happens
- Carefully scrunch more product in my hair with my fingers BUT ONLY FOR A MOMENT or else more frizz happens
- Blow dry my hair for about 30 minutes just enough to leave it slightly damp because my arms are exhausted from massaging my scalp, washing my hair, de-tangling my hair, and holding the blow dryer.
Basically, it takes a lot of work, patience, and time for me to “just” wash my hair to get my hair as healthy as I possibly can during this time. Second, third, fourth day hair is even harder to manage because any touch can make my hair frizz. Once my hair is finally grown out I can do the big chop (unless I just start getting trims) and maybe I won’t need to work so hard and I won’t be as anal about people touching my hair.
Love what ya got!
Straight or curly, just love what you have. All straight haired girls would love to have our volume and bounciness while we, us curly haired, would enjoy waking up, brushing our hair and going out the door. Both have their pros and cons but at the end of the day, you just have to accept what you have and find the beauty in it.