Apparently, wishing out loud for a magical cure to my hair problems was a smart thing to do. Within minutes of posting, people were chiming in via the blog, Facebook, emails, and phone calls.
I had no idea hair could be such a fascinating topic!
Since then, I have completely reworked my hair care routine. As per your suggestions, I clicked over to the Curly Girl website where I learned about hair porosity, washing methods, and product ingredients. I researched the specific products you recommended, purchased a few of them, and then set about unleashing the curls I didn’t know I had.
“What I can’t understand,” my husband said, fed up with all my hair talk, “is how you’ve managed to live this long without knowing you have curly hair.”
(The answer, as any woman knows is, of course, hormones. Also, one-track thinking. I used to have straight straight hair, so I simply assumed my hair was still straight, and my hair straightener — oh the irony! — allowed me to maintain that erroneous belief.)
So far, I’ve learned that:
1. Thanks to sulfate shampoo and other abrasive hair products, plus the hair dryer and straightener, my hair was much drier than it ought to be,
2. My hair is wavy-curly! In some places, especially around my face, I have actual ringlets,
3. Curly hair can be made more curly by: not using heat, washing it less often, not rubbing it dry with a towel, refraining from using combs and brushes, applying a couple softening/curling products, and scrunching.
4. It’s most effective to apply products when the hair is sopping wet.
5. Hair products make hair smell awesome!
6. My hair gets curlier the longer I go without washing. Weird, right?
And now, for the actual hair care method!
Every two days I wash my hair. One day I’ll wash it with a shampoo and conditioner and the next time I’ll wash it just with conditioner, also known as a co-wash. I use Shea Moisture’s Argan Oil and Almond Milk Smooth and Tame Shampoo, and Shea Soft and Smooth Conditioner. Since my bangs show grease more quickly than the rest of my hair — plus they get skanky from running — every morning I give them a light wash and blow dry. However, in a few months I won’t even need to do that because, thanks to my persuasive cousin-in-law, I’m growing them out. (It might be a terrible mistake, but I guess I won’t know until I try it, right?)
After washing, I wrap my hair in a towel while I get dressed and then, while it’s still super wet, I run a comb through it and massage One ‘n Only Argan Oil Styling Cream into the ends and up to about an inch from the scalp. I scrunch my hair all over, and then apply Taliah Waajid’s Curly Curl Cream to the ends and up the sides and back (not the underside), scrunching continually to hold the curl.
I let it air dry and that’s it.
On no-wash days, I lightly comb through my hair. Immediately my hair frizzes out and turns semi-straight, but then I spray it all over with water and it seizes right up into curls, magic! After applying a little product to hold the curl, I’m good to go.
Sometimes, if my hair is feeling drier than normal, I rub in a few drops of Moroccan Oil, a sample from a friend’s bottle. (And another friend gave me a different product to try, too, but I haven’t sampled it yet.)
I am not a purist. A couple spots have (lots) less curl than others, so some days, if I’m feeling fancy, I will do a little touch-up with the curling iron. Most of the time, though, I wear my hair all natural.
And guess what! Over the last few weeks, my husband’s irritation has shifted to admiration. Sometimes I catch him looking at my hair, a mystified half-smile on his face. “Wow,” he’ll say, “You really do have curly hair.”
Yes, m’darling, I guess I do!