Curly Hair Karma

sgfoxI’ve had curly hair since before I was born. I know this because hair doesn’t get this spirited unless you have good (on some days) karma or bad (on some days) karma. And judging by my reaction to my curly hair, I must have spent my past lives beating the crap out of my people while they toiled and I waved around a mutton leg during a feast giving unreasonable orders—curly hair was my consequence, my comeuppance.

Now, I don’t really believe in past lives. I rank past lives right up there with trying to keep my hair straight on a humid day, neither gets you anywhere but back to where you are—in this century, with this head of hair. But when I look at the glossy, straight haired women in my office, it’s hard not to think that our hair was put on our heads for a karmic reason. The sleek blondes must have been good people in their past lives. They were meant to fit in— everywhere—the country club, sororities, through a doorway. But not those of us with our springing, frizzing, bursting-out-all-over curls. We were left to make our own path— after we’d spent the first part of our lives trying to fit in by trying to tame our Medusa locks.

For me, it all began with the almighty orange juice cans that promised straight hair glory… if I could manage to get my curls to curl around the curve of the can. A big if. The first rule of thumb with curly hair is that it will only curl the way it wants to curl, and guiding a curl will only lead to a feeling of hopelessness.

After the OJ cans, a Lebanese friend introduced me to the pull-wet-hair-as-tight-as-possible-into-a-ponytail-and-wrap-ponytail-smack-up-against-the-head-and-secure-with-bobypins-until-hair-dries-76-hours-later method. It was actually a pretty adequate method, providing the places where the rubber band and bobby pins crimped the hair weren’t too unattractive—and there was only 6 percent humidity in the air.

Segue to the TV show Charlie’s Angels, starring lovely haired Farrah Fawcett. Ha! For a brief shining moment, providing the humidity wasn’t too heavy and the stars and moons lined up the right way, thohair3se of us with curly hair had it over the stick straight haired girls. Our hair could hold the glorious tube curls that had to run up the sides of our heads just so. Spritz in a little Sun-In for some brassy red highlights (that were meant to be blond) and— oh yeah—hello, beauty. (Note: I burned my high school senior pictures.)

And for about ten brief shining minutes, curly hair was in. Unfortunately, so were perms, and naturally, the sleek hairs had it over us. They could get perfect (and, okay, perfectly ugly) ringlets, while those of us with curly hair were left with our mass of confusion.

Further proof that curly hair was a karmic thing. We were supposed to suffer to make up for past regressions.

Or so was my theory. And from listening to others in the same frizzy situation, it was obvious that my theory was as sound as E=mc2 science.

Travel did nothing to help me come to terms with my hair. As a curly haired friend of mine once said, “Having curly hair in Paris is about as acceptable as having venereal warts.” Not ever having had those, I could at least commiserate with those who had because I understood the full-frontal anguish that came with having curly hair. And she was right. I’ll eat blood sausage if anyone can send me a picture of someone with curly hair legging it up the Champs Elysees. When I lived in Paris, I slept with one large Velcro curler in my hair. If I could at least keep my bangs tamed, that would be fine. I was, after all, getting older. Hence, the battle of the hair cuticles was beginning to wear me down.

Cut to (bypassing years of desperation and frustration while trying anything that came down the pike that promised sleek, tamed hair) the beginning of the new millennium and the exquisite hair tool called the ceramic ionic flat iron. Of course, no tool under $100 would work, but I didn’t care if I had to spend $500 plus; if the tool really proved to make my hair straight and hold it through a deluge of rain and humidity, I’d steal from our daughter’s college funds if I had to. Easily justified. If Mommy is happy, Baby thrives. If Baby thrives, Baby will grow up to be a smarty-pants and win scholarships to Harvard.

Our daughter is only ten years old, and although she is not yet old enough for the Ivy Leagues, she is thriving. Naturally, I chalk this up to my $250 GHD ionic flat iron . I spend maybe 15 minutes over coffee and The Today Show straightening my hair, and after that, only a complete dousing of water will revive the curls. Living in high-humidity Maryland, I even put the hair to the test. A 27-block-walk down York Road in heavy fog landed me at Stoneleigh Bakery with spaghetti-straight hair. (Zoom in on a close-up of me with my fist in the air, going YES!)

Finally, after decades of hair discontent, I have found hair happiness. Or almost. Now when people give me compliments about my straight hair, I feel an urgent need to explain that I really have curly hair. And when I meet other women who wear their hair naturally curly, I feel I’m a traitor. I do have a medical reason, though, for needing straight hair. Or at least I think I do, or I did, or I dreamed it up or something. It sounds good, any way. Of course, I haven’t forgotten the karmic factor. My hair won’t let me. Just when I’ve gotten the kinks worked out, I started to sprout gray hair. What’s next, you karmic gods? Chin hairs? At what age do ear hairs cut in? And if I cut them back? Then what?

