Category: Beauty

Gettin’ my curl on

I have stick straight, dark brown hair. And I love it. Most of the time.

Portrait of a straight-haired girl

I’m the biggest fan of my hair color. I’ve never even been tempted to dye it. But the texture, well, it’s taken me a while to be OK with it. My hair is straight, straight, STRAIGHT. When I was younger I always wished my hair were curly. I would try to put it up in hot rollers, but didn’t have a clue, and it always looked !!!TERRIBLE!!! Plus the curl never lasted long. My hair is thick, but on the fine side, with a perverse tendency to go very, very flat. I never even knew what frizz WAS, until …………………..

Yikes! Here I am, curly hair and all, circa 2007. With Ben, who was just my boyfriend back then. :-)

About age 19 I decided it was time to experience the curly hair of my dreams. I got a perm (I know…..) and kept perming it for a couple of years, until I decided I had had enough of fighting my hair. The perms gave me lots of curls, but they fried my hair, drying it out and even bleaching out some of the color – ugh. So, I started straightening my already perm-damaged hair. Poor hairs. When the perm grew out and I could stop straightening, both me and my hair were very happy.

And so, to this day, I have long, straight, dark brown hair. Just like I was born with. :-) And most days, I am totally happy with it. But like most women, I have bad hair days — days when my hair goes totally flat, or dry days when it’s staticky, or days when I just want to have some curl in my hair.

So over the past few years of embracing my straight-hair-ness, I have found some ways to get curls for those curly days.

On my wedding day, 2009. My friend did my hair using hot rollers & a curling iron.

If I want big, bouncy curls all over my head, I’ve learned a technique that works well for me and takes about 20-30 minutes to do my whole head. I can’t do hot rollers for the life of me, or maybe it’s just that after spending hours in my teens trying to make them work, I just don’t have the heart to try them again. Also, the way I always used a curling iron before I learned this way would never turn out. I would curl and curl until my arms ached, but all I would be left with would be mostly straight hair that kind of limply folded over on itself at the bottom, or curly hair that was full of crimps and smashed looking places from the curling iron clip. LAME! I hated it.

So what I do on days when I want to have really curly hair and I have a half hour to spare, I curl it with my curling iron (about a 1″ barrel) but instead of clipping the hair and rolling it up, I hold the curling iron vertically with one hand, and with the other hand I WRAP my hair around the barrel, clip and all. After holding it for a while I let it go and BOOM, there’s a big juicy curl. I’m pretty sure it’s magic. I don’t use any kind of sprays on the hair before or after I curl it, because if there’s anything I hate, it’s crunchy hair. I want my hair to be touchable, although of course I don’t touch it because that will just create frizz! :-)

For days when I have more like 10 minutes to curl my hair, I found this video on Youtube from one of my favorite bloggers, Extra Petite. And thank you for not reminding me of the irony that one of my favorite bloggers is called Extra Petite. As a 5’10” tall woman, I am well aware of the humor in this. :-)

This trick doesn’t produce big curls – more like just a bit of soft, loose curl around your face. In order to get kind of the same results that Jean gets in the video, I have to take a little more time and curl my hair in more sections than she does. But 10 minutes is still easier to fit in than 20-30, so I can do this more frequently.

Now, this next one is a style I haven’t done yet but I would really like to try. It’s from The Beauty Department (which is a pretty cool beauty website, btw) and yes, Lauren Conrad is the model! Check out the awesome photo tutorial plus step-by-step instructions.

From The Beauty Department

And just in case you’re wondering, my hair is straight today. :-)