Flat to Fabulous: Curly Girl Journey
Growing up, I felt like I lost the hair lottery in my family. Most of the women were blondes or redheads. The majority of them also had curls and volume. I had boring, brown straight hair. It was thick but very flat.
I envied my cousins and aunts. My mom has red hair that she dyes a reddish blonde color, and for the longest time when I was little, she got perms. I always felt so different, because I had my dad and his mom’s hair.
As I got older, all the curlies in our family would say they wished they had my hair. I just rolled me eyes. My hair wouldn’t hold a curl for more than an hour. It was boring, but I learned to live with it. I learned everyone wanted the hair they didn’t have- usually.
In high school, I learned how to scrunch my hair and tried to get curls. I tried for volume. I tried it all. When college hit, I have a few very small waves. It was a start.
When I got pregnant with my son, my hair grew so fast and became so healthy after years of dying it. When I started to have babies, I put the dyes away except for maybe once a year. Pregnancy and baby hair was magical for me. Those prenatal vitamins were incredible.
Between babies, I had to have an ovary removed. After my daughter was born, they said I would need a hysterectomy soon. You can read all about my reproductive health issues here.
During the months leading up to my big surgery, my hair started to get some wave to it. It was the most wave my hair ever had naturally, but I still had days where it would fall flat and be straight.
Two weeks after my hysterectomy I noticed a few ringlets in my hair after a shower. After every shower, my hair would have a few more curl clumps. The underneath stayed straight, but eventually the entire top two layers of my hair had curl and volume.
I started asking around, and everyone, including my doctors, said it was probably hormones causing my latest hair changes. It’s been almost 4 months and my hair is getting curlier. I noticed my straight layer underneath is starting to get wave after the shower without any curling cream.
I have to say, I’m excited! On the other side, my hair is still in this odd transition period. I’ve done so much research. I’ve talked to women with natural curls, women with perms, and women who had changes like mine.
For a while, I really considered a perm. I wanted all over curls and to get rid of this annoying straight section of hair. That’s when I started to listen to one of my best friends since junior high. She has naturally curly hair. When we were younger she would get it chemically straightened. Once she embraced the curls, her hair is the definition of goals!
Before talking to her, I had already started experimenting with the curly girl method. She gave me tips on the best products and techniques. From there, I developed my own method. It’s not always 100% curly girl approved, but it’s been doing wonders!
I will say that I spend a fair amount of time at Naturally Curly for tips and pointers. I’m not the best at explaining my hair routine since it’s always changing as I do more research. I’m constantly asking questions to my curly friends and family. I want my best curls to shine through, but I try to remember no two hair types are completely alike.
My Must Have Steps for Awesome Curls
- Wash hair 2 times a week with shampoo and conditioner. I try to use “low poo” or co-wash if I have to wash my hair more. I workout a lot, so my hair needs an extra cleaning sometimes.
- Only comb through hair in shower or when dripping wet. Don’t use a brush. To be fair, I use a brush like once every two weeks or so. It feels good to sit and let my husband brush my hair when I get headaches.
- Squish to condish. I follow this method when using my conditioner in the shower. It helps form curl clumps.
- Only use cotton shirt to dry hair. I stay away from terry cloth. My hair frizzes like crazy if I use a regular towel.
- LOC method. Leave-in, oil, cream is something I learned while reading about curly girl. When I follow these steps with soaking wet hair, my curls always look amazing.
- Plop wet hair. I’m still getting the hang of plopping, but when I do it right, my curls are tighter and my hair has a lot of volume.
I try to follow the steps as best I can. Having toddlers and rushing around doesn’t always let me get the curly girl method down to the best of my ability.
My second day hair is nice depending on if I use my water and leave-in spray combo that I made. Somedays, it works perfectly, and other days, I just rewet my hair completely. I try to avoid heat, but I do own a diffuser. It’s nice when I’m rushing, but I actually prefer my hair air dried.
I’m going to keep going on this curly girl journey in hopes that my straight layer keeps getting more wave.
Feel free to share you hair journey or anything hair related that happened with pregnancy or hormone changes. I’m always open to talk about hair!