Dear Curly Q:
I have a naturally curly head of hair, but my boyfriend prefers it straight. I’ve been using a straightener consistently for a while now, but am beginning to miss my curls. What’s the best way to transition back to my natural look without scaring off the boyfriend?
The Curl Within
Congratulations on embracing your curls – we must remember that curly hair is part of our whole person! Making the decision to transition to curls is the most difficult step you’ll make in the transitioning process. Just keep your mental resolve and the rest will be easy in comparison. Below are 6 steps to take with you on the journey to seeing beautiful curls again. As far as the boyfriend is concerned, he can learn to appreciate the curls as part of you, or maybe you don’t need him if he doesn’t….
- Give up the heat. Stop using straightening tools either cold turkey or incrementally. That is up to you depending on whatever makes you feel most comfortable. Just know that the sooner you cease the straightening, the sooner you’ll see your natural curls again.
- See a curl friendly hair dresser and trim those heat damaged ends every 6 – 8 weeks. If your current hair professional knows and appreciates your curls, great! If they have a tendency to give you hair styles that require a straightening tool, perhaps it’s time to find someone new. Call around for a curl friendly stylist, or ask someone with a curly style you like who they use.
- Moisturize, moisturize, then moisturize again! This will ease the transition to curly hair. Treat your hair to regular deep conditioning treatments. Hair salons can do this for you if you don’t mind the added cost, or you can purchase deep conditioning products, which can be expensive as well. But, did you know you can easily make your own treatments at home with just a few ingredients and very little cost? Here are 2 ways to do it: Olive oil and honey – Combine 1/ 4 cup honey and 1 /4 cup olive oil in a bowl. Using fingertips, apply the mixture to damp hair, rubbing from the tips to the roots, focusing on the spots that tend to get the driest. Cover your hair with a shower cap and use a warm towel or a hair dryer, set at medium, to apply heat. Do this for at least 20 minutes, but no longer than 30. Remove the plastic cap and rinse your hair using cool water. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Gently blot hair dry with a towel or a retired t-shirt. Style as usual. Coconut oil and honey – Place 4 T. coconut oil and 2 T. honey in a small cup and place the cup in a large bowl of hot water. Let sit in the water for a few minutes until the mixture is melted and warm. Pour mixture onto freshly washed, damp hair, starting with the tips and working your way to the roots. Put on a shower cap, apply warm heat, and let sit 20 – 30 minutes as mentioned above. Rinse out 80-90% of the conditioner with cool water, then style as usual.
- Change your hair washing routine. The transition to curls from a straight style means you’ll need to transition this as well. Try a sulfate-free shampoo, or switch to a co-wash routine or even a non-shampoo routine. Search the world wide web, or simply ask someone whose curly hair looks healthy and inquire what they do. Just be patient and don’t hesitate to experiment until you figure out what works best for you.
- Embrace the change and try some transitioning hair cuts, styles, or accessories. This doesn’t just mean cutting your hair short or putting it up in a ponytail. There are a variety of braids, twists, knots, buns, and updo’s for all sorts of hair lengths. Plus, hair accessories like scrunchies, head bands, hair clips, baneaux, and even decorative combs are now available for your styling convenience. Maybe, just maybe, transitioning can be fun!
Good luck, CW, and pat yourself on the back for bringing your curls home!
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