I try as hard as I can to embrace what my mama gave me, but no matter what, I just can't get down with the natural texture of my hair. It drives me crazy. Don't get me wrong — I am thankful to have a full head of healthy locks, but sometimes I forget to be grateful for it when blow drying my hair becomes something that requires advanced planning. The thought process goes a little something like this:
-I should probably wash my hair today. (Makes a mental note to skip the shower cap tonight).
-Eh, actually, it's only been three days. I could stretch it to a fourth. (Shower cap is back in, and this means I'll actually have time to watch an episode of House Hunters tonight! Woohoo!)
-Ugh, but I danced so much at a wedding this weekend and definitely worked up a sweat. I should really wash my hair. (Guess I can DVR House Hunters...)
-Oh, wait! Dry shampoo!!!
-But I'll just feel so fresh and clean for the rest of the week if I get it over with... ugh, FINE, I'll wash my hair tonight.
So I get home, wash my hair, and this is usually what I'm left with after attempting to blow dry:
That's right, I was never one to be able to recreate a salon blowout in the comfort of my own home. Because my hair is so curly and thick, usually I just end up with one big frizz ball, as you can clearly see above. I've learned a few new things recently, though, which have really helped make the process slightly less painful.
1. Use a blow drying spray to speed things up
I had no idea what I was missing until I tried Color Wow Speed Dry blow dry spray. After dabbling in a lot of highlighting (ahem, bleaching) last year, the texture of my hair became compromised. It was dry and brittle and putting a ton of heat on it was definitely not improving things. Color Wow is specifically made to use on damaged, dull, or dry hair, so while it's great if you're color-treated, you could still use this if your hair just isn't feeling like it's in the best shape. It locks the moisture into your hair which helps reduce blow drying time — and the less heat you put on your hair, the better!
2. Practice the art of patience and air dry
One of the biggest mistakes I had been making was hopping out of the shower and almost immediately taking a hair dryer to my head without giving it any time to dry naturally. Now, I find that if I give myself a good 15-20 minutes after showering to let my hair air dry a bit, it really does reduce the amount of time I need to hold a hot blow dryer to my head. If your texture isn't as crazy as mine, you could let it air dry over night and then use a curling iron in the morning (after applying a heat protect ant spray, of course!) to create some loose, messy waves.
3. Invest in a good blow dryer
There are many things in life that don't require splurging, but according to my hair stylist, a blow dryer is nothing to skimp on. I've been using an old Conair one that isn't terrible but definitely isn't the best one out there. I'm saving up for one like the BaByliss Pro TT with ionic and tourmaline ceramic technology to help create smooth, shiny strands - aka the opposite of what my hair looks like in the picture above.
4. Choose your shampoo and conditioner wisely
I find that if my hair feels nice and conditioned after a shower, the whole blow drying and styling process usually works out well. I've used conditioners that weren't thick enough for my hair, so it just felt really dry and coarse before I even had a chance to blow it out. Talk to your stylist and find out what products he or she would recommend for your hair type. Lately I've been using Aveda Smooth Infusion shampoo and conditioner which makes my hair feel amazing before I step out of the shower. It's specifically formulated with plant extracts, including aloe, to smooth out strands.
5. Try a keratin treatment if you really just cannot
I used to get these routinely and don't really know why I stopped, (well, okay, I'm a little uneasy about the chemicals on my hair, even the ones which claim to be formaldehyde-free) but I'm thinking I'm reaching the point where I might just go for it again. This is the closest I've ever gotten in my life to having "wash and go" hair and even when I did take the time to blow dry and style, it took me maybe 15 minutes total, from soaking wet hair to completely dried and smooth. Our hair is naturally made out of keratin, so you're basically just putting the keratin back into your hair which makes it smoother, silkier, and much more manageable. There are many different variations of keratin treatments out there, so as always, talk to your stylist before you take the plunge!