Friday, January 08, 2010

Thanks, Tabatha.

Have you seen the show Tabatha's Salon Takeover on Bravo? One of my guilty pleasures. I love any kind of makeover show, so why not a salon makeover? Plus Tabatha's a total beez, but she's right most of the time so that's a fun combo. Part of the fun for me is seeing the total skeez salon owners that are out there--I can't believe some of these nerds are still in business. Don't tell anyone, but I've even gotten E on the bandwagon, and he watches it with me when he's home.

Last night I ate dinner with the kids and tried to straighten up before E got home. I plopped down in front of the boob tube with about 8 Oreos and about 8 Oreos-worth of milk; I tuned in to see what Tab had been up to. As she was making her rounds to check on the stylists, she stopped at one girl who was using a diffuser to blow dry a curly-haired customer. "Don't lift and move the hair around like that," she counseled, "you'll disrupt the curl and make it frizz." Oh. My. God. Becky. LIGHTBULB MOMENT. She was telling the girl not to scrunch the hair or lift it from the root as she was drying it. She said just to put the diffuser up under the hair and leave it alone. Do you realize the impact of that statement? I've been SCRUNCHING since the mid-nineties. I've been creating the very frizz I have been trying to fight.

I very clearly remember being about 10 and having a hairdresser tell me my hair was "so frizzy" and I remember being self-conscious of it from about that time. I've gone through quite an evolution with my hair. As a kid I had cute blonde curls--by early high school (above, far right) I was tragic: awkward, frizzy, and unsure what to do with my massive thick brillo pad of a mop. At about 15 I discovered mousse. My mom had a perm, so I was using her products. Do you remember Clairol mousse? Like the one on the right? Ah, memories.

That worked okay, and it produced a kind of crunchy curl that was at least not frizzy. I continued from there, mostly letting my hair air dry, for many years. As Aussie Sprunch spray and a diffuser came into my life, my style continued to develop slightly, but there have been basically no major changes until last night. Oh sure, my hair's been long, short, a-line, red, dark brown, highlighted, and platinum, but the curls were always some variation of that sophomore crunch. Not exactly the kind of hair some dude wants to run his fingers through. I was always jealous of girls with soft hair and defined curls that didn't seem to require a lot of product to hold. My bathroom floor is always sticky, replete with drops of hairspray and Sprunch spray. Not much has changed. There was a brief period of hope in the early 2000's when L'Oreal Fructis came out with their soft curl cream, but alas like all awesome things, it went the way of the dinosaur. My hair routine is still not too different from what it was back then. Lots of product, lots of scrunching, and lots of crunch. It's not that I was all about the crunch, but I was trying to avoid frizz. BTW, Frizz Ease is crap.

So of course after I watched the show, I hopped on twitter to tweet this: "Wow, I just learned something from Tabitha's Salon Takeover. I've been "disrupting my curl." *facepalm*" to which I got several replies, including the life-shattering information that drying one's hair with a terrycloth towel and/or rubbing the hair is also contributing to the frizz. Yipes. PEOPLE, why didn't my hair come with a manual? I've spent a lifetime knowing that curly hair just was never going to be popular or cool, but I could have been managing it a little better. People always say they wish they had curly hair, but that's one of those lies that people just spew to sound nice. Nobody with curly hair is like "oh thank God I can't swim and then look like a normal person." Seriously, even now as a teacher if I straighten my hair (a one to two hour process) students will give such lovely complisults as: "Wow, you look so much better today than you usually do!" Barf. Curly hair has just never been in style. Most hairdressers don't know what to do with it either. They just straighten it and then I leave the salon and the next day I'm S.O.L.

