I Thought I’d Never: Hair Edition

I was over at http://collegecurlies.blogspot.com and read a post that asked readers “What natural hair phenomena did  you think you would be exempt from, only to find yourself becoming the poster child for it?”

I have had a pretty solid routine from day one which has included tons of co-washes, wash ‘n go’s and using a comb/fingers to detangle all my hair at one time.  I would read testimonials about other naturals insisting on washing/detangling in sections and warning others of the perils of single-strand knots.  Because I couldn’t relate, I have always skipped over those stories.  I figured those issues would never apply to me.

Until now.

Single-strand knot

I’d say that starting this summer I have found more single-strand knots than I know what to do with.  I find myself ripping them off knowing good and well I need to find some scissors and cut them out, a la the “seek and destroy” method.  I shudder when I think of all the split ends I am causing myself with all of these single-strand knots, regretting all that time I spent taking it for granted that I didn’t have that issue.

Furthermore, I have noticed that my hair has gotten so long that detangling it (in the shower drenched in conditioner) as one, big section is too much!  My hair is too long for me to reach all the way to the bottom (behind my head and past my shoulders).  I now divide it into two sections and bring each section forward to detangle the ends.  Detangling now takes roughly twice the time it did before.

Look at me now…those are two things I once thought would NEVER apply to me and now they have become some of my biggest hair concerns.  My, how much hair can change in just a matter of months!

The longer this hair gets, the more work it takes.  I vowed to myself after cutting it last year that I would allow my hair to hit bra-strap length before I thought about cutting it…I’m praying that I can last that long.  It is my belief that once it gets that long, I will no longer be as tempted to cut it off.  Bra-strap length should be here by next summer…this is about to be a long final year.

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How Do You Get Your Hair to Curl Like That?

My curls were popping that night!

                The above question is one that I get asked at LEAST once daily.  I generally respond with the simple, “It’s naturally like that-I don’t do anything.”  People (mainly women) give me the side-eye before inquiring about mousse, gels and other curl enhancers.  To all of this I again repeat, “no, nothing,” but in all actually there is a basic, easy regimen that I swear by that I will share with you all here.

                While my curls are natural, the biggest thing I do for my curls is not combing them or disrupting them after exiting the shower.  While in the shower I wash/condition/co-wash (whatever is scheduled for that day) and comb my hair out with conditioner in it.  Afterwards I rinse the conditioner out and allow the water to drench my hair-I literally stand underneath the shower and let the water run all in my hair.  If I want part of my hair to fall to the side, I will part my hair in the shower, then allow the water to run over my hair in the direction I have the part.  After getting out of the shower I gather my hair at the nape of my neck, wring out the excess water, then wrap my hair up in a towel.  Within 5 minutes of my hair being in the towel I take it off-I still want my hair pretty wet when it begins airdrying.

                The next thing that I will do is grab my Jojoba oil (it’s usually my oil of choice because it closely resembles sebum, the natural oil our bodies already produce) and lightly mist it throughout my hair.  This step is extremely important because it locks in the moisture from all the water that just hydrated my tresses.  To make sure it’s evenly distributed throughout, I will gently pick up sections of my hair and spray inside my mass of curls as well so that it’s moisturized, but I’m always very careful to disrupt my curls as little as possible. 

                My final step is taking an aerosole can of hairspray (right now I’m using John Frieda Frizz Ease) and while I count to 5, I rapidly spray my hair all over.  Side-to-side, upside down and everything in between will get sprayed within those 5 seconds.  This is easily the most unhealthy thing I do to my hair (besides rarely sleeping on a silk/satin pillowcase/bonnet) but it helps my curls last more than 1 day.  Yes, they would probably last longer if I invested in a satin pillowcase but I have yet to do that (so quit judging me lol). 

                One thing that is important to note is that during the summer time, I will co-wash and leave the conditioner in my hair.  When I do this, I am able to skip spraying Jojoba oil and hairspray because the conditioner that was left in does all of that for me.  I don’t practice that in the colder months because I don’t like walking around with wet hair in cold temperatures-leaving conditioner in my hair takes longer to dry. 

                So there you have it folks; I really do not use any sort of curl enhancers, mousse or gels.  By simplifying my routine and messing with my hair as little as possible, my curls are flourishing.

Sephora (and Simplicity) Saves!

             If you read yesterday’s post, I was in a dark place.  As a result of my hair I was definitely having an “ugly” day.  I felt terrible.  As promised, I hit up Sephora in the hopes that it would give me a brighter outlook.  They didn’t disappoint.

I opted for red in honor of Miami University's Stepshow tonight at 7PM in Oxford

                Who would’ve known that such an ugly feeling day would turn around and have me feeling so fabulous a mere day later?  The biggest thing I noticed when making this turnaround is keeping it simple.  Instead of spending all kinds of time oiling, moisturizing, braiding and tying up my hair, I merely co-washed it and let it go.  And regarding makeup, instead of throwing on shea butter, followed by berry lipstick and then finally topping it with gloss I simply slapped some red lipstick on it and went.

Better view of the lipstick

Simplicity folks…moral of the story.