Hair Issues

Corey and I returned from New York last Thursday, and usually I would have a picture recap post for you ready and waiting, but I’ve started taking pictures with a film camera and still need to send the rolls of film off to the lab so I probably won’t post them for a couple of weeks.  I’ve wanted to learn how to shoot film forever and finally decided to ask Corey (and all of my family members) to purchase me a medium format camera for my birthday.  I’ve really loved it so far.  But since I have no pictures to show you, let’s move on to another subject that has been plaguing me.

My hair.  I’m pretty sure I’m doing it wrong.  Meg wrote that sweet birthday post last week with facts about me, one of them being that I have curly hair.  It’s really more curly/wavy on a good day and sometimes nothing at all, and I can never seem to get it to consistently look how I want it to.  I think this is a universal issue for curly/wavy girls, but since you guys are my people, I figured I’d see if anyone had any words of wisdom.

First and foremost, I think I wash my hair entirely too much, making it dry out and pretty much feel like sandpaper.  I wash it everyday, but all of my friends seem to wash theirs three times a week.  I get this if you have straight hair, but my hair gets even less curly on day 2.  So is there a way to have curly hair and not wash it every day?  Is that even a thing?  Which brings me to my second issue – my hair is ALWAYS wet.  Always.  It takes about 5 hours to dry so if I ready to go somewhere and don’t blow dry my hair (which I rarely do, but even if I dry it with a diffuser it will still be wet), then I look like a drowned rat for the majority of the party/dinner/oh definitely at work.  Is there some fancy trick to let your hair dry overnight and not look like a poodle?  Finally, I have yet to find a curling product/gel/mousse/cream/you name it that will keep my hair curly but not be crunchy.  If you have any advice on any of the above, I will be eternally grateful.


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  1. Taylor

    Ohhhh the curse of the curly hair. I sympathize with you my dear. For my hair, I’ve found that a spray gel works the best. I use Garnier Fructis gel spray and I try not to get too crazy with it. It tends to hold my curls but not get super crunchy. I also take showers at night a lot so in the morning my hair is dry. Then you can spray a little bit of water on your hair and it sort of reactivates the curls. I’ve yet to find the best method either and am constantly talking to other curly heads about their tips. But by the way, I think your curls are always beautiful!

    • Colleen

      Ok I’m going to have to try this gel spray you keep speaking of. How do you sleep on your hair without it looking crazy in the morning?

  2. Katie Miller

    If I didn’t blow dry and flat iron my hair, it would be a puff ball of frizz. If you want to go with it straight, a keritan treatment is absolutely the way to go. I can let my hair air dry and it’s straight. I have a great friend who’s very affordable if you are interested!

    • Colleen

      Oh man that is tempting. I might have to try it sometime! Thanks Katie!

  3. Stephanie

    I have some setting cream from Satinique(my Amway stuff) that I like- they have leave in conditioners too. Also I pick up catwalk and use on my hair for Curley hair. You are welcome to pick up what I have and see if you like it.

    • Colleen

      Thanks mom g!

  4. melissa

    You have to try Devacurl products! It has worked wonders on my frizzy, wavy hair as well. I think the microfiber towel has made the biggest impact, creating much less frizz than a normal bath towel. Also, I would recommend to try the diffuser again.. I’ve found it really helps form the curls and keeps my hair from getting weighed down.

    • Colleen

      Melissa I will be ordering that microfiber towel ASAP. Thank you!

