Is there ever a case for straightening?

Hi all

I've been reading these boards for ages, but this is my first post! I guess I'm here because I'm feeling really jaded about my hair. I'd class it as a 2c, and I spent 10 years straightening it obsessively before spending the last 3 years or so trying to work with the curl (I'm 30 years old now).

The problem is my total uneveness of curl pattern (sound familiar?!) The very bottom layer is wavy and quite fuzzy. The middle layers are probably 3A curls - but the curls at the back start curling much higher up (almost on the root) the hair than those around the side. However, the very top layer is very fine, flat, and almost straight - it's like it belongs to someone else (maybe a 2A, at a push)! Whatever I do, I just can't get the hair to curl evenly, and basically it looks a mess. I have a colleague who I envy greatly - she has 3a hair. Sometimes she has bad hair days when it goes a bit dull or frizzy, but at least the whole lot of it does the *same* freaking thing.

(Before anyone says, I don't think the years of straightening have damaged my hair because it has been this way since I was 7 years old, I can still recognise the same problems in old photos of myself. And I don't think it's going through any kind of hormonal change either.)

I straighten my hair sometimes, and much as I want to embrace the curl and all that stuff, I can't help but think that it just looks better that way. Not so much for the straightness itself but for the uniformity. So I wondered, among you guys, whether you would ever give up on some curly-heads and tell them to stay straight?
IDK. I straighten mine occasionally too. Especially if I've not left myself enough time to get somewhere. Can't go out with wet hair - never has worked for me. Or I'll straighten if it's a super windy day. But I'm not really liking the look of straight hair on me any more. It seems so boring.

I think we have very similar hair in that my curl pattern sounds just like your description. I have two clumps of hair on each side of my head by my temples that are almost straight in the length but come out of my temples almost like a Botticelli curl. Actually looks like dogs ears sometimes! I totally understand how very frustrating it is.

I doubt anyone here would "give up on a curly" as you put it. Everyone seems so very supportive. I'd say give CG a really serious try for about 6 weeks and see if it makes a difference. That's what I'm trying to do. But in the long run you have to do what makes you happy with yourself.
< member since 2006 (no idea where 1969 came from ).

Med/high porosity; color treated; med density 2c/3a.

Summer: (high dew point) co-wash & leave-in Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner for Curly Hair. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel. Spring and Fall: (perfect dew point) co-wash & leave-in Curl Junkie Repair Me! or CJ BeautiCurls Strengthening Hair Conditioner; followed by CJ Pattern Pusha & Curl Queen. Winter: (low dew point) add in CJ Coffee-Coco Curl Creme Lite.
The simple answer is yes. I've been trying to grow my hair out and I'm loosing my curl pattern in the process. I used cones and blow drying for the first time in a LONG time last week. It was a nice change. I think you have to be happy with your hair. It's when you STOP thinking about it that you are most comfortable and if spending all day worrying about where it is flat and where it is frizzy is getting on your nerves... straiten it!

I'm a curly girl at heart, but I think it is great to have the variety.

Last edited by HeatherDawn; 05-14-2008 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Ug, the spelling
It's your hair, so the most important thing is to do what you want. I don't think I'd tell someone to give up on being curly unless that's what they wanted to do.

I understand the whole uniformity thing. I struggle with it too although I'm hoping my hair will continue to get better and more consistent the kinder I treat it. I DO have those days where I want to give up and plug in the flat iron though . . .
Loose botticelli curls and waves
No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
It is a lot of work to learn what products and styling methods work best for your hair. But something to consider: if you're wanting to limit damage while having uniformity, maybe you could use a curling iron (with a liberal spraying of a heat protectant, of course) on random sections of hair which would be less damaging than flat ironing all your hair. I still flat iron occassionally, maybe once every couple of months, but I don't really like how it looks on me anymore and I find it is harder for my curls to come back to life after a recent straightening.
conditioner - AOHR
shampoo - Beauty Without Cruelty Rosemary Mint Tea Tree
styling products - KCCC, BRHG, Boots Curl Creme, Re:coil
ditto to brandyc's reply.

honestly, i let my hair do what it wants. if it's feeling curly, i try the best to encourage it. if it's feeling straighter, i'll do a good blowout. most days i just dont' do anything w/ my hair and pull it back because my lifestyle affords it. and i think that's what this site is all about--accepting your hair for what it is and isn't.

