Should I … or Shouldn’t I?

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-9-21-57-pm

Stolen from Pinterest

For the last six months, I’ve been noodling letting my hair go gray. When I wore my hair really short, I never worried about gray. I tossed some store-bought hair dye on my locks and cut it off every month as it grew out. Color was not a problem. Actually, my hair was not a problem. I had very little of it and loved it. But, since I’ve let my hair grow the last three years, I’ve had to start “having my roots done”. Salon time is so NOT me. It drives me crazy having to keep up with this.

My friend Laura is one of my first girlfriends who decided to kick the habit and let her natural locks come in. She’s edgy and stylish and smart and professional. What’s not to love?

img_5291

And my sexy friend Keri has always had gorgeous platinum locks. She went gray really early in her life. People compliment her hair all the time, and she’s so young, they probably think she dyes it that way.

img_4757

Today, Keri posted this pic of this 60 year old swimsuit model who has always embraced her silver hair. I keep tabling the whole “gray” issue because of the commitment it will take (and the worry of what it will look like), but her post got me to thinking.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-9-37-17-pm

So I spent awhile this afternoon reading about women who have made the transition to gray. Just like the transition to curly hair, it takes time and energy and products. It also takes a change of perspective. I had to grow into my curls. I think it’s time I grew into my gray. At least the curls will keep it interesting.

My friend Jerry suggested that I look for an app to see how my hair might look gray. One of my hairstylists told me that gray won’t look good on me with my warm skin tone. And it may not. I know I don’t really like highlights in my hair that much. But, the thing is, gray is not a style. It’s my hair. And it doesn’t mean that I can’t enhance it with some special effects. I just won’t have to be going in to color my roots like some kind of slave to hair dye. I’ve never liked being told what to do, and I don’t like my hair telling me what to do either.

So I found this app that let’s you try out hairstyles, and I tried on the gray. Granted, my hair color may not be just like this. I know for a fact that I am entirely gray at my temples, but only about 40% – 50% gray on the top of my head. I may end up looking like a mess, but I’d love to know what it really looks like so I can make a decision on whether or not I like it. I’ve often thought I’d like to put a colorful stripe in it just for fun. Or maybe I would decide to add some lowlights or highlights. There’s all kinds of things I could do that would not involve the root drama every 5 – 6 weeks.

My friend Jenny says I’m still too young for gray. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m ready for gray. I guess I’ll never know until I try. But I see all of these beautiful women embracing their gray, and I found out today that many of my friends are already making the journey. It feels like a bold way to say that I am embracing all that I am right now.

Extending the Life of My Curls

Photo on 3-13-16 at 7.48 AM

Day 5 – Just Waking Up 

Lately I’ve been having some success with extending the life of my curls. Today, I’m on Day 5 without washing them. The perks of not washing them every day are that I don’t have the long dry time AND I save on product. I still have to use some products but not the ones I use when I wash my curls. And it really takes a good 3 hours to let them air dry even if I help them along with a little diffusing.

It’s taken me a year to find something that works for my hair, and I can almost assure you that your curls will take a different set of products and care. Even on my head, there are about 3 different kinds of curls, so I know that between the two of us, we’ve got a bunch of different kinds. But, I have found what works for me by listening to other women talk about how they care for their curls. I try it and then decide if it fits. Some things don’t work for me, but every now and then I’ve found something that really works. And, I’m beginning to know what my curls like and how they act in all kinds of weather. I am definitely in RELATIONSHIP with my curls.

At any rate, this week – even with all of the humidity and moisture in the air – I’ve been able to extend my curls for five days. I believe I’ll need to wash them tomorrow, but today they are okay. I even worked out several times this week, wore headbands and showered every day. They are much more resilient than they ever were in the past. The picture below was from Day 4 after walking around in the mist. A year ago, a misty humid day would have been cause to hide my hair or stay inside. But not since I’ve found DevaCurl.

IMG_5556

 

When I wash my hair, I use Devacurl’s Decadence line. I wash with No Poo, and then condition heavily with One Condition. I don’t rinse out the conditioner. I run my fingers through my hair with the curls squeezed loosely between my fingers. This seems to engage the curl. I squeeze all of the moisture and excess conditioner out of my hair with a microfiber towel. Other people use a pilowcase or a cotton t-shirt, but a terrycloth towel is horrible for curly hair. And I only squeeeeeeeze… no pulling or ruffling of my hair.

