Monday, August 3, 2015

The struggle is real; Naturally Curly Hair

 
 
Oh you're so lucky...I would kill to have your hair" - You have no idea how many times I have heard this.

     Yes, I have naturally curly hair, and people always seem to love it! But, if YOU have naturally curly hair yourself, especially if it tends to be dry and fizzy, you will know the curly hair struggle! It can be hard to manage, hard to handle, time consuming and can actually be downright stressful! I have spent years trying different products, different strategies, and different hair styles. It took me years to learn how to handle my curly, frizzy hair. I am happy to share what I have learned from all this with you, hoping to help with your own curly hair struggle!

     First of all, do you like to wear your hair curly? If you do, you are ahead of the game! If you have learned to embrace the "gift" of your natural curls, you will most likely have less work to do. If you rather wear your hair straight, obviously, that takes work. I personally wear it both ways...but I prefer to wear it straight, so for me, there is work involved! What do I mean? Well, if I plan to wear it straight, after I take a shower, I use an anti-frizz serum, then blow dry, followed by some form of hot iron styling tool. I used to use a regular ceramic flat iron. However, about a year ago, I tried the Perfecter Fusion Styler. It was one of those infomercial that tend to come on late at night. Haha, well being desperate to make my hair styling task less work, I ordered it. They are a bit pricey, around $100, but it is supposed to help straighten, add body, and shine. It is also supposed to be less damaging than a traditional straightener. Well, I have to say, I really liked the Fusion Styler! My hair was only chin to shoulder length at the time I purchased it, so it wasn't very long, but it did work well to straighten my hair and it really worked well to eliminate frizz and add shine. I felt like I uncovered a mini miracle! It cut my styling time in half and I no longer had to use my flat iron. I will tell you, if you want to try the Perfecter Fusion Styler, I highly recommend that you purchase the extra warranty because the "teeth" on it do start breaking soon and frequently. That really is my only complaint about the products. Now that my hair is longer, about 1/3 down my back, it still works very well on giving me the results I want.

     So, as I mentioned, I also have to use an anti-frizz serum. No matter what I do, how much I condition my hair, I still have frizz! I have tried many serums over the years and although some are a little better than others, they mostly all work efficiently. Pantene Pro-V's Smooth Serum with Argan Oil is a personal favorite. It's not very expensive, can be found at Wal-Mart or Target, and there are almost always coupons available for Pantene products in the Sunday newspaper. The OgX brand Nourishing Coconut Milk Anti-breakage serum is also good and also can be purchased at any Wal-Mart or Target. Sally's Beauty Supply Store carries the ion brand, which offers a Keratine Smoothing oil treatment, which I really like. The key to using any of these is to use enough to get the job done, but do not over do it or your hair will look and feel greasy and oily. It might take a few tries to really know how much is just right for your hair type and length. I also love leave-in conditioning products. They can be used along with the serum and just offers a bit more conditioning and frizz control. Garnier Fructis has one called Sleek & Shine leave-in conditioning cream that is great! Works well, has a nice smell, and is very reasonable in price. I will use the serums and leave in conditioners both if I am wearing my hair straight or curly.

     Ok so speaking of curly, doing it curly for me, is pretty easy. I know some will blow dry, using a diffusor, but I just like to let it air dry. For me, it comes out with better curls and less frizz than blow drying. So, after a shower, I will add a little serum and leave-in conditioner and just air fluff a little with my fingers. Once in a while if my curls need a little help, I will use John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Perfecting Spray. This product just helps the curls take on a better shape.

     Another product I have tried and get asked about a lot is the Wen line of hair care products. This also can be seen on infomercials, is sometimes featured on QVC and can also be purchased online. I was excited to give this a try because, if you have seen the infomercial, you know they make it sound amazing! The thing with Wen is it is called a cleansing conditioner, not your typical shampoo. The first time I used it, I thought, "wow, this stuff really is amazing!". However, for some reason, anytime I have used it after that initial use, it never seemed nearly as good. It was kind of weird and I really don't fully understand why myself, but that was my experience with Wen. It doesn't seem worth the high cost to me. I know most hair care professionals will tell you that it is much better for the health of your hair not to shampoo everyday. I personally have a hard time not washing my hair daily. I just like having clean hair lol. So, that is probably a big no-no since I am prone to frizz but oh well. If I really didn't do anything one day to make my hair dirty, I will just wet and condition it, leaving out the shampoo part. I have not seen a huge difference when it comes to brands of shampoos and conditioners. I like anything that says it offers extra conditioning. Some key words I will look for are "moisturizing", "extra conditioning", "anti-breakage", "sleek and/or shine", or one that contains Keratin is also good.

     One other thing that can greatly affect how much care your curly hair requires is the cut you have. At one point, when  my son was really little and I did not want to have to take a long time getting ready, I went very very short. This made my hair not curl as much, and to straighten it, literally only took a few minutes. However, I actually like having longer hair, even though it is more work for me. So, I don't see myself going really short again anytime soon. The hair cut or style you choose is really going to depend on what you like, how much time you want to spend on styling, and what cut fits the shape of your face best.

     I really hope this has helped you either learn a new trick, find a new product or styling tool to try out...or, if nothing else, just to know that although people will love your curls, they might in fact drive you crazy, and you are not alone in this!

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