Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful Thursdays!

This week I'm going to leave you with this video instead of my normal Thankful Thursday post. I hope this inspires you. I know I need to do this more often. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursdays!

Today is Thursday! That means tomorrow is Friday and there is one thing to be thankful for.

It's been a busy week of hair related posts. I thought I should probably get back to normal a bit.

Let's see, today I am thankful for:
  • Weather that makes my husband drip but allows me to wear shorts.
  • A/C. Who isn't thankful for that right now.
  • Kicking the garages butt last weekend. Gotta love being able to see a difference when you do so much work.
  • My husband.
  • Hot pink toe nail polish. Just a little pick me up.
  • My family.
  • Curly Girl method. I've really been enjoying writing about what I do with my hair. And my hair has been looking amazing lately. Ask any curly, when your hair behaves, your day is so much better.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, July 19, 2010

I know about CG, now I want to be a CG!

So last blog post was explaining what CG is. This one will help you become CG if you want to be.

The first thing you have to do is do one last sulfate wash. This will get all the silicones out of your hair and give you clean hair to work with. Once you do your last sulfate wash, it's time for your first conditioner wash or cowash.

Cowashing is washing your hair with conditioner. You need to find a light, silicone free conditioner. The most popular choices on seem to be the Suave Natural and the VO5 lines. My fave is Suave coconut or green apple, VO5 seems to be to light for me. Wavies may love it though. There are lots of other options but these seem to be the easiest to find and the cheapest.

Wet your hair and use a puddle of conditioner to scrub your scalp with your fingertips, no nails. The amount of conditioner will vary depending on your hair and how much you have or how hydrated it is. Your hair may soak it all up so if you need more use it. I use 2-3 puddles most days. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Scrub until your arms are tired. I scrub the bottom of my scalp right side up and the top of my scalp upside down for better access. Do whatever works best for you, just scrub your entire scalp. When your arms are tired, rinse. But guess what you get to do while you rinse? Scrub! This is going to get all the dirt and oils out without using shampoo!

After you have cowashed, you want to condition. This works just like conditioning before except your conditioner won't have silicones in it. You want to use a thicker, more moisturizing conditioner. I love GVP Conditioning Balm from Sally's and Yes to Carrots from Target but there are soo many options. I'll go over my favorite products in the next post or two. Now is the time to detangle too. Remember, we already talked about only detangling under conditioner supervision ?!? Once the conditioner is on your hair you can use your fingers or a wide tooth comb to detangle. I find that this also helps to distribute the conditioner around every strand of my hair. Let the conditioner set to get as much moisture as possible, while you finish up the rest of your shower, then rinse. You can either rinse fully or partially (leaving some in to act as your leave in), play with it. I rinse fully most of the time.

This is where personal preference and hair type really come into play. If you are a wavy you may need a stronger hold then if you have tight curls. Watch for those silicones when you pick something. I like to get the travel sizes from Walmart or Target when I'm just trying a product out for the first time. I'm going to tell you about what I do. You can try different methods and amounts of products and find the routine that works best for you.
Right out of the shower I flip my head upside down and run a wide tooth comb through my hair. After I'm sure the tangles are out I grab my leave in and apply some all over. I finger comb my leave in in but you can scrunch it in or not use one. My hair behaves best with a leave in though. After my leave in, I scrunch in my frizz control. I'm in love with the generic Walmart brand KY Jelly for this. It has the same ingredients as the more expensive frizz control stuff and you can get it around town. Most of the frizz stuff you find in the stores isn't CG friendly. I use about a pea sized dollop each for my head leaning to the right side, head leaning to the left side, and upside down. Repeat with my gel. Current love is Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Gel. After my gel I scrunch out the water with my t-shirt and either plop (I'll talk about that later) or just air dry and go.

Curly Girl

So you've had a few days to play with new methods and kick some of your current hair sins to the curb. Have you had any luck? How's the hair been looking? Mine's been great. I got some amazing 2nd day hair yesterday and some decent 3rd day hair today. :) Have you done any reading on your own? If you have today's blog might be old news, if not, I hope you learn something.

It's time to talk about Curly Girl or CG for short. CG is a method for caring for Curly Hair. I found it through a book titled Curly Girl written by Lorraine Massey. When I first read it, I thought it sounded cool but wasn't convinced. I later found a website that was specifically for Curlies, or for short. So many curlies post on the CurlTalk section of this website and a lot of them follow the CG method. They are sooooo much help. If you interested in seeing some results of people making the switch from whatever they were doing before to CG, look here on CurlTalk on Basically what the CG method consist of is cutting out silicones (chemicals that are in a lot of styling products and conditioners) so that you can cut out sulfates (chemicals that are in a lot of shampoos).

