Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pictures of My (Sorta) Big Chop

Pictures of hair below * 

“Are you sure?” the stylist asked … and then, “Are you sure you're sure?” 

Chop it down,” I said, "Have at it."

I'd spent what felt like a century with hair winding down my back. Plus, I'd already lopped off a few inches just months before so it was just above BSL. I'd been having several variations on the same dream, where I looked into a mirror to see my short hair reflected back. I awakened from these dreams smiling. I knew it was time.

I shampooed my hair the night before the appointment. So after she did some initial dry cutting, the stylist wet it down and finger-combed it, using DevaCurl Heaven in Hair, which doubled as a conditioner and styler. She set me under the hood dryer for a while then shaped my cut a little more. It wasn't her fault that I ended up with shorter hair than what I'd anticipated. She kept asking if I wanted more taken off, and I kept telling her yeah, drunk on the idea that the more hair she took off, the easier my overall hair care routine would be. (That turned out to be mostly true.) But some of the time I think she kept cutting because she was aiming for precision. Even though I showed her pics of my desired cut, cutting an (angled) inverted bob can be tricky on very curly hair. She did a good job.

I'm pretty happy with going short. Here are a few pics of my cut. They were taken a couple days afterward. I hadn't washed or re-styled it, which explains some of the disheveled pieces and some of the frizz (but really my hair tends to frizz anyway).

This pic taught me just how dirty the bottom of my mirror was, plus I inadvertently included the garbage can. Classy, huh? Haha

Hard to tell it's an inverted bob from this front view. Arm got "cut off" cause I was in a hurry to take this & the next pic :0  

Hopefully those straggly, rogue pieces on the right side add spice to the mix. 

  ... What's most surprising is how many styles I'm able to create with this short cut. I may post some of those styles in one of my next blogs. Thanks for stopping by!

Turn a Nightmare Product into a Dream

Oh the fortune I've spent on hair products that failed! Like the ones that left my hair dry, or distorted my curl pattern; the concoctions that weighed down my curls, leaving them with a waxy or greasy film, or limp! 

It still happens, of course. Sometimes the ingredients just aren't compatible with my particular head of curls. But sometimes a failed hair product is actually a good or Heavenly product in disguise. It depends on when or how that product is used.  


In dry weather, a conditioner or styling product may be very drying or may distort a curl pattern because of certain ingredients (like glycerin), but work perfectly in a more humid season, or climate. I find that a lot of glycerin-heavy products make a tumbleweed out of me in dry weather but work quite well when the humidity is moderately high. Google something like “curly hair products and dew points” for helpful info on climate and appropriate ingredients.

The Dilution Solution

Hybrid Cleansers

Sulfate-based shampoo can be diluted with water (I used distilled, as explained below), or with cheap conditioner, for a more gentle cleansing session. When a non-sulfate shampoo isn't available, a shampoo/conditioner combo might be the perfect solution for hair that gets too oily without shampoo, but too weighed down by co-washing only. 

Conditioners & Stylers

I have a copious medium-textured mane of 3b/c/a curls; normal elasticity, porosity ranges right now from normal to low … so it didn't surprise me when my hair was stiff, greasy and weighed down after using a conditioner and a styler from the SheaMoisture line - Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Coconut & Hibiscus Curling Gel Souffle. The ingredients are quite rich with oil. Because I liked the natural ingredients listed and it was an expensive purchase, I decided to experiment with it. (The type of experiment below might also work with Kinky Curly Curling Custard, another rich, heavy styler.)


Mixed some of the smoothie w/distilled H20 – 1:1 ratio (half and half). Apply.


Mixed some of the gel w/distilled H20 - 4:1 ratio (¾ gel to ¼ H20). Apply.

I mostly choose distilled water because it's more gentle on my hair than my shower water, which contains a lot of minerals. When experimenting, I only use a few ounces of product at a time. I lucked out with my first formula (above).

Result: perfectly accentuated ringlets, shine, body and perfect hold. It was a little crunchy as it dried but once dry, it was soft, not stiff, limp or greasy. In fact, last week after using this mixture, I got caught outside in the rain with my hair exposed. Still, my hair held up beautifully.

Some benefits of diluting a heavy conditioner or styler:

1. Less is more, and can help delay or prevent product buildup.
2. You keep what you paid for.
3. Your purchase lasts longer, which means you save money.
4. Diluting products is great if you're heavy-handed when applying stuff (which leads back to benefit #1).
5. Diluting can reduce drying time. 

Have you experimented with your products to improve them? What were your results?