Majoring in Curls
Email your questions to Aimee.

Don’t you love those articles in women’s magazines that recommend spa days for women every once a month or so -- days where you invite all your closest girlfriends over and do nothing but primp, relax, and rejuvenate your mind and body?

Our curls also needs some serious rejuvenation time. I’m sure that a huge percentage of curlies participate in activities or jobs where hair takes a beating. From hard-core swimmers, who spend all of their time soaking in chlorine, to stage performers who don wigs nightly, to waitresses who work in smokey environments, hair puts up with a lot.

After a few weeks of community theater performances and constant braiding, my curl pattern had disappeared, my part had vanished and I had a mass of frizz. My hair was seriously crying out for some attention. In order to repair it, and prevent any further damage, you need to pay attention to the basics. Moisturizers are key players in bringing hair back to life. When in the shower, rinse your hair and gently squeeze out the excess moisture from your hair. Don’t try to get the water out by raking your fingers through the curls. This acts like a brush and can lead to more breakage. Smooth on a good-sized amount of conditioner and work it through those precious curls. Let it sit in the hair because the heat of the water allows it to penetrate.

Because curls are prone to frizz, don’t use cotton towels. Use micro-fiber towels or a plain t-shirt to blot out the excess water. Don’t ruffle the hair because it screws up the curl pattern. After a couple days of doing that, the top layer of my hair goes completely crazy. One of my best methods for getting hair healthy again is to let it do its own thing as much as possible for a few days. I try not to touch, blow-dry, or style it. I use as few products as possible so as not to gunk everything up, and I make sure that the products I do use have a lot of natural ingredients in them.

For those curls that need an extra kick, there are countless hot-oil treatments, deep conditioners, and moisturizers on the market. You don’t need to spend gobs of money on them -- something us college students don't have a lot of. Drugstore treatments do work wonders. As always, I’m a believer in natural products and concoctions. Olive oil is amazing for the hair as well as the skin, but don’t go pouring a whole lot on your scalp because it can be tough to get out. Even a small amount of research will generate dozens of recipes that will enable you to make rejuvenating potions at home.

This summer vacation, let your curls have a vacation too!