Most shampoos have sulfates in them. Sulfates are what strips any oils and/or grease off of things. If you look at a bottle of dish washing detergent and compare it to a bottle of shampoo you will most likely find that their top two ingredients are the same. Most people would think, "Well , my scalp produces oil and that makes my hair look greasy so I need to use shampoo to get it out." This can be true for people with straight hair. Curly hair is drier and more fragile then straight hair. We need that oil. Curlies, you will also most likely find that as you strip out less of the oils in your hair your scalp won't produce as much. Sulfates strip every bit of it away leaving us dry and frizzy and moisture starved.

Just so you know, sulfates are listed in your ingredient list as:
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Laurel Sulfate
Ammonium Laurel Sulfate

When I started this method I didn't understand how my hair and scalp would get clean if I didn't use shampoo. It turns out that conditioners have surfactants in it. Surfactants clean our hair just as well as sulfates without pulling all of our moisture away. So surfactants are the way to go for curlies. You just scrub your scalp with conditioner the way you used to with shampoo and tada, your clean. One down side to this is if we are using surfactants we have to watch what else we are using.

Silicones are in tons of hair products and they are used to coat the cuticle of your hair and make it lay down. Sticking up cuticles are what attract moisture and cause frizz and fly aways. So while they control frizz, good, they also don't come off easily, bad. Most silicones are not water soluble. You have to use a sulfate cleanser to get a silicon off. This is why people have to use shampoo with sulfates.

Reading labels
This, curlies, is something you are going to get pretty good at. To figure out if something is CG friendly, which you now know means that you don't need a sulfate to get it out of your hair, you have to read the ingredient labels. I have a short list of no-no's. All the no-no's, as you will notice, end in -cone, -conol, or -xane. They are all silicones.

Phenyl trimethicone

Silicones are tricky though because some have been altered to dissolve in water. If there is a PEG- or a PPG- in front of your silicone then you are good to go. Look out for more then one silicone in a product. One no silicone means it's no good for CG even if there are others in the same product that have a PEG or PPG.

Wow, that's a lot to learn. Here is your task for today. Go read the labels of your favorite hair products. Learn if there are any silicones in your conditioner or stylers and take a good look at that sulfate in your shampoo. It's kind of fun once you get used to it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Throw that brush away!

This is going to be another day of things you can change while still using your current hair care products. I know for some people they are loving their products but not their hair in the end. So the tips today you can still use what you have and see if you get any better results.

Did you know that curls and brushes don't mix? Curls get tangled by wind and movement and everything it seems. Brushes get the tangles out but they also pull your hair, pull it out, break it off and break up your curl pattern. All of these things encourage frizz for us curlies.

Today I'm going to give you two tips.
1. Toss that brush. Don't just put it away thinking that you won't use it anymore. Don't hide it under your sink. (Out of sight, out of mind right) Throw it in the trash can. If you think there is a chance that you'll throw it in the trash can and then pull it out right before trash day, dunk it in the toilet and then toss it. :)

You have everything you need to detangle your hair in your hands. Because curly hair is more fragile then straight, it should never be brushed or combed when its dry. When do you brush your hair most? For me, it was when it felt tangly and awful at the end of the day, Dry!

Most curlies only comb their hair when it's saturated with conditioner in the shower. Some use their fingers to finger comb, some use a wide tooth comb. I do both. I finger comb in the shower and then once I get out I use a wide tooth comb on my sopping wet hair. I sometimes don't comb out of the shower. It gives me huge clumps and I prefer my clumps to be a little more broken up. Play with a variety of choices. Finger comb, wide tooth comb, in the shower, after the shower, all of the combinations. Just, please, throw that brush away.

2. Apply your product to dripping wet hair.

This works best for me. I always apply my leave-in conditioner and my frizz control to dripping wet, just combed hair. Gel, depending on what it is and how it's worked in the past, I apply one of two ways. One way is to scrunch out as much water as I want to and then scrunch in my gel and let air dry. My preferred way, most often, is to scrunch in my gel or styler and then scrunch out the extra water with my t-shirt then air dry. Some people with curlier hair then mine will finger comb all their product in instead of scrunching. Alot of the CG (Curly Girl) method is trying a bunch of different techniques and seeing which ones work best for you.

Applying your product to dripping wet hair helps to keep those clumps together and believe it or not, helps to distribute the product through your hair more evenly. If you feel like you've pulled to much product out of your hair when you use your t-shirt, go ahead and apply some more after your done.

Ok, there is your next step to try. The next post will start to get more in depth about CG (Curly Girl) and what it's all about. I'm trying to give you smaller doses so that it may be more manageable and less overwhelming. I know when I started it was very overwhelming. Good luck.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Curls vs.Towel

When I first decided to start playing with my hair I found a book called Curly Girl at a local bookstore. I read it and thought about it but never actually applied any of it. I didn't really know where to start. It did help me to classify my curl type though. This is very helpful if you get involved with any of the discussion boards on My curl type is 3a or b. Erin's is a 2. Click here to figure out what your curl type is. Last May I found a website, ( for short), and it changed my life.

