I have curly hair.
My hair was stick-straight until I was in middle school. I have the pictures to prove it. Then my hair became curly, and I had no idea what to do. I have the pictures to prove that, too, and hope they will never again see the light of day.
My hair was frizzy all the time until just before high school. Friends gave me a piece of advice about my hair: Only brush it when it’s wet. It made the difference between frizzy hair and pleasantly wavy hair.
Fast forward a few decades to life as a mom.
With little time to spend on my hair, I usually wore it back. There was a light halo of fuzz around my head by the end of the day, but I was ok with that.
Last summer I started keeping my hair curly again. First, I used gel in my hair for the first time in ages, and the next morning I realized that my hair still looked good. The next thing that happened was that a friend from home (one of the ones I mentioned above) sent me Curly Girl: the Handbook, by Lorraine Massey with Michele Bender.
I read it and found a few more ideas to help my hair stay curly. Even my bangs, always my hair’s Achilles heel, look the best they’ve ever looked. See if you want to try any of these time-and-curl-saving tips!
Step one: I got rid of my hairbrush.
Yep, you heard that right. I use my fingers to get rid of any tangles in the shower. It works.
Step two: I use shampoo that doesn’t lather and don’t rinse out all of the conditioner.
This means I’m faster in the shower! The author also recommends trying not washing your hair every day. That’s awesome for a busy mom who, um, doesn’t necessarily shower every day anyway.
Step three: I apply my hair product of choice and “scrunch” to get the curls going.
Once my hair is dry, if I don’t want the curls to look stiff, I can scrunch again to “release the gel cast.”
That’s it. Three steps, one of which is not doing something.
If I’m not going to shower in the morning, I stick my head under the shower for a minute, then re-scrunch.
Bonus step: I go to a hairdresser who’s been trained to cut curly hair.
That means in part that she cuts it when it’s already dry and curly. There are several here in Albuquerque.
Call it shallow, but in amidst the craziness of pneumonia, stomach bugs, and the rest of life, it has raised my spirits to look in the mirror and think, “Ooh, my hair is so curly!”
Have curly or wavy hair? What’s your curly hair story?