Friday, September 13, 2013

A new fiber project

My hair!!  This is along the lines of a PSA ;-) 

I don't think I've ever mentioned it before, but I often have trouble sleeping.  One night last weekend when I couldn't sleep, I ended up doing a massive google research to see if there were any tips I could find to deal with my hair.

My hair has been bugging me for the last few years.  It's always been naturally wavy, but even more so since perimenopause.  When it's wet, it hangs in long, loose, pretty curls.  But as soon as it dries, it ends up in a frizzy, poofy mess!

Well, after that hair-research marathon, I ended up ordering the book Curly Girl.  I read it this week and today was my first day of trying out the method.  I'll outline below what I did, but first let me say I am very pleased for a first trial.  Check out my hair:

My hair is dry!!

Another resource I found is the website NaturallyCurly.com - there's a little test there you can take to find out what kind of curl or wave you have, which will influence what kind of care you need.  I'm a 2B  -  Wavy Curvy.

One of the problems I've had with my hair aside from the frizziness is that the curls and waves are not uniform across my head.  Apparently this is pretty common for my type of hair.  One of the reasons I'm so pleased today is that the waves look consistent for the first time.

So here's what I learned:

* Use sulfate free shampoo and conditioner.  Really - I had no idea.  I knew that my "moisturizing" shampoo and conditioner were drying out my hair, but didn't know there was another way.  And it was expensive salon stuff too!  I ended up buying Nature's Gate Hemp Shampoo and Conditioner from the health food store for 1/3 the price of my salon brand, and it works SO much better!

* Do not use combs or brushes.  The only detangling I did was with my fingers while it was wet. 

* Do not dry the hair with a regular bath towel - they are too textured and end up producing frizz.  I dried my hair by gently scrunching out the moisture with an old tee shirt.

* After washing and conditioning, scrunch gel or mousse into the hair and then DON'T TOUCH IT until it's dry.  This was really hard for me.  I'm so used to pulling it back into a ponytail or bun after combing it out.  But I hung in there, and I'm really pleased with the result.  Again, no need for an expensive salon product:  I used Suave Professionals Captivating Curls Mousse (recommended on NaturallyCurly) which I picked up at Target for about $3.  Once the hair is dry, scrunch it again to release the stiffness from the gel or mousse.

* Avoid products with the following ingredients:  sulfates, silicone, any other chemical ending in "cone" like dimethicone, alcohol.

So - really off topic from what I usually post about it, but I was super excited about this so I couldn't resist sharing!  I'm very curious to see how it looks tomorrow after I sleep on it.  But I may not sleep - I may just sit up all night admiring my hair!

Do any of you ladies have wavy or curly hair frustration?   I'm hoping this is helpful to someone else out there, but there's a good chance that all this is common knowledge and I'm late to the party yet again!

48 comments:

  1. I have curl structure very similar to yours. I've been working a version of the Curly Girl method for about 3 years now. I also use a Nature's Gate shampoo (the "herbal" flavor) after discovering a rather severe shampoo allergy to Hugo's Natural. It also turns out that I'm pretty allergic to regular shampoo, which I only discovered after the switch. It causes me to break out heavily along my neck and hairline. I love AG Re:Coil for my first product and I usually put in a mousse as well for hold. (Actually, I've also loved AG Curl Trigger and AG Volumizing Mousse, but I've scaled back on my expensive hair products. The mousse is Tresemme, I think.) My hair texture is very slippery so without the mousse it falls flat. Because of this, I dry my hair as I always have with my bath towel. I figure a little extra floof isn't a bad thing for my slippery hair. My hair has always been very healthy and never particularly dry like other curly girls experience, so co-washing doesn't work well for me. My hair just gets weighed down. I do normal (i.e. every day) shampoos and only recently started attempting to work "second day" hair. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Today is a good day, and I think it partially has to do with a how much product I put in the day before. I also love a DIY dry shampoo I make which helps me with the second day hair situation. I also like to use a diffuser to dry my hair partially. This helps set the curl structure and helps my hair dry in a reasonable amount of time. Otherwise my hair takes 4-6 hours to dry naturally. Without the product and the blow dryer, my hair looks very, very different. It's all my hair, but how it reacts is all in how it's treated. Amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh, that's a lot of information! I'm going to take notes on your comment - thanks! I've read other people saying they like the AG products, so I may check that out and I'm looking for a gel. My hair is also thick, but coarse, so the towel thing sort of took me by surprise. And mine also takes 4 - 6 hours to dry. I helped it along today with a diffuser. I've been in the habit of only washing my hair twice a week for years, so I'm interested to see if I can still get away with that having these products in it.

