Curly Girl Reloaded - Don't give up!


 The three pics up here ^ are after I went curly girl... look at the pic below...what a difference! And it improves all the time. Just some inspiration for you!


Before Curly Girl - on a GOOD hairday! :-o



So here I stand, an advocate of keeping your curls, being proud of it, and caring for them. I can honestly say, that since my last post on curls, which was just over a year ago, I have only straightened my hair once - for a fancy dress party, and used the straighteners on my fringe once, for a wedding, to smooth out a few wild kinks. Both times, I regretted it (hair damage again), and felt weird about it too, because now, curly is just me. For me, that is majorly huge progress, it's just... almost unbelievable. Anyone who has read the last curl posts will know that I once HATED my curls. I loathed them. I was teased for having them, and I looked like a lion who had lost a fight to the electrical socket. But since sticking to the curly girl regime, I can say I'm so happy to be a curly girl, and am overjoyed with the results!

This post is to encourage those of you who have been on this curly girl journey for a  short time and are finding it hard... Don't give up!!

I must admit, there were times over the last year (ive been a curly girl about a yr and a half now) that I was tempted to use my straightners. I ended up selling my GHD's online, and used the money to stock up on very good conditioner and products that lasted me a long time. I do have a cheap straightner tucked away in the cupboard somewhere, but its out of easy reach, so that it's hard to give into temptation. Although these days, I dont think twice about weather or not I should keep my curls.

For the sake of those who aren't there yet, lets go through a couple of
things that can cause a new curl-keeper to relapse:

1. Being surrounded by people with straight, shiny, gorgeous hair.
lets face it, when you see how effortlessly a friend manages her Jennifer Aniston-like straight hair, it's almost criminal! Plus straight hair looks so modern, so, finished, so sophisticated. Missing that completely "done" look can come creeping in.

solution: Remember that straight hair is a dime a dozen. Even though its assumed that infact 65% of women have naturally curly or wavy hair, and straight hair is a minority, so many women straighten there hair nowadays that curly hair is alot rarer to see. Straight hair is so typical, and you stand out with your curls! Also, your straight haired friends may be able to effortlessly manage their hair...but as you would know, keeping curly hair straight and manageable is very time consuming, thought consuming and annoying. It's much easier to stay curly and look after your curls so that they look awesome. As far as the whole, finished, sophisticated, done look goes... natural curls certainly cant be described in that manner, sure... but it has its perks! Our curls look free, sexy, unique. Natural beauty ladies! Dont you forget it! No need to envy the straighties. With your well kept curls, they are probably wishing they had your curls!

2. It's easier/less time consuming to go straight. I can wash, blowdry and kill my hair with straighteners on monday, and not have to do it again for almost a week!

solution: Firstly, only a selection of curly girls can get away with this. not most. Secondly.... your hair needs moisture. So if its only getting washed once a week, it doesnt matter how much shiny product is smothered into it, its going to be extremely unhealthy and probs wont grow. Thirdly, its not easier to go straight. Its far more expensive, and for most of us, takes alot of time every time we sit down with those straightners. Sure you may be able to go three to six days without caring for your hair... but the time it does take you when you do get to it, is ridiculous. A little care each day with the curly girl method, takes less time than even one wash, blowdry, sectioning and straightening session a week.

3. "I'm getting bored with my curls now...can't do much with them."

Solution: So the thrill of finally having fabulous lush curls has finally worn off (how?!) and your left with the memory of forever changing your hair to keep things interesting. Well you can still do that, you just have to get creative! You can certainly still colour your hair, just go easy, do it not so often. I used to bleach my hair. My curls suffered. Im naturally a cross between a dark blonde and a very light brown. So I can get away with almost any colour! I chose to go dark recently because i want my hair to grow...and with all the lightening abuse it wouldn't grow anymore. Since I've gone dark it's already longer in a short time, is thicker, happier, and it was a dramatic change from barbie gold blonde to chocolate brown, one which I recieved many complements for. So, you can consider colour change occasionally. Even adding streaks makes a difference, and streaks add definintion to curly hair, it gives it depth. You can also wear your hair up in alot of cute styles. Having curly hair means that you can play and shape your hair to do just about anything! Straighties have alot of trouble keeping their hair curled, or styled into any kind of interesting up-do. With the right product, your windy, bendy, twisty hair can achieve just about anything! google curly hairstyles. Most of what you can see you can probably achieve. Some curl types are more limited but not all of us. Also, a haircut. If your hair is very long, consider a short do, or layers. You might like to experiment with different types of fringes etc. You can do alot with curls, use your imagination!

4. "My curly girl regime started out fantastic... but lately my hair has been flat, lifeless. Its almost loosing its curl (or is wilder than ever!)"

Solution: These complaints are not unusual...more often than not, it can be resolved easily. For hair that responded well, and has suddenly made a turn for the wild worse, just take a look at any product changes made recently. A new gel, conditioner etc, may be the culprit, there could be hidden sulfates, or hidden silicones. Even the wrong alcohol content can wreak havoc on many curlies. check the ingredients properly. Try a different product and see the difference. Also, be sure to use proper hair-elastics/scrunchies when you wear your hair up. Super cheap ones are made badly, and when you pull them out you may find they tug on your hair and even pull some of it out too! This stressed the hair out, and will cause it to frizz and frazzle.

For hair that was once full of bounce, and got even curlier after the curly girl method was applied, and is now starting to look flat and lifeless, check your conditioner for silicones. A sulfate free regime means any silicones are going to dull out and weigh down the hair, so be sure to check your labels of any products you are using. Even if you havent changed your usual product, check the ingredients, rarely, but it does happen, they change the ingredients! Also, try leaving in a bit less conditioner when you finish in the shower. Leaving it all in could be too heavy for your curl type. Also dont forget, the weather can play a huge part in curl and frizz factor, as well as the length of your hair. You may need a cut or a new weather appropriate product.

Also, hair can adapt too much to a product. If youve been using the same conditioner for 6 months, that could be your problem. Try something else for a while, hair sometimes thrives off change! You can also try homemade oil or protein treatments... my point here??? DON'T GIVE UP! A bad hairday...or hair month... is not the end of your curly girl journey. Theyll come good again just give them a chance, and some TLC. I promise!!

You could also do a cleansing wash of whatever kind works best. For me, its a heaped tablespoon of bi-carb soda, mixed with a cup of very warm water (mix to dissolve) then pour over head concentrating on scalp and any leftovers on the length. leave for 2 minutes, feel the sizzle, then rinse thoroughly and condition as usual. This eats any product buildup out of my hair without ruining my actual hair. Works a charm. I do it about once a month. Lemon juice can have the same effect and is good for blondes.

my final tips:
go to www.naturallycurly.com for lots of help with curly problems! Join the forums and build a support for yourself. So many curlies doing this, we can all give each other tips. They also have an  iphone app called curl talk so you can keep up with posts or check out products wherever you are. The site has a wealth of knowledge so do check it out. I love the "before and after" forum, some amazing transformations with the curly girl routine! inspirational to keep you going!!

There is an app called "curls on the go" (may also come up as curl power?)  its free and it tells you how your hair will react to the weather. it gives you a current day forecast, a weekend forecast etc. Itll let you know if your likely to have "optimum curls" or "frizzy curls" according to your curl-type (which you can figure out on naturally curly.com) Knowing what your hair is likely to do will help you know what products to use, or weather or not to just put your hair up etc.

DON'T GIVE UP!! Your curls are beautiful and are a part of who you are. They just need some TLC and they'll do you proud!

got any more curly tips? have any questions? Comment below!