The moral of this story is: Be good in this life, so you don’t have to come back in the next life living bad hair days. I’d like to stay and try to explain, but I’m heading outside to my car. Someone once told me that the only time a woman will ever notice chin hairs is when she’s driving down the road, looking in her rearview mirror, and I want to catch this stuff early.

By Sarah Gilbert, Baltimore Style

Sarah Gilbert Fox first got her writing start as a beautician who had written a short story called “Beauty School” for Roy Blount, Jr.‘s book, “It Grows On You.” From there, she went on to finish beauty school, and cut hair at The Celebrity Styling Shop to earn money to make her way through college. Her Master’s Thesis was the book Hairdo, published by Warner Books (now Grand Central Publishing) to high acclaim; the book went on to be published in 14 different languages. She recently moved to Baltimore, primarily to test her theory of “High Humidity Effects of the Ionic Flat Iron on Curly Hair on York Road”.

Copyright © Sarah Gilbert Fox

My Secret to Maintaining Tangle Free Curly Hair

ouidad-boostOuidad is my new brand!  Celebrity stylist Ouidad, think Sarah Jessica Parker and Minnie Driver, created a line of products that are specifically designed for curly hair.  She’s a stylist. She’s a salon owner. She’s an educator. She’s an author. But most importantly, she’s a woman with curly hair. For years Ouidad struggled with her own head of curls, which led her to dedicate the past 30 years of her life to building a respected reputation as “THE curly hair expert.”

Ouidad realized that curly hair tends to be dehydrated due to its spiral structure. Straight hair’s cuticle (hair’s protective outermost layer) has a smooth, resistant surface. Curly hair’s cuticle layer is lifted away from the hair shaft causing the hair to lose moisture, resulting in dry, frizzy unmanageable hair. When the molecular layer is filled with amino acids and proteins, the hair will have its own internal weight and will not react to humidity. Why? The answer is simple: there is no room for water to seep in, so hair looks smoother, shinier, and it behaves.  Quidad has been able to launch specific products that are designed to boost a curly hair girl’s inner curly beauty!

My definite must have from this line is the Ouidad Botanical Boost Conditioning and Refreshing Spray!  The Bontanical Boost is a lightweight leave-in conditioner chock full of soothing, moisturizing and restoring vitamins, amino acids and botanical extracts.  It is the ideal detangler and refresher for curls and body.  In the morning when I wake up I spray a little on throughout my hair because of course I can’t get my locks wet.  I selectively comb through and it is completely revitalized.  I love it so much I use it on my kids!!!  Get more information at Ouidad.   I am sure you will love it.

Help for Curly Hair!

Is your hair a giant puff ball when you wake up in the morning? Are you just fed up with handling your curly locks. Ford Model Erin with the help of Aveda gives you tips on how to handle your curly locks.

Curl Conscious? Meet Bumble and bumble Kinky Chick

Bumble and bumble Kinky Chick Curl CremeHave your crazy, kinky curls met Bumble and bumble? They have an entire Curl Conscious line of hair care that is straight out of curl central and I’m curls over heels in love with their Kinky Chick Curl Creme.

The Curl Conscious line also has shampoos and conditioners too, but if your curls are new to the brand, I’d suggest you go straight for the Bumble and bumble Kinky Chick Curl Creme to start. It’s a great styling product for those ‘enthusiastically’ curly curls and is the perfect treat for curls that need a little tough love.

Kinky Chick is a revolutionary curl enhancing cream made especially to soften and add definition to medium-to-thick curly hair. Most curls are not one size fits all and it’s nice that this product is tailored for those of use with thick, unruly tresses. We all know someone (and it’s usually me) who is commonly known as “the girl with all that curly hair” – this product is for her!

Just rub a tiny bit from roots to ends on your wet curls and wind, twist, twirl or scrunch your hair as usual. The creme will instantly soften and tame your mane without leaving it droopy or flat – a curl killer for sure. It also helps conquer your curl’s arch enemy – frizz.

Styling tip: Lots of curls? Lots of curl creme!

I also use a tiny bit more after I blow-dry to add more definition to some of those more “spirited” curls that just won’t behave. This curl loving creme makes them calm down quickly without a fight… whew!

Start softening and defining your unruly coils with Bumble and bumble Kinky Chick. Remember, crunchy curls are soooo 80’s. Bouncy, behaving curls are what you want!

