“I am accepting and loving my natural hair.” This has become my daily mantra for the past 8 weeks. As the famous adage goes “We always want what we can’t have.” For me, it was luscious, silky straight hair.
I was born with dark, straight locks. It wasn’t until my thirteenth birthday that I asked my mother for a spiral perm. She brought me to the local Empire Beauty School where they worked 6+ hours on my hair. The results were stunning and I was one happy teenager.
Twenty-three years later, I still have those curls. Somewhere between that milestone birthday and puberty, I became a natural curly girl.
The last two decades, my relationship with my hair has been an ongoing struggle. During high school, little was known about the care of curls and I brushed, curled and blow dried it with frizzy, voluminous results. During college, I chopped it all off and flat-ironed what was left. I semi-embraced the curls during my late twenties but still loved to straighten my hair any time I had a free hour or two! Now that I’m in my late thirties (Ugh. I now have to say that since I turned 36 in June.), I’ve decided to fully embrace the curly girl life.
About two months ago, I dove into the Curly Girl Method. This is where most people with curly hair start. At this time, I won’t get into too many details. The basics are: no shampoo, heat, brushes, or products with fragrance, sulfates, non-water soluble silicons or alcohol. To better understand this hair care method, I recommend reading Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey.
Now that you know my hair care past, I thought I’d share my future with you. For the next few months, I am going to test products and methods. I will then share photos of my results with you. (Full Disclosure: Some of the product links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. This helps keep my blog running!)
1. Curly Girl Hair Cut
This is a photo from my most recent curly girl hair cut. The hair is cut dry, in its natural state. Each curl is individually trimmed revealing a beautiful shape. For reference, my curl pattern is 2C and 3A.
Tip: If you are local to Charlotte or Lake Norman, I highly recommend Sanctuary Salon and Spa.
I received my first cut of this kind at this salon. It has transformed my curls!
2. Try out Products and Hair Care Routines
My first routine looked like this:
- Co-wash for 5-10 minutes with Camille Rose Naturals Coconut Naturals Leave-In Detangling Hair Treatment. Completely rinse out.
- Condition with Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque for 10 to 15 minutes. Completely rinse out.
- While in shower, apply styling products in the following order:
- Plop in t-shirt while dressing and applying makeup.
- Diffuse on medium heat on low until 50% dry. Add a small amount of DevaCurl Arc Angel to hair and scrunch.
- Diffuse until 100% dry.
The photo of my curly girl cut and my wash day were taken within 48 hours of one another. You can see immediately how co-washing and deep conditioning with a protein rich product gave me volume, tighter curls and less frizz. (A short plug for one of my favorite Etsy shops: LIVRose Jewelry. I purchased my earrings from this bohemian inspired shop and just love them!)
3. Try the routine again to compare results
Don’t give up on your curly hair products if they don’t give you the desired outcomes on the first try. For instance, below are photos showing my results using the same techniques and products from one week earlier. My curls are softer and not as tightly coiled. PS: The reason I am fresh-faced and rosy-cheeked in my pictures is due to the at home microdermabrasion I enjoyed that morning. I’ll share details in a later blog post!