by Sana Bell
Do you have curly hair? If you’re thinking about answering no, are you sure?
I know it sounds ridiculous, but I didn’t know my hair was curly until February of 2018. I had always thought that my hair was just a little wavy and I didn’t know it was capable of gorgeous curls because I was always brushing them out. In my understanding, if you had curly hair, you would get out of the shower, brush your hair, and it’d curl back up. With a looser curl pattern, however, that’s not always true. I know very few people who truly have straight hair. If you see waves in your hair when it’s soaking wet, it means that your hair is not straight, regardless of what it does once your hair is dry.
So why am I asking if your hair is curly? It might make your life easier to know! The author of The Curly Girl Handbook, Lorraine Massey, is known for saying, “Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen.” I spent way too long fighting what I thought was frizzy hair, but was actually just a side effect of brushing out curls.
Sometimes with a little one at home, showering is not in the cards—even less taking an hour to blow dry or straighten your hair. With your time being so much more precious now, it is a good time to simplify. Taking simple steps to embrace your natural waves or curls will free up time previously spent fighting your hair’s natural texture. Let me be clear on this: If you’re one of the lucky people whose hair only take a few minutes to style and it stays that way, please continue to do what makes the most sense for you and your schedule. For those mamas who want to cry because they feel like they look a mess, want to look put together, and don’t have extra time to correct it, this is for you.
Now, before you start looking up too much on curly hair, be warned that it’s a rabbit hole. If you’re overwhelmed with having a little one at home, I’m going to suggest not researching that right now.
Instead, here are a few quick suggestions to save you some time, regardless of how tight or loose your curls are:
1. Deep condition your hair. You can use a store-bought deep conditioner or a homemade one. You may be thinking, “Who has time for all of that??” You can deep condition on dirty hair! If you know you’re planning on showering in an hour, either dampen your hair with a spray bottle or put the deep conditioner on your dry hair and just tie it up. If you know you need to nurse and want to lean your head up against something, you can always put on a shower cap or tie something around your head, like a scarf of a t-shirt, so that you don’t get conditioner on your furniture. Afterwards you can shower like usual (which includes using your normal conditioner in the shower), but don’t comb or brush your hair after this! If you need to detangle, do it with the conditioner in. Once you’re done with the conditioner, leave your curls alone.
2. Get a leave in conditioner and a gel. Different people’s hair like different products, but if you don’t know what your hair likes, this is a great place to start. Make sure to apply them both to soaking wet hair, as you’re still standing in the shower before you step out. That’s how you’ll get those pretty curl clumps to form rather than your hair getting stringy because you decided to brush it. Looser curl patterns should smooth the product over the hair before scrunch it in. Tighter curl patterns can rake product in if preferred, but smoothing over and scrunching would work for you as well! I know that gel sounds scary, and that you’re thinking about the ‘90s when gel looked crunchy. They now make gels that never get crunchy, but if you get one that’s crunchy, it’s okay. It’s called a gel cast and it’s there to protect your hair while it’s drying. Once your hair is completely dry you can “scrunch out the crunch” and reveal the soft hair underneath.
3. Ditch the towel. Now that you have product in your hair, don’t get it frizzy by using a terry cloth towel that can catch on your hair. Grab an old t-shirt and use that to gently scrunch some of the water out of your hair; it’s much more gentle on your hair! I know it seems counterintuitive with having put product on your hair, but you want to make sure to trap the curl pattern in while it still looks pretty and hydrated. For some people just squishing water out with your hands is plenty, but a t-shirt is your next best bet. If you want to use a blow dryer because you hate wet hair, use the diffuser attachment on a low flow of air so that it doesn’t disrupt your curl pattern as much.
Final step is to ROCK IT. You were born with that hair for a reason, so give these tips a try because you’ll be surprised how good it looks on you!
For tips and tricks, follow me on Instagram @bellchimesin
I’m always happy to help with any questions you may have. I’m also working on a blog, so feel free to subscribe so that you can get updates as I post the answers to your questions there: http://bellchimesin.com