Over six months in to my editor position here at NaturallyCurly.com, I finally gave in to a curly cut.
For those of you who don’t peruse the CurlTalk forums, or at least the forums I’m in, I’m a type 2B that CANNOT be easily straightened. What I mean here is that while, yes, I can easily get a flat iron through my hair, my hair will not stay straight for longer than an hour.
I’ve been natural since I stopped fighting my hair my sophomore year of high school. My family, like many of yours, was not supportive of the decision, which I felt was more of a requirement at the time than a decision on my part. They all have stick straight hair, and my “rat’s nest,” as my mother called it, could possibly get me kicked off the list for potential debutante candidates (yes, I’m from the deep south and no, that was not an empty threat).
Two years after deciding to embrace my natural texture, I swore off haircuts. Stylists always cut off way more than I wanted them to, and would straighten my hair against my will in their chairs just “to show me the way the cut really looks!”
The ONE time that I convinced a stylist to just let my curls go free after a cut, she pulled out a blow dryer on high heat and high power and went to town. I warned her that the heat and the high speed were going to make my hair frizz. She told me that the amount of product in my hair wouldn’t allow for that.
I don’t think I have to tell you who won that argument.
Nonetheless, I’ve been a strong advocate for no-trims for years. I don’t put heat to my hair, I deep condition, I don’t color — I just simply thought my hair was healthy. But since working at NaturallyCurly, I’ve been consistently convinced otherwise.
My lifeless waves were literally weighed down. At first I switched to better products without sulfates, slept on a satin pillowcase, religiously used rose oil and dried my hair with a micro-fiber towel. But eventually the sad truth came out — my hair needed a cut, BAD!
Going for the Cut
I decided that if I was going to go to a salon, I was going to GO to a salon. I was going to do it all: the curly cut, the curly color, the nice experience I never had growing up surrounded by straighties.
So I did it. I went to the Ron King Salon here in NaturallyCurly’s hometown, a salon famous for their curly hair experts, and found me a stylist who had JUST finished her extensive training in the Deva curl cut and bayalage.
The consultation started out normally.
“I want you to cut it all off, and I want you to make the color look better,” I said. Yea, I’m super specific like that.
She took the cue and explained that she was going to cut my hair dry first and then even it up after the color, a wash and setting. Cool. That sounded fine.
Once the “big chop” was done, she moved me over to the color bar and explained the bayalage process. For those of you also new to curly hair coloring, this process (and Deva’s Pintura) rocks!
Basically, bayalage is painting the color on your curls using plastic wrap and cotton balls instead of harsh chemicals, heat and foil, which can dry your curls out and cause frizz. It isn’t pretty (just take a gander at that photo!), but it works wonders!
Plus, because the treatment is a painting technique, you never have to re-process the ends. When you go in for a touch-up, the stylist simply picks up where he or she left off near the roots, saving you time, money and your curls!
After 15 minutes under a hood dryer on low-heat, my hair was low-pooed, conditioned and gelled (Ron King Salon uses all DevaCurl products for their curly clients). Duckbill clips were put in and I was back under the dryer for 15 more minutes.
Back at the chair, the stylist diffused my hair until dry, removed the duckbill clips, applied a leave-in conditioner and started cutting again.
I was in some major need of volume, and no triangle-head, so the layers came first. Then she evened out of the ends.
To be honest, six inches of hair gone didn’t even matter — it was looking awesome!
So here I am a week later — I purposefully waited a week, because we all know how hair can look great at a salon but not at home – and I am still loving it, getting compliments on it, and totally regretting not doing this six months ago!
All of this, curlies, to get to this end point: your hair does need to be trimmed and it doesn’t have to be scary! Trims are a healthy part of your hair care routine and no matter how long you want it to grow, lifeless long locks aren’t worth it. Regular trims and cuts will ensure that when your hair does reach your desired length, it's healthy, bouncy and beautiful!
If you're looking for an awesome coloring technique designed specifically with curl patterns in mind, you have GOT to try the bayalage (or Pintura) method.
I promise you won’t regret it.
Read all about Lisa Michelle's road to natural hair!
In case any of you are worried about my familial relations because of my curly hair, today my family wouldn’t even recognize me with straight hair, though they still joke I am the milk man’s baby. Whatever. At least they love me for me, waves and all!