It’s the ultimate paradox in life: curly-haired girls would love to have straight hair, whereas straight-haired ladies would kill for some sort of wave in their strands.
I’m one of those curly-haired kids who has tortured my hair endlessly with straightening irons and blow dryers. It has taken a long time for me to love my curly hair, in fact most days our relationship is classified as “love-hate.” Mostly others love it (and touch it, why must everyone feel it’s ok to caress the curls? That brings on the frizz!), I do love it in the morning, but by the evening I’m reaching for elastics to pile it on top of my head.
Growing up I didn’t have the head of curls that I have now, in fact until it was decided before I began grade 7 that I should get a perm my hair was straight. You know the perm, so many girls had it in the early 90’s, it was reminiscent of Mariah Carey at the time. I’d show pictures, but that along with my teeth pre-braces and horribly big glasses, I’ve destroyed all evidence of that time in my life. After realizing that perhaps the perm wasn’t the best look for me (almost immediately) I slowly started the growing out and then chopping off process to get rid of the perm. Much to my horror, the re- growth had come in curly as well. Hairdressers blamed it on the teenage hormones coursing through my body, apparently your hair type changes a few times throughout your life.
I’m still waiting for it to change back.
After 15 years of dealing with the curl (not going to lie, admitting that 15 years has passed made me gasp a little) I think I’m starting to figure this mass of hair out. Living in Vancouver has only made the mission to love my hair harder. Humidity and moisture in the air makes frizz a constant battle whether I’ve spent hours painstakingly making it smooth or spent just as long perfecting the ringlets only to step outside and have all my hard work ruined by the ever-present Vancouver rain.
At this point I’m finally giving up and just deciding to work with the curls I have, it seems that slightly frizzy curls are at least easier to salvage than completely frizzy no- longer straightened hair. I think I have finally come up with a process that doesn’t make me completely hate how I look with curls and I thought I’d share it for anyone who suffers from curls. Hopefully this will help them in their quest for acceptable curls before they give up more than half of their life trying to find success.
1 ) The first step is the washing, some people will swear by curl enhancing shampoos, myself not so much. As long as you’re using something that is clarifying, meaning that it’s cleaning the strands really well, you’re leaving no build up of product on your hair and not weighing the curls down.
2 ) A huge change I’ve made is that I don’t use a towel to dry my hair anymore. I read somewhere about how bad the terrycloth is on the hair follicle and it was recommended to use a t-shirt. I was skeptical, but it has really cut down on my frizz. Just wrap your head in a shirt as you would the towel, it soaks up much more water and doesn’t damage the hair.
3 ) Next is leave in conditioner, I recently began using Aveda’s Damage Remedy: Daily Hair Repair and I cannot say enough good things about this product. You use it when you’re combing your hair out after the shower. Add it before you straighten or leave it to air dry. It has done wonders to lower the amount of split ends on my head. It works so good sometimes that if I’m washing my hair at night, I’ll put it in my hair and air dry as I sleep; I wake up in the morning with the best looking loose curls.
4 ) If you are going to be washing and drying in one shot instead of my lazy bed head method above I recommend using the Aveda and then Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious: Defining Cream (I use for fine curls, they make it for course/tight curls as well). Only use the suggested dime size drop though, I’ve used more thinking my thick hair needed more, but I ended up with too much product. Bumble and Bumble also makes a spray called Curl Conscious for All Curls: Reactivating Mist that you use mid-day or after sleeping on your curls that helps perk them up. Of all the curl-enhancing products I’ve used, and trust me there have been many, Bumble and Bumble has been the best, hands down.
5 ) It’s my firm belief that blow driers are the root of all frizz (and split ends), but sometimes they are required. If you have to blow dry, I suggest doing it only briefly after air drying as much as possible and stopping before it’s completely dry.
6 ) Finally, DO NOT, under any circumstance touch the curls. Swat away the people that want to touch your beautiful curls. Fingers = frizz. If you have to put your hair up only to take it down later, use a big clip elastics will only ruin your ringlets.
I do realize that some of the products I’ve listed can be pricey, but trust me when I say use a dime-sized amount. The bottles are pretty large so they go a long way and generally you’re not re-purchasing that often. If you want something a little more economical, then I recommend the John Frieda Frizz-Ease line, especially the Dream Curls spray.