...and boy do i ever have to--it's 1b underneath all my waves and annoying!!!
straight & wavy, thick & coarse
So I wondered, among you guys, whether you would ever give up on some curly-heads and tell them to stay straight?
Originally Posted by Christinab
I would never proceed to tell anyone what to do with their own hair. Do what YOU want to do with your hair, not what someone else thinks you *should* do.
In all honesty I can tell you that for the 5 years I did the Thermal Reconditioning I was VERY pleased. I had minimal damage - but i used a VERY reputable technician, conditioned and trimmed religiously!

I think I just kinda got tired of my hair being so flat, but it was great while it lasted.

For what its worth tho, my curly hair is better now, since I went CG (I'm 45) than it has EVER been.

Good luck!
Curls,Coils,Waves & WhatKnot
3miii/My HGs tame bulk&frizz/Give definition w/o crunch
My Photobucket Album
Hi again everyone
Sorry for taking so long to reply to your comments. My hair is behaving itself a bit better at the moment because I had a fairly good haircut - still the usual problems with the flat canopy though!

Eche428 - I have (sort of) given the CG thing a try. I use a bit of clear gel, which actually works pretty well and have cut back on how much shampoo I used. I tried the full routine for a couple of weeks, but I just couldn't get on with it. The back of my scalp was just filthy, and the hair looked dark grey! And it involve waaaaay too much conditioner - after the first week, my hair was totally lank, and less curly.

So I'm not sure that CG is really for me. I think loads of other people have said similar things on other threads. I'm not convinced it's really intended for wavies (see how curly LM's hair is! 3B or 3C?!), the classifification of corkscrew, botticelli and wavy is ridiculous, and the routines are so complex and fiddly I wouldn't be surprised if they inspired some people to go out and buy the best straighteners they could afford. I don't like the evangelical tone of the book either - especially the bit about never, ever straightening your hair ever again. And nobody featured in the photos has hair that looks anything like mine.

Whew! That turned into a bit of an anti-CG rant. Does anyone else feel the same way?
have you ever tried "plopping"? it's like doing a mega scrunch and might help regain some of the curl back. heres the link for a demo video:
hope this helps and good luck
-belly-button length 2b/2c hair
-waves and a few loose ringlets
-medium thickness
the routines are so complex and fiddly I wouldn't be surprised if they inspired some people to go out and buy the best straighteners they could afford.
HAHAHAHAHAHA....OMG soooo true!! Sometimes just reading other posters' descriptions of their routines on here makes me want to drink a half bottle of wine and take a nap...OTOH many of them do have gorgeous curls and so, more power to them.

I know exactly how you feel. I actually went and relaxed my hair after a long, long, internal battle. I didn't get it pin-straight (I would have, but I didn't want to leave the relaxer in that long because my hair was already dry and slightly damaged), but it is now muchmuchmuch easier to straighten on the days I choose to do that.

And I do choose to do so, on occasion, because straightening is the only time I *know for a fact* my hair is going to look good. When I wear it curly, sometimes it looks fantastic and sometimes it looks like I was dragged through a row of thorn bushes. When I wear it straight I can go four-five days without washing or setting, just a quick five-minute touchup with my HAI iron.

If I could find a nice easy curl routine, great. But like today -- I washed my hair at 7:00 this morning and now it's 10:30 and it is still sopping wet. And I have NO idea what it will look like when it dries. Please!!!
Modified CG. You'll pry my 'cones from my cold dead fingers! Mixed waves, coarse, below shoulder length, dark brown. I hate my hair but I'm trying to learn to accept it.

Gels: LA Looks Wet Look Styling Gel, Garnier Fructis Wet Shine Gel. Condish: Alberto V05 Free Me Fresia, Tresemme' Flawless Curls, LVPNG, Neutrogena Triple Moisture. Shampoo: Tresemme' Flawless Curls. Silicone Serum: Whatever is on sale, but I don't leave home without it.

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