so, i talk about my hair a lot.
but it's just so fascinating to me.
(apparently i also take a lot of pictures of myself.)
after spending years arguing with my hair, i've finally started trying to accept my natural texture. (sometimes. obviously i still straighten it occasionally.)
i've been doing tons of research on hair care since i discovered the curly girl method a few months ago. (technically, i have type 2A-2B wavy hair, not curly hair, but some of the same principles apply. [here is a link with the different hair types.])
there are a ton of curly techniques that i'd never heard of before i discovered the naturally curly/wavy internet community. plopping, co-washing, no-poo...so here's a little summary of what i've gleaned.
basic care for wavy hair
-don't wash it every day. most people probably shouldn't shampoo every day, but curly and wavy hair tends to be especially dry (this is extremely true for me) so washing it 1-3x a week is usually ideal.
a tip i've read for making 2nd (and 3rd and 4th...) day hair work is to wet it with a spray bottle in the morning and scrunch it with a little product to "wake" the curls or waves back up (my hair never looks quite as good after i've been sleeping on it all night. go figure.) i haven't tried this yet but i'm going to.
speaking of nighttime, i've heard sleeping on a satin pillowcase does wonders for combatting frizz and keeping waves from looking atrocious. i haven't tried this, but if you have, i'd be interested to know if it helps.
-do. not. brush. your. hair.
if you have curly or wavy hair, this is probably a no-brainer for you. brushing just destroys the curl pattern and causes hair to frizz out. a lot of women comb their hair in the shower with a wide tooth comb before scrunching and plopping, but that's the last time you're allowed to run anything through your hair.
-when drying your hair, don't rub it. don't put it in a turban. heck, don't even use a towel.
microfiber towels or t-shirts are recommended. right now i use a t-shirt to dry my hair (by scrunching and then plopping...although my plopping technique still needs work) but i'm going to try a microfiber towel the next time i wash it. i need something that will soak up more water and help my hair dry more quickly.
yes, plopping makes me feel like a dork. but i think it makes a difference. a noticeable one.
-using a diffuser to blowdry my hair (after it's air-dried for a bit) makes a huge difference--i get more volume, and a more defined wave pattern (this morning it actually looked curly when i was done! and then i went outside and it fell into a flatter wave. boo.)
there is a proper way to diffuse your hair. youtube will teach you. (also look up wet-setting...basically you twist your hair before diffusing to help define the curls. it takes some extra time but it works.)
-co-washing (conditioner-only washing) and no-poo (no shampoo or conditioner, washing with a baking soda solution and apple cider vinegar rinse)...i'm not going to go into all the details but you can look both of these methods up. a lot of women have had success with them. i tried both methods for about a week each but didn't last any longer than that. :) i hear you really need to give it at least 6 weeks before judging the results though.
however, i have made one big(ish) change: using a sulfate-free shampoo and silicone-free conditioner and styling products. (fyi...they're hard to find.) basically, sulfates strip the hair (ammonium laureth sulfate, which is usually the second ingredient in most shampoos [after water], is also the primary ingredient in dish soap. cuts grease!). silicones coat hair to make it shiny, but they also weigh curls and waves down.
right now i'm using the L'Oreal EverSleek shampoo and conditioner (from the place where i get all my fancy hair products...walmart) and i really like them. but i like to switch it up a lot and i'll probably be using something different next month.
lastly, if you're interested, here's a sample wavy hair morning routine.
i want to love my hair. my friends, if you have any tips for coaxing out the curls, lay 'em on me!
(by the way, it's really hard to take a picture of the back of your head with an ipad.
just so you know.)