      Delete
  2. I have no curl to speak of; stick straight hair.

    But your hair is gorgeous!! I'd have a hard time refraining from brushing it, too. But it doesn't look tangly at all, just lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But you do such lovely things with your hair!

      Delete
  3. I will have nothing to add here (since I have very fine short hair), but I think I'll pick up a few tips between your post and the comments. I took the quiz for fun and I'm a 2A Wavy Swavy, lol. I'll have to look into Nature's Gate. I've recently had problems with breaking out along my hairline. I think your hair looks great in the picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently a lot of wavy-haired people have fine hair, but mine is quite coarse. I call it "hormone hair!" And the white ones that are coming in are even curlier than the brown ones!

      Delete
  4. wow, it looks great! i'm firmly in the "i can't stand my hair" camp. it's kinda wavy, fine, frizzy, and generally difficult to manage. the only time it looks okay is when it's short and i do all sorts of blow drying--which only destroys my hair. i end up growing it out to let the curls do their thing, but i'm never happy with how it looks. i've been seriously considering the "poo free" or "shamphree" methods of not using shampoo at all but instead using vinegar rinses and the like to restore your hair's natural moisture. i hear it takes several wks before it all balances out, and not sure i have the patience for that... anywho i'll check out your links! thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking it would take several weeks too, so I was really encouraged by this first poo-free day (hehehe!). I'm hoping it only gets better if I stick to the routine.

      Delete
  5. I think I have similar hair to yours. I straightened it for years because it wouldn't do what I wanted it to but now I don't have time in the mornings and just can't be bothered! For work I usually stick it up in a messy bun but sometimes I'll plait it and I really love the way my hair curls/waves when I undo the plait at the end of the day. I haven't done it for ages but I used to sleep with my hair in a plait for a special occasion to give it a better wave for the next day... My main problem at the moment is that I haven't had my hair cut for well over 6 months and it's starting to break and come out loads when I comb it. Yuck. I like your tips so might look some of the stuff up but generally I'm too stingy to spend money on hair care products!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ps your newly waved hair looks very nice, it reminds me of a film scene but I can't remember exactly which!

      Delete
    2. I'm generally stingy about hair stuff too, but I kept trying the more expensive stuff thinking it MUST work! This routine is so much less costly - I'm very happy about that!

      Delete
  6. I think I have very similar hair to yours. Mine is wavy if left to its own devices but one side is wavier than the other. The wavier side looks quite nice but the straighter side just looks straggly so most of the time I blow dry it straight (ish). I'll be reading up on the tips you've discovered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My less wavy side did straighten out a little over the course of the day, so next time I'm going to try using more gel or mousse on that side. Still much better than any result I've gotten so far!

      Delete
  7. Your hair looks AMAZING!!! Like a stylist just did it for a magazine shoot amazing.

    Because I wear my hair natural, I bought Curly Girl about 5 years ago or whenever it came out. I personally use the shake method, which is wash with conditioner, add leave-in or coconut oil and shake my head to form ringlets. I said I bought it for my bi-racial nieces but of course read it first. It helped me a lot when I first cut my hair though I should probably give it a refresh reading since I too am dealing with hormonal change issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! My husband and his sister have coily curls and I've always been so jealous of anybody with curly hair. Another reason why I'm loving this!

      I was all prepared to do the conditioner wash, but it looks like it's too heavy for wavy hair. I almost didn't read the whole book, so it's a good thing I did, LOL!

