I said I was going to write a blog post about this, so here it is. A totally indulgent post on something I am passionate about: CURLY HAIR.
Women with curly hair (this might be true for men, but I can only speak for myself and most of the curly-haired girls I know) are usually pretty conscious of the state of their hair. For most of us, there’s no such thing as a “throw it in a ponytail” day, like straight-haired gals have.
Why, you ask?
FRIZZ. Curly hair dislikes being tamed. It will fight that ponytail holder with all it’s got. If even a few of your hairs are shorter than the rest, they will stand at attention and stick out as soon as the water from your shower evaporates. It’s curly hair’s middle finger, see.
I am one of the luckier curly gals, I think. My hair is actually pretty thin … I just have a lot of it. This means that given the right amount of product and a ponytail tight enough to give me a migraine by midday, I can make my hair lay pretty flat (basically, be presentable in an office setting).
That brings me to a huge point of contention in the world of curly hair: Product and treatment. Nearly every magazine article you see about hair types will tell you to do the following for curls:
- Moisturize often and early. Curly hair is actually very dry. I do not know why this is.
- Do not wash your hair every day. This blows me away. I know it relates to the above bullet, but who gets away with second-day curls and doesn’t look homeless or recently-bedded? And, don’t these people ever work out?
- Blot your hair dry with an old t-shirt, never rub and never use a towel. I tried this once, and my hair didn’t get dry at all, which made it impossible to style, and ended up getting the back of my shirt wet.
- Distribute some leave-in curl cream, use your fingers to create individual ringlets, and then do not touch your hair until it is dry. I do not know what this magical “curl cream” is, but if you can find me a SINGLE product that can do the work of leave-in conditioner, mousse and shine serum, please let me know.
- Or, use a diffuser. I would rather go to work with wet hair than try to use a diffuser. I have been trying and trying to use one correctly since I was 9, and all I get is insta-frizz. 3 minutes into the process, I can usually tell that the session is going downhill. I can occasionally get solid curls in a crunch by lifting the hair in sections (GENTLY), and holding the dryer on low right next to the hair. Diffusers are ridiculous and I do not endorse them.
I would like to know if the authors of said articles actually had curly hair. I say this because you do not understand curly hair unless you have curly hair. If you are looking for a new stylist, always ask if they specialize in curly hair. It sounds high-maintenance, but the last thing you want is some idiot underestimating how much curly hair shrinks when it dries, leaving you with hair 2″ shorter than you planned. (On a side note, I had a stylist argue with me about how curly my hair was as she took a blowdryer to it — NO PRODUCT INVOLVED. I said nothing and walked out of there looking like hell just to prove a point.)
Hair has been a point of concern for me lately, because my hair has been getting less curly lately. I think it’s the birth control hormones wearing off, because when I was taking it, I had ridiculous ringlets. I loved them. And now I am realizing how much I miss them.
I’ve always been a hair junkie. I love hair products (my current holy trinity of Fructis leave-in conditioner, pantene pro-v mousse and fructis shine serum gets the job done), reading about hair styles, hair treatments, etc. Watching those makeovers on America’s Next Top Model — especially the ones where the girls with beautiful long hair go to those “Mia Farrow” cuts she talks about EVERY BLOODY SEASON — make me cringe.
On a semi-related note, do not — under any circumstances — go up to someone you don’t know and try to touch their curls. I don’t know who first decided that this was even remotely appropriate, but it has happened to me on multiple occasions. Not only are you not supposed to touch curly hair in the first place (frizz prevention), but as you can see, many women with curly hair are neurotic about it. I have a hell of a poker face, but when this has happened to me, I reportedly give a pretty good death glare. Get out of my personal space, and back the $*%& off my hair.
Thank you for indulging me. Back to regularly scheduled commentary about food, exercise and social media later.
image from Q8y_dream’s Photostream
image from Stacey Lynn Photography’s Photostream