Since puberty, I have followed this cycle:
1. Observe that hair is stringy, frizzy, and always in the way. Wear ponytails or headbands constantly
2. Say to self, “Hell (or ‘heck’, pre-2008),Â since I’m not doing anything with this hair, might as well hack it off.”
3. Hack off hair. Undercut, pixie cut, buzz cut— the shorter, the better
4. Desperately miss long hair. Begin to believe that I’ve changed and could SURELY mend the frizz and stringiness this time around
Repeat steps 1-4 until the sun becomes a small, dark lump of coal
Between hack jobs, I’ve tried to learn more about my poor hair. At 13, I discovered conditioner. Instant improvement! How did I never notice that bottle in the shower before?
May 8th, 2002 was another turning point for me. That day, my previously fluffy hair was as rippled as… what, fancy toilet paper? Certain potato chips? ANYWAY, my hair had ripples. My friend Hannah asked “Becky, do you have naturally curly hair?”
Hannah saw something I’d never suspected. I’d always brush, brush, brushed my hair, hoping to smooth out that fluffy flyaway ‘do. Were those flyaways meant to be… curls?
Years later, I discovered Curly Girl and started rethinking haircare paradigms. Did I need shampoo? Was it time to chuck my brushes? I agreed with half of Massey’s advice, ignored the rest, and gave the book away… though the 2011 version may be better.
Last month, I bought the Live Curly, Live Free ebook and began its recommended routine. After four days, my hair looked like this:
Shiny! Curly! But that day (10-10-10, incidentally) was a fluke. Most days on the LCLF routine, my hair’s looked limp, dull and still frizzy— must be goofing up somewhere. Curses.
I’ve spent many, many hours staring at naturallycurly.com forums, researching silicone-free hair products, blow dryers (Ionic? Ceramic? Wait, why tourmaline?), diffusers, plopping, pixiecurl diffusing, Deva cuts… Good grief. It’s almost enough to throw me back into steps 2 and 3 of the hack ‘n’ grow cycle.
Do you have curly hair? How do you handle it? Tried any strange routines?