      Delete
  8. Your hair is so pretty!!! My hair has gotten straighter over the years. (About a 3A years ago, now a 2A at best! I can make a ringlet or two on occasion.) A couple years back I read the Curly Girl book and did all the stuff she explains, but it was so time consuming for me... but it did work and my waves/curls were really nice. My waves/curls fall out so easily these days I usually don't bother. But the Curly Girl approach is so on the money compared to anything else I've tried! Have you ever had a Deva cut? I never have. I sometimes just blow dry my hair straight (which is really weird for me because I never wanted straight hair!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you! I was never prepared for my hair to change so much - it used to be much finer and less wavy. I had really fantastic hair all the way into my 30s, and then things started changing and I didn't know how to handle it any more.

      I did google to look for a Deva salon here, and found one or two hairdressers who are trained in the method. But honestly, for the last 2 or 3 years, I've been cutting my own hair!

      Delete
  9. I'm a 2B too! I've used sulfate free shampoos for about two years now and will never go back. DevaCurl No Poo and Conditiiner are my favorite, but they're pricey. I usually use Hair One for curly hair (from Sally Beauty), but found liter bottles o DermOrganic sulfate-free shampoo at TJ Maxx for $10/each instead of $40, so that's what I'm using now. I love, love, love my Turbie Towels (microfiber towels) from CVS. Have yet to find a holy grail gel, but am working on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Polish-loving Midwestern 2Bs UNITE! LOL! Thanks for those tips - I want some microfiber towels so I'll be swinging by CVS as soon as I can. I'm thinking I'm going to try out the Deva light gel, or the AG: Recoil mentioned above. I'll try to remember to do a hair update in a few weeks.

      Delete
  10. Wow, this was great! I am definitely somewhere between a 2b and 2c and only just found a hairdresser that has any idea about curly hair. It was a revelation. She took me through an entire, very simple styling process and I've not looked back. And it was quite different to the general directions. I never used to comb/brush my hair and left it alone as much as possible whilst air drying or drying with a diffuser attachment. Not much success for years and years: frizz, inconsistent curl, plain ickiness. It was sooooo annoying and I had a bit of a hate affair with my hair. Now, I don't worry about what shampoo and conditioner I use, as I really found little difference (even with sulphate free). I also now comb my hair after washing and before styling. GASP! Here's the awesome advice of my stylist. Start with a curl enhancing spray, I love John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Dream Curls. Hold your hair up on top of your head, then starting with the underneath layers, grab sections and literally twirl them from root to tip. Imagine a shy little girl twirling their hair and you've got the technique. More sections twirled the curlier it'll be. Keep working through the hair, from bottom to top, until you're done. Then either air dry or dry with a diffuser attachment. For extra body when dry, run your fingers tight up against your scalp under the hair and massage at the roots (not on top or you'll separate the curl). Finish anyway you like: hairspray, gels, serum etc. Phew, that was a lot, but I swear it works!!! Try it!

    PS your hair looks awesome, so shiny and pretty :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! I'm kind of shocked that you are a 2B/2C - your hair looks so curly to me! I have done that twisting method in the past, but honestly, I get bored because it takes forever - I have a LOT of hair! I'll admit though that this method took longer than I would have liked also. What I really want is to look great without having to do anything to it, LOL!

      Delete
    2. Ok, maybe my hair is actually a 3a, but only on a good day. It's just as likely to have ringlets mixed with dead straight sections. Go figure...

      Delete
  11. I also have thick, course, unevenly wavy/curly hair. When I leave it down and let it dry naturally (which takes hours) it turns into troll hair! So I flat iron most days, and I've gotten pretty efficient at it. :)

    But I've always wanted to be able to wear my hair naturally and feel like it looks okay. Your hair looks so great, I'm off to check out that book now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised you're a wavy! Your hair always looks so sleek - you are a master with the flat iron! Now I want to see your hair au naturale!

      Delete
  12. I think we might be hair twins :) Thanks for the tips/links. I too tend to get used to putting up my hair in some kind of bun, but if I could get mine to do what yours is doing in that pic, it would be a wonderful change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cari! Of course, I don't have any kids so it was a lot easier for me to wait around for my hair to dry!

