Last year around this time I committed to reviving my curls by giving up straightening completely. I actually stuck with this from late December to June, but sadly, my hair ended up in worse shape than when I mostly straightened it. This was, needless to say, the opposite of what I expected! I was pretty active in the curly hair community, building a curly hair Insta following @wavycurlycate and even featured on Bumble & bumble’s website.
Sadly, I couldn’t keep it up. My hair became dull and started breaking off because I was using products with too much protein. It’s also not easy to maintain my curls, since they are the loose ringlet type. If I lean on them or even put on a sweater, they could easily uncoil or turn to frizz. Because I was posting to IG regularly, I noticed the difference in my curls as time went on, and it wasn’t pretty.
Later in the summer, I gave in and went back to using my Dyson Airwrap to straighten or barel-curl my hair while drying it. This tool is much gentler than a straightening or curling iron would be and for optimal results very little product is needed. When I use the Dyson Airwrap, I generally only need a heat protectant (I like Alterna’s antiaging styling cream and/or Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day spray). By comparison, styling my hair curly required oils, gel or mousse, and curl creams. I still used heat but it was similarly gentle (Dyson dryer with curl diffuser attachment on low heat) but I think it reacted differently with my hair when it was covered in so much product.
Today I do whatever is convenient and my hair has fortunately recovered. I also make a point to use less and more gentle product on my hair when I wear it curly. I’ve been staying away from the strong-hold gels and gravitating towards lightweight gel-creams. And I’ve been trying to airdry more on days I go curly.
In fact, just recently, after purchasing a (refurbashed) Dyson (ugh, I’m seeing a trend here) hot/cool fan, I tried sticking my head in front of it upside down instead of blowdrying. It worked! My curls looked defined and had more volume than they would have if solely airdried! The fan was set to auto and the heat to 77F—I didn’t change the settings to dry my hair. I came up with the idea because the fan looks a lot like a really big AirWrap. I guess it works a little bit like one too.