  5. Sianneth

    First of all, your hair is gorgeous! It is no secret that I have always wanted to have wild curly red hair like yourself and/or Merida from Brave. But since I was not blessed with your gorgeous color, and Merida is a cartoon, I’ve learned to at least embrace the curl.
    My hair and I have had a long love-hate relationship. As a small child I had adorable little ringlets that as I grew up into my school aged years I could no longer replicate. By my pre-teen years my hear was more ugly-wavy than curly. But then through the miracle of puberty (don’t ask me why or how — though I am a nurse I cannot explain it) my hair suddenly started to gain more and more body and made it back to it’s curly origins. At first I hated my curls as I was unable to tame them and my secret hope had always been to have the stick-straight hair my sister had been blessed with since birth, however that was just not happening. Then one day it finally clicked and now I can confidently say I am a pro at this curly hair thing. So here are my tips:
    1. Start with a great hair cut! If you don’t have the right cut for your curls, it’s just not going to work. I believe you have a similar curl factor to my hair so I think this tip will work for you. Long layers are key in helping your hair achieve it’s right curliness. If your hair is just cut straight across with no layers it will have more of a tendency to do a weird triangle shape thing poofing out at the bottom if too short, or just hanging down with so much weight that it won’t curl right if it’s too long.
    2. Along with a great hair cut, comes a great hair stylist. My first rule for finding a good stylist is find a stylist with similar hair texture to yours. If they have to deal with the same type of hair everyday, they’ll be better instinctively prepared to deal with yours. Official training will only teach them so much, life experience is key!
    3. Use alcohol free products. Alcohol will dry out your hair — not so good for avoiding the straw feeling.
    4. Hair gel, and creams beat mouse! The right hair gel of course. Use something with a medium or soft hold. Not a strong hold because that will up the crunch factor. I personally LOVE Aveda Forming Gel, however it can be pretty pricey. Last time I used it (over 5 years ago) it was about $20 a pop, so not so great for the budget, but if you want to splurge, it’s certainly the way to go. A more budget friendly option that I have come to love is Herbal Essences Tousle me Softly Tousling Styling Cème. It gives you just enough hold and doesn’t make your hair look permanently wet and crunchy.
    5. The diffuser really IS your friend. I don’t like to blow dry my hair for very long because heat does tend to speed up the damage, but a little heat goes a long way. It sounds like you may just have a lot more volume of hair than me or just thicker strands because my hair will dry on it’s own by about mid-day. However, when I do want to make sure my curls are forming properly to give me all day curliness, I do use the diffuser for just 5-10 minutes tops in the morning. This gives the hair just enough heat to start to set the curls but not enough to dry it all out. This little bit of heat blast also starts the drying process so that you won’t have wet hair till the end of eternity.
    6. A spray bottle should be an essential part of your hair tools. I know it sounds counter-intuitive if you’re trying to avoid wet head, but trust me this is key. If you start with too dry hair, the gel/creme just won’t apply evenly and the diffuser will just increase the frizz. Along with the spray bottle, a wide toothed comb is key( which as a curly girl, i’m sure you already own).

    With those tips now shared, here is my fool-proof curly process:

    A. Wash hair normally. Use a shower comb to comb the tangles out while you have conditioner in your hair.
    B. Towel dry hair, comb out tangles again with wide toothed comb, then spray wet again (mostly the ends).
    C. Apply a quarter sized amount of the styling crème in your hand and fingers especially. Flip your head upside down, then spreading your fingers widely, apply crème to hair making sure you are forming thick strands of hair and not itty bitty skinny ones. (Skinny strands can more easily frizz). Make sure you are applying a thinner layer at the roots and more product towards the ends.
    D. Diffuse hair for 5-10 minutes, at high heat, and medium speed of your hair dryer. If you’re hair dryer is not super powerful, high speed is fine.
    E. Flip your head right side up again. Part where desired using only your fingers.
    F. Allow to air dry the rest of the way. If it’s starting to still feel crunchy, give it one brief scrunch to break up the crunchy factor, but then leave it alone.
    G. Then, voila!

    I’m sure you’ve employed many of these techniques, but I figured I would share my experience and maybe see if it helps you!

    • Colleen

      Wow Sianneth this is amazing!! I will be following line by line – thanks lady!

  6. Elizabeth

    I alternate between a sulfate-free cleansing conditioner and cheapie conditioners (VO5 and Suave) to clean my hair. If you check out there is a ton of info…it can be overwhelming at first. I also try to use creams and gels that don’t have silicones. The silicones coat your hair, making it more difficult for moisture from your conditioner to help your hair. Once you use silicones, you need sulfate shampoo to rinse them out which ends up taking away the good oil plus the silicones. See? Lots to process.
    I agree with the microfiber towel…or you can start with an old t-shirt which is what I use when my microfiber is in the wash. The idea is use something more gentle than a regular bath towel.
    Your hair is superduperilicious purty. I spend paychecks aiming for a certain sassy auburn somewhere between yours and MegMeg’s. Good luck!