WordPress kindly sends me a Year In Review document every December, so that I can marvel at my prolific blog stats and challenge myself to even greater blogging heights, ha ha just kidding, I only wrote five posts.  What the document did tell me is that my most popular posts were the two posts I wrote in January about curly hair, so here, a year later, I thought I’d write a little bit more about hair, and what’s changed since early 2013 (from a hair standpoint.  Lots of things have changed otherwise, but I’m saving them as topics so that maybe this year I can write SIX posts).

First of all, I have to put in a plug for going to a hair salon that’s dedicated to curly hair.  Not a salon that has one stylist who supposedly took a course in curly hair management, but a place where ALL the stylists are talented and trained in the art of cutting curly hair.  This may be very difficult for people to find, I realize, so I am owning my privilege in the curly hair arena, in that I live close enough to Smyrna, Georgia, to be able to get my hair cut at Curltopia.  My stylist talked me through the whole thing, explained what he was doing, recommended a slew of products, gave me written instructions, and was overall a pleasure to work with.  My only issue (and this might be because I was a first time client) is that he’s no Kellianne, and the resulting haircut borders on… boring.  Curly, but boring.

As an American, I understand that I’m supposed to refuse to be satisfied with a product that works, as surely there is something BETTER out there, and that I must locate it, locate it first, and then spread its gospel far and wide.  Until, of course, the NEXT best thing comes out.  None of this is particularly true of me- I’m actually a, “hey, look, this works great!  Why change?” kind of gal, so I was SURE the products my stylist recommended wouldn’t be any better than what I was currently using.  But since I had sample sizes of the products in question, I gave it a whirl, and WHAT DO YOU KNOW.

The first thing my stylist (James.  His name is James) recommended was that I switch from DevaCURL One Condition to DevaCARE One Condition.  The “CARE” line is designed for color-treated hair, which mine is not, but it is, indeed, a richer and thicker formula that seems to moisturize better than the regular DevaCURL line.  And when he rinsed my hair, he confirmed my theory about “cold shocking” the hair cuticle shut- he rinsed my hair in cold water, like “make your scalp tingle” cold, telling me that I’d just spent all this time moisturizing my hair, I shouldn’t then allow that to evaporate by rinsing in hot water.  In the shower, in winter, this obviously presents an unpleasant issue, so I just get the water as cool as I can stand, and rinse only my head, in as much as that contortion is possible.

And by rinse, I mean… mostly.  You know how when you first dive into a pool in the heat of summer, and you are immediately transformed into a long, lithe, mermaid?  And when you surface, an impossibly long distance from the edge of the pool from whence you jumped, your hair trails, sleek and slippery behind you, like in those perfume commercials where a woman emerges from a crystal clear sea, clad only in snow-white bikini bottoms? That’s the feel you’re going for when you’re done rinsing.  Slippery and soft (and, apparently, vaguely pornographic).

In my earlier posts about curly hair, I said that I run my hand over my head and squeeze out the water in the resultant ponytail after I shut the water off, but James told me to not even do THAT.  My hair is literally dripping, and it’s terribly uncomfortable.  I immediately wrap a towel around my waist and proceed directly to product application, the better to get this wet mess off my nape.

Whereas before, I’d been using a leave-in conditioner, James recommended I use a moisture-lock/frizz-reducer.  His recommendation was DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam, but in my n=2 trial, I prefer the DevaCurl Set It Free.  Either one, the point is the same- to reduce frizz, you have to make sure the moisture you applied via conditioning stays in your hair.  While a leave in conditioner like the Knot Today does do that, it can tend to weigh down the hair- both the foam and Set It Free are much lighter formulations, and I think that allows for a bouncier curl without sacrificing curl definition.

Let me take a moment to say that I LOVE the Kinky Curly line of products.  I love the price point, I love that you can get them at Target, I use them on my kid.  But if you’re interested in different products, or maybe if you think you have too much money, the Deva product lines are worth a shot, even at more than twice the price (and as is typical for higher-end products, a little can go a long way).

After the moisture lock (Jesus I have typed “moisture” a lot today), James applied DevaCurl Light Defining Gel, which is again, lighter and less thick that the Curling Custard, but serves the same purpose- to form a barrier between all that moisture you’ve applied, and the environment that can’t wait to take it all away.  The Light Defining Gel also comes in an Ultra formula, if the liquidy/slippery texture or weight of the Light isn’t right for you.

Finally, James sat me under a broiling hot hair dryer, that spaceman helmet kind, for 45 minutes.  And while I appreciated the opportunity to really get to the bottom of the Khloe/Lamar situation, that’s not feasible for anyone I know, not least because DAMN THAT THING WAS HOT JESUS.  So at home I air dry, or if going out and trying to avoid the first hour’s drowned rat look, I hit the roots with a diffuser for a few minutes.  Less than ten.

As before, reading it all typed out takes longer than it takes to actually DO IT, especially if you’re already doing a similar method.  I’m pleased with the look- here’s a couple pictures so you can be impressed too.

Styled By James

Styled By James

Styled By Me

Styled By Me

And, gratuitously:

Also Styled By Me

Also Styled By Me

I’d love to hear about products that work for you, and AS ALWAYS, your Second Day Hair solutions, as mine continues to be “put it in a pony tail.”

PS- those links are mostly Amazon, because it’s all right there.  Beauty.com and Ulta.com also carry most of the mentioned products, and might your salon.