I had a request to do a little Curly Hair post, and since it is a challenging subject, I was happy to talk about my own experience!
The #1 question people ask me after they meet me is “Have you ever tried to straighten your hair?” Seriously. I have probably been asked this like 7 million times. It is like, “Hi, I’m Nikki.” “Hi, Nikki, Nice to meet you. Have you ever straightened your hair?” And the answer is yes. (But more on this later.)
My parents both have curly hair, so there was no way I wasn’t going to get it. I was destined, or doomed, depending on at what point in my life you asked. My hair and I (yes, we are two separate entities) have sort of a love/hate relationship. When I was younger, it was all hate. I just wanted to have straight hair like all of my friends. As I have gotten older, I have come to accept my hair. That is an important thing to come to terms with when you have curly hair – acceptance. It has a mind of its own. It does what it wants. I can either fight it (and lose) or accept it. So I choose to accept it.
One thing you need to understand if you have curly hair or have a child who has curly hair – no head of curly hair is the same. You have to experiment and learn what works for you. Some people have the type of hair that can be worn curly or straight. That isn’t me. I have straightened my hair. In fact, when the hubs and I first started dating, I was wearing my hair straight some. At the time my hair was short (about chin length when dry). I had to wash my hair, then blow dry it straight with a brush THEN flat iron it. This process took AT LEAST an hour. I was bored with my hair, in college with apparently not enough to do. I don’t have time for that kind of thing now. It has been years since I have straightened it. It doesn’t look natural anyway. Luckily the hubs told me to stop straightening it because he liked it much better curly. Otherwise, I would have had to kick him to the curb 🙂
Speaking of how long it takes to straighten it, when I was a freshman in college, my dorm mates thought it would be fun to straighten my hair. They did half of it got tired because it took so long. So my hair was half straight, half curly – as in one side of my head was straight, one was curly.
But the important thing to remember is all curly hair is different. But I am going to share some general curly hair guidelines, as well as what I do with my own hair.
1. Curly hair is typically dry. Conditioner is your friend. Shampoo is not. Shampooing your hair dries it out. I only shampoo my hair once a week. I can tell a difference between when I shampoo and condition my hair, as opposed to when I just condition it. When I just condition it, my hair is softer and healthier looking.
2. Brushes are the devil. Don’t use them. Don’t even think about using them. Allow your hair to be tangley. COMB your tangles out in the shower.
3. Blow driers are also the devil. Can you say frizz? Some people use the hot socks on the end, but for me, my hair never dries right. I just avoid them completely.
4. For me, at least, it takes FOREVER to grow my hair out. Even when it is super long (when wet), it still draws up a ton once it dries. I was convinced my hair wasn’t going at all for a while, because it wouldn’t look any longer when dry.
5. There isn’t a whole lot you can do with it. Short or long. That is about it. Bangs aren’t an option. Maybe some layers, but who could tell with all the curls? Same thing with styling. The curls just takes over. Again, acceptance is key. I get so bored with my hair, but it is what it is. Maybe that is one reason I love fashion so much.
6. The person who cuts your hair is important. Not all people can cut curly hair. Most people don’t understand it. You have to really find someone who understands – typically this person will also have curly hair. I have someone who is amazing, and I drive 3 hours to Memphis to get my hair cut, and no one else is allowed to touch it. True story.
7. Just like people always want to touch a pregnant belly, people just want to touch your hair. I cringe. It has lessened since I got older, but when I was little, all anyone wanted to do was touch it. And for those of you who do not have curly hair, a word of advice – don’t tug on the curls. It may be amusing to you to watch them spring back into place, but it doesn’t feel good to the owner’s head. Also, you are probably the 900th person to do it. And by that point it is just irritating.
Now for my routine:
I shampoo my hair once a week. I may condition it more than that, but shampoo is a once a week thing. I shampoo and then condition (I use Aussie shampoo and conditioner). And I use a lot of conditioner. I put in the conditioner, and then I comb my hair with wide tooth comb to get the tangles out. Sometimes I use Bumble and Bumble Quenching Conditioner after I rinse out the conditioner. I would do it every time, but it is expensive so I can’t. But it is wonderful. You leave it in for 2 minutes and then rinse it out. There is also a quenching shampoo, but I haven’t tried it. (I would also be interested to try the creme de coco masque, shampoo and conditioner).
After I get out, I wrap my hair in a towel so it isn’t dripping wet, but I don’t rub my hair with the towel. Just allow it to soak up the water naturally. Then I comb through it again with the wide tooth comb.
I use TRESemme Flawless Curls Mousse ( a decent amount). And then I leave it alone. That is all. You can’t play with your hair when you have curls. That makes it frizz. If you want big hair, then play with it all day long. If you don’t, then don’t touch it.
As for products, I have tried everything. Expensive salon things, drug store things. Some products aren’t strong enough to fight the frizz. Some is too strong and makes your hair crunchy or look wet. The Tresemme has just enough hold to control my hair, without the crunchy/wet effect. Plus it comes from the drugstore and isn’t super expensive, which is nice. I have been using it for YEARS (like probably 10 years now) and I still love it.
I know a lot of people use Moroccan Oil. I have never tried it. I do know it is expensive. So I would rather spend that money on my Bumble and Bumble.
Do you have curly hair questions? How do you manage your hair? I can’t wait to hear from you!