curly girl blues

Hi sisters,

I thought we needed a shallow beauty post on the blog, so here it goes! Spending a lot of time and effort on my appearance is a relatively new thing for me. I wear zero makeup. I manage to throw together passable work outfits but often find myself at work with baby snot on my shoulder, or a grease spot on my shirt that I didn’t know was there. But, I have been trying a lot harder to have awesome hair.

My hair and I have a complicated relationship. My hair has always been huge, thick, coarse and bushy. As a child I had gorgeous effortless ringlets, seen here:

IMG_0082

I then entered an awkward hair phase that lasted all through elementary and high school. There were the crazy bangs, then the growing out of the crazy bangs, then the ponytail years. (Side note: the ponytail years were during the time I was running track, and I got comments that I could run so much faster without that big thick ponytail dragging me down!) I did not know that my hair wanted to be curly. I brushed it! Brushing is the worst thing you can do to curly hair! I know this now.

5th grade photo. Strange bangs plus pink glasses...I was really rocking it.
5th grade photo. Strange bangs plus pink glasses…I was really rocking it.

I started playing around with my hair when Miriam was a baby. I went with really short hair for awhile, and had some success with that. I realized that my hair wanted to be curly but I wasn’t sure how to work with that.

a not too bad shorter cut, with baby Miriam
a not too bad shorter cut, with baby Miriam

After the two years in Maine (with severely short hair–I think that was a mistake now) I decided to grow my hair out again, and this time to try and make it curly. I have been inspired by Jewel and Esther’s gorgeous locks, and how they seem to have figured out the care and maintenance of curly hair. I thought, hmm, I think I can do that too.

really short. a bit too short, I think.
really short. a bit too short, I think.

I have started using expensive curly hair products. As you all know, Krestia has amazing effortless curly hair. Guess what he uses? Pantene Pro-V. I am told by the stylist I go to that Pantene is terrible for curly hair. It has sulfates and parabens and such. When I use it, I have a lot of frizz. Krestia never ever has frizz (how?? why??). When I use the Deva Curl products, the frizz is reduced but still not totally gone. The frizz was almost gone while I was pregnant with Eve (thank you, magic pregnancy hormones) but now I am dealing with several problematic dry coarse frizzy sections of hair. I have one section of hair that has nice, consistent curls. The rest of my  hair is sort of wavy, and there is one section in the back that is very straight and frizzy, no matter what I do. WHY SO DIFFICULT, HAIR.

nice, non-frizzy hair, thanks to progesterone
nice, non-frizzy hair, thanks to progesterone

So. Here’s my current hair regimen. I shower twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. On Wednesdays I use no-poo (a conditioning cleanser that does not strip moisture from hair) and conditioner. On Saturdays I use conditioner only. I carefully wrap my hair with a t-shirt to dry it a little when I get out of the shower. I part my hair to the side, and add some Heaven in Hair (an intense moisture treatment from DevaCurl). I carefully smooth this onto my hair, do a little scrunching at the ends, and leave my hair to air dry (the instructions for Heaven in Hair say to rinse this out–but I don’t since I need ALL THE MOISTURE). The days that I shower are always my best hair days. On the in-between days, when I wake up with bedhead, I wet down the top layer (with a spray bottle, or just throwing handfuls of water on my head) and then slick some curl defining gel on, scrunch a little, and go.

today's hair. note the frizz.
today’s hair. note the frizz.

During the days at work, if I’m frustrated with areas of frizz, I sometimes use a little moisture lock spray from DevaCurl, or a Bassu gold hydrating oil that my stylist recommended. Neither seem to help much. Both require that I touch my hair, and people keep telling me curly hair should not be touched very much. CURLY HAIR. Why must you be so temperamental.

today's hair, from the back
today’s hair, from the back

Good hair days are happening a little more consistently with this regimen. I still have my frustrations with frizz. It seems my hair is really coarse and dry, and changes so much depending on the weather/humidity level/mysterious whims. I want consistently luscious, gorgeous locks! I want my hair to look like this lady’s hair.

I have thought about adding a few more things to my hair care regimen. I have heard that curly haired people should sleep on silk pillowcases. That just sounds so…entitled, doesn’t it? The common folk sleep on cotton, but we curly folk, we must have silk! Anyway, I haven’t gone there yet but maybe I should try.

Jewel and Esther, have you discovered any more secrets to awesome curly hair? I have also heard dry shampoo is a great product. Maybe that would help my hair look good on a non-showering day? Also I’ve heard that a curling wand can help refresh curls that have been flattened, but that seems time-consuming and difficult. I want to keep my hair regimen fairly quick and easy on work mornings and spending time with a curling wand probably won’t fit into my morning routine. I have to get two kids ready to go besides myself.

Martha and Janna, want to tell me about how easy it is to have straight (or a little wavy) hair? I’m sometimes jealous of that. 🙂 Also, shall we vote on the most shallow blog post ever? This will probably win.

Signed,

Rachel, still trying to appease the curly hair gods

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One thought on “curly girl blues

  1. Oh, you are beautiful!
    And I am pretty sure everyone wants THAT lady’s hair.
    And I am pretty sure no woman in the whole universe (even THAT lady) would choose their own hair as first choice. I usually tend to feel pretty justified in my own hair envy, but I am convinced now that we all feel the same. “The grass is greener over there, although I could probably do more for landscaping on this side, too….”
    *sigh*
    Good for you for trying to be your best self. I really liked reading this shallow post.
    Love you!

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