-CurlyBelle

Have you Met Davines?

I’d like to introduce you to one of my all time favorite brands: Davines. This line of essential hair care – complete with cutesy, catchy nicknames – is chock full of Mediterranean herbs, flowers and fruit, and is 100% dedicated to keeping those locks looking lively and lovely.

Davines Love Smoothing ShampooIf you’re frizz fighting fanatic committed to keeping your straight strands super smooth, try Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner, it’s the perfect frizz fighting duo. Specially formulated to nourish, smooth and soften harsh, dry hair, the deeply moisturizing shampoo delicately cleanses hair with a special blend of natural ingredients like Indian Fig Extract, Olive Oil, Rice Proteins. These smoothing agents prevent dehydration, reduce the hair’s aging process and keep hair protected from environmental elements while eliminating static. And they do it with Love.

Davines Love Smoothing ConditionerDavines Love Smoothing Conditioner deeply nourishes frizzy, undisciplined hair with an infusion of Rice Wax and Vitamin E. Additional moisturizers, conditioners and silicones eliminate frizz and soften hair, and added Borage Seed Oil tames and softens coarse, unruly hair. Talk about Smoothing! This shampoo and conditioner combo is exactly what dry hair needs, especially if you use a flat iron. I’m talking Smoothing with a capital “S”.

Davines Love Curl Enhancing ShampooGot carefree curls? No worries, Davines Love Curl Enhancing Shampoo and Conditioner will give those corkscrews the love they need.

The luxuriously creamy shampoo untangles and defines curls with a blend of Myrtle Extract, Olive Oil, and Vitamin C. These essential extracts provide softeness, volume and shine while delivering much needed moisture to every strand. Moisture makes curls bounce, and your curls will love it.

Davines Love Curl Enhancing ConditionerFollow up with the creamy Davines Love Curl Enhancing Conditioner and your curls will love you back. This curl-friendly conditioner has intense moisture and anti-oxidant agent Pistachio Oil to deeply nourish hair, and Rice Wax to volumize and protect those corkscrews.

After you shampoo and condition (with Love of course), give those curls some extra affection – follow with Davines Love Curl Enhancing Serum. Packed with Panthenol, Fig Milk Davines Curl Enhancing Serum(yes!) and Mica, it’s the perfect potion for providing a punch of moisture, protection and shine. This curl loving serum will also help give your curls that healthy definition they need to look their best.

Founded by the Bollati Family in 1983 in Parma, Italy, you’ll find that Davines products are a thoughtful balance of substance and style, nature and science, people and spirit. As Davines sets out to create products destined to become classics with timeless appeal they adhere to their philosophy “Beauty will save the world”.

Where’s the Love? Right here.

Bumble & bumble’s Sure Path to Curl Consciousness

Want to achieve Curl Consciousness? Just follow the advice of Bumble & bumble! This easy step-by-step guide will have you coaxing those curls into dreamy ringlets in no time…

Bumble & bumble Hot Mama ConditionerStep 1
Shampoo and Condition with the Curl Conscious Shampoo and Conditioner for your hair type. There are a few different types according to your curl type and hair thickness.

For fine to medium hair:
For medium to thick hair:
Step 2
Towel dry hair. Squeeze out water – do not rub!
Step 3
Starting with a quarter-size dollop, work Curl Cream into hair with fingers from roots to ends and from nape forward. Lots of hair? Lots of Curl Cream. Use enough to thoroughly coat.
For fine to medium hair: Bumble & bumble Curl Conscious Curl Cream Wavy Woman
For medium to thick hair: Bumble & bumble Curl Conscious Curl Cream Kinky Chick
Step 4
Comb through with a wide tooth comb.
Step 5
Gently lift sections of hair and corkscrew around your finger toward your face (clockwise at left of center part, counter-clockwise at right) and twirl tendril downward. The thicker the hair, the larger the section. The finer the hair, the smaller the section.
Step 6
Work from nape up to natural part.
Step 7
After each twirl, tenderly cup and press toward the scalp (don’t squash) and release. Repeat everywhere. Don’t obsess – too perfect curls look fake.
Step 8
Pick random pieces around the face and on top and repeat twirling, making sure they curl toward your face from the root.
Step 9
When nearly dry (80%), place fingers spread at the scalp and gently press hair upward for lift.
Step 10
Don’t comb, brush, fuss or fiddle. If you really must blow-dry, use a diffuser to minimize frizz.
Step 11
Be proud!
Watch B&b Curl Conscious in action!
With Bumble & bumble products it’s so easy to have the curls of your dreams! Visit our Bumble & bumble section for more information and product details.

-CurlyBelle