Kikay-wise, one of the best things I probably ever did was to stop all hair straightening treatments.
I inherited thick and curly hair from my mother side of the family. During my teen years, it became unruly, and the curls just seem to get tighter and tigher. Thus, as with my other cousins, I would religiously straighten my hair every 4 to 6 months. Rebond, relax, straight … you name it, I’ve done it.
And it wasn’t just a 5-year thing – I did it for more than a decade. I even forgot know how curly/straight my real hair actually was, because I would go to the salon the moment I see a hint of curl at my roots.
The eyeopener came in 2011 when my then-boyfriend said in passing “Your hair pricks my face sometimes.”
It hit close to home. I knew how “hard” my hair felt like, because even I felt it on my neck. It also took handfuls of conditioner just to soften it, and yet it still wasn’t enough.
I knew what to do. I had to outgrow all these heavily treated hair.
It was time to embrace my curls.
And so I immediately stopped all hair-straightening treatments. And, like what I usually do when I embark on a change, I browsed thru Amazon and I got myself a copy of the book Curly Girl: The Handbook.
The book told me that curly hair can be beautiful. It had pictures of all these girls with beautiful curly hair, and I knew there was hope.
It also contained tips on how to care for my naturally curly hair:
- Don’t use the heat setting on the blow dryer
- Don’t brush your hair. Just use your fingers (I don’t follow this to the letter. I still use a wide tooth comb, but sparingly.)
- Get regular trims to make my hair “breathe”
- Use hair products that don’t have alcohol, silicone, or sulfate (I used to follow this to the letter. Although now I’m wondering how sustainable this is, given the limited options here in the Philippines).
By the end of 2012, my hair was officially “virgin.” And it was amazing. My hair was soft, bouncy, and shiny. And for the first time in my life, I receive compliments about my hair.
My only regret is not doing this sooner. It would’ve saved me a lot of time and money, not to mention self-esteem.
And oh, I love my curls :)