Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Plop Down and Get Your Curl On

Guys, I have a confession to make. This may come as a surprise to many of you but... 

I have naturally curly hair. Not just "wavy" curly, but "curly" curly. If I had to describe them, I'd call them "poodle curls." They are like spiral curls, with a little more fluff to them, and volume to boot. Although at birth I received the gift of my father's African-American curl definition, I was also gifted my mother's straight, soft texture. Because of this, people have had a hard time believing any part of my nationality was based out of Africa.

When I was little, my soft spiral curls were a precious commodity - and I was often called "Shirley" by relatives as well as strangers in public settings. As I got older, I had a horrible habit of twirling my hair and twisting in knots that were nearly impossible to pull apart.  As punishment for the damage I did to my hair every month, my mother would ask my hairdresser to keep my hair boy-short. 

This was probably the most humiliating thing that's ever happened to me. Multiple other children would ask me if I was a girl or a boy - which traumatizes me still to this day. 

I hated having short hair, but even more so than that, I hated having curly hair. I hated it because it made me different. If being one of the loudest kids in class wasn't the most off-setting thing about me, I just had to be one of the only curly headed kids, too. Everyone had wavy hair, or straight hair that their moms put into pony tails, pigtails, or braids. 

My hair was just curly.

It really made me feel poorly about myself, and this was a major factor in my young adult self esteem issues. 

It wasn't until seventh grade when I noticed my mom's friend's daughter's usually long wavy blonde locks were poker straight, that I found out there was an alternative to wearing my hair curly. When I asked her how she got her hair so straight, she replied with "I'll show you after dinner."

When we got to her room, she showed me the gadget that would wind up taking hold of my life for the next 23 years - a Revlon hair straightener. Now, hair straighteners today are a lot different than they were in 2002. My first two straighteners still left my hair frizzy and thick, but my hair was much more tame than it had been. I became addicted to straightening my hair, and I went through many phases and many straighteners from seventh grade on.

It wasn't until this past summer that my new hair stylist told me to stop coloring my hair, and to stop flat ironing it, too. As she ran her hands through my fried ends, she shook her head.

"You have beautiful natural curls, why are you still straightening them?"

I really couldn't answer her. I still wasn't sure why I was straightening them. I had grown out of the twirling phase and my hair was much longer than it had been.

I slowly started easing out of straightening my hair, saving the heat for Friday nights out or once during the weekday if I didn't think my curls looked publicly acceptable. I now have a collection of products I cannot live without and large, soft curls.

With this being said, I have been looking up new techniques to get the most out of my locks.

I am a creature of habit and have always washed my hair before bed so that I could straighten it in the morning. Old habits die hard, and I have yet to get accustomed to waking up in the morning to shower. I also sleep like a log that's rolling downhill at 95 mph. This has done nothing special for my hair, in fact, when I wake up in the morning, my hair is dry, crispy and nest-like.

I just discovered plopping. I was hesitant to try it off of the name alone - "plopping" isn't exactly the most romantic sounding word, ya know. But I gave it a go and I can say I'm overly pleased with the results. I woke up this morning, head wrapped in an old shirt, but my curls were soft, round and flowy. I added some of my favorite product - It's a 10 Miracle Oil Plus Kertain and It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Potion Plus Keratin - and went on my merry way. I didn't even worry about adding heat or moisture to my hair, nor did I feel the need to twist, pull or braid to achieve the curls I wanted today.

This is my hair today (please don't judge my makeup-less face, one of those "I ran out of time to put on mascara because I was too busy taking hair selfies" mornings):

I love you plopping, and look forward to our new life together, especially as my hair begins to finally grow out.

Follow me on Twitter! @AdeleMarieStew

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