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Holey Moley!  My hair is full of holes!

Curly hair has holes in it.  Those holes are what make the hair turn over on itself causing it to curl.  When moisture gets into those holes, it causes the hair shaft to expand and that’s what causes frizz.

If you compare a strand of straight hair to a strand of curly hair you will notice that the straight hair is like one long smooth filament, whereas a strand of curly hair is made up of porous layers that rest upon each other, think of it like roof shingles one layered over the top of another.

That’s part of the reason people with curly hair should not use a hair brush on it – because it disturbs/raises up the layers of the hair shaft, and also exposes more holes, thereby causing yet more frizz.  Besides, most curly hair is fairly delicate, believe it or not.  Brushing causes stress and breakage.  I don’t care what anyone else says.

On that same premise, that’s why you don’t comb it after you get out of the shower either, combing after showering also causes the curls to lose definition and ruins the formation of the curl.  If you pull on something when it is wet, it tends to stay that way.  That’s why you don’t wring out your delicate hand wash only sweaters; you gently squeeze the excess water out like squeezing a tube of toothpaste.

I have had more than one actual argument about this next item:  As far as shampoo, that’s just asking for trouble.  I don’t care what anyone says shampoo is pretty much a kiss of death for curly hair.  I don’t care if it says curly haired shampoo on the bottle; you do NOT need to shampoo your hair.  It will NOT smell or stink or get greasy.  It won’t get flat either, curly hair is simply a different animal than straight hair, and I am not convinced straight haired people need to shampoo their hair either.  I stopped shampooing every day about 7 years ago, and totally noticed a huge and immediate difference in my curls.  I only shampoo my hair about once a month or so now, and when I do, I condition it twice to help fill in the holes.

I do, however, “wash” my hair every day.  And by wash I mean I thoroughly wet it and rinse it damn good and apply conditioner that I comb though using no more than 6 comb passes (top, side, back/bottom) under the running water, then I sling my hair over one shoulder and squeeze it out like a hand wash only sweater.

I then take a hand towel and lay it over my head to keep the air out of the holes until I apply an anti-frizz cream, which I do by raking my product covered fingers through my flipped over upside down hair 8 times – 4 swipes on each side.  I rake once on each side at the nape of the neck, then over the ears, then just in front of the ears and once more over the crown.  While still flipped upside down I take that hand towel and gently scrunch each of the four sections just once and then let the towel drop away without moving the towel against the hair AT ALL.  While still flipped upside down, I use my KMS Curl up balm to seal and protect the shaft from moisture.  Once more I take the towel and scrunch twice more, once for the front section, once for the back without disturbing the hair AT ALL.  RUBBING a towel against your hair IS BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD, oh so VERY BAD!  NEVER EVER RUB – only gently, delicately scrunch.

Sometimes, for fun, when I have time, I take these old fashioned, old lady beauty parlor duck bill clips and individually spin my curls and pin them up and then let them down after they dry – gives awesomely defined ringlets like Shirley Temple.

I prefer to let my hair air dry, which brings us to the topic of hair dryers which are bred from evil incarnate.  If you have curly hair, invest in a diffuser if you must heat dry your hair.

Some people say that you should put it up overnight if you don’t plan on wetting it in the morning.  Yeah, rolling on a pillow for 8 hours can certainly rough up the hair shaft.  I can see putting it up or you’ll look like you just put your finger in an electrical socket.

Two good comments from the old post… COMMENTS:

AMEN!!! – and I am not even religious, but you are now officially the goddess of my curly hair! I couldn’t agree more with everything you have said. I brush my hair very very gently about once a month to every six weeks. I would rather torture small animals than put a hair dryer (even with a diffuser) anywhere near my hair. I use shampoo about once a month – I did try water-washing only for a while, but all those stories promising my hair would get back to some “natural balance” turned out to be crud for me. Now I wash mostly with a little bit of conditioner. All I ever do to style my hair is to wet it, scrunch it a little with a towel, and rub some conditioner on my hands and run my fingers through a few times. I have

Sun is also the death of the ends of my hair. When cycling or hiking I put it up in a flat bun under a hat. If I can’t do that for whatever reason, I put a little sunscreen in conditioner and finger that through my hair first – although that then necessitates a shampooing afterwards.

I used to love using oils in my hair before shampooing too. I liked apricot kernel oil best, or maybe just olive oil. Someone recommended mashing avocado into it, but that was a lot more messy and I am not sure it was better. Then I would put a shower cap on, and a hot damp towel around that (re-wetting and wringing out the the towel whenever it gets cold). Half an hour to a full evening of that, my hair feels great! I might even do that tonight, my hair needs a bit of TLC right now.

Posted by: L | 08/24/2007 at 01:45 PM

jaypo

Oh, god, just like my sister!!  😀

She also has curly curly hair.  But not just all the same curly, she has like three or four diffrerent kinds of curls on her head, all of which respond to different kinds of treatment.  You treat one curl this way, another kind that way.  Someone gave her this book,  Curly Girl,and she swears by it.  Check it out!

Posted by: j | 08/24/2007 at 03:48 PM

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