Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dry your hair faster

My hair is very dense and super curly. Plus I hate having wet hair loaded with products dripping down my back and shoulders. That's why after reading about the Curly Girl method I became interested in purchasing a microfiber towel to dry my hair. I had been using tee shirts and while this was okay, they still left my hair too damp, were too cumbersome and took forever to dry themselves.

One day I was walking through Marshall's and came across their microfiber towel selection and at only $7.99, I decided to pick one up. I will never go back to using a tee shirt again!

I liked the length of the microfiber towel, it was perfect for wrapping around my head and held in place easily without being too heavy. I left it on for a few minutes and when I removed it, my hair was close to 50% dry. This to me is ideal for applying my hair products. I find when my hair is in this state it helps the products to stick better and I'm not annoyed with hair dripping down my face.

Now, if I could find one in a bath size.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Safely straighten your curly hair

If you are anything like me, sometimes you crave a little variety in your styles. I love love love my curly hair. I can stare at it and watch all the bends and curves all day. But there are those days when I want to see the length and just look different for a couple of days.

The safest method to straightening your hair is to roller set it (aka doobie set). While this won't get your hair totally straight, you'll still have some waves depending on your hair texture and how tight you put in your rollers. This method won't alter your curl and it will go back to its natural state when you add water to your hair.

Put the flat iron down! The promise of pin straight hair can be so appealing, but even one pass of the iron in your hair at a too hot setting can change your curl pattern and repeated use will cause breakage and fly aways. If you insist on using it, be sure to keep the setting low and no higher than 347 degrees. To read the study put out by the American Academy of Dermatology see http://www.pwrnewmedia.com/2008/aad073008/downloads/Ceramic_Flat_Irons_and_Hair_Breakage.pdf.

To foller set your hair you will want to part your hair off into three vertical sections, going the long way down your head so you have a middle section and one section on either side. Try to keep these as even as possible. Pin up the two sides and start with middle going from top to bottom. I always section the very first piece and roll it second. This will ensure the front of my hair won't get a bend to it. Section the pieces into at most half inch pieces (more or less depending on the density of your hair). Roll the piece of hair, place bobby pins to keep them in place. I also like to use the velcro rollers. The hair does snag which is a con, however, my hair dries faster as the velcro rollers offers more ventilation and eliminates the need for bobby pins to keep in place (although I will use alligator clips in some instances). Once you're done with the middle it's time to work on the sides, one at a time. Further section the side into two pieces from top of the middle down to the ear. Continue to roll your hair. Sit under the hair dryer for about an hour. Drying times can vary depending on length and density of your hair. Get a good book or bring your laptop and read my website, www.wondercurl.comwhile you wait for your hair to dry.

After your hair is dry you may find it still has some bends or is too curly. Using a big round brush and your blow dryer, you can remove some more of the curl. Again, section hair into workable pieces and in a downward motion, work the brush and hair dryer through your hair. To use the round brush effectively, run the brush through sections of your hair avoiding the ends of your hair until your last pass with the brush. This will help minimize split ends. Don't use too much heat and become overzealous! Remember, your hair is not relaxed and won't get bone straight.

Please note, using any kind of heat to your hair has the potential to cause some damage to the hair. Roller setting causes the least amount of damage from blow drying and flat irons because it distributes heat evenly throughout your hair and there isn't all of the brushing you would have if you blow dried your hair from the beginning.

People with relaxed hair can also use this method to straighten their hair to prevent further damage to their hair.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

When your family doesn't accept change

I've recently read an email from one of my friends about how her family isn't on board with her decision to go natural. This only made me sad and remember my own experience with my family when I first made the decision to stop relaxing my hair. I like to think of myself as a strong person, but at a certain point the words do get to you.

I decided to just go for the big chop. I didn't want to ease my way into my transition. After not relaxing my hair for about 6 months I went to my stylist and had her chop it all off. I went from having long hair to no hair and I loved it. Everyone complimented me. But when I got home all heck broke loose! It got even worse as my aunts and uncles saw me. This was back in 1998, before there were as many products and websites for curlies.

Fast forward, 12 years later, my family now comes to me for hair advice, and some have even opted to forego the relaxer for their natural styles. Sadly, there are still people who aren't as willing to accept change. When you aren't able to find the support you need from your family, you can go to different blogs and message boards where your hair will receive all the love it deserves. Just google words like 'natural hair', 'curly hair' and a myriad of sites will come up.

Good luck on your natural path, and don't be dismayed.