You go to the doctor, and he returns with bad news. "You have lung cancer, it seems," he explains, but doesn't seem heavy or worried at all. This unsettles you, and you press him for answers.
"Doctor," you say, "how long do I have? What can I do?"
The doctor chuckles and makes a note on his clipboard. "How much time do you have? Well, I suppose that is up to you. The good news is that all of the cancer will go away on its own in time. But only if you stop smoking. Every time you have a cigarette, you will loose weeks of your life. But, if you stop completely, you can erase all of the damage."
You walk away, relieved, and immediately stop cold turkey.
You have curly hair, you have cancer.
Yep, you heard me. Cancer. That is, if you try to live in denial of your curly locks. Forcing your curls to do something they weren't made to do hurts your hair, and most importantly, your very special curls. If you straighten, "blow-fry", flat-iron, hide in hat, bun, braid, paper bag . . . you have GC disease: Girls with Curls!
After discovering "Curly Girl: The Handbook" by Lorraine Massey, I've decided to embark on a strange, new adventure: styling my hair without a straightener, comb, or shampoo. Every time you torture your hair into looking like something it isn't, you cause massive damage and put undo pressure on your hair to solve your life's problems. (Ever have a nice flat do go POOF mid-day, only to ruin the rest of it?)
Doesn't sound possible? You can follow me as I document my progress as I seek to challenge myself to "curls only" for six weeks.
The products I purchased. I did buy a DevaCurl microfiber towel (available at beauty salons and at Ulta and Ulta.com). I could have gone safe (and expensive) and purchased all DevaCurl products to ensure the best reaction and care of my curls. But I wanted to test my ability to follow the clear directions from Lorraine on what to purchase, what to avoid, etc. From Left to Right: Conditioner, almond oil, lavender essential oil, conditioner, cleanser, microfiber towel, vegetable glycerin, hair gel, spray bottles x2, clips, and bobby pins.
Hair, Day 2. Annoyed me, but looks pretty decent in the picture.
Day 4 - fought with it and had to refresh with the lavender spray twice. Was also raining this day. Ugh.
Day 4 - 3/4 rear view
Day 5 - today! I really liked the way my hair turned out. I pinned the roots for lift and turned the heater on in my car on the way to work to act like a diffuser and set the curls. I later styled it like this using a style suggestion in the book.
The book is really great. It details how to determine your specific curl type and details daily routines for each curl. The best part is that these routines take less than 20 minutes, from washing to styling! (Much better than wasting over an hour to straighten only to have it damage my hair and be ruined in a 2 minute rain pour.) Also discussed in the book is curly methods for ethnic hair, curly children, curly men, and even includes detailed instructions (and pictures - I like pictures) of how to trim/maintain your hair in between professional styling. With homemade recipes to give your hair a green routine clean as well as curl stories from others, it will give you the encouragement you need to press on when you want to shave everything off and buy a wig (as I was tempted to many a day....).
Hoping you join me!