The most common question I get is, “How do you get your hair like that?” followed with, “I’m trying to get my curls back but I can’t stop blow drying my hair because I hate how the transitioning curls look.”
TRUST ME. I’VE BEEN THERE.
I was just like you. My hair has been curly all my life until I ruined it for a few years. Hell, there was even a point in my life where I sported my curls in a slick back ponytail and I still didn’t realize their worth. I just used to style my hair for school. This was in sixth grade.
Around that time, having a blonde patch at the bottom of your hair was the style. So was dying your hair red. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), my mom wasn’t playing those games and my only option was to dream of having colored hair at the time.
When I finally reached my high school and then college days, I was finally allowed to put these dreams to work. I went from light brown to red to black to red to honey brown and then back to black again. Boy, was I a mess. I used to flat iron my hair all the time with no regard to the amount of damage it was doing to my hair. On certain occasions, I would blow dry my bangs and leave the rest of my hair “curly.” (We’ve all been there before- don’t judge me!)
…And it wasn’t ’till the day I realized my life would be SO MUCH EASIER if I just stopped unnecessarily damaging my hair and go natural.
That way, I didn’t have to worry about my hair getting wet while I was away in college or looking too greasy on day three.
In August 2016, I decided to stop blow drying my hair every weekend and minimized it to only twice a month. Once I felt my hair was growing and my “almost curls” looked decent, I felt comfortable enough to rock my transitioning fro. Don’t get me wrong, I washed my hair every morning because I didn’t like how it looked when I woke up. It was extremely short and no matter how much I would try to refresh it, it would stay up and it literally looked like a strawberry. But the best part of it all was that I was willing to be patient and I knew it would eventually get to the length and style I want.
Two years later, that’s exactly what’s happening now. I stopped blow drying my hair for good (I actually just made a year of using NO HEAT- pretty big deal) and made it my lifestyle. You can do the same too. As long as you deep condition once a week, stop all heat use, and use protective hairstyles as an alternative, you’ll be in good hands. Trust me when I tell you this- time flies by when you take care of your hair. It will be so rewarding in the end. So rewarding that people will begin to ask you if you’re wearing a wig because your hair looks so poppin’. (I get asked that all the time and sometimes I don’t know if I should be offended sometimes, haha.)
One thing you must also understand is…
EVERYONE’S CURLS ARE DIFFERENT.
That means whatever works on someone else’s hair probably won’t work on your hair. We all have different textures and not every curl will react the same. Some of us have different types of curls throughout our hair- some tighter than others, some that just remain frizzy. I discovered a mini solution for that problem- don’t dry your hair with a (micofiber) towel or T-shirt when you get out the shower. Let it stay wet and apply product. While it might take much longer for it to dry that way, it will leave your hair more moisturized and frizz won’t be a major problem. If your hair still remains frizzy, add some extra water and product on that section and finger coil it so it can blend in with the rest of your curls. However, if your curl pattern is not that tight, try not to twist the strands so much because it won’t match your pattern.
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Even though everyone’s hair is different, many of you ask me what I use on my hair. You’d be surprised to hear my recipe because it’s actually pretty simple. I personally don’t like to switch products because not every styling cream gives my curls the same results. The products I use are also very inexpensive so they still keep my pockets healthy.
For shampooing, I use:
It keeps the blonde in my hair and it has no sulfate so it doesn’t strip my color or dry it out. It also keeps my blonde toned.
For conditioning, I use:
I get it at Family Dollar for $6 and it detangles my hair easily without much breakage. It also smells really good and leaves my hair feeling soft every time.
For deep conditioning, (once a week) I use:
I usually buy the pack instead of a tub because I switch between this one and the Manuka Oil one. (They’re pretty much the same except I feel the Manuka one penetrates your hair more. It all depends on which one I find at my local drugstore or beauty supply first.) I love how it smells and how soft and defined my hair is once I rinse it out. I put it on my hair after I shampoo and condition and I go under the dryer for 30-45 minutes with a plastic cap.
For styling, I use:
I LOVE THIS PRODUCT. LOVE. I’VE BEEN USING IT FOR THE PAST YEAR AND I LOVE IT. I can’t stop saying how much this product has worked wonders for my hair. It leaves my curls how I want them every time- fluffy and defined. Only $8.50 at RiteAid and I will buy a lifetime guarantee supply if it were on the market.
So there you have it. I literally don’t use more than one product to style my hair because I don’t want it to weigh down. In the past, I have used Ouidad’s Heat & Humidity Gel to seal my ends but I rarely use it because I really want my hair to look as fluffy and as big as it can. I have also used OGX’s Sunkissed Blonde Lemon Highlights Highlight Activating Citrus Oil Mist as a primer before styling with the Marc Anthony curl cream. I also used it to keep my highlights a shiny blonde. I haven’t restocked on that in a while, but I’m still satisfied with how my hair looks without it.
If someone ever tells you maintaining curly hair is hard work, believe them. If someone tells you you can’t do it, don’t. Everything is a process regardless and this is one of those rewarding ones. The more you get used to it, the easier of a task it becomes.
If you ever feel hopeless during your transitioning/confidence process, please do not hesitate to reach out to me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a DM on Instagram: @karleezysway, I’m always more than happy to help.