Curly Girl Chronicles ~ 4: Curly Girl Gone Bad...
Curly Girl? Who, me?
Two weeks ago I made a mistake.
I'm still paying for it today.
So I decided it was time to henna my hair again. I did it last year for the first time, sometime in the Winter, and loved the results. My hair was soft and shiny, I think my curls were more defined, and the best part was that it was a glossy, jet black. My hair has grown so much since then that I have brown roots, and black tips. It's not obvious indoors, but in the sunlight? Not pretty. There's also a part that's got a faint red tip from earlier this year when I tried to henna a strip of my hair red (don't ask). So it was the weekend and I decided it was time to fix my hair up...
Oh, actually, wait...
I forgot to mention the fact that...
I have NOT been following the Curly Girl Method properly.
Went on a mini product binge, if you will.
Mineral Oil? Silicones? Alcohol in the products? Probably.
Fake Curly Girl
I had a load of products just sitting around that needed to be tried out. I wasn't ready to give them away and I wasn't about to let them go to waste just because they're not CG friendly. Especially when there are products recommended by the woman behind the CG method that aren't actually CG friendly [See my previous post for more info]. So, finally overwhelmed by my own curiosity, I got to try them out. I've actually used quite a few, and combined and mixed them with some of my staples. Too much to get into in this post, but I will be writing a product review soon.
So the 2 main products I've messed around with; Miss Jessie's Curly ButterCreme (Mineral Oil is one of the first ingredients), and Carol'sDaughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie (which contains silicones). Both great products, moisturized, and left my hair feeling soft but not CG-friendly. I knew these products were not water-soluble and would probably require a (sulphate) shampoo to get them out of my hair, but honestly, I didn't care.
I was ready to Henna my hair. I had;
- Prepped henna powder; mixed henna powder with water, olive oil and (L'Oréal EverSleek) conditioner and stirred it into a thick, dark, creamy paste.
- Sectioned off hair and de-tangled.
- Picked a shampoo (Carol's Daughter TUI sulphate-free) and conditioner (TREsemme Naturals)
I remembered that your hair is meant to be clean (AND DRY) when you henna. My hair was dirty, dull, overloaded with non-CG friendly products. So I decided to wash my hair using a normal sulphate shampoo. BIG MISTAKE. The minute the suds started to lather, I could feel my strands crunching and scratching up against hands. I only did one shampoo and rinse. I assumed that would be enough to get most of the products out. It was enough to do more than that. I towel dried my hair (Another mistake) and got on with the henna application. I applied generous amounts of the henna to my freshly washed (still wet) hair in sections, focusing more on the roots than tips.
I actually started to run out of henna about three-quarters of the way through, so I watered it down and carried on. This meant that part of my hair was coated in thick layer of the creamy paste and the rest was lightly slicked with some watery liquid. OnceI had finished the application, I let the henna sit on my hair.
When the henna had almost dried, I washed it out. I think I used the sulphate shampoo again (ANOTHER MISTAKE). I had already decided it wouldn't matter because I was going to deep condition afterwards anyway and diverting from the Curly Girl rules this once wouldn't matter. IT DID!!! My hair was tangled again, and when I finished it was late so didn't want to deep condition it. I also spent an extra hour or 2 de-tangling it again.
Oh. And the results?
MY HAIR WAS EXACTLY THE SAME COLOUR!!!!
I WAS SOOOOO ANNOYED! So after all that, my hair was exactly the same colour? And now it was dry, crispy and brittle too?? The next day I used the Carol's Daughter deep condition (Silicones...AGAIN). It moisturised, but not the way the Shea Moisture products do. The product didn't penetrate the strands/follicles and sat on my hair rather than being absorbed I twisted my hair that evening and went to bed. The next day my hair was STILL dry and brittle, the ends were all tangled again and my hair was VERY frizzy.
My hair is STILL dry and frizzy. Using the 'bad' products probably wouldn't have been such an issue had I not used the sulphate shampoo. Now I know it's not all in my head; sulphate shampoos are SO DRYING. If you can avoid them completely, I think it's the best thing to do. The worst part is, all of this was for a henna treatment that didn't even work because I cut corners and didn't follow instructions.
I've co-washed twice since then, and deep conditioned my hair using the Shea Moisture raw Shea butter deep treatment masque. Can't say I've seen any definite improvements. My hair is still dry... and dull... and frizzy ...and tangled. The cold weather hasn't helped. Neither has leaving my hair out every single day exposed to the elements.
I'll stick to hot oil/deep conditioning treatments every week and I think I'm going to have to go back to co-washing; no more shampoo for a while, be it sulphate-free or not. I've twisted my hair using the Shea Moisture curl enhancing smoothie and I'll keep the twists in for a few days, just to give my hair a little break. I think what I'm going to have to do ultimately is start again with the CG method if I don't see changes in a couple of weeks. When I first started the CG method my hair wasn't great, it took a month or 2 for me to see any positive changes. It's a shame because my hair was really soft even after I used the Miss Jessie's product the first few times. I'm also due for a trim so I need to make sure I get that done soon.
Moral of the Story:
If/When y0u find a method/routine that is working for you, don't get lazy,careless, or complacent. Take care of your hair.