Curly Girl taught me about my hair. So did Tiffany, who is a hair stylist in Florida. I learned tons through her page. Another source that I used was Laura Lee. Both of these bloggers are curlies and are using the Curly Girl method even if they modify it sometimes (soap bars, low poos, you'll learn more about that later). Curly Girl method consists of not using silicons in your conditioners and stylers, and breaking up with your shampoo. It has lots of other stuff involved and can seem daunting to start but here are a few pointers to start. First, even before breaking up with your shampoo, break up with your towel.

Curly hair needs more moisture then straight hair. Towels pull as much moisture out of your hair as possible. This lack of moisture is in part what causes frizz. So for my sanity and your hairs, make your hair a no towel zone. I clip my hair up after I rinse my conditioner out while I dry my body then do the rest of my routine upside down to stay mostly dry and get the most curl possible.
So for now, continue what your doing and just switch from using a towel to dry your hair to one of these.
I just use one of my old t-shirts. I turn that bad boy inside out, put one hand in the neck hole and one in through the bottom of the shirt and use it to scrunch out the water, rotating the t-shirt as it gets too wet. Scrunching out the water instead of wrapping the t-shirt around my head like a towel promotes curl formation too. Two great things just from changing one thing that you don't even spend any money on. Gotta love that!
So starting today, don't touch those tresses with a towel, from now until the end of time. Starting you out easy. Don't worry I'll get you more involved soon. Test this out today and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A year and a half ago.....

Just before my Grama got sick, a little over a year ago, I decided I was going to embark on an adventure. You see, I'm a Curly Girl. My mom has some wave to her hair and my dad has curl. It was passed down to me. As a little girl, leave in conditioner didn't exist. We didn't use a detangler on my baby tresses. This caused me to keep it pretty short. This is me and my siblings. My hair is actually pretty long for me in these shots.

As I grew up, no one really was guiding curly girls specifically. We were lumped in with everyone else and told to use shampoo and conditioner. In high school, I remember, they started coming out with lines of product for Curly hair. Panteen and a few others were trying to sell to a broader group. My hair was so dried out and frizzy. I just didn't know what to do with it. I ironed it to make it straight, but that was too much work. In general it was pulled up. My mom didn't have the curls I did so she didn't know how to help. It most often looked like this through high school and college.

For my wedding I used product and diffused the crap out of it. I loved it. It was springy and curly and full. Lovely, but let me tell you about then next morning. I sat in the shower for twenty minutes letting conditioner soak into my tresses to help my comb make it through the mess without ripping most of my hair out. That's how most of my formal day afters went.

This is a normal day. My hair would have been washed with shampoo and conditioner, which ever my preference at the time, towel dried and then styled with gel and left to air dry. My curls were not clumpy and shiny. They were very susceptible to the weather and would break up and frizz easily.
Something this period in my life taught me was not to touch my hair. The more I touched the worse it looked.
I was tired of not being happy with my hair and had lots of thoughts of chopping it to my shoulders. I wanted something more like this.
So my quest began slowly. I googled curly hair. I began talking to people with curls. I explored the beauty section in the bookstore. I was looking for anything that would help me in this area that I was totally lost in.
To be continued.......

Post to come.

I have been getting a lot of questions about my hair routine. Therefore, I will be working on a post just about my hair routine and the products I use. More to come.... and pictures!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Slacker, That's what I am.

So my life hasn't been unmanageable, busy or full of drama. Really I've just been lazy on the blogging front. This will be an update post.

First off Oliver is this weekend. Tonight is dress rehearsal. The show is coming together, more slowly then the director would like, I'm sure, but coming together. Costumes are finally done. My dress was in the making for weeks. You'll have that when you have over 100 people in the show though. Brad is not doing Oliver this year but I'm trying hard to convince him to be involved next year in Ragtime. I think I may win him over.

Last Thursday was Brad's birthday. He turned 33. It's funny to see the amounts of happy birthday wishes that are received on Facebook. So many people that you never talk to, maybe FB stalk once in a while, decide to swing by and give you a happy birthday wish. It's strange really. Anyhow, the family pitched in and got him a PSP. I think he likes it. I've played with it a bit and it's kind of fun.

The latest update on school is Brad has decided to withdraw. So we are back into limbo, kind of. He had an interview on Tuesday and is waiting to hear back on that. Hopefully we'll know by the middle of next week. It seems to be a great fit for him in a Children Literacy Lab. Send those prayers out for him.

Life is moving along. The summer seems to be flying by.