Okay. So let's get to the new strategies. It might help to know that I'm not using any different product. In fact, I'm using some cheap ass shampoo from Dollar Tree right now. That's right, our financial situation has meant V05 time for a BUCK. Waaaaaah. Oh well. It makes my hair dry and my scalp itchy, but at least I'm clean, yo. Payday is coming soon. So it's not any fancy product, just me listening to people who know what they're talking about. So the first thing was that I tried drying my hair with a cotton t-shirt this morning. No towel. Just a cotton white tee. I just patted it. No rubbing, none of the fricton I normally apply to get the water out of my thick hair. Next I put in the regular stuff (the most recent incarnation of the Fructis bucket of goo--not as good as the original, but as close as I can get) and I just used the diffuser without touching my hair at all.

Guess what. No frizz. At least, much less frizz than a normal day. It did take longer to dry my hair, but I didn't touch it and it was much better. I didn't need to use very much product at all, and it stayed in all day. I took some pictures. Because this is my blog and that's how I roll. Here ya go:

Took this in the parking lot waiting for Roo this afternoon. Made it through a full day of teaching and walking around in the rain. Still curly, not flat. Soft.

This side is a little bit better (shout out to my old Drill Team jacket that I now keep at school as my "emergency jacket." Forgot my coat this morning. You can see the curls are more defined than normal, not frizzing out into a pouf. And I know you can't see this, but they're soft.

E and I just went out for the night (hooray for Christmas gift cards!). I thought I would put up some pics of how the hair held up. From the time I took the pics above, I took a two hour nap, we went to sushi, yogurt, and the grocery store (I know, hot date, right?) and the hair was still good. In fact, I think it got better. I didn't do anything except change the formation of the bobby pinned section. This is deep stuff I'm posting. I know it. You know it. Anyway.

Do you know how hard it is to take an iPhone pic of the side of your head in the bathroom mirror? I do. Maybe it was just me, but this took a while.

Little better. See, good curls. Go ahead and laugh at the roots. Can't afford color just yet either.

There we go! See? I'm so proud of myself and my curls. :)


  1. Personally, I never thought your hair looked bad, but I get the excitement. Oh and I like your eye makeup in the last couple pics! Very smokey!!!

  2. Your hair looks great! I never thought it looked bad trust me but it looks really good! Also the roots actually look planned. It goes with your color right now!

  3. Like WHOA- your hair looks fantastic! That pic with your iPhone is gorgeous of you! I saw this episode the other night and I thought to myself that I should pay more attention as to not disrupt my curls anymore! Who knew such a thing even existed! Ha! Have a great weekend XO

  4. I like curly hair. Even from 1995.

  5. LOVE your hair! I'd give anything for curly hair - mine is stick straight and doesn't do least you have options. :-) And yes, I agree with beccha, your eye makeup is so pretty!

    And that floral top you're wearing in the high school picture? Those are back - we have several variations at my store right now. :-) Yes, the 90s are back...

  6. Heather, I'm so glad you've finally embraced your curls!!! They aren't your enemy anymore :-) Curly heads, unite!!!!

    E, awww!!!!!

    Love ya, Sarah

  7. Thanks for the tips!! Trying them out this morning we'll see how this goes!!

  8. I learned really quickly in Florida to not mess around with the hair. Humidity equals frizz no matter what you do or don't do, so I just started not doing anything and it seemed to behave better that way. Curly hair is not fun, no matter what people say! But you look gorge in your pics and I'm glad you had a hair epiphany, those are always a lot of fun!!

  9. Your hair looks great! I have naturally curly hair too and sometimes it is hard finding the right product for my hair. I am going to have to give this a go sometime, that's great that it held in so long. Pretty waves!

  10. Super cute!! This tip would have been a lifesaver a year ago. I had super thick and curly hair. It was so unmanageable I would normally wear it pulled back in the "Bre Bun". If I wanted it straight for a special occasion, I would have to do it 2 days beforehand. I finally had my cousin chemically straighten it, and I'm in love! I now can have a short cut and not worry about looking like a lion.

  11. Your curls are gorgeous! What I wouldn't do for a little kink in my hair. :)

    PS. That picture of you looking like Kelly Kapowsk is darling. Keep posting photos from the mid 90s, please.

    PPS. I'm trying to talk my sister PK into bringing back the scrunchie.