Keeping it Curl-icious

Friday, March 25, 2011

Soooo. My hair. My hair that for most of my younger years was the bane of my existence. I just didn't know what to do with it! It frizzed out most of the time and if it wasn't in braids in highschool that meant something spectacularly special was going on. Cause that girl with the pony tail braid everyday? Totally me. 

Luckily in college I read in a magazine somewhere the following advice : 

"Like how another woman is styling her hair? Ask her how she does it."

This might seem obvious but to me, in college, it was mind blowing. I feel like we're always taught to admire other people but not attempt to aspire to the same greatness. It's like we're all so afraid that someone's going to get offended if we tell them how great they look and that we'd love to try it ourselves. But armed with this 'revolutionary' guise to hair care I went out into the world - and conquered (though I have to admit I primarily stuck to my friends/fellow students when asking).

The first thing I learned?

1) Unless you're going to be straightening your curls, put down the brush.

Brushing your curls just encourages frizz and destroys every natural curl your hair is trying desperately to form. If you have to use anything use a wide toothed comb, but I recommend just your fingers - that's all I use. 

2) Less is more - and gel is usually the enemy.

I hate to say any one product is the enemy, and I'm sure gel has undergone some drastic changes since when I used it, but you know what I think gel is good for? Nothing. It ends up making your curls crunchy and if god forbid you use too much? White flakes. Not pretty.

3) Try clipping your curls to the top of your head while they dry - or washing the night before and letting the curls dry horizontal.

I know it sounds ridiculous, but 90% of the time I wash my hair at night. Then when I lay down to sleep I scoop all of my hair up and over my pillows so that I don't crush anything. If all goes well and I didn't move too much during the night, I wake up with beautiful volumized curls that need little to nothing from me to wear out. Sometimes I get the same result from using a big clip and gently holding everything on top of my head while it dries, but as curly hair has a mind of it's own, nothing is guaranteed.

I'm sure someone out there is going to want to talk to me about a diffuser, but I've been there and tried that. I don't really like it and I don't think my curls look all that great when I'm forced to do it. 

4) And now on to products....

For my shampoo and conditioner I swear by Pantene. I'm currently using the Dry to Moisturized curl line, but I really think it's just a matter of preference. Pantene is in the budget and has never let me down so if you're in the market for something new I highly recommend it.

After washing my hair first I use my fingers and comb through Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave in Conditioning Creme. It's anti-frizz and I much prefer a cream over a serum. Next I pour a little Bumble and Bumble Bb Curl Defining Creme into the palm of my hand, emulsify it, flip my head over and scrunch it into my hair from root to tip, bottom of my hair to the front. This makes sure that everything gets a bit of product but the top bits, the curls you definitely don't want to over-product, get the least.

**Now I know the Bumble and Bumble creme is not cheap. $28 from Blue Mercury in fact, but I consider it worth. One bottle lasts me months, which means I don't feel ripped off. Still looking for a cheaper alternative? Try Pantene Curls Anti Frizz Creme - it gives me very similar results for about half the price. BUT I think it might be discontinued so if your local drugstore doesn't carry it I'm sorry for recommending something you can't get! :( **

5) Let air dry and that's it!

I hope this hasn't been too 'duh' for people and maybe one or two of you have actually discovered a few products you'd like to try for yourself! It's definitely been a matter of trial and error to get my hair to work for me so I always say try to buy products from places with a good return policy and never over look the value of a good hair cut!

Questions? Leave them in the comments and I'll answer what I can!

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