A Curly Girl’s Tale

Okay, so it’s been almost two whole months since my Intro post. The project I teased last time….still not done…

But, hey, its been a crazy couple of months with the baby and the holidays etc. and now its gonna rain for a week straight so I cannot spray paint outdoors (the garage is still full of boxes from our move, so let’s not even go there…). I’m just not gonna sweat it and we’ll just get on with it!

I’ve been meaning for some time to post about my current hair styling routine, especially because pregnancy and postpartum do a number on your hair and I’ve had to adjust my routine for my hair to look fuller and thicker. During pregnancy, everyday I felt like I walked out of a Pantene commercial with a glossy, lush head of hair. Then three months after my delivery to the day – BOOM – massive hair shedding!! I had bald spots. On my hairline. In the front! Luckily, the hair loss is slowing down and I have regrowth but, man, I was really scared for a while that it would never come back!

So many of you who know me, know that I have pretty curly hair and that I have had a love/hate relationship with it for most of my life, as do most other curly girls. I remember when the movie “Curly Sue” came out when I was little, and everyone in my family called me Curly Sue. For a little while, I enjoyed having that cute moniker, especially because the girl in the movie was adorable! And then I hit my awkward pre-teen years and the cute curly hair somehow turned into a frizzy birds nest. Those years were pretty traumatizing! Then, at 13, my favorite Uncle came to visit us and took me to get my hair permanently straightened at the salon! This was before all the Japanese and Brazillian hair straightening systems out there now so it was basically just getting my hair chemically relaxed. But I didn’t know any better. All I knew was that I finally had the kind of beautiful straight hair that I had always longed for… Unfortunately, that didn’t last long and I was back to frizz city! It wasn’t until I discovered flat irons during freshman year of college that I was back to having silky straight hair. After college, I tried the Japanese hair straightening system and then I tried the Brazillian Blowout but all of that taming just made my hair worse and worse. Now, in my 30s, I’ve learned a lot of great tips over the years to style my curly hair and I’ve come to embrace it and maybe even love it again!

So, to illustrate my daily hair care routine, I’ve enlisted the help of my sister/model/nanny/life-saver!

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Step 1: Step out of the shower and AWAY from the towel!

Do not dry your hair. Any kind of friction against the hair shaft causes frizz. I’ve found the best way to have great curls is to style hair when it’s sopping wet. But, practically speaking, that just leaves your clothes soaking wet and is highly unpleasant. Instead, after showering I usually flip my sopping wet hair over in the tub and twist it like so:

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Then squeeze with all your might to get out excess water. You will probably have to repeat a few times depending on how curly your hair is. In general, the curlier the hair, the more water it holds. My sisters hair is actually not as curly as mine so it was much easier to dry this way.

Step 2: Flip hair upside down and comb through tangles with a wide-tooth comb, back to front.

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This step gives you a really good lift at the roots giving your hair volume. But it kinda makes you look like the girl from The Ring :/

Step 3: Curl Creme.

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I use Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls. I feel like its the only creme I’ve tried that defines curls without making them crunchy. I rub a nickel sized amount of creme between my hands and work through the shaft and the ends of my hair, while avoiding my roots.

Step 4: Flip hair back and style/part using your fingers.

You can use the comb again to part and style at this point but you will lose some of the volume that you got from step 2. But if you have a lot of hair and aren’t worried about volume, then go for it. Be sure to take each strand of hair and twirl it with your fingers and scrunch to really enhance definition. You don’t have to go through your entire head, just the front pieces, the top layer at the crown and a few pieces in the back.

Step 5: Air dry or use a hair dryer with a diffuser.

To speed things up (the baby was about to wake up), I used a hair-dryer with diffuser on my sister’s hair but air drying is the best way to avoid frizz.

Step 6 (optional): Smoothing serum for shine.

This step is gives your hair some polish and a last defense against unruly frizz but some days it can weigh your hair down too much. Depends on whether or not your hair is freshly washed or not. (I only wash my hair every 2-3 days).

Here are the before/after pics (It had gotten dark by the time we finished. That’s why the after pictures are indoors and not as clear):

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Do you have any tips/tricks for styling frizzy or curly hair? I’d love to hear them!

2 thoughts on “A Curly Girl’s Tale

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