Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Curly Hair Secrets Revealed

Congrats! You've wiggled out of your “fake straight hair” straight jacket and fled the asylum. You were never the crazy one. Society is crazy for setting up curl restraints to begin with. Now you embrace your naturally curly hair. OK, mostly you embrace it.  ... Or do you envy others' curls maybe a bit too much? Either way, below are some facts that could boost your appreciation for your own curls:

1 day, 2 day, 3 day hair

Waves and loose curls are often softer and shinier than tighter curls because it's easier for the sebum (natural oil from the scalp) to migrate down the shaft of less curly hair. The downshot of that is looser curls and waves that get oily, flat and over-conditioned more easily. Also, when curl patterns are weaker and softer, curls tend to get pulled out of place easily, especially in wind or when slept on. That makes wavy and loosely curly hair more challenging in terms of holding shape, or a style. All these issues lead to more wash days and styling efforts. Then again, stronger curl patterns and coils tend to get drier more easily, tend to have less shine and are often more frizz-prone than wavy or loosely curly hair. Detangling waves or loose curls is relatively easy. A plus point for curlier hair: depending on tendency to frizz, curlier types can often go 2, 3, 4 days … up to a full week or more before the curls are frazzled and in need of more washing/styling. The clear winner here is … every curl type!

Volume and body: captivating and overwhelming

Big hair is often viewed as sexy and alluring. It probably does attract mates the way a large plume of feathers attracts peahens to a peacock. Thing is, while you're envying someone's amazing volume, s/he may see it as too big, too difficult to manage and high maintenance. It often takes foreeeever to wash and detangle. Still, there's a lot to love about a voluminous mane. It still looks great as it thins with age.

Hang” can be a drag

Part of the majestic beauty of kinky/coily hair is its fantastic root lift. That means less or no hair falling into the eyes and face. But instead of lift, k/c types often want “hang” and more length. Truth is, “hang” can be a drag for those of us who naturally have it (the wavy and curly types). So what's the upshot for those of us with hang, droop and drag? … Easier detangling sessions, as a general rule, because the curls are looser.

Growth rate: don't assume fast equals good

If you're a sprouter (hair grows quickly), that razored pixie-mullet you suffered will practically grow itself out overnight. If your hair grows slowly, well, not so much. 

But if you love your cut and have slow growth, your look will last a while, whereas the sprouter will spend more money on a bunch of trims to preserve the cut. Also, sprouters often get so sick of getting cuts they just let their hair wind down their backs. That may not be the most flattering look for folks with no necks; folks with very long or wide faces, or for very short people. Long hair also means more product and far more time spent on it. Fast or slow: both have pros and cons. Average growth? You dodged the extreme disadvantages and advantages of both.

… Hopefully you and I are doing our best to embrace what nature gave us, otherwise it starts feeling like the days when we straightened to achieve someone else's idea of how we should look. 


The Allure of Short Curls

Reasons to Go SHORT

Short, naturally curly hair is spectacular and unique, even when it's disheveled! Just be sure to do your research and understand what you want before seeing your stylist. Here are some of the rewards you could reap from going short:

Improved State of Hair

Longer hair is older hair that's been exposed to a lot of wind, weather changes, mechanical damage, and other stressors. Cutting it off is like hitting “reset”. You get new, healthy curls!

The Look

The right cut can emphasize and flatter facial features. You get more volume.Volume masks thinning hair better too. You look taller (if that's appealing to you).

Practicality / Convenience

Shorter means less time and effort spent on detangling (but could mean more time spent styling). Your hair will air dry more quickly and your hair will blow dry more quickly too.

Easier exercise sessions. Short hair doesn't have to be pulled back, so you can stay cooler. Super short and TWA cuts are ready-made, low-maintenance styles. Hats and swimming caps fit more easily.

Short hair is more acceptable in many business settings. All of your wet hair may finally fit inside a hood dryer! Yay! You stay cooler in warm weather and in warm climates. There's less hair around the house and less clogging of the tub. You might be able to ditch the headache-inducing pineapple for an easy overnight bonnet.

No more accidentally sitting on your hair. Less accidental tugging and pulling of hair. No more – or far fewer - frazzled curls from zippers, necklaces and seat belt straps. You'll eat food instead of hairy food. Less hair will get caught in and on everything. 

(For you violent types ... ) When your back is to the wall and your enemy has removed her stilettos and her earrings and she's ready to throw down, you'll have less hair for her to grab and twist!

Weight is lifted off you, literally! (Fewer headaches because of it too.)


Less product is needed, so it's easier on the wallet (though certain styles may require more frequent trims). Salon services cost less when you already have short hair.


Going short could mean you're letting go of more than just your hair. Your cut could also be a physical action symbolizing a willingness to release an emotional burden. A new, low-maintenance cut can feel deeply satisfying following a recent break up with a high-maintenance putz of an ex-boyfriend. Or maybe going short is a way to express a willingness to accept (or celebrate) one of life's many changes. 

… What do you think of short hair? Long hair? Are you satisfied with your length?