Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Curly Tales As Told By Rachel With the Frizzy Hair

Curls for days. Slightly refined with a 13MM Enzo Milano Clipless Curling Iron
 It’s funny how the quirks we grew up hating so often become cherished parts of our personal journey as adults. For me, my curly hair has always been my blurse (blessing/curse). My curls have always just felt so me. So free. It wasn’t until somebody told me that I shouldn’t like my wild hair that I ever had insecurities about it. My parents were obsessed with my crazy hair and my number one goal as a child was to somehow be as cool as Clarissa Explains It All or Blossom. Take your pick. It was when boys and cliques came into the picture in about sixth grade that insecurities about my curly hair began to form. Which I always found ironic, because people were still going to the salon in droves to get perms. But like with most diversity, it was accepted so long as it follows specific guidelines. There would be jokes made about my hair pretty regularly. For a couple years I had the delightful nickname of “Rachel with the frizzy hair”. I am of mixed racial descent (Scandinavian, African American and Mexican) and it wasn’t until recently that I realized how common hair insecurity was for women of color, but I think it also applies to any women who deviate from the norm. One of my best friends has the most gorgeous full lips and she used to be made fun of for them as a kid- then Angelina Jolie came around and poof- she’s got what women pay thousands of dollars for. I remember reading Toni Morrison’s classic The Bluest Eye my sophomore year of college and just being heartbroken about how relatable it was. Let’s face it, diversity isn’t always celebrated and I don’t have to tell you how brutal kids can be to each other.

My 8th grade student ID card- hair product overload and flattened to the max.

I always felt like I had to tame my curls. I had to settle them down to make them more appropriate. For years as a teenager I would try every method to flatten or control them. I remember once letting my friend Rebekah IRON my hair.... with an IRON on a IRONING BOARD I would throw mousse, gel, hairspray, leave in conditioner by the gallon into my mane to try and make it more flat. I might also have to attribute some of that to it just being the 90’s and that being the look. With my old age (29 this year, ya’ll) I’ve been feeling a a level of comfort with myself that I haven’t felt in years. I would always tell myself that I have to bargain with my appearance and that my curls made me a bit too overwhelming when added to my personality. Thank sweet infant Jesus that I got over that.... even if it did take me twenty years.

For the first time since I was a carefree kid- I am in love with my curls again. I wear them big. I wear them confidently and I get complimented all of the time. I have finally found a system of hair maintenance that works for me. Once again... only took twenty years. I still switch up my hair styles. Sometimes I wear it straight. Sometimes I wear it wavy. But regardless of how I wear it- I just make an effort at all times to be true to myself.

Clockwise (L to R):
No Poo Conditioning Cream Cleanser / Deva Curl
One Condition / Deva Curl
Healing Oil Spray / Macadami Oil
13MM Clipless Curling Iron / Enzo Milano
Climate Control Frizz & Flyaway Fighter / Ouidad
Volumizing Hair Powder / Sachajuan
Monoi Repairing Hair Mask / Carol’s Daughter

My friend Nikki turned me onto a haircare line by a company called Deva Concepts and they have a shampoo and conditioner that I am absolutely in love with. The shampoo is called No-Poo and it’s a conditioning cream cleanser with no sulfates and no lather. It does take a bit of getting used to, but if you are a curly-girly it’s totally worth it. It hydrates, stimulates and cleanses the scalp. I like to throw on the OneCondition after just to give my hair extra love. I lightly wrap my hair in a towel to help the air-dry process start and spray a teeny bit of Macadamia Healing Oil Spray. Once my hair is dry, I use a 13MM (1/2 inch) Enzo Milano clipless curling iron and randomly curl a few pieces (mainly at the top) to control the shape and to give bounce to any curls that may have been flattened out during the drying process. Then I flip my head over give it a few good shakes and let my fluffy poofy hair just do it’s thing. If I need a lift later in the day, I’ll spritz a little Ouidad Climate Control Frizz & Flyaway Fighter or the Sachajuan Volume Powder (which is a clear volumizing powder you shoot on your roots and it’s for ALL hair types). Since I also have blonde ombre’d into my ‘do, I’ll use the Monoi Hair Mask by Carol’s Daughter (also for all hair types) once a week, especially if I’m going to do a less curly, more heat intensive style.

Me and my curls, no heat styling
Plaid summer scarf / Roxy

Everybody has traits and features that are unique to only them and instead of letting those be what brings you down- let those be what you love about yourself. Those are your unique evolutionary traits that set you apart from other people. Just be yourself. Do your thing and keep on keepin’ on.

What are some of your quirks that drove you mad when you were younger that you appreciate now?

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