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Embracing My Curly Hair

Curly hair, blessing or curse?  Now that I'm almost forty - blessing, but thirty years ago it was a curse.  It took me a lot of years to finally give in and embrace the curls, as in the past ten years have been curly.  With age comes wisdom, a truer saying was never said.

I would say the last four years have been the best.  I've completely embraced the curls and no longer fight them.  I'm constantly learning about curly hair and the number one thing I can tell all my curly haired sisters - no two heads of curly hair are the same.  What works for some, just won't work for others.

Key things I've learned

April 2012
Longer is better for me.  I wore my hair short for a number of years, still cussing my curly hair, but believing that it was the easiest way for me to deal with it.  When we moved to Alaska, see photo at right, I committed to growing my short 'do out.  

While longer is better, too long was too much for me.  Just above my shoulders is the perfect length for me.  It's long enough to pull up on those days when hair is just too much, but it's easy enough to leave down.

Less drying is better.  If you dry curly hair with a blow-dryer, which is a must in the cold Alaska winters, don't go all the way to dry.  If you dry curly hair completely, even with a diffuser, you're gonna get frizz!  Leave a little moister so your curls can dry a little on their own.

Find the right product for you.  Curly hair needs some kind of styling product.  I use a Curl cream and an oil.  I've tried a number of things and this is the best combo for me, but I also keep some moose and some frizz serum.

Curly really is easier, once you take the time to learn what makes your hair happy.

My Hair Routine

May 2014
Wash & Condition:  I wash and condition my hair daily.  Don't have a fave here, but currently, I use Tresemme Advance Technology Purify & Replenish for both shampoo and conditioner.

Curl Cream:  While my hair is still wet, not damp, I mix a nickel size blob of cream with a little bit of water in my hands.  Then I finger comb it all into my locks.  My favorite curl cream is Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream.

Dry:  Using a diffuser, I hit it with the blow-dryer to bring it to the wet side of damp.  What the heck does that mean?  It means that it's still more wet than dry, wetter than damp.  Yes.  Weird, but experiment.  You'll figure it out.  I did.

Oil:  Once I've gotten to the damp phase I put about a dime size pool of oil in the palm of my hand and rub it between both hands.  Then I scrunch my hair.  This keeps the oil at a minimum so my hair isn't greasy.  I use Biosilk Silk Therapy Original.


Sometimes I use Frizz Ease Mousse in place of the curl cream and let my hair air dry.  Once it's dry I tend to stick my fingers in my hair close to my scalp and shake the "stiffness" out of my hair.  I don't like crunchy hair.

When there's humidity, such as when we travel to Hawaii, I use Frizz-Ease Hair Serum when my hair is wet, skip the dryer, and scrunch in a little oil.

Just a couple more notes

August 2016 - Current
Brushing: Lots of curly people say you should never brush your hair.  I can say I don't follow this rule.  However, the only time my hair is brushed is in the morning when I pull my crazy bedhead into a clip. When I do this, I don't brush it all out, I only brush from the roots enough to pull it all together if that makes sense.

No-Poo: I tried it, I thought I'd die.  Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was a pretty yucky experience.  I will never be a no-poo girl.  

Bobby Pins: Learning to use bobby pins was a HUGE game changer for me.  Not only do I have curly hair, but I have a gob of it and while it's really fine, it's also very heavy when I pull it up.  I can pin things up in sections to distribute the weight.  It rocks!

Octopus/Spider Clips:  The other game changer for pulling up my hair are octopus/spider clips.  I've found that this style of clip doesn't pull my hair as tight, which again helps with the weight and headache effect.  I prefer the Goody brand, but I do have a few of the Scunci brand as well.  I have both small and medium sizes and I always carry one in my bag.  

This is what works for me, and maybe it will help you if you're struggling to love your curls.  Feel free to leave your questions,  share your love, or vent your hate for the curls in the comments below.  

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