Hair Care Free

thais-short-hair

Hi everyone – it’s been a while, so I’m just checking in. In the past year or two I really haven’t had much to blog about in the way of hair care. After my son was born, I cut my waist-length hair into a curly bob. Then about a year ago, I chopped it all off into a pixie. And I have to say – I have been LOVING it short. Washing my hair takes five minutes. I usually put some leave-in conditioner in, put a scarf on it, and let it dry overnight. Then I either leave it curly/wavy or hit it with a flat iron.

My hair care routine is nearly non-existent, except for more frequent trips to the hairdresser. But this is exactly what I need at this time in my life. I’m a mom to a toddler and work full time. Short hair has given me the freedom to be stylish in seconds. And those few occasions where I just really need to wash my hair, I throw on a scarf. So easy.  Oh, and hair products last forever – my wallet has thanked me.

If you’re interested in products I’ve been using since I cut my hair, here they are:

OGX® Shampoo and Conditioner – I’ve been working my way through the different lines. So far I’ve tried Coconut Curls, Coconut Milk and Argan Oil of Morocco. Love them all!

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Leave-In Treatment – This is in my hair at all times, whether curly or straight. It’s lightweight and contains my hair’s favorite ingredient – coconut oil!

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Finishing Oil Serum – I primarily use this as a finishing serum when I leave my hair curly/way. Just a little goes a long way, and it gives me shine and light hold without being oily or stiff.

Fantasia IC Heat Protector Straightening Serum – I have had this bottle for at least four years (that’s how infrequently I put heat on my hair), but since I’ve had short hair, I do use a flat iron more often. Yes, it contains silicones, but that’s sometimes necessary for ultimate heat protection. I only have to use a tiny drop.

Every now and then I clarify my hair with my old, inexpensive Suave Essentials Daily Clarifying Shampoo. When I do, I always follow with a deep conditioner, currently the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque.

That’s pretty much it! I have been toying with the idea of growing my hair out again, maybe into a bob. Every now and then I look at old pictures and miss my waist-length locks. Then I think about the hours I’ve reclaimed and go on about my life. 🙂

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Have you gone short and loved it? Let me know in the comments!

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Help! My hair pattern is changing… what do I do?

Hello hair community! A dear reader sent me the email below. Two years ago, she endured brain surgery. Thankfully, she has healed, but she has noticed an interesting aftereffect – her hair pattern is changing. While I was able to offer her some suggestions, I thought I’d share with the community to see if anyone else can offer insight. Read on…

Hello!

I’m having a hair identity crisis and I don’t know where I can get advice, even googling it. It might be a shot in the dark but I didn’t know if you might have any answers to at least some of my questions.

When I was a little girl I had soft curls. By the time I was 5 it had straightened and thickened. Even though it was straight it still had a lot of body. The ends curled up if it was shorter than my shoulder-length , I had lots of cowlicks, & little frizzy things if I pulled my hair back.

Two years ago, I had brain surgery. Part of my hair was shaved but it was underneath at the base of my skull. With my hair down no one would’ve known it was shaved. As my hair has grown back, it has been wavy and started creeping up to the hair above my incision and seems to be creeping more and more as well as getting curlier underneath.  The hair on the back of my head is all wavy/curly except for one smooth layer.

I think it might be starting to creep to the sides too, the underlayers near my ears are getting wavy. Moreso on the right side then the left.

I don’t really know what to do with it. It’s this weird half and half.  Even more weird than that is it’s only curly to like the middle of my neck, then a lot of it straightens.

When my hair is wet, it is probably 75% wavy but some of that is pulled out by the weight of it.

Does hair texture change gradually from the root?

Do you think my hair will continue to change to being all wavy or stay half/half?

Do you have any thoughts on styling or haircuts?

Thank you,

T.

If you have any thoughts or advice, please share below!

Review of NuMe Classic Curling Wand

Nu Me Classic Wand 25MM

Hair styling tools and products company NuMe was kind enough to send me one of their salon-grade curling wands to try. I have only recently gotten into the curling wand game – previously my heated hair tools consisted only of a blow dryer with brush attachment, diffuser, flat iron, and old-school curling iron. I rarely buy new hair tools because I hardly use heat on my hair. (My flat iron is nine years old and still works!) So when I do acquire a new tool, I consider it an investment.

The NuMe Classic Wand 25MM seems to be a fantastic addition to my collection. The packaging promises glossy curls delivered by a tourmaline-infused ceramic coated barrel. (If you are, like I was, wondering what tourmaline is, read here.) Additional features include:

  • Clipless design for crease-free curls
  • Negative ion technology
  • Heats up to 410 degrees Fahrenheit

The iron itself is a vibrant turquoise color with a diamond pattern engraved handle, making it easy to hold, particularly if you’ve just coated your strands with product. It came with a heat-resistant glove that provides FULL hand and wrist coverage. I’m happy to report that I did not suffer one burn.

I was actually in a pinch when I tried the wand for the first time. I had to take an impromptu headshot for work, and my hair was not photo-ready. I had just tried new products the night before, and hadn’t quite figured out the right proportion of leave-in to hair gel. I hadn’t pineappled the night before, just slept on a satin scarf, but my hair was still frizzier than usual. I had no time to rewash and diffuse, so I grabbed the NuMe wand.

