Friday, February 11, 2011

Care and Maintenance of Curly Hair

Guess what?  I was inspired for a blog post by the lovely Taylor!  You know Taylor, right?  What?  You have not discovered the joys of reading about the Lumberjack's Wife, who is actually married to an electrician?  Well, you simply must dart on over there and take a peak at her!  Go ahead!  Click here to learn all about her...

Recently she did a post on being beautimous.  And in this post she did some ranting about her hair, and how she makes it the beautiful creation that it is...Well, of course I was immediately reminded of my intense hair routine. 

Surely you have noticed how immaculate and perfect my hair is, no?  Well, let me tell you that it has taken 35 years to embrace this curliness that is my mop, and it took lessons doled out like pieces of forbidden sweets from my niece Molly to get all of the secrets to caring for curly hair...

Gentle Reader, yesterday a doctor told me that my hair reminded him of Harpo Marx.  Am I the only one who struggles to find a compliment in this statement?  Perhaps you should cease reading this for truly no good advice can come from a girl with Harpo Marx hair...

Or Carrot Top.  Or Shaun White....

And why is it so hard for people to think of a woman with hair like mine?  I'm not even demanding an attractive one!  Just a woman!  Is that too much to ask?

Did I fail to mention Molly was only 16 when she was instructing me on proper care and maintenance of my crowning glory?

Never say I am above taking hair care advice from children...I'm not above dressing like a fool and posting pictures of myself dressed as Wonder Woman on this here blog, so of course I will take advice from the mouths of babes!

Here I am with my Grandmama Dolly.  She never hesitated to dole out advice on what I should and shouldn't do.  I'm pretty sure my Wonder Woman post fell into the shouldn't do.
I have many, many tips to share with you, and lucky for you I will share all that I can think of with you right here in one post!  Aren't you lucky?

The first step is to never comb your hair.  Do not comb it.  Do not brush it.  This messes up how the curl lays.  I know if you are reading this for the first time, you will be confused and your entire being is shying away from not combing your hair.  But I beg of you:  PUT AWAY YOUR COMBS!!!  The very most you can do is comb your fingers through it with conditioner in the shower.  But that is all.  Do not comb it once you are out.  RESIST all the teachings your mama gave you as a young child.  You are no longer Indian leg wrestling with your brother on the living room floor, so your hair does not become as matted as it once did.

Complete topic change:  Today "Way Down Yonder in the Indian Nation" was going round and round in my head.  I have no idea why.  The sad thing is I couldn't remember all of the lyrics, but lucky you, I googled it, so here's a Youtube link so you will not be racking your brains for what follows, "I ride my pony on the reservation..."

The other tip she GRADUALLY gave me was product. It really is all about product.  At that time she swore by Garnier Fructisse leave in conditioner.  I still use this occasionally, but my staple is John Frieda Frizzease products and Dream Curls are my favorite hair products.  I am also loving L'Oreal Everstrong shampoo and conditioner.  Be sure you get the sulfate free kind.  Sulfate is not the curly girls friend.  I've actually read where curly haired people should NEVER shampoo their hair.  I have done this from time to time.  The trick is to really scrub your scalp when using conditioner.  I confess that my hair became weighted down and did not have good body with this method.  Also, in summer I had to shampoo it to get the chlorine out, so that method has really fallen by the wayside. 

Another scandalous secret I have to give you is this:  Cut back on the frequency of washing.  Seriously.  Once I dropped back to shampooing my hair twice a week, the difference was dramatic.  The thing about most curly hair is it is naturally more coarse and dryer than straight hair.  I don't know why.  It just is!

Gentle Reader, this is an example of what NOT to do.  I decided to try and roll my hair in a Farrah Faucetish style.  This was the result.  Scary.  I know.  My hair takes to rollers VERY well...Perhaps if I'd gone with a large barreled curling iron...Alas, I made one attempt at actually styling my hair, shrugged my shoulders and asked myself "Why?" and have not been tempted since.
I have yet another tip to give you:  I don't blow dry my hair.  I simply put in some anti-frizz serum, spray in some Dream Curls and let it air dry.  That is it.  In the mornings, I will wet my palms and spritz in some more curl activator and I'm good to go!


And do NOT use a towel on your hair.  It makes your hair more frizzy.  Keep an old t shirt on hand.  Wrap your hair in the t shirt.  You will be amazed at how absorbent an old tee is!  And your hair will thank you for it!

I'm ending this post with a not necessarily good hair picture.  If, indeed, any of these could be classified as "good" hair pictures... But as I was browsing through old blog pictures I spotted this cleavage showing picture of me syringe feeding Herman.  It made me sad and long for the days when I had bottle calves who eagerly ran to me when I approached the corals and sucked on my knees, elbows or whatever skin surface was available, knowing I surely had a meal coming to them...

I wish my girls could experience the joys of bottle calves.  There are more life lessons than I can ever post in something as foolish as a post about curly hair...Responsibility, getting up at o'dark thirty to feed your calves before you ate your own breakfast and came back in to get ready for school and be on the bus by 6:50 and death...

Those were hard lessons, but they were fun.

I miss farm life.

Now isn't that a strange statement to end a post about curly hair with?


Crazy Sister said...

Girl, you are gorgeous.

My hair is straight with pretensions of waviness, but I also find it works well to wash only twice a week and air dry.

A lot of hair these days is so over-styled that it seems dead.

Taylor said...

Dear Andi,
You are funny.

encomium said...

Curly Hair Rocks! and I didn't realize I had ever with-held curly haired secrets from you! I probably just assumed you already knew them. And yes, I still used Leave-in Conditioner. I don't think I could ever make myself try something else unless the just completely stopped making it.

p.s.- the calf bottle feeding thing was completely relevant to me. I actually think of bottle feeding calves evertime I look at my hair

Caitlin said...

As a curly haired gal, (but not as curly as you!) I was nodding along to your post! It's nice to embrace the curl sometimes. Straightening hair has its place, but everyone can do straight hair, not so many can pull off curly with finesse. And wonder woman, oh yes, her hair is sublime. (Was loving that pic, am going to go and check the link now!)

Oh, and if you are ever in Oz. Give me a hoy. You would love to hang out on my Dad's outback property. Farm life to the max! (Visitors always welcome, including curly headed yankees and their families!)

Marilyn said...

I still battle my curly hair. Ithink I need to grow it longer but alas, I can't get past a certain stage. In my early years when boufant or straight hair was the thing I spent many hours trying to straighten my hair. Silly me.

Sarah (Castor) Kamolz said...

WOW! IT LOOKS GREAT! If I have a kid with curly hair, it is going to hang out with you or aunt molly to learn the secrets of curly hair care! You guys rock!

Vintage Freckles and Finds said...

I have had curly hair my whole life and finally cut it all off! I love it now!!