I haven’t dyed my hair since February 2015–I have been wearing my natural strawberry blonde color.

My texture is between a 2c wavy and 3a curly and as it grows longer, it actually gets curlier! My strands are naturally high porosity, dry and drink up conditioner. My hair is getting healthier and the curls can get nicely defined (with the right styling product and application“>. As far as density, I have a lot of hair, and it is nice to feel the thickness returning that my hair had before I started bleaching and using other chemicals.

Back then, my hair was glorious: it was super long and curly.

I loved the color and length so much. However, I was bleaching all of it. Despite babying my hair the last few months by using Olaplex, in addition to doing everything I could to nurture it back to health, it started breaking off badly in December 2014.

By March 2015, I was forced to big chop my hair due to having so much breakage. Truthfully, the cut killed my confidence; I was very depressed for a long time. While some people say ‘it’s just hair,’ for me, having long hair was such a huge part of my identity.

Suddenly, I felt ugly and not like myself. This is why I have not colored it since–February 2015, to be exact.

I am on the road to regrowing my natural hair longer and stronger than ever before. My front hairline pieces are currently driving me absolutely insane, though. They are a lot frizzier and more damaged than the rest of my hair; their curl pattern is crazy and they are not cute. I am still figuring out what to do to tame that area.

Today, my hair is on the road to recovery.

It’s not as badly damaged as it was when it was all bleached–the still-bleached ends are better. The length of my hair is still short, but it is longer than it once was.

I don’t despise this length as much as I absolutely hated the shorter length last year. Shorter curls look beautiful on some people but I just did not like it on me. There are a bunch of uneven pieces due to the breakage and my unwillingness to go even shorter, but it still just has to grow out and catch up.

My biggest hair goal is to baby my hair and help it grow as fast as possible. Believe me when I say, there is no miracle for faster hair growth because if there was, I would have found it by now!

I go for trims two to three times a year with Jason at the Ouidad Flagship Salon in NYC. The dude is seriously a hair god–he listens to me when I say I want a dusting and respects my desire to leave my uneven shorter pieces alone so they can grow. I have learned that a cut catered to my specific curl pattern is super important for the overall look of my hair; trims are also important in order to prevent breakage.

My current road to recovery regimen for healthier hair

At home, I snip away bad split ends in between with a professional pair of hair scissors I bought. To help gain length and keep my hair its healthiest, I use a scalp oil blend by SheaMoisture as well as a pre-shampoo treatment from Tweak-d. Once every other week, I use a pre-shampoo protein treatment from MCJW before I wash my hair–about two to three times a week–as well as frequent deep conditioning treatments. I almost never use hot tools, but as the weather gets cold, I may need to start diffusing–I’m dreading it. I hope to get that new Dyson Supersonic Dryer in the near future, as it is supposed to cut drying time into half.

As far as supplements go, I have been taking Viviscal religiously twice a day since I started noticing excessive breakage two years ago. I also drink bamboo tea every day since it is rich in silica, which is said to be good for the hair and skin. Plus I eat pretty healthy and a lot of protein which aids in healthy hair as well. Finally, I also drink plenty of water.

I haven’t dyed my hair since February 2015–I have been proudly wearing my natural strawberry blonde color.

It looks light by itself, but the contrast to my still bleached hair makes it appear darker than it actually is. I have also begun noticing some grays pop up here and there but I figure I would rather have gray hair than no hair, so I’m fine with it. Aside from healthier hair, the silver lining to rocking my natural color is that I no longer have to bother with the purple shampoo.

On most days, I wake up at 5:30 AM to exercise before work. If I have to wash my hair, I do it at night with one wash on Saturdays. To refresh, I apply either the PhD dry shampoo from Living Proof or SheaMoisture Peach Rose Oil onto my scalp to soak up the sweat from a workout.

After my shower, I spray a refresher, section by section. Some of my Holy Grails are Ouidad Botanical Boost, MCJW Beauty Curl Refresher Mist and Tweak-d Mist and Raw Curls Anti Frizz Spray. Depending on how dry, or frizzy, or wonky my waves are, I apply a cream, oil, or serum (in that order”>. Sometimes, I apply a cream, oil, then a serum.

Some days, I need next to nothing. On others, my unpredictable hair needs a miracle.

It sounds so much more complicated than it really is, I promise! On second or third-day hair, I love the DevaCurl SuperCreamOuidad Mongongo Oil (I am thrilled they brought back”>, DevaCurl MirrorCurls Serum, or any of the Carol’s Daughter oil blends. As the weather gets cooler I also start using the Q-Redew, which helps to enhance my wave definition when the air is dry.

The key to preventing frizz is moisture. The more refresher sprays and creams I give my hair to drink, the happier it is. It is true: sleeping on a satin pillowcase makes a huge difference. Since I throw my hair when working out, I have fallen in love with Invisibobbles. They do not leave me with that ugly ponytail dent in my hair that some hair ties can. Also, hands off! The more I play with my hair, the frizzier it gets.

When I get the best wave definition ever

It begins on the second or third day after showering. If I do not use a good conditioner or masque or apply products on my wet hair correctly, I find my hair not looking as good as it could on the following days. For years, I have been using the Ouidad Rake and Shake Method to apply any styling product with either a cotton t-shirt or Curly Tee Towel.

Despite having waves, my hair is so dry and I think Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat is fantastic. I also love Original Moxie Intense Quench Deep Conditioner as well as the MCJW Beauty Wonderful Deep Conditioning Masque. Raw Curls Wavy Swavy Cleanser and Conditioner have been great to me for enhancing definition, shine, softness, and frizz control. I use the Wavy Swavy Conditioner as a leave-in quite often, sometimes rotating it with Original Moxie Every Day Leave-In. I also recently began using the DevaCurl Wave Maker Cream and it really blew me away. Not only does it make my waves more defined, but the definition lasts through sleeps and workouts. Plus, it smells like skittles.

Visit Diane’s personal hair and beauty blog, Diane Mary Beauty and follow her on Instagram @DianeMary126


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