I lightly coated my hair with a heat protectant serum, then took fairly large sections – maybe 1.5 inches – and curled away from my face from root to tip. Because I was pressed for time, I only did the hair that was visible – top and sides. The wand was easy to hold, and the hair slipped easily off the barrel. My hair didn’t even smoke – usually a sure sign that some sort of damage is taking place.

Here are the results:

nume-curling-wand-curls

Results of NuMe Curling Wand to loosen natural curls and tame frizz

Not bad, eh? Frizz was virtually eliminated, curls were pretty much uniform, my hair was indeed glossy, and it only took 10 minutes! If you’re looking for a new curling wand, I’d definitely give this one a consideration. If you’re looking soon, NuMe is running some ridiculously good deals before the end of the year. Here they are:

1.)  $28 Any Curling Wand
11/2/15-12/31/15
Promo Code:  HAIRCARE28 – Click here to view
2.)  $26 Silhouette Flat Iron
11/2/15-12/31/15
Promo Code:  STOCKING26 – Click here to view
3.)  55% Off Sitewide (except nails & holiday collection) + Free Shipping
11/2/15-12/31/15
Promo Code:  SNOWMAN55 – Click here to view
4.)  Buy 2 Hair Chalk for $6 (excludes hair chalk pack)
10/27/15-12/31/15
Promo Code:  HAIRCHALK6 – Click here to view
5.) Now until 12/31/15, receive an additional 10% off their Holiday Collection.
Promo Code:  HOLIDAY10 – Click here to view
Order soon and let me know what you think!

Braided Side Bun + White Linen Night

braided side bun on naturally curly hair

Two Saturday evenings ago my husband and I attended the schmoozy event that is New Orleans’ White Linen Night. Art galleries along Julia Street in the Warehouse District throw open their doors to the public to showcase collections and launch exhibits. Restaurants bring food and bars to the street, cars are prohibited, and guests are asked to wear their finest white linen (or whatever they have that’s white-ish).

New Orleans White Linen Night 2014

I’ll jump on any excuse to dress up, so of course I heeded the call to wear le couleur du soir. Being from the South and an island girl at heart, I do happen to own a bit of white linen. I dug in my closet for this dress, which I wore to my bridal shower in May – 9 YEARS AGO. Thankfully, it still fits like a charm.

white linen dress

For its debut in 2005, I wore this dress with a large, wide-brimmed floppy hat that was perfect for a sunny day. But since White Linen Night is well, at night, I skipped the hat and opted for an elegant braided side bun.

Since my hair is now so long and the summer heat creates lots of frizz, I decided to braid my hair wet. I do this with most braided styles – it’s easier, faster and the braids come out much sleeker.

braided side bun on long hair

I actually would have preferred my hair to dry a bit before I left the house so I could pull the braid apart and make the bun even bigger, but as usual, I was rushing, so no such thing occurred.

This was actually a very easy style to achieve. After applying a bit of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, I created a deep part on one side and combed all my hair straight. I then created one French braid with the top section of hair, and created a second braid in the back, to the same side.

I looped the front French braid around the back one, forming a small bun, and pinned the ends to secure. I then took the back braid, and looped it around the perimeter of the small bun to create an even larger bun, and pinned the ends.

how to create a braided side bun on long hair

The down side to braiding wet hair is that it is very heavy, so I had to stick all kinds of long bobby pins in random places to hold all the hair in place. Generally, I was pleased with the result, though next time I may try it on blown out, straight hair to see just how big of a braided bun I can create.

If you try this style yourself, I’d love to see it! Leave a comment here with a photo, or tag the photo @curlonamission on Instagram. Happy braiding!

DIY Curl Refreshing Spray

I mentioned in a previous post that I love a good curl refreshing spray. However, I don’t like to spend a lot of money of them for two reasons: 1) I go through them like water and 2) half the time they don’t work! So I’ve concocted my own curl refreshing recipe that works like a charm on my 2nd, and even 3rd, day curls.  Here are my ingredients:

Ingredients for DIY Curl Refreshing Spray

Coconut Oil, Leave-In Conditioner, Water

I like to use a light leave-in like Giovanni for this spray because it blends easily with water. The leave-in softens and conditions hair, coconut oil makes it shiny and helps moisturize, and of course water is the ultimate natural curl activator.

Here’s approximately what I use in a 2 oz bottle (I make it in small batches so I can put it in my purse or travel with it).

  • 1/8 leave-in conditioner
  • One squirt (maybe a teaspoon) of coconut oil
  • Fill up the rest of the bottle with water

Shake (the bottle) rigorously until the ingredients are well blended. The goal is to achieve what I call “slippery water,” so you may need to add more water or conditioner until you get just the right formula. You want the mixture to be thin enough to spray through a nozzle, but have enough “slip” to coat your locks.

When I’m ready to use it, I flip over my limp, dry curls and shake them at the root to loosen them up, then I spritz the refresher onto my hair until it’s damp all over. I flip upside down again, and gently scrunch my hair upward. Most of the time I let my hair air dry, but you could also use a diffuser on low heat if you’re in a hurry. Et voila!

Before and after DIY Curl Refreshing Spray

Before and after

Smooth, frizz-free curls. Do you have a favorite curl refreshing spray or make your own?

natural curls