Learning to Love My Curls
Curly hair is a blessing and a curse: a blessing because it’s full and bouncy and everyone seems to love it, and a curse because it’s fickle and can turn on a dime from luscious to a crazy curl / non-curl / frizzy mess if there’s so much as a drop of moisture in the air.
As a mom to three curly-headed girls, it’s important to me to teach them to love their hair the way it is, as opposed to trying to make it something it’s not. It kills me now to see them already wishing for the smooth, straight hair some of their classmates have. I need to learn to love my own curls, so I can teach them to do the same.
When my twins were born, I had to abandon my flat-ironed hair for its more low maintenance curly cousin. It was wild and unpredictable, and I had a love/hate relationship with it. A few years later, my curls decided to abandon me. I blamed an over processed highlight job that turned my full head of bouncy ringlets into a dried out mass of straw that bent any and every which way. My hairdresser suggested that it was probably age, that our hair can continue changing up to 2 years after having a child. “How old is your youngest?” she asked.
“Uh, two,” I answered. Hm.
No curl product worked. Extra conditioner didn’t work. Praying didn’t work. I was in hair hell.
So I chopped it all off in hopes of getting rid of the badly bleached hairs. It took a few cuts, but finally all of the color was out. I loved the low maintenance short ‘do, but when it came down to it, it never really looked that great on me. Plus the shorter length did not coax my curls back like I had hoped.
When I started to let it grow out again, I was disappointed to find that my curls still weren’t returning. It looked like my hairdresser might have been right about this just being a natural change in my hair.
I needed to conquer these damn curls if my daughters had any hope of loving their mops.
I had vaguely heard of the Ouidad line, but a few curly friends of mine swore by it. I looked up the products and almost hyperventilated at the cost, because when you’re used to paying $4 for a crappy can of mousse, jumping up to a $23 bottle of gel is kind of anxiety inducing. Nevertheless, I took the plunge.
Know this: Having curly hair doesn’t necessarily mean I can just wash and go. It’s still a process, and there are entire YouTube channels dedicated to styling curly hair with various products. You’ve been warned.
Turns out it’s part process, part product (although I will always swear by the product). It took me months – MONTHS! – to figure out the method worked for me to get my hair looking its best. I finally settled on the following:
CURLY HAIR TIPS
1. Exit shower
2. Squeeze as much water as possible out of hair. Do NOT towel dry or even wrap up in a turban. Keep as wet as possible without dripping all over yourself.
3. Spray with Ouidad Botanical Boost
4. Comb with wide tooth comb (if necessary; I often just finger comb in the shower).
5. Apply Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel. If you can get by with a nickel-sized drop per the instructions, then I bow to you. I have a lot of hair. I use about fifteen cents’ worth.
6. Rake, shake, and scrunch. Sometimes I diligently separate sections of hair as shown in the videos, and sometimes I just rake my fingers through large sections of unseparated hair and shake gently. It depends on what my expectations are. Then I spend several minutes scrunching and scrunching and scrunching and scrunching, careful to protect the locks that have banded together as curls.
7. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR HAIR.
A lot of times with curly hair, Day 2 is really where it’s at, because who really wants to do this every day? Day 2 curls are more relaxed and casual. I usually spray with a little Botanical Boost Spray or put in a cute ponytail.
Now that I’m used to this process and it’s proven great results, I’ve fallen back in love with my curly hair, for the most part. We still have our days. My curls have definitely changed; there are fewer ringlets and more loose curls and waves. But, I no longer get anxious when styling it. It’s more predictable now; it cooperates more. I’m done trying to make it something it’s not. Now I posses a few more tools in my arsenal to help my girls learn to love and live with their own.
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This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.