The story of my curls
Unhappy with short, mousy hair
|Middle row, second from the right, 11 years old.|
Ash blond still though, so shortly after that, I started to light up my hair. And I do so up to this day.
From mousy to poodle hair – not really much of an improvement
Thinking that my curls were gone, I figured I needed a perm in order to have curls again.
That was quite a mistake. The perm curled really, really strong, making me look like a poodle;-).
So that was once and never again.
In the years between my 25th and 45th birthday my hair changed in length here and there.
Two times I tried going back to my natural color, but each time I cried when I saw myself in the mirror afterwards, insisting that my hairdresser immediately gave me back my blond locks.
Letting my curls shine at last
At least: often, because curly hair sure needs special care and treatment. Let me share my knowledge and experiences with you.
My tips, do’s and don’ts for curly hair
|See the frizz, here?|
Here are my best tips, do’s and don’ts for curly, frizzy hair:
- wash your hair only twice a week, not more often. If possible even less: once every 4 or 5 days is enough for me. Figure out how far you can stretch the time between two washings.
- use special shampoo and specifically nothing with alcohol in it (dehydrates the hair even more). Some say it’s best to only co-wash = wash with conditioner only and don’t use any shampoo. You can even go no-poo.
I tried no poo for 5 weeks, which was a total disaster. But it might do wonders for you. Trial and error, I tell you.
- after washing it, rinse it, and then use a special conditioner
- while the conditioner is still in your hair, detangle it carefully, using your fingers and a wide-toothed comb. And I mean really wide-toothed!
In my case this detangling takes me at least 20 minutes.
|Sometimes my hair gets really tangled up; ouch!|
5. rinse your scalp, but leave in half of/most of your conditioner. (Note: rinse carefully without tangling up the hair again)
6. towel dry very carefully using a special super absorbent microfiber towel or a microfiber hair turban. Even better is the method of ‘plopping’ or ‘plunking’ your hair with a T-shirt. Personally I prefer to let it air-dry completely. In my case that takes at least 6 hours or more.
7. DO NOT COMB or brush!!! (Only comb your hair twice a week, with conditioner in it.)
8. add products to your wet hair that contain proteins and/or that are specifically meant for curls and frizz. Which products are best for your hair depends on what type of curls and what sort of frizz you have exactly. I know; you are disappointed now, aren’t you? You hoped to find a small list of The Magic Products here and all your frizz-problems would be gone forever. Sorry, but if there’s one thing that I learned, then it is that there are many different kind of curls. It’s crucial for you to determine which hair you have EXACTLY before you can narrow down your search for your ideal curl-products and -regime.
9. Having said that (8.): determine your type of curls, your hair porosity, and more via websites like NaturallyCurly, CurlyNikki or via the Curly Girl Handbook.
|Just washed, still wet hair.|
10. when at the hairdressers make sure they do not slice your hair with a razor or scissors. Our type of hair needs to be cut, not sliced. Some say that curly hair needs to be cut when dry, so not washed first. There are hairdressers that will make you bend over and cut your hair flopped downwards. Key is that you find a hairdresser that really ‘gets’ curls! E.g. listen to the one in the video explaining how to layer curls; sounds right to me. And this video with tips for cutting your own curls at home is good too.
11. if you hair is really a disaster you might consider a Brazilian Blowout to make your hair look shiny and healthy.
Be aware of a few things though:
- it is a very expensive treatment that lasts only for about 12 weeks
- make sure that you go to a skilled professional, because if badly done, it can do a lot of harm to your hair. Like e.g. a bad perm can be disastrous, a BB can too.
- a Brazilian Blowout tends to straighten one’s hair. So if you have curls and you love your curls, like I do, verify with the person who is going to give you the BB that she is skilled enough to do it while letting you keep your natural curls. I have read stories from women with curly hair that had this done, and came out with their curls in all their glory, so it IS possible.
- Personally I do not dare it, since I am scared to have straight hair for 3 months, which I would hate. Also I find it a lot of money (250-450 dollars). I would only consider it if I had a recommendation from someone who has similar hair as me and who knows a capable hairdresser near me who can do it.
12. when you are traveling and you cannot get hold of all sorts of fancy products for frizzy and/or curly hair, there are a few things that you can do:
- leave in (half of) your conditioner instead of rinsing it out fully. What I tend to do, is to rinse it carefully -with my hands- of my scalp, but leaving it in my hair. A part of it will have been combed out anyways, so you will not have a head full of conditioner left. Just enough to tame the worst of your frizz.
- go to the supermarket and get some simple, natural oils, like olive oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil. And get some eggs for their yolks. Make a mixture, maybe using warm water, and use them as deep conditioners on your wet hair.
14. don’t apply any chemical treatments on your hair, like bleaching.
|Sorry, but I prefer to be light blond, so I still light up my hair, even though it damages it.|
15. avoid the sun
|Nope, not going to avoid the sun, although an up-do can limit the area that is exposed to the sun.|
16. avoid swimming pools (chlorine) and the sea (salt)
17. go to the hairdresser every month to have half an inch removed, better yet: keep it short
|Nooooo, I don’t want a shorter hairdo. I like it THIS way!|
Read: The Curly Girl Handbook. This blogger wrote a review about that book.
Products: After you determine your curl-type, start googling the web. There are many articles with product tips for your specific hair. Like e.g. these snippets from an article.
Why I love my curls
Whenever I have a bad hair day, I just grab my hair and bundle it up somehow. The messier the better. In most cases it will look nice and at least better then a big bush of frizzy long hair flying around;-).
And those rare days that really nothing helps, you can always put on a turban to make all your hair troubles disappear instantly.
Oh, did I mention that you MIGHT look like a fool, though? LOL
What are your top tips for curly or frizzy hair? Do share them here, I would love to know!