Friday, July 29, 2011

Confessions of an anti-Curly Girl / Rambles of a Mocha addict

Hair. There are some days when I hate it - "if I were a man, I would totally grow a long beard and shave my head." It would be so easy. But no. . .bald women are unattractive and pagan-looking. Bummer. So, like EVERY "normal" gal out there, I struggle, fuss over, and bemoan my glory - my hair. . .and yes ladies, if properly cared for, it CAN be glorious.

It all began about a year ago, last summer, to be specific. You can read HERE about my earlier hair-care adventures. Let just say. . . I've come far, very far since then. Not one egg touches my locks nor conditioner penetrate my scalp. No more heavy, stringy gobs of hair. In other words: I am speaking out against the Curly-Girl method of hair care. :nods confidently: For the most part. I still "scrunch" dry my hair, but have since learned through diverse trials that leave-in conditioner and my particular set of hair DO NOT get along. (btw, random side-note, but am I the only  Blogger who must have even paragraphs? I don't like seeing sentences or super long, blank-white spaces. Its a terrible, perfectionist habit.)

Before I continue, I must say that frozen mocha's from Panera Bread are the most divine, chocolaty, coffee-ish, sugary, fattening, beautiful things on the planet. I've never been in love like today. Forget ever eating a solid meal again. . .I could seriously live on those things. Every day. Great for the waistline, might I add- and see my nice, almost even lines? Note the "almost." ;) This is good. This is off topic. Where was I? Ah yes, hair.

So. To begin again. I've always had natural waves. . . they would form into long, loose corkscrews when I was little, and show up throughout my tween years despite the constant brushing and strange need to have completely stick-straight, FLAT-as-a-pancake hair. (Pulled tighter then tight in a ponytail or smooshed under a headband. Terrible look, might I add.  I saw a family picture today from about six years ago. Frightening. . .Thank the Lord adolescence only plagues once in life.) My mom would always shake her head, saying, "but Michaela, hair is *supposed* to have bumps. . .if you'd only let it hang naturally you'd see how pretty it is." Me? Bumpy hair? Absolutely not! Thankfully my eyes were opened to the possibility of actually looking like a decent human being, and my thoughts on "bumpy" hair changed. Now the more "bumps" the merrier! This was the initial reason I permed my hair. . .twice in one week.

To make a long story short, I'm now dealing with and controlling (trying to, at least,) frizzy-ish ends and broken hair. Hey, it almost looks layered! But one thing I have learned - my hair is very much naturally wavy/curly. It just needs gentle treatment and proper care -  something I learned when one day I looked in the mirror and screamed: "I have no hair!"

The culprit? Curly-girl. Or, my bad-interpretation of natural hair care. . .which actually isn't at all natural, since Tresemme conditioner and other hair products are full of nasty chemicals. Girls, if your going to leave conditioner in your hair, please use only very light-weight, specially made leave-in conditioner, or else your hair will thin out. . .scary, yes? 

Rapunzel's plan for natural hair-care {because admit it. . .her hair is just PERFECT.}

  • Shampoo is ok. Especially if it contains Rosemary, which is an essential ingredient for damaged, thinned hair. (like the mess of my own.) Avalon Organics Shampoo,Volumizing Rosemary (from Walmart,) is my favorite. It is very gentle, smells lovely, and doesn't contain any nasty chemicals. I can use it several time a week with soft, full, completely beautiful results. With each wash I dollop on a generous  amount of  all-natural, ultra lightweight conditioner, ion Volume Solutions, (Sally's Beauty Supply) which is promptly washed out along with my shampoo. I love it so very much. . . ! 
  • Reduce water pressure. Heavy, hot water damages hair. However, I learned through study and a respiratory cold that freezing water is terrible - for your health and hair. Warm water is acceptable and  tolerable during winter weather. (No clogged, impossible-to-breath-through throats!) Turning the shower down/shielding your hair is an easy way to block excess water.  
  • Throw away your brushes and combs! If possible, untangle your hair with your fingers. . .this is impossible for some hair types, like my sister Anna's. However it works fine for me, and I rarely need to use my wide-toothed comb. Yes, picks and wooden wide-toothed combs won't tear or damage hair, though picks need to be used very carefully. When my hair absolutely needs combing, out comes the handy-dandy wooden contraption.
  • Dry with paper towels. Yes, you read that correctly. For quite some time I used a regular bath towel to dry my hair. . .another reason for hair thinning. Now I "scrunch dry" my hair with wades of paper towels,  though old t-shirts also work. Make sure every drop of water is absorbed. . .
  • Gel. Lots of gel - but not too much. Ok, so my gel isn't organic. . .have to look into that. If your going for the curly look, gel helps waves define and keep their shape. But be warned -  too much weighs hair down, giving it that awful, stringy-ended look. 
  • Connect to the "canopy" - in other words, the roots. When washing and air drying (after scrunching, of course. Blow-dryers are sinful!) simply flip hair upside down and run, or "shift" your finger from the roots and downward. . .as you slowly work it you'll feel a difference in volume.
  • Separate and "lift". To add even more "bounce" or to hide a part, take small sections of hair from the top of your head (while still damp,) and twist into little, raised  knots. . .clip and wait until completely dry. This is really cute if kept in all day. A fun, unique hair-style! See here.
My hair . . this was in San Diego, CA. Ohhhh, the beautiful bay, the boats, the wind blowing through my hair. Divine.

Voila! I'm not a hair-care expert, and I'm still working very slowly to repair the damage I caused. . .I know it'll take much time before my hair is completely vibrant and full again. HOWEVER this method works for me, and it isn't as frightening as it sounds. ;) Oh, but I almost forgot the most important tip of all:

  • Hop in car. Drive to Panera Bread. Order a tall, frothy Frozen Mocha. Slowly savor every bad-for-you drop. Repeat. Feel your heart swell with happiness. Recommended: one dose each day.


