I know it's 2020 but, the revelation came in 2019. So, just hear me out.
If you were anything like me, you spent a lot of time as a teenager flat ironing your hair till you could smell it burning in your childhood bathroom. I straightened, curled, highlighted, used questionable hair products and tools…it all left my hair damaged and dry. When I got a little older, I tried to embrace my naturally curly hair. Heatless, sulphate free, hippy-dippy products... you get the idea. While I genuinely love my natural curls, they lack the polished look I feel most confident in. Curls can be tricky to manage and require an insane amount of hair products and fuss. Also, if my hair is curly, for the love of god, don't touch it. I beg of you.
I used to tell people my natural hair was like Hermione Granger's hair, but from the first two movies, before she got hot. And honestly, that is pretty accurate by the end of the day and a promise on second-day curls. Oh and to add to the joy, my hair nor scalp liked to be washed daily. That results in symptoms worthy of WebMD and its own post. But I digress…
When I lived in the US, I could visit Dry Bar to get a fantastic blowout. As a Texan by birth, I also swear by hot rollers. Then I moved to rainy old England. My hair set out to take revenge for this decision. Hot roller curls won’t stay curled, straight hair reverts to waves in no less than 10 minutes, and about that Hermione Granger level of frizz … that too. So I began my curly girl method. It does work and in general, does help tame my curls. However, it is a lot of product in my hair, I hate sleeping with natural curls, and they don’t really love me the next day either. Additionally, they just fail to look polished and professional in the way I want.
Remember all those hot tools I was mentioning? The knowledge that heat isn’t great for your hair? Yea, I know. All still true. But, on a particularly depressing Sunday, I decided that with enough heat protectant and energy I would just do my damn hair. The moment I applied product, blown out my hair, and rolled it in velcro rollers, I felt… better. More me. More pulled together in a way I needed a rainy dark Sunday (which means about 4pm in England).
This isn’t partially about doing or not doing my hair, but about doing something for myself. To make myself feel better. If feeling better means I need to put a little heat on my hair, so be it. It is okay to want to look nice, to put in some effort, not want to embrace the natural you. It is okay to enhance you and just feel your best. Get a hairdryer and some new lipstick, because it damn it feels good.
My recommendations below:
One: Technique matters. Figuring out how to give yourself the perfect blow out is not exactly easy, and the more hair, the longer the hair, the more daunting it seems. The blowout master class from GHD at Blow. Ltd. is worth EVERY PENNY! I took mine shortly after moving to the UK. It was all of £20, there was free champagne, and it changed my life. (Did I mention it has saved me £100s) There are several Blow's in central London. I personally recommend the one in Covent Garden.
Two: The hair dryer matters. A lot. Im sorry, but it's true. I own the DryBar Buttercup. Which is fantastic and have been fortunate enough to try the Dyson hairdryer. I recommend them both, however, the Buttercup in only available in the U.S. and is at a lower price point.
Three: The products also matter. I swear by DryBar's SoutherBelle Volume - Boosting Mousse and their Money Maker hairspray. They smell incredible and do a killer job. I order them from Sephora. The best and final touch is Keratase Elixir Ultime L'huile. Use this at the very end of your blowout. Focus on the ends and any fly aways. Use any time to tame hair, add shine, and smoothness.
Four: Velcro rollers are your best friend. Yup, velcro rollers, the ones the old ladies in the salon used to use. Grab a pack at any place that carries even the most basic of hair products or just rely on Amazon. They really will stay in place and give incredible volume. I choose to use alligator clips to make them a little more secure, as I like to wear them for ages (higher the hair the closer to God) and tend to do other things around the house.
Five: Sleep in a loose hair bun. This is an art not a science. Pull all your hair into a Ariana Grande high pony and gently twist in the direction of the curls. Loosely pin the bun with a small clip, silk scrunchies, or bobby pins.
Six: Spruce up day (or longer) hair with a little hairspray and hot rollers. Hot rollers are the southern woman's secret weapon. These little monsters can solve the worst of hair days in 20 minutes beginning to end. Put them in the dry hair, get ready, take out, shake head, add hairspray, and get the heck to work!
It's an adventure y'all!