My Curly Hair Routine
I've been holding off on writing this post because, well, there's a ton to say and I can't honestly say I've completely got my curl routine under control. But exploration leads to great things and who knows, maybe I'll have some sort of epiphany while writing this and my hair will magically become perfect - long shot, but hey, why not.
Let me start out by saying that my hair is weird as hell. I am black, white, and the tiniest bit Native American, and somehow I ended up with a ton of very fine and soft, super curly, red hair. I literally had an orange afro as a toddler and it was definitely a look (see picture below). Needless to say neither side of my family really knew how to deal with my curls and none of the products they were used to were all that helpful on my hair. So, basically my hair was constantly in a ponytail until I was a teenager. As teenagers do, I hated my hair. It was a pain in the butt to brush and to style and to control, so eventually I convinced my mom to let me get one of those permanent straightening treatments - thus began several years of stick straight and pathetically flat hair.
Fast forward to now and I have, at the very least, embraced my curls. The problem is, I have trouble sticking to a style. I love my first day, and sometimes even second day curls, but after that I want lovely beachy, gritty waves and then the next day a smooth and voluminous blowout that screams modern Southern belle. Let's face it though, all that would be a lot of effort. If I had an unlimited budget I would have it professionally blown out for the weekdays and wear it curly on the weekends, but alas, I do not. So what happens instead? Honestly, I'm so busy most of the time that I wear my hair curly 90% of the time. While I love the ease of doing different hairstyles when my hair is straight (and am still convinced my hair looks redder when straight) I just can't be bothered with heat tools a lot of the time. Instead, I go for the curliest, biggest hair I can possibly get (again my Southern heritage coming out with the volume obsession). Here's how I do it:
- Wash and condition with the Live Clean Coconut shampoo and conditioner - I'm not attached to these products, but I was sent them for free and they work just fine, so until I find a natural replacement I like, I'm sticking with them.
- Use some sort of hair mask - I'm currently working my way through the end of a tub of the Living Proof Restore Mask treatment. Again, not in love with this, but it was expensive so I feel the need to use it all up. It's an okay mask, I just wish it made my hair that ridiculously soft softness that some masks give you.
- Getting the water out - I have a special super absorbent hair towel that I am obsessed with. With a regular towel and air drying, my hair literally takes hours to dry. With this, after 5 minutes I'm at a comfortably damp place.
- Leave-in treatment - Just picked up the Shea Moisture 100% Pure Monoi Oil to scrunch through the mid to ends of my hair. It smells good and adds shine and I can't ask for anything more really. Now that it's summer I'll also probably be shamelessly spritzing my hair with the OGX Lemon Highlights Mist. Is it natural? No. But I still hold onto the hope that it will be effective.
- Drying - Alright, so to get my hair as big and not frizzy as possible, I use a hair dryer with a diffuser and dry with my head upside down. I'm talking bent at the waist, face to my knees, upside down. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes. To get it completely dry takes me maybe 20 or so minutes - I stop when my arms ache too much. If I'm trying to avoid the arms aching and am in a rush, I'll let it air dry, and it still gets big, but not satisfyingly big. If I'm showering at night, I throw it in a loose braid, sleep on it wet, and let it air dry in the morning.
- Haircuts - I've had long hair and I've had short hair and my hair when curly always frustratingly stays the same length, so when I do switch things up it's usually based on how I want to style my hair when it's straight. Short hair takes so much less time to style. I typically will get my hair professionally cut once a year, if that. To save money I trim it myself basically whenever I feel like doing it, which is sometimes often, and sometimes rarely. My one suggestion if you have curly hair, is to get your hair cut by someone who either has or is very experienced with cutting curly hair. I have had so many bad haircuts from girls with straight hair, but I've been lucky and diligent about finding curly haired girls to cut my hair in recent years and the difference is amazing. I personally go for a mostly blunt cut (my preference when my hair is straight) with very light layering (so my curls don't dry into a weird pyramid).
That's it! My very long post on how I deal with my curls. If you have any suggestions on natural hair products for curls, please let me know in the comments!!