When I last left off, I was loving my relaxed, very straight locks that I could actually run a brush through without looking like a puff-ball. I was faithfully relaxing my hair bi-monthly. When I began to notice my hair damage, it was in the shower. My hair strands (which are about 3 strands in one) began to feel springy, like that of an elastic band. Having very thick, strong hair, this felt awkward. I ignored it, and continued to chemically alter my hair texture. Over the next few months, my hair began to look less lustrous, and more straw-like, especially at the ends. Although I trimmed it often, it was still very desiccated. Applying weekly deep conditioner treatments proved pointless, as this strong chemical began to damage the health of my hair. I began to feel less enthusiastic about being the black Malibu Barbie and felt a little let down. If I couldn’t have straight locks, how could I regress back to puff-ball of Frizzlandia?
It was my first year of college that my sister Camille introduced me to her hair stylist, Daniel. Camille by the way, had embraced her curls now, and stopped trying to look like the black Farah Fawcette, with her blow out fro, heavily greased, and large roller phase. She just had a wee baby and wanted a simple, wash and go, so she just curled up and went. Daniel was a chic, heavily ringed (fingers, tongue, ears) chap who welcomed the frizzy, desiccated and hopeless. Perfect for me! What surprised me most about Daniel was that he was Chinese. I thought, how could Daniel, who comes from a people with bone straight hair, understand my head of hair? Understand he did. “Your hair is so damaged,” he scolded, running his fingers through my hair at my first consultation. “First,” Daniel continued, “you need a good cut. I will trim off all this damage and give you a good treatment.” From Daniel’s first touch, I was hooked. He helped me transition from relaxed hair to hair health. Initially, it wasn’t easy and I was tempted to high-tail it back to Miss Gloria’s salon to get my scalp singed again, but I did not. I stuck with Daniel.
Over the next year, Daniel showed me how to style my hair as it was restored back to its natural state. He deep conditioned, trimmed and best of all introduced me to products that were suited to curls. After rinsing out the conditioner, Daniel found a curl defining gel. He expertly finger curled my ringlets, and scrunched the ends with a spritz of curl defining spray, until the curls fell beautifully on my shoulders. “Don’t touch it!” he ordered. “Let it dry and don’t touch it.”
You see, I did not grow up in the time of curly hair products. Green hair grease was pretty much your only option. Curls were not encouraged, but discouraged. Having straight hair was coveted. Now, there are endless curly hair products to choose from, suitable for people with all types of curl. It is the perfect time to have curly hair.
Daniel’s salon moved too far from my house, so I no longer see him. However, what I learned from him, I still apply to this day.
Tips for curly hair. Let’s bounce!
- Rinse your hair in tepid, never hot water
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Apply a deep conditioner at least once per week
- Find a product suitable for you curls. Not all products are made equal. You may have to splurge on a good product, but for nice curls it is worth the splurge.
- Detangle when wet, still with conditioner in your hair. Be gentle and never tug or pull on your hair.
- Finger curl your hair and scrunch the ends with defining product. Let dry and go. “Don’t touch it!”
Products I currently use:
The DevaCurl line is wonderful. All natural without sulfates, but defines curls so beautifully. Especially the curl defining gel. It is not heavy and won’t weigh down your curly locks. I love their deep moisturizing shampoo and conditioners.
Much like my body, I had to learn to be kind to my hair, keep it healthy and treat it well. I no longer want to make it something it is not. Nowadays when someone says, “I love your hair!” I can feel, yeah, so do I finally.