      Delete
  13. Your hair looks *gorgeous* -- that's my dream wave, I've even had perms trying to get that. When I was a kid I would sleep in braids, etc. Mine has body and is wavy in PARTS, but really that's just more of a nuisance. :) So pretty!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susan! I had a perm once too - well, more than once, but only one good one, LOL! I really liked it but after we moved to Chicago I was afraid to let anyone else do it to my hair. Plus, I'm cheap ;-)

      Delete
  14. Whoa I didn't know hair was so technical! I don't know what to do with mine, I guess you could say I'm a hair dunce lol. Maybe one day I'll get around to taming it. Yours looks great. Good luck with your new field of research lol! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a hair dunce too! And it looks like a lot of folks already knew all this stuff! I bet this would work great for you too, because you have a lot of curl in your hair.

      Delete
  15. It's funny how each of us have issues with our hair. I wish I had some texture. Mine is straight like chopsticks and damn skinny. In fog it goes flat. In heat it goes flat. In humidity it goes flat. My 'dos are all product. Your hair to me is gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, isn't it? If it's straight, we want it curly, and if it's curly we want it straight! My SIL used to spend HOURS in the salon before an event getting her coils straightened, and I'd be there with her getting mine curled, LOL! I think your hair is very pretty, and I would never have known it is all product!

      Delete
  16. I might have written Kepanie's comment above word for word :) - I have the same straight skinny hair and yours looks absolutely magnificent to me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carmela :-) I felt pretty magnificent yesterday!

      Delete
  17. My hair is similar and I just recently discovered what works for me: L'Oreal curling mousse and a blow dryer with a diffuser. It literally takes like 10 minutes to do my hair, waaaaaay shorter than trying to sleekly blow it out. Get a diffuser, it'll help with the drying immensely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I have a diffuser, and I used it yesterday! It probably cut my drying time by about 1/3! I'm going to try out those microfiber towels - the reviews say they also help cut the drying time and I'm very curious to know if that's true!

      Delete
  18. What a beauty you are Gail and I love your hair!
    I have wavy hair that I straighten, but after reading your tips I may have to give them a try. I really am tired of trying to have straight hair, especially when I
    have to fight the humidity, along with the time and expense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh yes - it's so humid where you live! Even here, I rarely want to spend the time to straighten my hair because the first hint of moisture and it frizzes up again! You should give this a try - it would probably be pretty easy for you!

      Delete
  19. Your hair looks awesome (I didn't know you were so curly). I just cut mine and thanks to humid Toronto, it's a disaster zone. If I had some wave to my hair I would follow your tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do have wave, don't you? It looks wavy to me!

      Delete
  20. Oooh, what fun curls! I love this look on you (but then, I always like your hair)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :-) Most of the time it does look like crap, because I just don't bother with it. It does look nice when I use the curling iron on it, but if I can get that look without the heat, so much the better!

      Delete
  21. Your hair looks great! If it wasn't for the internet I wouldn't know about conditioning and various useful products.

    I follow all these tips except the shampoo one. I think it's time I start looking for a new one. I'm working on getting to know my hair a wee bit better and see if it would do well as a pixie cut.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gah - you have the most gorgeous curls! Has your hair changed at all pre- or post-pregnancy? I'm always astounded at the effect hormones can have!

      Delete
    2. Thank you!

      My hair got thicker (crazy!) during pregnancy and fell out (ack!) in clumps for 3 months afterwards. Luckily I didn't wash my hair often and had a lot to go around.

      Delete
    3. Oh man! That must have been disconcerting! But like you say, you have plenty to go around!

      Delete
  22. Your hair looks amazing Gail, and these are great tips.

    Every once in a while I can get a good wavy hair day (I'd probably be a 2A those days), but it usually has to be pretty humid. Otherwise, it's pretty straight. I'm going to try some of these tips to see if I can get waves more consistently.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Debbie! I'd be curious to know if these tips work for you - it seems to me like you have some texture in your hair naturally.

      Delete