Thursday, January 22

Let Me Tell You About My Hair

Strange topic for a post, but hey, when have I ever been normal?

This post feels a bit vain, but it's been on my mind for a while now, and while it may be all about me, I actually write it all for all the curly girls out there.

My hair is (mostly) dark brown and curly. But it wasn't always...

As I've been told (or maybe I just told myself), my hair was black when I was born, and I had A LOT of it. Then it all fell out and started coming in blonde (blond?). As I grew, it got darker and darker until - BAM - gray! Yay. -_-

It was also straight. VERY straight. I remember wearing sponge rollers in my hair all day on a Saturday so I could have curls for Sunday, and then the curls just wilting away before we ever got to church. My mother was not happy, but it really wasn't my fault.

Bonus shot of Ben's awkward years...

And then, the awkward years.

Around 13 or 14, you know that time when everything feels awkward just because you're 13? Well that's when my hair decided it didn't want to be straight anymore. But I didn't just wake up with the lovely curls I have now, I was subjected to years of transition. I tried my best to deny it. Attempted to straighten it and flatten it with the only tool I possessed: a think-barreled curling iron. Genius. Didn't work. Just turned into a triangle. One friend told me she loved how much volume my hair had. She actually said she loved how much hair my body had, but that was an awkward moment I'd rather not dwell on right now.

I look like I'm in pain in that top left pic...
When I was 14, my cousin Shelbie told me I should let my hair do its natural thing instead of trying to brush it into submission. So for my 15th birthday, I finally caved in and went to my mom's hair dresser. He layered my hair and put some gel in it while it was still wet, and viola! Curly hair! He also found my first gray hair that day, so the memory is somewhat bittersweet...

So for nearly 15 years, I did my best to find the perfect combination of products and methods to make my hair look its very best.

Someone told me to try volumizing stuff and I laughed in their face. Volume was NOT the problem. Frizz was. And in a way, volume was a problem. Way too much of it. Especially those four years in Texas. Humidity was not my friend. I actually found a de-volumizing product and bought it in bulk...

Last June, I decided to try a different hair dresser, so I searched for one specializing in curly hair, and picked the one with the best reviews. That led me to Curls Gone Wild in Gilbert. Quite a drive, but oh, so worth is.

Every hair cut I'd had for 15 years was the same: wash, rinse, condition, rinse, comb, pull straight up to layer cut, a little bit of gel, and on my way.

For this one, it was much different.

Washing was not really washing. No soapy shampoo, but rather a cream cleanser, and really just focused on the scalp.
Conditioning was crazy. So. Much. Conditioner. And finger combing with the conditioner and seeing all the hair shedding...
Rinsing this time was not as much. Really barely at all. About 75% of the condition put in was left in.
And then flipping the head over, squeezing out a little bit of the water/conditioner, and scrunching in gel. I'd tried the gel this way before with my other method, but I think I ended up nearly slipping and dying in the shower...
Then under a hooded dryer for a bit, while I read the book that has now changed my life.
When my hair was actually, fully dry, then she began the cutting. And she didn't cut my hair, she cut my curls.

Seriously. She teased and flipped each curl until she figured out how it would lay, cut it at the right height and turn in the curl, then pulled it aside. My whole head.

Walking in to the appointment, I thought I was having a pretty good hair day. Looking in the mirror after, I was floored by how much better my curls could look. Before I left the salon, two women commented on how amazing my hair looked. I'm not saying this out of pride, rather I was actually pretty prideful before, and I had been doing it all wrong! My hair looked better, and I felt humbled.

Since I don't blow dry and normal towels are terrible for curly hair, I flop my main into an old tshirt. It may look weird, but I love it.
That afternoon, my sister-in-law (who always has beautiful straight hair that she can curl just whenever she wants) actually said she wished she had curly hair.

Since then, I've thrown out my hair brush and gave away all my soapy shampoos. I bought DevaCurl everything and I'm completely hooked. Each curl is so defined and the poofiness is gone.

I went back in October and chopped off about nine inches. And amazingly, it wasn't really very layered. Most people couldn't tell there was any change from the front, but the back was dramatic. (something about business up front...) I went to visit Texas in November, and a friend there had thought I had tucked my hair into my shirt or something for my instagram picture. She was also amazed by the lack of layers. "How is it not... like... triangle shaped?!"

That's the power of the DevaCurl.

If you're reading this and you have curly hair, or slightly wavy hair, or straight hair that will never curl, I encourage you: love your hair. Figure out what is best for YOUR hair, not your "hair type" or whatever. I've seen curly girls straighten their locks then re-curl them with some tool. Don't torture your hair like that. Embrace who God created you to be.

If you're a curly girl and are interested in following the path I've taken, read this book.

I hope you've enjoyed my post. I've enjoyed talking about myself.

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