I’ve gone through a battle of sorts with learning how to love my curly hair. Growing up as a kid it never bothered me too much. However, I can distinctly remember when I became aware that my hair is the unruly type. I couldn’t tell you exactly when, but maybe around 2nd or 3rd grade, I came across a photograph of myself with my hair pulled back in a ponytail. I was standing next to some friends and the sun was shining behind us. My hair almost looked illuminated and on fire because it was so frizzy and was not slicked back like the girl’s who stood next to me. The curls were sticking out on the side and the frizziness seemed to engulf my head. I remember looking at that picture and feeling mortified, thinking, Is that what I always look like when my hair is in a ponytail? Since then, I stayed away far away from ponytails– throwing a fit whenever my mom tried to pull my hair into one. If one had to be worn, I made sure to take clumps of hair gel and spread it evenly around my head.
Around 7th grade my hair began to change (perfect timing, am I right? Pile on the awkward, please). It became even curlier, thicker, drier, coarser, frizzier– basically all the adjectives that you would rather not use to describe your hair. Keep in mind, this was also circa 2008-2009 when it seemed as if literally every girl came out of the womb with pin-straight hair. It was the trend. I strived so hard to achieve that look, but could never quite grasp it.
Throughout high school I used to BEG my mom to help me straighten my curls every night, especially when I had to cheer a game the next day. To give some context for when I say “straighten,” I don’t mean simply running a super hot flatiron through my hair. To get my hair even in the realm of being “straight,” I need to first and most importantly, blow dry it. I take very small sections with a brush in one hand, blowdrier in the other, and pull and break a sweat while maintaining a laser focus to not tangle my hair. THEN, I take the flatiron and straighten in very (I mean very), small sections at a time. It’s incredibly time consuming, sometimes taking up to 2 hours, and I always have to do it almost completely naked to avoid drenching my clothes in sweat. Long story short– it’s THE WORST. (Also if you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll understand why I choose to pay endless amounts at DryBar to have someone else do it for me…)
When I got to college, I was slapped in the face with a struggle that I absolutely dreaded– my mom wouldn’t be there to help me straighten it. In my head, this was an absolute crisis. I always felt that my curly hair made me feel messy, not put together and, I hate to say it, but ugly. It’s
was still (if I’m being honest) an insecurity of mine that I’m still trying to overcome. There are days when I let it go wild, and it carries a strength that makes me feel like I can take on the world. But, there are days when I don’t even want to think about leaving the house if it’s not straightened out. However, lately, it hasn’t been bothering me too much.
So, I thought I would share a bit of my haircare tricks for those who might go through the same battle.
*pink indicates link to the product
For when you let those curls do their thang:
- Condition, deep condition: About 1-2 times a week I replace my usual conditioner with a deep conditioner that I leave in a bit longer in the shower. I never seem to stick to the same shampoo and conditioner, but lately I’ve been using ColorProf Super Rich Moisture (purple bottles). They work SO well and also lock in color.
- Overnight Hair Mask: My little cousin actually taught me this one. Once a week I use Aveda’s be curly hair mask. I put a dime size amount throughout my damp hair, put on a shower cap and leave it on overnight, rinsing it in the morning. This is SUPER moisturizing, so definitely only needed once a week. It defines curls and gives them that extra softness boost.
- Frizz Ease John Frieda Dream Curls Curl Perfecting Spray: I’ve spritzed this in my hair since the 7th grade. There have been times when I’ve ditched it or have forgotten to use it for quite some time– but I always go back to using it. Each time, I’m always like Why did I stop buying this??? This is a must-have. If this list was ranked, this product would be number one. It blasts the frizz away without depleting the volume.
- Silk pillow case: I started sleeping on a silk pillowcase a couple months ago and I am never going back. I forgot to bring it back home with me for Thanksgiving break, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference. It keeps my curls from frizzing and looking dry.
- Microfiber towel/ paper towel trick: I don’t do this as often as I should, but I learned that the fibers in a normal towel can damage curly hair. The friction when you towel dry make curls frizzy and dry. A microfiber towel dries your hair without inviting frizz. However, I’ve also learned that taking 2-3 sheets of paper towels and sort of taking individual wet curls and lightly patting them dry through blotting does the same trick.
- Scrunchies: Don’t you just hate when you leave your hair up in a hair tie for only 10 minutes, take it down, only to see that nasty dent in your hair? I do. Especially having curly hair with volume, the last thing I need is for it too look uber flattened at the top compared to the bottom.
For straightening it (almost) like those talented people at DryBar:
- TGI Bed Head straighten out: This serum is THE BEST. I take a little bit and run it though my hair after brushing it while it’s damp. As soon as it’s in my hair, the curls immediately start to become straight.
- Wetbrush: I always struggle with keeping my hair from getting tangled while I straighten it. The Wetbrush has such fine bristles, they are able to take individual strands of hair and get all the knots out. Anyone with truly curly hair will tell you that they NEVER dare to brush out their hair after showering if they plan to leave it curly. Otherwise it becomes ridiculously frizzy. I wear my hair curly most of the time, and let me tell you, the knots I sometimes come across send me into a panic. Before I straighten my hair, I have to brush it out while it’s wet almost immediately after I shower. The Wetbrush never disappoints.
- Flat tool blow drier: Most people are aware of this trick– but, in case you aren’t, do yourself a favor and buy a blow drier that comes with a flat nozzle. It looks like this:
- Round brush: I go back and forth between blowdrying my hair with a round brush that has fine bristles, and a round brush that has thicker bristles. I usually switch it up depending on what part of my hair I’m working on. For the curlier, more difficult sections, I use the finer bristles to separate the curls. However, the must-have regardless of bristle type, is that it needs to be a smaller sized round brush. The smaller it is, the easier it is to get to the root of your hair. If you click on the link highlighted in blue, that’s the size (1-1/4 inch).
- Hair Clips: When going through the process of straightening hair, clips are a necessity. It helps to pull hair away so you can get to the root and make sure you aren’t missing any spots. I use about 4 clips for when I am blow drying and straightening with a flatiron.
- Miracle Oil Plus Keratin: I’ve gone back and forth using this throughout the years, but it seems to always get the job done. I put a small amount throughout my dry hair after the flatiron process is over to seal it all in. It takes away the leftover frizz and leaves it super smooth.
- Hot rollers: I use these for those times when after the whole straightening process is over and my hair still looks super frizzy. Or, if my hair turns out to be a bit too flat. Instead of leaving it, I’ll use hot rollers for about 20-40 minutes. This trick always seems to flatten out the excess frizz and make large bouncy curls. Or, give my hair the volume it needs. However, they never quite hold. Most of the time it turns into a wave. But, it still does the trick.
Hope you enjoyed and these tricks helped! 🙂