Because I am nothing if not slightly frivolous and extremely taciturn, I thought it was about time that I harked back to my ill-fated attempt (i.e. one post 100 years ago) at being a bewdy blogger, and update my thousands of fans on the fate of my hair.
There is something deeply frustrating about people who have naturally gorgeous hair. As the saying goes:
Some people are born with great hair, some people achieve great hair, and some people have great hair thrust upon them.
I am the middle – I have worked damn hard to have great hair over the last few years. It’s been a wild, and moderately unsuccessful ride.
The ‘Yes I Gave Myself A Major Restyle’ homemade pixie cut. I look rightfully concerned.
The ‘Long and Curly Because I’m Travelling Without A Straightener’. A strong look for 2010. The curling fringe is a particular highlight. Necklace is on point, however.
The ‘All Hail The Straightener’ look of 2011 – 2013. My hair essentially fried through excessive straightener use over these years, and after a while ceased to even curl properly, so basically just looked dry and awful.
The Redhead Phase, which I loved but sadly, could not afford to maintain. Note the dryness however, and the desperation in my eyes:
The ‘Cut It All Off’ Look, which I actually still quite like. Only really behaved itself with 2 days of grease in it, so not, in essence, totally practical.
The ‘Big-Ass Blonde Streak’ Look, which was another great favourite. My delightful pal L always rocks a strong haircut, of which she looks rightfully pleased.
When I got back to Australia though, once again I couldn’t afford to keep up the maintenance and so went back to an all-over brunette. Plus, trying to mix curly brown hair which you also straighten with a spot of extreme bleaching does not a happy head of hair make.
After a year or so I found my blonde streak was starting to snap off a bit and everything was looking dull and feeling knotty. Time for a change!
I have been an avid home-dyer for YEARS. Seriously, my parents used to let me use Henna to dye my hair faintly in primary school. These days it’s less fun dyeing and more *cough* grey *cough* coverage *cough* dyeing, but hey ho, does the job. I do find that adding colour rather than taking away makes my hair feel in much better condition, although a bit fumigous for a few days.
In early 2014, while back in Aus, I decided to throw caution to the wind (I’m crazy like that) and abandon my much-loved side parting for a more modern centre part, and also to stop straightening my hair altogether. More specifically, to stop using a straightener on my hair.
I now blow dry my hair every time I wash it, and although it’s on a high heat setting, I do use heat protective spray and there is no comparison. My hair is so much happier, and I feel like I get a more natural result using a hair-dryer than some irons.
I have pretty constant dermatitis on my head as well, which I cannot for the life of me get to the bottom of. The only way I’ve been able to manage it is by using Nutrogena T-Gel shampoo with every wash. It’s quite a harsh shampoo, and washes out colour quickly, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay to stop the itchiness. As a result I’ve abandoned normal conditioner, and now use a conditioning masque for every wash, avoiding my scalp. I would guess that this, in combination with stopping the straightening, has caused the most improvement in my hair softness and shine.
I’m currently growing my hair out, and am looking soon to get a really blunt cut, which I have heard is quite good for naturally curly hair. I’ve had years of pretty harsh layering done, so while that grows out I’m dealing with quite bad split ends. But you win some you lose some. I’m not that precious about my hair so if I do see a split hair, I’ll chop it off with glee.
So, my current look? Something along these lines:
Still a bit curly after a day or so, still with flyaways, but generally in pretty good nick.
What a journey. I hope it’s been as cathartic as you as it has been for me.