I’ve been on my curly girl journey for a few months. I can’t really give a specific date. I started having curls pop up after a major surgery in August. I wrote about the changes in the previous post, and you can find them here.
I’ve been working on learning how to care for my waves/curls for about 6 or 7 months. I still use the occasional product that isn’t totally curly girl approved. I’m also still finding my footing with my routine. I try something for a week or two, and then, I add in a different technique or product and sort of rotate the others out. I haven’t completely found what works for my hair yet, since it’s still changing.
I’m having less straight sections. Then again, some days it feels like there’s more straight. It can be touch and go. The top layer and around my face have some awesome spirals and S shapes. The back is wavy, but getting wavier weekly. It’s just a bundle of curl patterns ranging from 2A to 2C. It drives me insane most days, but I’m starting to love it.
Something I Have to Address
Before I break down my favorite routine and recent products, I have to talk about something. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I want to talk about a few things that I’ve wondered lately.
I was recently browsing the natural hair section in my local grocery store. I was so excited, because they just started selling the natural line of Not Your Mother’s and Twisted Sista. I’ve heard wonderful reviews, and I wanted to try a few products.
There was an older woman and a slightly younger, still older woman looking at brushes and dye. They came right up to me and told me I was looking in the wrong section. I double checked where I was to see if I was missing a sale area or something. They meant that I was white, so I shouldn’t be buying natural hair products, and they made that clear fairly quickly.
I was a little disgusted by these old betties, because of their tones and facial expressions. I just turned around and kept looking. Then, a girl I went to school with, who graduated a few years ahead of me, walked up. I’m assuming she was close by and picked up on this awful encounter. She pointed out a few products she thought I should try and also showed me ones that might be too heavy. She walked away with a smile. The old ladies left in a huff shortly after.
This whole ordeal made me question a few things. Do women of color get upset when white women use products that are marketed for their hair? Does natural hair specifically equate to hair for women of color or does natural mean no harsh ingredients, chemicals, and all natural? I had a million questions breezing through my mind. I had no idea there were hair boundaries and people would get offended like those other women did. I’m very aware of hate in the world, but I was a bit blown away by this.
I could be honest and say those older women were white, and the girl from my school was black. I could also make assumptions about the hate that the older women have based on their attitudes. I love the curly community that I’ve discovered online, and I love how diverse it is. Everyone is so helpful and genuine, so I was hoping someone would lend me some answers and speak about this.
On To My Routine
I want to start by saying that I don’t plan to list out each and every product, because I’m still interchanging them and finding what works. I may do a post down the line of my trial and error process and what hasn’t worked. I will add a picture of some of my favorites though.When it comes to my hair routine, I stick with standard shower CG basics. I will say that before I use a gentle cleansing shampoo, I use a combing cream and a wide tooth comb. It’s helps me tremendously with hair breakage and shower shedding.
Once I shampoo, I condition my hair without flipping my head. I let the conditioner sit a bit, and then I rinse out about 80% of the conditioner. Then, I flip my head and apply my leave-in. I use “squish to condish” for my products rather than doing it for conditioner and products. My hair ends up laying better that way lately.
Depending on the day and what I have planned is how I decide on my products. I only use gel if we are running errands. I usually use a curl defining cream or curl activator if I’m staying home.
I probably still have too many wash days compared to other curly girls, but all hair is different. I’ve always had a very dry and itchy scalp, and I workout 3-4 days a week, so I feel like I need to wash a bit more. I don’t use low-poo or my cleansing shampoo except for maybe once or twice a week though.
Lately, I’ve been trying a few different products and how I apply them. I love the definition of putting my styling products in with soaking wet hair, but then my hair goes flat halfway through the day. I’m still working on when to apply products, how long to plop, and if I like reapplying products after I plop as well. It’s been very trial and error.
I will say I love the volume from diffusing, but my curls aren’t as tight or defined. I mostly air dry. I have yet to try plopping at night. I do use a silk pillowcase and pineapple before bed.
When my hair first started changing from straight to wavy/curly, the change only went 3/4 up my head. It’s now climbing up to the roots, and I have some clumps that even start from my roots. These continuous changes make my volume lopsided and wonky, but I’m learning how to adjust my routine with the changes.
Second Day Yay
My second day hair has been rocking lately. I usually hate my hair on any day other than wash day, but since I finally put away my brush, my curls are happier. It was just so hard to go from brushing my hair before bed for 27 years to never brushing my hair and only combing in the shower. I think that’s the biggest challenge for me. I wasn’t born with curly hair. If just happened with the hormone changes, so I’m still getting used to it.
I’m learning about what works to refresh my hair. Somedays, I just have to completely rewet it and add products. Other days, I can use my DIY refresher spray. I’ve tried refreshers, but most of them make my hair feel weighed down. I make my own with some conditioner, a little bit of gel, and water. I’ve worked on ratios and different products in it too. Like I said, I’m very trial and error.
Looking Forward to Consistency
I will admit that I can’t wait to find what makes my hair the happiest. I’m still learning though. I know my hair would look better if I would leave it the heck alone and stick to lightweight products. I’m afraid over moisturizing my hair even though it seems constantly dry. It’s a tug of war for sure. I’m always trying to finger comb or smooth frizz. I need to remember to let my hair do its thing and just keep it nourished and simple.
I’m not sure if my hair will get curlier as my hormones change from my surgery or even if my hair will go back to stick straight. Some days, I’m still convinced it’s only wavy/curl because of scrunching. Regardless of my overthinking, I’ve learned a lot about hair so far, and I’m so grateful for the community of curlies and hair aficionados that have given me tips along my journey.
If you know anyone with similar hair changes from hormones or a hysterectomy, please connect us. I feel a bit lost in a sea of curl envy from these lovely ladies born with magical hair.
Stay tuned for more of my hair journey!