My Curly Hair Journey
I've always had curly hair. If you saw pictures of me from like thirteen and younger, you would see a little cutie with a head full of brown ringlets. Even now as an adult, whenever I actually wear my hair down, I've got a little poof ball full of curls and coils on top of my head.
However, when I was thirteen and in middle school (aka the worst time in your childhood), I got made fun of a lot for my hair. I got told I looked like a sheep, people would point out all of my frizz, my friends would always offer to straighten my hair and then when they were done gush about how much better I looked, and people would constantly be touching it or pulling on it because "it's just so fun to touch!"
I started hating it, and ended up straightening my hair every day from the time I was fourteen to nineteen. I KILLED my hair. It wasn't until after my first year of college that I stopped straightening it all the time, and honestly, it was mostly because I was so busy with school, the internship I was in, and working at the summer camp.
My hair got healthier, but didn't return back to my normal curls. At the time, I didn't know how to take care of it. My mom has straight hair and never really learned how to take care of curly hair so I never learned growing up. Even going to the hair salon didn't really help. I've never walked out of a salon with curly hair until literally this past month.
I just know that the hair industry is just really bad about training hair stylists to take care of natural or curly hair. That's probably why most hair instagram feeds don't feature black women with natural hair or people like me who are trying to embrace their curls. Most stylists just don't know how to work with their hair, and therefore don't get a lot of clients with those hair types. That's not their fault; that's just kind of the way things are.
That's a whole other issue/post in itself, and I could talk forever about how it's not fair for anyone involved, or how it's hard to find someone who knows how to work with your hair, and it's more expensive to have those types of hair because hair stylists have to go through so much additional training after hair school in order to know how to do our hair well, but this post is about me and my hair, so we'll come back to that post at a later date.
Since I was thirteen, I've been mostly been getting my hair cut, dyed, and styled by my friend's older sister. She always made getting my hair done an enjoyable experience and even did all of the hair for my bridal party on my wedding day.
This year, she's actually in the process of switching over from public schooling her son to homeschooling him so she won't be working in a salon anymore, and before COVID-19, I was driving almost three hours both ways to get my hair done because her salon is up near my mom's house; it was getting to be an all day excursion just for a hair cut.
Even though I haven't been straightening my hair every single day for the last four-ish years, I still haven't quite figured out how to take care of it yet. It's not as poofy or curly as I know it can be and I still have a tendency to curl my hair, like with a curling wand, whenever I want my hair to look good for something.
BUT NO MORE!
This is going to be a new monthly series on Millennial Whiskey and basically, I'm gonna write a post once a month where I'm going to share what my curly goals are for the month, what products, resources and tools I'm using, and what progress has or hasn't been made in the month prior.
Just a disclaimer, every set of curls is different and needs different things. Some stuff I try out that doesn't work for me may make your curls look bomb, and on the other side, some of the stuff I try that works for me may not for you.
Let's get into it, shall we?
July's Curly Hair
Because I'm still in quarantine, I haven't done a lot with my hair. I'm pretty sure it's just been in a bun since my job initially closed down. Typically, what my hair routine looks like is I wake up, I usually do some sort of a workout or I go on a walk, and then I take a shower.
I've been kind of trying the Curly Girl Method during the last few months, and I'm still trying to figure out whether or not it's for me.
I usually wash my hair about three to four times a week and the past couple months I've been using Kristen Ess Cowash conditioner and Curl conditioner on a regular basis. Right now, I usually use Cantu Cleansing Cream shampoo about every two weeks and Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Protein mask every three weeks.
After I get done washing my hair, I'll use a tank top or t-shirt to get out a decent amount of moisture, rake in Kristin Ess Weightless Curl Defining Jelly, then I'll scrunch in Not Your Mother's Curl Activating mousse and Cantu gel before diffusing or air drying, and I'll end with scrunching out the gel cast after it dries with some argon oil.
I did get my first DevaCut during July, and I was really excited about it. My friend works at Moxie, which is a hair salon about ten minutes away from my house, and was super cool and got me an appointment with one of their Master Stylists for a DevaCut and a new color.
Finding a new stylist, especially after having the same one for so long, can cause a lot of anxiety. My stylist's name was Sarah and she told me that's she's been cutting hair for over ten years so that instantly put me at ease.
She started by just picking through my dry hair and cutting different pieces. She told me that how she does it, is by seeing the weight of each curl and how it curls and then looks to cuts the heavier/denser ones while only trimming the lighter/looser ones. Just by her doing this, my hair looked so much more voluminous and better fitting to my face.
Because I was getting my hair dyed, after she finished the initial cut, she then bleached my hair and then about forty minutes later, washed out the bleach and glazed it. She used Unite Curl products because there's a thing going on with DevaCurl right now where it's causing people's hair to fall out, and then had me flip my hair over so she could scrunch in some products.
I got to sit under one of those fancy hair dryer things for about ten minutes before going back to her station where she had me flip my hair over again so she could diffuse it. After my hair was fully dry, she fluffed and scrunched some more volume into it before going back through with the scissors and cutting some of the pieces that got missed during the first part of the cut.
I walked out of Moxie head full of beautiful curls feeling so on fire and so fabulous. It took about three hours start to finish, but I'm pretty sure about an hour of that was literally me just sitting around wait for bleach and dye to set and another half an hour just on drying my hair alone. If you have curly hair, def recommend.
Denman Brush D3
Shower scalp massager
Things I've Learned
I think I might be using products that are too heavy for my hair and that's why I haven't been able to get as much volume as I want. I have thin hair and when I bought all the stuff for my hair, I didn't realize how thick most of the products would be. Once I use up everything I currently own, I'm going to try and find some water based products and see if that helps.
More products does not equal better curls; in fact, more products leads to limp and crunchy curls. Sometimes, spraying your hair water is more effective than another product. Using minimal good quality products and having a good wash/styling routine equal better curls.
Also, scrunching is probably the most effective part of my routine so far in getting good curls.
Goals for the Month of August
• Find a product that I can use to put my hair up without smushing/ruining my curls
• Get some volume into my curls
• Create and stick to a consistent curl routine
That's it for this month! Check back in September to see how things are going!
Take a shot for thirteen year old me who didn't know how to love her curls and toast to me being attempting to be fabulously curly now,