On October 23rd I had a hair salon disaster. Actually, scratch that. It was undeniably a horrible salon visit. The story is long and quite dramatic so I’ll spare you the itty bitty details and get right to it. I went to a neighborhood salon, one I had never visited before, for a quick blow dry. As routine for most Dominican salons the woman attending me also gave me a deep conditioning treatment. Lord knows I needed it!
As nice a she was, she was complaining too much about my tight curls and kept asking to cut my ends. Finally I had to explain to her that I am an actor currently working on a show that requires my hair to be curly, so for consistency purposes I cannot do anything to my hair. Finally she let up. Whew! She was driving me nuts! I was in and out, thank God.
A few days later I washed my hair because it started smelling really strange and I just could not stand it. As most curly girls do, I applied conditioner to detangle, which wasn’t much because I combed through prior to getting in the shower. And as I started, it just fell out. Not in clumps but in that this should not be happening so easily kind of way. I admit that prior to this I instinctively knew something wasn’t right because my hair was not curling when wet. Um, hello! All a curly girl needs is some water right?! I went into panic attack mode and was hysterically crying holding way too much dam hair in my hands.
My sweet boyfriend (bless him!) left work early to console me and of course to call the woman that did my hair. She insisted she did not put anything with chemicals in my hair that would permanently straighten it or loosen my curls, and that it was likely the blow drier was too hot. Apparently she was very apologetic and wanted to speak with me…uh, no lady. In my emotional state talking to me was not a very good idea and my boyfriend said as such. After speaking with my aunt, also a hairstylist and hair product DIYer, I learned what I had to do moving forward.
For the next week I didn’t style my hair or put any product in it. I continued taking biotin, in fact I increased the dosage. Fuck that, I thought, whatever it takes. At night I continued my routine of applying oils to my hair and scalp. A few days before I was due back on set I co-washed my hair (a nerve wrecking experience because when wet my hair was falling out so much) and applied a curl defining cream.
I scrunched like a mad woman because, as you can see in the pic above, from the roots my hair was straight AF.
To get volume (mainly for the show), which is usually so easy for me, I had to fluff and scrunch and basically have 4 day old hair. This is fucking unbelievable. Luckily I figured out a way to style it that covered up the straight parts, but still. My hair felt thin, was falling out, breaking easily, not curling and I was so not happy about it.
It’s been almost 3 weeks and I’ve finally washed my hair. I still have a lot of fall out but the curls are slowly coming back…just not fast enough. I realize that this journey will be a long one and will require a lot of patience. Looking in the mirror I see limp lifeless hair. Some parts are straight, some parts are semi-curly, and it seriously pisses me off.
Here’s the thing: I never liked my hair growing up. In fact, I hated it. Back then curly hair wasn’t “in” and there was very little knowledge about taking care of your natural hair. It took my years to learn how to love my hair, how to care for it, appreciate it, embrace it. So to go from a head of voluminous curls I passionately loved to what I have now, and NOT by choice, literally makes me cry. I’m not exaggerating. Sometimes looking in the mirror or seeing pics of my favorite #curlygirls on Insta makes me cry. Oh the struggle!
Right now it’s all about the weekly deep conditioning, oils, head massages, vitamins (Biotin), and soon protein hair masks courtesy of my aunt (I’m getting my first one this weekend!). And of course eating healthy. I think we forget how important diet is to our overall health and exterior appearance. Not that I wasn’t doing any of these things but I’m determined to be much more consistent now. Nursing my hair back to health, vibrancy, thickness, and growth is really important to me now. Here are some of the products I’ve been using:
I may never know for sure what that woman used on my hair. The only thing I do know is that the blow drier was definitely too high and that a lot of patience will be required as I transition my hair, because that’s what it feels like. Like I’m transitioning from years of chemically straightening my hair and massive heat damage. ARGGGGH! But you know what? I gladly take the lesson.
Let me know in the comments any recommendations for this disaster! I greatly appreciate it!