All of you with curly hair like mine know the struggle. The frizz, the tangles, the wild attempts to tame it. It has taken me a long time to figure out the methods that will make my hair look pretty instead of wild and no, I don’t mean by massacring the curl into straightness. I mean- dun dun dun duuuuuun- embracing the curl.
When I was a kid my hair was longgggg, like down to my ass long. And I thought it was straight. Well, in the fifth grade I begged my mom to let me get it cut the way I wanted and she finally agreed. We went to the ‘salon’ (by salon I mean a little shack turned salon on a Kentucky back road) and my hair was chopped into a bob. The next day when I washed my hair, therefore erasing the styling she did, I discovered I had curly hair. I rocked a little orphan Annie type ‘do for awhile. Apparently the weight of my super long hair stretched out the curl until it was no more. I figured that growing my hair out again would do the same but apparently my curls had had enough of hiding. Even when my hair was just about as long as it had been, they were still there. That year for my birthday I asked for a straightener. And que the years of punishing my curls with high heat allllll through high school.
After I graduated high school I had grown sick of my style and was ready for a change. My hair had been straightened to oblivion every day for years (or pulled into a ponytail when I didn’t feel like messing with it)and the damage had left me frizzy with major split ends, a side part with long bangs (who am I kidding, after a certain point they aren’t bangs anymore). So I recruited my friend Jordan into cutting my hair. I wanted it cut a couple inches past my shoulders, he didn’t get the memo. So my hair was chopped to a couple inches above my shoulders, and when it dried, it was to my ears. Que the melodramatic fit. I cried. I cried while straightening my hair, desperate to stretch it out an inch or so.
Fast forward four years later and my hair is just about as long as it was. After that massacre I decided I was going to find a way to make my curls work, no matter what. Sure I occasionally still have bad hair days but I’m pretty sure that’s just life. But when I follow my methods it usually ends up looking pretty damn good if I do say so myself. So here are my tips and methods that I really want ya’ll to try and let me know how they worked for you.
- I’m going to start in the shower because that’s where it all begins, right? First off I shampoo my hair and rinse it all out. Then I take a deep conditioner mixed with regular conditioner ( I use it full strength once or twice a week) and saturate the hell out of my hair, focusing on the ends and then working any extra product to the top. I pull my hair into a bun and let it sit while I go about my other shower business. The very last thing i do in the shower is rinse and I do it in nice cold water. I do this because the cool water seals the cuticle and majorly prevents frizz.
- Next is how I dry my hair. I avoid blow dryers like crazy but if you choose to, invest in a diffuser that is made for curly hair. What I do works wonders for me. Instead of using a fuzzy towel I use a soft cotton t-shirt and i squeezt the water out of my hair and do scrunching motions all over. The reason is: towels are actually kind of rough and when you scrub your hair with it, FRIZZ GOES CRAZY. Plus it can create even worse tangles. Using a soft shirt and squeezing the water out keeps the hair sealed and smooth.
- Now for the step that took the longest to adhere to, simply because I’m lazy. DO NOT USE A BRUSH. Nine times out of ten you’re going to end up ripping the hair and stretching it out which leads to major breakage and split ends. ALWAYS use a comb. Always. This is so much more gentle on the hair and while it does take more time, it is seriously worth it especially if your goal is long pretty curls. I find a comb is so much better for getting tangles out because when i use a brush it feels like i’m shredding my hair, but a comb gently picks the tangle out.
- Now for my wonder product. I use coconut oil for shine, smoothness, and an all over gleam. Sure you can use shine spray but with it there is usually at least one chemical in there but when I use cocnut oil I know exactly what is going on my hair.Again I focus on the ends of my hair and use barely any at a time. It’s better to have to add a little more than to have to wash your hair and start all over. And I use even less at the top, I just use a half a pea and spread it all over my hands and barely touch the top. I also use this stuff for a hair mask on its own every week or so. I’ll do a post on that soon.
- Bedtime! Now if any of you with curly hair have went to bed with your head damp, chances are you woke up with a tangled nightmare in the morning. Here’s how I avoid it. While my hair is still pretty wet, I braid it. Nothing fancy, just one big braid. Then I go to sleep, it’s thar simple. I wake up, unbraid it, and unveil pretty tangle-free waves and curls. I love this because it is so so so low maintenance. Another bedtime tip is to get a satin pillowcase (or silk if you’re fancy), this acts the same way as the t-shirt because it is so smooth it doesn’t rough up the hair cuticle overnight.
Those are my tips and tricks that have worked wonders for me. They whoop the frizz monster’s ass and give you pretty, shiny, tangle-free curls that you can be proud of. Try ’em out and let me know how they worked for you! –Amber