44 Hair Care | Becoming a Curly Girl

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As a child I had pretty ringlets in my hair. They were never tight, frizzy curls and I don’t remember Mom having to do much to them to get them into ringlets. Over time, though, my hair must have grown out of them–blame puberty, blame products, who knows? All I know is that by my teen years my hair seemed to have a mind of it’s own, one diametrically opposed to what I wanted it to do!

So of course it seemed like a good idea to ask for a perm for my 13th birthday. I went in wanting a “large curl perm” and came out with the one thing I expressly did not want: a poodle perm. (I don’t seem to have any pictures readily available from this period–I wonder why…)

The woman at the salon swore she understood what I wanted and mentioned, mid-way through, that my hair was so thick (it never had been before) that it was going to take 2 bottles of solution for her to finish. A year later I had to chop off the bottom half of my hair because the damned curls never relaxed or fell out the way they did on most girls.

So I was pretty resigned, after that, to having whatever hair. Hair that only seemed to behave on the day I was planning to have it cut (seriously, it’s some sort of psychological hair warfare). And mostly pulling it back with a barrette to weight it down or, later, twisting it up in a clip. Those worked to tame a wonton wave or two but did nothing for the frizz. So I followed the accepted wisdom that products–namely those with silicone–would act as a barrier between my hair and the North Florida humidity responsible for the demonic halo encircling my head on the daily.

And, in true Schadenfreude style, trying to curl my hair be it in hot rollers, pin curls, curling irons, etc. yielded a decided lack thereof–nothing would stick for longer than it took for me to walk out of the house. Case in point: for our engagement photos this January I pin-curled my hair the night before and came out with this:

clowning around, just like my hair | photo by Pink Shutterbug Photography

clowning around, just like my hair | photo by Pink Shutterbug Photography

I’d heard about the Curly Girl method in the past, but I had stopped believing my hair was capable of curl anymore, so let the info sail on back to the rear filing cabinet of my brain. Until, of course, it appeared on another blog I follow a few months ago. And with the wedding so much on my mind these days I figured, hey, why not give it a chance.

Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey | Image via NaturallyCurly.com

So off I went to track down sulfate and silicone free hair products that (very important!) wouldn’t break the bank but would nourish my hair and give it free rein to curl at will.

And I’ll be damned if it didn’t work.

At Ancient City Con & minimal hair prep (before I chopped off about 3") | photo by Todd

At Ancient City Con & minimal hair prep (before I chopped off about 3″) | photo by Todd

First I tried co-washing with a Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner. Yes, apparently there are enough surfactants (big word for cleaners) in most conditioners to do the job without stripping curly hair of it’s much-needed oils. This worked (when paired with a leave-in treatment and certain safe styling products) but it took a lot more time in the mornings, something I didn’t have heaps of to begin with.

So when the folks at Naturally Curly announced that they’d paired up with Loreal to create an EverCurl line of products that met all the requirements of curly girls out there, I was super-excited. It gave me my 2-step hair prep back and their leave-in conditioning cream worked pretty well, too. One day, feeling a bit flush as I was under budget for the month, even after putting in some extra into the wedding savings, I let myself pick up some ridiculously expensive leave-in cream from Earth Fare. I’m just happy that it’s a few months later and that $10 bottle of leave-in is still about half full. I still haven’t gotten the hang of the refresh spray I also picked up, but I’m trying. Second-day hair is still kinda tricky.

And instead of spending hours in pin curls or hot rollers? All it takes is “plopping” it up in a microfiber towel (picked up in the automotive department) while I put on my makeup and I’ve got all-day curls (2-day curls if I’m lucky).

Embracing my curls was a really cool experience and has even affected my mood overall. I know it sounds silly, on par with the joke about people losing IQ points when they dye their hair blonde (something I do not agree with, btw), but bouncier hair meant a bouncier me!

Have you ever maid a hair-brained decision that affected more than your head?