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My Whole Life Has Been a Lie; Uncovering My Wavy Hair Texture

Close up photo of a woman with salt ad pepper long, unruly wavy hair

I have been sort of conscious of the fact that I haven't posted about the hair thing in a while. I live with this mop of salt and pepper madness, so to me it's sort of a foregone conclusion, but there are SO MANY of you out there still responding to my grey hair transition posts even all these years later ( it has to have been at least seven years now), so it has been in my mind for a while to do a follow up.

About six months ago I was admiring the bounce and definition of one of my colleague's natural ringlets. She told me she had been following The Curly Girl Method. This method of caring for naturally curly and wavy hair will be well familiar to many of you, but for someone like myself who has pretty much treated her hair as a thing you tie on top of your head and go, I had to look it up. I'll spare you the very detailed explanation here, but suffice it to say you do away with all things silicone, sulfate, blow drying (unless with a diffuser on cool), and heat styling. There are a lot of products involved (like...a lot of products) but you essentially just develop a routine that cleanses the hair without stripping, provides a ton of moisture, and as a result your hair's natural inclination, whatever that may be, takes over once your hair is healthy and hydrated.


And so, the Wavy Hair Journey Begins...

Long story short - after an initial "clarifying" shampoo to rid the hair of built-up silicones which coat the hair and prevent moisture from entering the hair shaft (ironically, I always relied pretty heavily on these to battle my considerable frizz), you go through a transition while your hair takes on moisture naturally and your "real hair" emerges.

You guys. I was not prepared for my real hair.

All these years of thinking I had "a slight bend" to my hair has been a lie. Every hairdresser who ever told me my hair had a "lot of body" has been a bad actor for the Flatiron Deep State. This is only day four, and I am already very solidly a 2b-3a on the wavy-curly hair scale. Everything about what I thought to be true of my hair, the constant frizz, the heaviness, the poofiness - all of it has been a result of my hair not being allowed to be who it really is. I feel like a terrible parent who forces her kid into gender-specific clothing in an attempt to "correct" something. I'm an abusive "hairent" (sorry), and I'm so very, very ashamed. I've managed to live nearly 50 years on the planet with absolutely no idea that I had hair this curly.

So. Now what!?

Well, definitely a haircut then. My self-scissoring ham-fistedness is not gonna cut it now that I have all these Medusa waves to contend with. I have made an appointment in the first week of August to go see someone in Glasgow who knows what he is doing with curly heads. For the first time in ages, possibly ever, I'm excited to go to a salon. So stay tuned for that - this is a work in progress. There's gonna be a new cut in my future, which I'll show you guys once I've done it.

Until then, please feel free to learn from, and also laugh openly at, my ignorance. It takes a special person to go nearly 50 years without understanding her own hair type.

a before and after split-screen photo of a woman with straightened hair and with natural wavy hair

A close up of a woman with natural salt and pepper wavy hair

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I love love LOVE your hair! You’ve inspired me to try the curly girl method. I’ve always thought my hair was stick straight and then I moved to florida- the humidity has brought the wave in my hair to life!! I’m interested to see if I’ll have more curl with the curly girl method.

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Your posts often inspire me!! I have a quote from your 1/31/20 post in my style notebook- “things look better on me if they don’t look like they are in the middle of issuing a half-assed apology”. Yes!!!!!

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