By: Kerry Ingram, Arts & Life Editor
Kerry Ingram / The Towerlight
This week’s Trendy Tiger is going to be a bit different. Why?
Because I decided to get experimental.
Let me start off by saying this: if you have curly hair, you already know “le struggle.” Curly hair takes a lot of emotional strength, patience and perseverance to manage. You have to deal with things like shrinkage, dryness, frizz and your hair ultimately having a brain of its own.
Despite this, curly hair is still the bomb dot com, and then some. It allows us to have natural texture, a mother-nature-induced “pizzazz” that those with straight hair have to resort to heat tools for. Curly hair is, indeed, le struggle, but it’s also pretty awesome once you get a hold of it.
I spent the first 17 years of my life not knowing how to get a hold of my curls. I resorted to constantly flat-ironing my hair, which worked well when I had virgin and healthy hair in elementary school. However, that hair only lasts so long, and by the time I got to high school, my hair was shouting for help. “Ayudarme!” my little spanish curls would scream, but no. I silenced them until I realized my hair was getting shorter without me having to cut it.
My junior year of high school, I chose to start wearing my hair natural and the rest was a rough history of me trying to get my life together. I must admit, I had no clue how to handle my natural hair until around the end of my freshman year of college, but I eventually got the hang of things. Now, my hair is 80 percent thriving and 20 percent doing something else, but I’ve made a lot of progress. I’ve learned how to style my hair, how to keep it hydrated, how to twist it to elongate my curls etc.
The one thing I still haven’t mastered? How to wear a hat with curly hair.
This is ultimately why my no-heat journey came to a screeching halt this past week.
As a Towson senior, I will be walking down a stage to get my diploma in less than two months, and part of that requires me to wear a “formal” square on top of my head. Unfortunately, curly hair and graduation caps don’t mix too well (cue my 2015 graduation photos of my FLAT hair on top and frizzy hair on bottom, all thanks to the cap I donned for two hours).
I decided to get my first blowout over spring break, as a way to test the waters of how I would feel if I wore my hair straight for graduation. As I’m typing this, my hair is still straight, silky and smooth, so you can already guess what the result of this experience was. This article is meant to give you a rundown of everything that happened, plus my tips for those of you who may decide to do the same thing. Let’s back it up to the beginning.
Things to do before going: Take care of your hair! I recommend doing a D.I.Y. conditioning treatment with some good ol’ fashioned coconut oil in order to hydrate your hair prior to it being blown out. Just take some unrefined coconut oil from your local market, apply it to your hair from scalp to ends, wrap your hair up for two hours and then rinse. Your strands will thank you.
Also make sure to just take care of your hair in general. Don’t wear too-tight of hair styles, refrain from regularly using heat or lighteners on your hair, and keep it hydrated and clean. All of this will make getting a blow out easy-peasy.
Find a hair-inclusive salon: I decided to visit the Haute Blowdry Bar in Towson, a hair studio that specializes in blowouts for all hair types and textures. This is one of the keys to getting a quality service without sacrificing the health of your hair. This salon knew not only what products my curls needed, but also how to handle my hair so as not to put too much heat on it or damage it. I also want to point out that this location was pretty swanky – the bright teal and white colors paired with the elegant decor surely made the experience for me since it was #extraAF.
Nourish your hair: I started off by getting my hair washed and conditioned, which included a scalp massage, an essential for stimulating the scalp enough to help promote further growth. Afterwards, my stylist applied conditioning heat protectant to my hair, but she DIDN’T put me under a dryer. The 3-heat method is popular in Dominican blowouts, but is what ends up frying your hair. Rather, my stylist just parted and untangled my hair before blow drying it with larger round brushes and a blowdryer. (Bonus points for getting to listen to today’s pop hits and watching chick flicks as I got my hair done. The environment was definitely relaxing enough throughout my stay, and allowed for me to enjoy the experience without being anxious about my hair.)
Make sure they limit heat usage: My blowdry time took no longer than 20 minutes, which surprised me considering how long my curly hair actually is. It allowed for her to stretch my curls without frying them, and since my hair was dried before straightening, it limited the amount of time it took for flat iron my hair afterwards. She ended the service by adding some curls to my ends and bam. I became a brand new woman (temporarily anyways).
Don’t make this a habit: Even though experienced and knowledgeable stylists can blow out your hair with the least damage as possible, still refrain from scheduling these services often. Embrace your natural texture! It’s sure to still blow everyone away.
All in all, I have to say my first experience getting a blow out was way better than I was expecting. My hair was full, soft, bouncy and everything else you’d expect to only see out of a Pantene advertisement. I plan to revert back to my curls later this week, but for now, I’m a-okay with catfishing people for a little bit with my new blown-out look.