Quest for Natural Wavy Curls

Hello all! Wow, so this is my first post for 2018. My lack of blogging was not intentional but rather the product of my anxious nature (who will read this and what will they think of me, ect.) and crazy busy schedule. I’ve returned to ballet over the past few months, which has been pretty amazing but like everything, a time commitment. There is always work, of course, plus the kid, AND a new puppy . . . you know, life. But now that I’ve finished reciting my excuses, it’s on to the topic of the moment–hair, and lots of it!

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Something about me you might not know is that I have been blessed/cursed with naturally curly/wavy/unruly hair. It has been a lifelong struggle not helped by the fact my mother’s hair is perfectly straight. This resulted in a frizz-filled youth, although, not going to lie, the era of frizz never have really ended. I grew up in the 1980s-90s before the era of straightening irons that worked. My only real avenue to manageable hair as a teenager was blow drying it straight. Really not a solution when 15 minutes later it all turned to frizz. I would also regularly put my sopping wet hair in a ponytail to dry, resulting in a flat on top curls/frizz on the bottom look–not so flattering.

Flash forward to college and my first straightening iron. I loved that thing. Even though it took a good 45 minutes to get my hair completely straight and did a lot of damage in the process, I finally had the hair I thought I wanted. Now there were some interludes during which I embraced the waves/curls by air drying with lots of leave-in conditioner and a few grail products (most of which have since been discontinued), but for the most part, when I could straighten, I did. Fortunately, now, with the right products, my hair will look and stay straight. I count myself really lucky to never have felt pressure to resort to chemical straightening.

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Straightened and then curled with large iron, love the look but so much work! My daughter’s hair is naturally straight like her dad’s.

This past year, I realized I was straightening and then, ironically, curling, my hair more than usual (you know, to get those smooth, big spiral curls, yeah, no one has that hair naturally). And despite coloring much less, my hair was in worse condition than it had been in for a long while. That’s when I decided to give it a break and see what I could find out about how to restore my long-suppressed curls.

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Good curly hair day in Salem!

I am not a stranger to products for curly hair–I just don’t like most of them. But DevaCurl, Carol’s Daughter, and Living Proof currently seem to agree with my unruly mane. For my wavy/curly hair, I’ve been alternating DevaCurl’s Delight (wavy) and standard curly regimens. For those of you unfamiliar with the brand, they have a great blog dedicated to answering loads of curl-related questions.

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My current curly regimen goes something like this:

  • Wash with DevaCurl No Poo and condition with One Condition.
  • Comb out in the shower after about half of the conditioner is rinsed out.
  • Leaving hair sopping wet (sometimes I wring it out, but definitely do not towel dry) use leave-in conditioner/styler. I’m currently alternating between DevaCurl’s new Leave-in Decadence, Carrol’s Daughter Black Vanilla leave-in spray, and Living Proof Curl Defining Styling Cream.
  • Not drying my hair yet, I use about half a palm-full of Deva Curl gel, I usually gravitate towards the Ultra Defining Gel but also like their lighter gel, Arc Angel. I attempt to distribute this evenly throughout my hair, scrunching upwards and concentrating on the top (outside) layer of hair. Note: scrunching seems to mix the products for better uniformity because hair is still sopping at this point.
  • Now I towel dry, using a microfiber towel and scrunching my hair to get as much water out as possible. I try to dry in sections, pressing each upwards towards the scalp, and displace the curls as little as possible. The more you mess with hair when wet the more frizz when dry!
  • At this point if I have time, I’ll air dry, trying not to touch my hair to anything until completely dry. When I’m pressed for time, I blow dry with a diffuser, scruncing hair upwards towards the scalp, and trying to move it as little as possible whilst drying. My current favorite is the (very pricy) Dyson Supersonic, which comes with a diffuser. I bought mine refurbished for about half price and still paid a pretty penny (but there is no way I could justify the full price!). I’ve also used the DevaCurl dryer with diffuser with good result. Unfortunately, however, DevaCurl’s electronic products have not held up for me. I initially purchased only the Devafuser years ago and it promptly melted! Then I splurged to get their dryer and have had constant issues with the switches becoming displaced, which requires completely disassembling the dryer to repair!

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It sounds complicated but this method actually saves me time in the morning, compared with drying and straightening. The above routine usually takes me around 30-35 minutes (shower included) and sounds more involved than it is. I generally wash my hair at night, every 2-3 days. In order to keep my curls intact, I sleep with a satin pillow case and use the pineapple method, piling my hair on top of my head without twisting it. It took a while to get comfortable with the routine and with having curls again, but so far I’m liking it. What do you guys think?

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Busy professional and parent. I enjoy blogging about this and that–generally in the wee hours of morning–in order to: (A) enable insomnia, and/or (B) not dream about the legal brief I’m currently obsessing over.

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