Friday, July 24, 2009

Curly Chronicles

Friends, I have been learning how to do my hair since I realized it was curly in college...I am still trying new products, reading every article (and keeping) about how to care for curly hair, and reading every book that deals with curly hair.  In recent years, websites focused solely on curly hair have come about and those are the best for quick research and answers to questions.  I interviewed Lori, the person behind the site, Curlista with some of my BIG questions about curly hair.  Check out her site.  She has a lot of variety in her curly experts, since we all have such different curls.  I will do this piece in a 3 part series.  This week the expert, next week the book review, and the final will be the product review (my favorite part:).  Stay tuned and pleas ask any questions for myself or Lori and I will have answers for the next section.
  • What tools are essential to use for curly hair?  Wide tooth comb, clips to separate hair, spray bottle, denman, micro fibre towel
  • Which salons do you highly recommend that specialize in curly hair? I've been to Ouidad in NY and had their carve and slice hair cut.  The girl who did my hair did a great job - but I had a tough time growing my hair out after.  I haven't been to any other salons but in NYC - Dickey of Hair Rules just opened up a salon, I think Curly Girl Lorraine Massey's DevaChan Salon is also in NYC.  And of course there is Miss Jessies.  I'm not sure I would go to any of them for a hair cut - I'm sure they are all pricey - but for some curl education they might have some insight.  Hopefully they don't product push - but let's be real, of course they will.  LOL.
  • Straight or curly---how do you recommending having your hair when getting a cut?  I'm not a hair stylist but I think a dry hair would work better for curly hair cut.  Curly hair is so unpredictable and I think it would be more precise by cutting hair curly and dry than straight and wet.
  • Tips for how to sleep with curly hair. Depends on the length of your hair - but for longer hair a pineapple (where you pile hair on your head like a pineapple using a scrunchie or clips - so you don't crush curls).  Pineappling works well if you are trying to get 2nd, 3rd and 4th day hair.  I find that sleeping with a satin bonnet helps to retain moisture.  A satin pillowcases works well too.
  • Tips for using a diffuser.  Use the diffuser to dry hair about 70-80% and then air dry.
  • Tips for drying curls quickly without a diffuserScrunching or plopping to remove the drippies.  Use a micro fibre towel or a t-shirt.  A regular towel can break your hair. 
  • How do you keep the crown of the hair to not be flat on the scalp and get the volume that the rest of the hair has? Fluffing and lots of it.  Hold your hair over and fluff and then shake.  Or use a hair dryer with a nozzle attachment, on a low setting - blow the roots to get volume and fluff.
  • What are budget products that you recommend for curly hair?  (I saw your blog on the HH and I am running to the store tomorrow to get the conditioner!) I'm totally loving HH.  I also hear that Totally Twisted from Herbal Essence works well too.  I like HH because its inexpensive, has good slip for detangaling curls, moisturizing and clumping my curls.  Conditioners like these are great for styling your hair - try the conditioner only method - check out for deets.
  • What are your thoughts on shampoo?  I have heard that shampoo dries out curly hair so I limit my washing...but, I workout and don't know what is best to cleanse the sweat away.  Naturally curly is dry as a result of it structure and many bends and curves.  It takes a long time for the scalps natural oils (sebum) to travel down the hair shaft - so those with curly hair need to try and maintain and add moisture to their hair so it won't be dry.  Shampoos are made of detergents that are remove dirt, oils and debris.  They also contain SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphates) that are very drying and strip your hair of its natural oils.  As a result I employ a modified curly girl method and conditioner wash (co-wash) -I co-wash 2-3x per week- by simply wetting my hair, applying conditioner and using it to wash my hair.  The conditioner is able to remove dirt and debris and maintain my hair's moisture.  Once ever week or twice monthly you can cleanse using a low-poo formulation (no SLS), poo-bars or cleansing conditioners to clean the scalp and remove buildup.  Over the long term, this will help curls retain its moisture and help to define curls.  


A Colorful Mind said...

how did you discover your hair was curly so late in life? and to that... how did you transition from straight hair to curly hair?

Natasha Rao said...

I grew up with my mom taking around 2 hours to do my sister and my hair each...I thought that straight was the only way to wear it...and, as you know...when you blow dry hair like ours, it just creates a huge puff! so, that is all I saw---this puff and I wanted it fixed! So, at 10 years old, I begged my mom to get a relaxer...I had a relaxer all through school until around 19 or 20 when I started having internships in New York...I forget where I got the idea to wash and wear...but, I saw natural hair everywhere and I was curious to see what mine would do...and that is where it all began...My biggest transition from permed to straight hair was a really bad experience I had when I did a makeover photo shoot for Redbook mag when I was interning there. They did a relaxer on my hair that was so strong that my hair didn't return to my usual curly hair after a relaxer...I didn't know what to hair I just found was gone! So, I did the crazy thing...I cut a majority off and grew it out:( It felt like it took forever...but, it was soo much healthier once it got all grown out from the damage I had done to it. I think it is so worth it now...and instead of relaxing now...I just go to get a wash and set with a blow out and it looks just as good...except it doesn't last as long:)

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