Friday, May 4, 2012

The Book That Changed the Game

I cut my hair.  I cry.  I let it grow out.  I cry.  I cut my hair.  I cry. 

I have evaluated this cycle, and looked at pictures where I have short and long hair, and I have FINALLY come to terms that long hair suits my face better.  In addition, longer hair is easier when it is curly.  My hair is very curly.  I used to relax it, but I haven't done so in nearly one year.  I didn't do a big chop.  I still have enough curl/wave to transitions into not retouching my roots.  However, transitioning from chemically processed hair to natural hair is awkward and takes some problem-solving skills. 

In a quest to find some solutions, I pored over natural hair blogs and took some tips and hints.  I tried many products, but I still wasn't satisfied.  Then, I came across a source of information that I was looking for but couldn't explain:  This website was created by Teri LaFlesh, and I could identify with parts of her hair journey especially because our textures are very similar.  I admired how candid and open she was with sharing pictures showing how she went through the years to figure out exactly what to do and how to do her hair.  After many years of experimentation, research, and trial and error, she found a solution, and she was generous enough to share it with the curly-haired population.  She stopped processing her hair, recognized the delicate nature of curly hair, and hydrated her hair endlessly.  In addition, she learned that curls last best when clumped nicely and smoothly.

I can honestly say that I have benefited greatly from her recommendations.  I don't follow every tip that she offers, however, I have adopted her method of doing hair and I have purchased the products she uses.  In addition, I ordered her book Curly Like Me (2010).  After reading various chapters in the book, repeatedly watching her tutorial videos, and trying out her method until I felt comfortable, I can tell you that I have not looked back at other methods or products. 

After perfecting the method she recommends, I can enjoy second-, third-, fourth-, and even fifth-day hair.  In addition, my hair feels so healthy.  I don't encounter breakage, and it looks the prettiest it has ever.  I haven't even been tempted to relax my hair since I started this method (I relax out of frustration with manageability). 

Beautiful second-day hair!! It looks better than the first day!
She has a list of products that work for her, however, she highly recommends Aussie's Moist conditioner (I reviewed that sometime ago.  I love this conditioner!  I have liters and liters of it.  I buy many whenever I get coupons.)  I also use the Denman brush, which she and others recommend.  For days that are going to be incredibly humid, I apply some light gel on the top layers. 
The Denman Classic Styling brush.  You can find it at Sally's Beauty.

The Curly Like Me methods calls for coating the hair with an extremely generous amount of conditioner, working with forming the curls sections by section, and using the Denman brush to gently smooth out the hair so that the curls can clump nicely.  Sure, it takes some time (my shoulder length hair following this method takes about an hour); however, my curls lasts for up to five days.  At night, instead of braiding my hair (it isn't long enough yet), I clip it up like a pineapple, and then the next morning I refresh the curls with a conditioner and water mix. 

So, if you have curly hair that is in the very curly natural or mild transitioning state, then you should definitely visit Teri LaFlesh's website, and check out her book.

It has helped me immensely, and I don't think I will cut my hair again out of frustration in an incredibly long time.  

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