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Hair.

I'm granting you a reprieve from the vacation chatter with this: let's talk about hair. Mine is red. It's naturally curly and I always wanted it straight. So my freshman year of college, I had it chemically straightened for the first time. At first, I loved it. It was easy to manage and so much less maintenance than my natural texture. After a while, however, there were split ends and pieces that just felt fried no matter how well I conditioned them. Not to mention the fact that my hair grew in curly at the roots but remained straight everywhere else (not pretty). So then there was the cost of upkeep: we're talking $700+ every few months. Forget about it.
I resolved to stop getting my hair chemically straightened and get regular trims until it went back to its natural state. Eventually, however, the half curly and half straight look got to me and I had no choice but to chop it to just above my shoulders and let it all grow in curly. I let a stylist convince me to try the Brazilian keratin treatment to supposedly reverse the damage the chemical straightening had done and, while it felt great for a few weeks, there are still pieces that had more chemicals in them and are still straighter than the places where it's grown in curly. And again, $300 every few months to make it feel shiny and new? Not on my (non-existent) budget.
Now my hair is shoulder-length and mostly curly with the exception of a few pieces in the front where the stylist clearly doused my hair with chemicals to keep them straight longer. It's frizzy, especially in the summer humidity. I wear it in a sloppy bun in the daytime and occasionally curl the ends (while straightening the roots) when I go out at night. This might be as close to its original state as I'm going to get it, but still I'm not happy with the outcome.
I stumbled upon this picture on Pinterest the other day and instantly recognized it as what my hair would look like in a perfect world. I want my long hair back and I want it tame, frizz-free, and all other kinds of perfect. That's not too much to ask, right? Now clearly I need your help. Products, techniques, tools to make my crazy frizzy halo of hair look like the above. And if you have any similar stories, misery loves company. Ready, set, go!

18 comments:

Ana Liza said...

Mackenzie, are you familiar with Ouidad? I have it with me ALL summer in little travel containers and in every bathroom. We will talk- my stylist taught me a cool trick for taming and styling our types of hair (mine is brunette, but sings its own song nonetheless)

SisterBatik said...

I agree Hair maintenance is so expensive these days!

Hope for a "happy hair ending" for you : )

dreamsandjeans said...

I have curly hair as well that can be quite a challenge in the humidity. To keep my hair super soft I actually condition it twice every time I shower - using 2 different conditioners. When I style it, I always use a cream, not a gel or mousse - I find it holds the curl better without being sticky and it keeps it really soft not rock hard.

Anonymous said...

An italian stylist once told me that expensive hair treatments do nothing to help the hair permanently. Once hair is out of the root it is dead and will not change. The most you can do is "cream it down' like you would your dry hands, but the minute you wet them again (your hands or your hair for that matter) the damage is back.
Only time (regrowth) and cutting will permanently get rid of damage. To get better hair in general (from the roots), look to nutritional deficiencies, especially lack of protein.

I did the brazilian thing and was very sorry I did. My hair was dryer looking and too flat. I much prefer the frizzies to flat lifeless hair!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

i'm a california girl that spent 10+ years at 4 hours per day in chlorine (talk about damage), then moved to the east coast...frizz then took on a whole new meaning, especially after changing my naturally blond hair to black, then back to blond.

i've found that (good) shampoo/conditioner are absolutely key. my personal favorite conditioners are the l'oreal professional line that can be purchased at various salons. depending on the thickness of your hair either the lumino contrast nutriceride (in a pink bottle) or absolut repaire neofibrine (in yellow - and best if your hair is super damaged or really thick).

also the redken products such as the all soft shampoo/conditioner/leave in treatment and the sebastian shampoo/conditioner, drenched are both great.

additionally, i use either bumble and bumble straight serum or redken's smoothing serums.

hope you find what works for you!

Alexandra Anderson said...

I have thick long curly (ringlets in some areas), wavy in some areas frizzy hair. I give myself a blowout 4-5 times a week. Products I CANNOT live without:

Bumble&Bumble Surf Spray (now sold at Sephora - go try it out!) This will calm curls & enhance the wavy-er texture. A staple in the summertime.

For polished looks:
TIGI Bedhead - After Party. Nickel sized amnt combed through the lower half of your hair.

