Now that you have Alan Jackson in your head or are groaning at my terrible pun, I should apologize. Sorry.
I think perhaps only the girls with naturally curly hair will get this post. Though we envy those with sleek, shiny, “perfect” hair, we always secretly wish we could sock it back to ’em with smooth, voluminous waves and corkscrews, preferably ones that we did not spend a lot of time and money on.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried every product you have ever heard of: serums, creams, masques, oils, mousses, gels, leave-in conditioners, or even goopy natural things like avocado or honey.
The cycle of frustration when a product eliminates only 50% of the frizz inevitably leads us back to the oh-so-wicked straighteners and blow-dryers, or even chemical straightening agents that make our own follicles unrecognizable to us for months or years at a time. Yikes.
Every now and then, you feel confident enough to go “natural”, but it rarely lasts long, at least not if you’re trying to look nice on a regular basis. If you don’t care, you just throw it up in a bun and hope it doesn’t make you look either adolescent or elderly.
When I was about 22, a person I cared about nicknamed me Olive Oyl because of my perpetually-present topknot. One day, while flying from Canada through the States to Mexico, Ihad a layover at an American airport. I had left my hair down that day, and was very surprised at the difference in the attention I got from the waiter and the barista, etc. They smiled at me! I took note. And felt empowered. There was something in this whole hair-down thing, I realized!
That awareness didn’t come with any miraculous frizz-busters, though, so I renewed my efforts to find something that would allow me to appreciate my curl in a way that didn’t involve getting up two hours early or spending hundreds of dollars on chemical treatments.
It wasn’t until this past December before I stumbled across what I think is the be-all, end-all for me and my curly-girl problems.
My magic solution? One word: conditioner.
A friend named Susan posted this article on Facebook a few months ago, and, after commenting about it a few times, thought, “what the heck?” and decided to try it.
The thing that continues to stand out to me about this article is the photograph of its author, Dahlia Kurtz:
Perhaps it’s those “spring-lets” that inspired me, I can’t say. Either way, I tried it and haven’t gone back.
If you haven’t read the article yet, here’s what you need to know:
a) Skip the shampoo. You heard me. No more shampoo. Apparently it’s bad for your hair and bubbles ruin our water. If you’re weirded out about skipping shampoo, so some research into the healthy stuff.
b) Take a little dish of brown sugar into the shower with you, and mix it up with some conditioner in your palm to give your scalp a wee scrub in place of the shampoo.
c) Let the sugar & conditioner mix soak in while you finish your shower.
d) I do the application and rinsing of the sugar & conditioner with my head hung forward, hair flipped over it. It seems to encourage my curl.
e) Rinse, if you haven’t gotten that bit already.
f) Wrap in either a micro-fibre towel or an old t-shirt to soak up the water. Don’t rub it with the towel. Be gentle!
g) While still wet, mix some more conditioner and some of your hair goop (my favourite is a curl cream, but I also use curl mousse), flip your hair forward again, and apply liberally. The more coarse your hair, the more goop you will need. It might take some trial and error to get a feel for how much you need, but you’ll get it!
h) For best results, blow-dry with a diffuser. If you don’t have a diffuser, not to worry: flip your hair forward and make sure your roots are good and dry. If your hair is heavy like mine, you might want to dry up some of the bulk of the wet hair, to encourage height and volume. I also try to use the “cool shot” feature on my hairdryer as much as possible – cool air does a great job of setting the hair and does less damage to it.
Easy as pie!
If you decide to adopt this method, I wanna hear about it! Meanwhile, pass this on to all the curly girls you know – start a naturally curly revolution!