Then I apply the  Supercream Coconut Curl Styler(just like in the video below) to my wet hair on the ends. Again, I run my fingers through my hair squeezing the curls between my fingers. It’s sort of like using my fingers as a wide-tooth comb. Then I gently twist in small sections to make sure the product is soaked in. My hairdresser in North Carolina (Lynn) calls this ‘roping’. I then use the Frizz-free Volumizing Foam and work it in the same way as the cream and the conditioner. Lastly I add the Devacurl Styling Cream and work it in in the same way as well. It sounds like it would take forever, but it only takes about 5 minutes for the entire process. After that, I clip up the top so it doesn’t lay flat to my head and let it dry. I’ll use a diffuser for part of the drying, but it is much better to air dry. I finish off with the DevarCurl Hairspray which is designed especially for curly hair.

Anyway, several friends have asked what I do to style my hair. Since I didn’t wash it today, I made a video on how to revive curls after sleeping on them. They tend to drink up moisture all the time, so I really can’t over-moisturize. But, your hair may be different. Just see what works for you.

 

 

 

 

 

Curly …Easy… Uh Huh … Yeah

I was at the produce market Sunday, and I heard somebody across the building say “I love her hair.” I have to tell you that throughout my life people have LOVED my hair. I wish I had loved my hair. To me, my hair was a colossal pain in the ass with very little payoff. Sure, there was the very occasional day in the winter when my hair would curl to perfection. I’d find myself going out just because I couldn’t waste a good hair day. They were so far and few between that it felt like a miracle. I could never reproduce it. The hair gods just smiled on me for that day and quickly retreated.

But other people have loved my hair. They even loved it when it was frizzy and out of control. I finally cut it all off when I moved to Seattle in the late 90s. With the wet weather,  it was too much work and unpredictable, so I wore it about 2 inches long for about 13 years. It suited me. It still had the same effect on people. “I love your hair,” complete strangers would say to me. My husband would laugh and shake his head because it was so frequent. “Thank you,” I’d reply, and they’d marvel at how easy it must be to just wash and go. It was. When it was that short, I literally washed my hair, put some gel in it and hit the road. I didn’t even bother to dry it.

1005569_10151627463362770_2064261792_n

 

When I came to Louisiana, I wanted something different. I’m well into my 50s now. I wanted edgy. I wanted to capture the essence of my youth, and my hair was part of that picture. After all, the good Lord was my stylist, and he only puts hair this kinky, curly and unruly on people who can rock it. I am that kind of person. And I wanted to step into it more than ever.

10286836_10153805704062770_4484621882166850611_o

So, when I heard “I love her hair,” roll off that gal’s lips, I looked in her direction. Sure enough, a pod of 4 young women were staring at my hair. “I love your hair,” she lip-synced to me. “Thanks,” I replied. A few weeks ago a woman approached me and told me she loved my hair. “It must be so easy,” she said. It had been a long time since someone said that to me, but I found myself having to contain an explosion of laughter. Embracing my curls has been anything but easy, and my morning routine is no longer easy or carefree. In fact, the process is still evolving, and it IS a project.

I didn’t know what to say to her because to say it was a lot of work would require me to explain the journey and the daily “surprise” that is my hair. I can style it exactly the same the day after a great hair day and get a completely different look. Then I can try something drastically different, and it looks exactly the same. My curls are a living, breathing organism with a mind of their own. I’m learning to deal with them, but it’s been a year this month that I found DevaCurl, and I’m still trying to figure out what they love. I know they hate the humid weather down here, but the rest is an experiment.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 8.08.30 AM

One thing that has really helped me is YouTube. Believe it or not, curly girls unite on YouTube. There’s a gal that has my type of curl – 3B and 3C – and she does videos on how she styles her hair. Straight-haired gals, if you ever get frustrated with your hair, watch one of these channels. You will understand that curls don’t make it any easier. They sort of become your life. She just posted this video about her journey back to embracing her curly hair. I laughed because it is very similar to my own. It took her 14 months to get her curl back. Mine came back a little quicker because I had quite straightening them a long time ago, but they are still getting healthy.

After I watched this, I noticed she had a video about how to handle second-day hair. It’s better to get several days out of your curls before you wash them again because they need to stay hydrated. But, I struggle with my second and third day routine.

I’ve only been able to get 3 days between washes, but my hairdresser extraordinaire in North Carolina – Lynn – tells me one of her clients gets two weeks! I’d love to stretch it even more! So, I watched this video and decided to try her method. After all, she says her curls are the same type as mine. Today is a rainy, stormy day. It’s the worst kind of day for my curls, so we’ll see if it helps tame the frizz. So far so good….

Photo on 2-23-16 at 8.03 AM

If you want to embrace your curls – whether they are wavy, curly or kinky – there are gals on YouTube that will show you how to do it. It’s a process, though. Don’t expect them to bounce back overnight. Below is a video about curl types. Find out what you have and start searching. I promise you if God gave you curls of any type, you were meant to rock ’em.