Lastly, two trusty brushes that will grip your hair, pull it straight & smooth it out. The largest barrel brush made by MorrocanOil (ceramic ionic brush) is my best friend.
Found here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EUUYC2/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B003C1ETD8&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0Z1K7JRA8XDB7D3SGDH5

Hope this helps!

Roxy Te said...

My hair is crazy! It would go curly in college and now it's straight with this awful indecisive wave haha Hope you're having a blast at Senior Week :)

sprinklesoneverything said...

You must try Moroccan Oil! While it can be a bit pricy for a little product, it is worth the money. A friend of mine (who has red hair like you!) told me about it but I was reluctant to try it because of the price. I bought it about two weeks ago and it CHANGED my hair. It is no longer frizzy and is always smooth and shiny. They make two kinds, normal, which I think you would probably use, and light for thin or blonde hair (which I use). They sell a little bottle you can get to see if you like it but I would be surprised if you don't LOVE it!

Let me know how it goes!

-Emmy

www.sprinklesoneverything.wordpress.com

Andrés Corella said...

Curly hair is gorgeous! And I love red heads..I just think they are so unique and hard to find (you know a real red head)...To bad about all the chemical treatments you put on...Yeah I am a guy but my hair is also curly and I once wanted it to be flat and straight so I did like two different treatments at the same time I ain´t gonna lie it look awesome but having to do it every three months and the pain in the scalp its just too much...So I just said to myself well or you keep it curly or you keep it short...my recomendation just keep on slightly cutting until all the chemical parts are replaced by new curly hair

xx
Andy
The Black Label

Day Old News said...

All I can say is that it is not humid in SF so you should have a lot easier time with your locks this summer. :)

Liz said...

Ugh hair, why does it have to be so difficult? Althought I haven't had any tramatic salon experiences, I do have thick, fat, awkwardly wavy hair that I have to flat iron everyday, otherwise I look like a lion. Products never seem to work for me and it always annoys me that my friends hair looks perfect and mine looks flat and dry and blah. However, when the Moroccan Oil fad began, I gave in and I have to say it is magic. Sometime I put it in my hair and sleep with it saturating my dry strands and when I wake up and style my hair, I am pretty proud. Also, Kiehls Amino Acid Shampoo/Conditioner is the most amazing product to ever come into my life. Like silky hair, every wash. Trust me!

Good luck! xo

Katharine Fuchs said...

You have beautiful hair!!! And Isla Fisher is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

I am a fellow curly head and my hair can be impossible to manage in the summer as I live in Georgia where its always humid. The best thing I've used is a hair gloss by Clairol. It comes in a bright blue tube and is realitively inexpensive. You only habe to use it once a week and it makes a huge difference!

Emily said...

Moroccan Oil!! My best friend is a ginger with crazy curls and that tames her hair like none other!! See you soon!

Cristina @FUJI FILES said...

I got my curly hair straightened and for a while it was amazing being able to take a shower or go out without doing anything at all to my hair. A year later it was looking pretty lifeless, and I suffered the curly roots straight tips for about a year and a half - I feel ya!
I comb with a wide-tooth comb in the shower when I have my conditioner in, then I don't brush/comb at all after that. I pour Infusium on my hair after the shower when it's still wet and then air-dry. Infusium is my curly hair savior, it's a liquid leave-in conditioner (you can find it at Target etc) that keeps the curls defined but not crunchy, and minimal effort! Plus super cheap.

Good luck!
xx Cristina

Megan Abigail Chandler said...

I'm a curly-haired girl and the best thing I've stumbled upon ... through all the hair mishaps, straightening and mess is Moroccan oil and a diffuser to go on the end of your blow dryer. Get some frederick fekkai hair products to hold curl and let it go. I do a lot of air drying for my hair as well. It's hard to manage, but if you just let them go free and nourish it with the oil then you'll be in pretty good shape.

Jess @ polka dots, Paris and paint said...

I am crazy about the Alterna Caviar Conditioner and Rescue (or is it called Remedy?) 24-7. They have both made huge differences in my hair, which I now have to baby as I'm a non-natural blond. Hope this helps!

Julie Woodson said...

All pictures and hair styles are looking gorgeous. Do you know my favorite hair style is curly style. I am crazy about my this style. Specially i go to Hair Salon Tempe for my hair style.