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curly girl

Hair

I Woke Up Like This: My Curly Hair Care Routine

I get a lot of questions and comments about my hair, mostly from strangers but enough are from friends (hi, Yana!), family, and acquaintances that I realized I should write a blog post about it that I can link them to so I don’t feel like a broken record when I say the same things over and over again. I will start by saying that my hair mostly grows out of my head the way that you see it. (Hence the title of this post, “I woke up like this.”) Key word there, though, is mostly. While I had embraced my natural curl pattern years ago, I was still plagued with frizz, flatness, and dryness when it came to my hair. I had a lot of issues with breakage and split ends. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I switched up my routine and the products I was using and saw a huge, dare I say drastic improvement in the health, growth, and overall condition of my hair. So while I may “wake up like this” on a daily basis, there’s actually a lot of thought and care that goes into my hair and is the reason I’m able to just roll out of bed and go most days.

What I DON’T Do

The main aspects of my haircare these days lies in the things I do not do to it:

  1. I do not use sulfate shampoos. I find them to be overly drying to my already dry hair. I also, therefore, do not use silicone conditioners, since silicones are not water-soluble (except for a special few) and require a harsh sulfate to rinse out.
  2. I very rarely use heat styling tools or hair dryers. Since my hair is naturally curly, I don’t have to curl it. I straighten my hair maybe once a year, if at all. And I hardly ever, if at all, use a hair dryer. When I do use a hair dryer, I do so on a low heat setting and I utilize a diffuser attachment. I also NEVER heat style without a heat protectant.
  3. I do not brush my hair. Seriously, never. I only own one hairbrush, and I use it for brushing out wigs for when I LARP. I do detangle it in the shower with a wide tooth comb when it’s soaked with conditioner, but otherwise nope! I also don’t tease my hair, never ever.
  4. I don’t dry my hair with towels. The fibers on towels catch on individual hairs and pull at them, disrupting the curl pattern and causing frizz. Instead I use old t-shirts to dry my hair with after a shower, and use a scrunching, NOT rubbing, motion to do so.
  5. I’ve never colored my hair with permanent hair dye. I colored my hair once with semi-permanent dye, but it was only the ends to make them purple and pink and it had faded out after a couple months. Even when I did that, I told my hair dresser not to use bleach at all and I was lucky that my hair is light enough to take the colors without the use of it.
  6. I’ve never chemically straightened my hair. I did do a section perm once, to try to get the top layer, or “canopy,” of my hair to curl like the rest of my hair, but it only worked temporarily and I never repeated the process.

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Hair

Deva Cut: Before & After

In December of last year—yes, I know, this is a very belated blog post—I went to get my very first Deva Cut, which is a specific method of cutting and styling curly hair. They cut your hair dry, so that the curl pattern is visible, instead of wet which can weigh down curls and stretch them out. Then they wash, style, and go back in with scissors to do any touchups. They never use a razor or thinning shears, and they cut each curl individually and at a specific point in the curl so as not to break it’s pattern. It’s a long hair cut, 1-2 hours, but totally and utterly worth it.

I was able to find a salon here in San Francisco, Madusalon, that caters specifically to curly hair and are experts in Deva Cuts. Previously I’ve had my hair cut at Ouidad in NY, where they also specialize in curly hair but they still cut your hair wet. When I moved to SF I was originally going to Barber Lounge until my stylist left the salon. I really liked my stylist there and we remain friends, but I had been wanting to try a Deva Cut for a long time now. (That post is from 4 years ago! Augh.) I’m glad I finally did, and am kind of kicking myself for not doing it sooner!

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