  1. Thanks for the tips!
    I'm a curly girl, too, though I don't follow all of the "rules" that are outlined in the curly girl method.
    I'm going to do a post about my own curly girl "journey" soon, because so many people have curly hair and yet don't know how to make it look nice, which is sad because curly hair is so pretty!

  2. I enjoyed reading this post...
    On my 14th birthday my whole family was sick and I guess my mom felt bad that I couldn't have friends over,but we went out and my mom thought it would be fun to get my hair cut,so I said sure little did I know that my thick wavy hair would be come corckscrew curls afterward.
    So I'm still figuring out the 'perfect' routine for my hair. I usually only use condtioner,warm showers,no more brushing my hair and the rest I'm working on.

    Thanks for the tips and the comment on my blog.

    Oh,quick question in the curly girl book it said to let the water go through your hair and get it all wet before touching it. Do you that??
    I try,but for some reason it never gets my hair wet thats close to the scalp,so I end up having to finger through my roots to get them clean.
    Okay,that was a long comment,so I better stop typing.

  3. Oh,and that mocha sounds REALLY yummy! ;)

  4. Yeah, I tried CurlyGirl too, as we've discussed, with my weird/long/slightly curly/likes to do it's own thing hair. My hair is so frizzy/long/slightly damaged/whatev that I stopped using shampoo and went to only conditioner (using it as shampoo). It's incredible how different my hair has felt. It's been eight months now and I love it. :-)

    And I sooo do not follow all the rules. I used brushes and combs and blow dryers and curling irons (ducks)....yeahhhhh, I know. Kill me. I just love hair too much (as in styling) to give that up. Isn't it terrible???!!!

    And I saw a gal at the library the other day with a headfull of mid-back length, black, corkscrew curls. I was about to go pull her hair out, I was so jealous. :-)

  5. Hey Michaela!

    Thanks for some of the hair care tips! If you don't mind, I thought I would pop in and share a few that our family has used over the years.

    Instead of storebought shampoo and conditioner, make your own! Much easier than it sounds. For the shampoo, simply mix 1 part water, with 1 part baking soda. Scrub into your scalp for a few minutes, and then rinse. For your conditioner, mix 1-2 parts water with 1 part vinegar (I prefer the organic apple cider stuff). I know it sounds crazy.... slimpy pour this in your hair, let it sit for a minute, then rinse. Your hair will be much more managable because the chemicals in the shampoo won't be making each individual hair stick together in globs. You'll also notice less hair loss.
    Note, though, that it will take a little while for your hair's oil to adjust to this method of cleaning. But, once it does, you'll be happy with the results, I think! This is also extremely cheap, so it does help if you are on a budget.

    Any how, thanks for letting me share!!!

    In Christ's Service,

  6. Thank you for posting the tips, Michaela! I have long, thick hair that has either very little waves or no waves at all, and I often try to brush it perfectly staight as you used to do. Momma even says the exact same thing your mom said: "Hair is *supposed* to have bumps." :)

    I'm looking forward to trying out this method! My sister and I sampled the Curly Girl routine a few months ago, but it didn't work for us, either.

    Love and Blessings,
    Elizabeth Rose

  7. I have wild, wavy, ridiculously thick hair that gets terribly frizzy. I've never tried the curly girl thing, so I can't agree or disagree with you on that. I probably won't try it, though. :)

    My hair is very damaged, and none of us girls in my family have been able to figure out exactly why, but from reading your article I think it may be because I take EXTREMELY hot showers...I suppose I'll try lukewarm for awhile and see it it helps...sigh...what we girls give up for beauty...but Rapunzel does have remarkably beautiful hair :)

  8. yes, yes YES! I completely agree... the curly girl method did nothing for me. Well, it actually did :P like completely oil-ify my hair and lots of other gross stuff. *sigh* love the post!

  9. I love this post! I'm so going to try some of these tips. My hair is not all that curly, it's mostly straight. It's a little wavy at the bottom though. I'm going to try some of the tips though, because now that my hair has gotten as long as it has, I have a hard time getting all the tangles out without a fight, and I have terrible split ends! I almost have my hair to waist length, but I've been trying to find something to stop the split ends until I can drape my hair over my shoulder to brush without tangling it even more, like it does right now. I especially love the part on the Rosemary Shampoo. Especially since it's Organic as well! You are so right, BTW. Non-Organic shampoos do damage your hair with all those chemicals! I hadn't thought that my brush and the water pressure might be doing harm though. Thanks for the tips!

  10. I'm so glad, Cheyenne!--I've actually learned quite a bit more since then (as I've continued struggling with my's gotten worse instead of better. :-/ ) Don't ever get a perm!--I think I may have been ok if the first perm "took". Lets just say two perms in a week are LIFE THREATENING to hair. Period. This was over 2 years ago, and I'm still reaping the consequences.

    Ok, so anyway. Since writing this post I've switched over to special thickening shampoo/conditioner/hair spray, and this really neat "scalp elixir." Of course, my hair is REALLY damaged (I've lost pounds of it, it seems,) so you may not have to go that far. ;) If you want more info I'd be happy to give it to you. I'm also taking fish oil capsules (4 a day) which are not only great for hair, but all-around amazing for good health.

    Lastly, I no longer wash my hair in the shower. Even the reduced water pressure is too much--I do it over the sink. Works really well, is gentle enough, and super easy.

    I have yet to see any results...when and if anything comes out of this experiment I'll write up a post. ;) It's been a huge struggle for me--my hair is supposed to be my glory, and it's been string-bean-ified. Not pretty.

    Hope some of these tips help! Lemme know if you try anything. :)


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