Okay, you caught me- I desperately need to update my picture in the top right hand corner. Obviously my hair is much longer now! However, the point of this post is to explain how I have come to accept (and sometimes even love) my naturally curly hair. I had fought with a blow dryer and straightener for so many years and now with the more natural products and right tips I am using, I no longer look like a giant ball of frizz and most of the time you can actually make out my curls/waves. :)
Now, my poorly lit, self-taken photo does not make me look like a rock star, but I think it is pretty darn good for someone who could count on her fingers the number of times her hair looked good curly in the last 10 years. Now I can wear it like this every day- easy and no wondering how it will turn out. I’m hoping that sharing my hair experience will be helpful to anyone else who has beautiful, yet seemingly unruly/frizzy curly or wavy hair because it really just needs different treatment.
I learned most of my tips from the book Curly Girl and naturallycurly.com, but I’ve kind of put my own twist on some of the steps. First things first, I shower every day and this step is where I reveal my big secret- I hardly shampoo at all anymore. Maybe once a week at most, if and only if, my hair feels like it needs it. And no, my hair is not gross and greasy! I still clean my scalp well and my hair is now healthy and not frizzing out like crazy trying to get moisture from the air.
How I “wash” my hair daily now is by using a lot of conditioner, which I’m currently using MillCreek Botanicals Jojoba Conditioner. It is relatively inexpensive as far as natural hair care goes and I had purchased it from iHerb. However, after looking at the listing online, it seems as though some ingredients may have since changed and I’m not sure I’ll buy it again.
Back to the steps though, I wet my hair and put a good amount of conditioner on my fingertips and gently scrub my entire scalp. I then rinse this off (it does suds a little) and then put more on my hands which I work through my entire hair as normal conditioner and clip up until I am almost done with my shower. At the very end, I let it down and comb through with a wide tooth comb (this can take a few minutes so I try to save water by shutting it off). I then rinse my hair out with warm, but not hot water. Cold water is even better, but not my preference in the winter. ;) A little conditioner left in will not hurt my hair, just provide it extra moisture.
After getting out of the shower, I comb my hair again if needed, otherwise I just add a small amount two Jessicurl styling products I had left over from long ago (this is probably the most unnatural part of my routine as some of their “natural” ingredients aren’t good). I won’t link these as I am hoping to soon replace them with a homemade flax gel. I also use a little Giovanni sunset styling lotion and then I’m on to the next step which is plopping.
Yes, plopping both sounds and looks funny. There is a helpful YouTube video that shows how to plop and that is me with it on the left. My husband doesn’t generally appreciate this step, but it actually is really convenient to have my hair out of the way to put on makeup or eat breakfast. I use an old t-shirt spread out on my bed and I basically just get all my hair wrapped up in it. This really helps with drying time and having it curl a bit more. The longer I plop (usually between 15 and 40 minutes), the tighter curls I get.
Once I’m done plopping, I tilt my head upside down and unwrap the t-shirt, letting my curls fall out naturally. I part my hair, touching it as little as possible to avoid frizz, and then spray it lightly all around with a mix of water and cold pressed castor oil. I had previously used a mixture of glycerin and water which gave really great shine, but I attributed it to serious breakouts on my face. Not a trade I’m willing to make for any hairstyle. Below is me just after I do this, in the drying stage I dislike in the winter only because wet hair in the cold is not so fun.
However, once my hair dries fully, I am happy and may scrunch it a little or straighten my bangs (only if I’m still around home by then) and I may run a little bit of Jane Carter’s Nourish & Shine through it which is a wonderfully natural product that can be used to moisturize skin or hair. It wicks away any frizz that might still be hanging around. And that is it, even though it sounds like a long process typed out, it really is easy and saves me a lot of time (and frustration!) with a blow dryer and flat iron.
I have just a couple other comments to add about this new process (which I’ve been doing for a month and a half now). Overall, I have noticed that my face is much less oily. I used to wake up in the morning and need to wipe the oil off my forehead. I think that my scalp was really trying to make up for the natural moisture I was constantly stripping with shampoo and now it doesn’t have to do this. I wake up and my forehead is dry just like when I washed it the night before.
Also, I was always told my hair stylists not to shampoo every day. This used to be hard for me because working out during the week, I would want to shampoo no matter what because my hair felt dirty. Now I can condition-wash without hurting my hair every day so it’s not a problem at all anymore. I’m really happy with this new way of styling and if I do come across improvements and hopefully a new gel to use, I’ll certainly update this post!