Quest for the Curls: Part 2

I am in a rut. About a month and a half into my natural curl journey and I am experiencing the same feelings of frustration and distaste for my hair that I felt in the first two weeks. That old familiar feeling of being embarrassed about the frizziness of my mane is creeping back and I cannot help but stare longingly at  the smooth, sleek strands of my classmates as I sit in the classroom.

I suffered a slight setback during the middle of the month. I went home for Spring Break and had a few interviews to attend. Dressing up for an important interview means doing my hair as well and sadly, there were more days than not where my hair was scorched with some sort of hot tool. It was as if I was addict given another hit; by the end of the week I was craving that smooth, frizz-free feeling. I knew that I needed to get back to my experiment, but I did so begrudgingly. My hair felt frizzy, untamable, and out of control. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get back those loose curls I had obtained before the break began.

So, I decided to try something new. I took two hours to sit down and do my homework. I learned that my “curl type” is 2C, according to Naturally Curly. Com and I discovered the types of products worked best for my curls. I made my list, gave myself a budget, and set out on my experiment.

Unfortunately, the CVS closest to me does not have the most expansive hair care aisle, and I found myself very limited in my options. I decided to go with the L’Oreal Evercurl system; a shampoo, conditioner, and curl styling cream, all sulfate-free and deep hydrating.

I was super excited to wash my hair that night (we all know that feeling; just washing our hair is going to guarantee we feel better about ourselves) and told my friends I better have “goddess curls” after the money I spent on the products. I followed the steps exactly, including the styling cream, and went to sleep. In the morning, my hair was still slightly damp and definitely not as “goddess” like as I had hoped it would be. I chalked it up to my hair needing a few days to get used to the new products and vowed to continue using them.

The next day, I decided to shower in the morning, using all the products, and dry my hair with a diffuser. My hair definitely did not lack volume, although the curls were more wavy and less curly than I would have liked. I noticed that my ends seemed “crunchy” and weighed down by the styling cream. I got lots of comments on the length of my hair and the waves within it. I really like the shampoo and styling cream and felt my hair was not as “dried out” as it had seemed with the other products I was using. However, I was still disappointed in the lack of curliness to my hair and the weight my ends seemed to hold.

For the weekend, I decided I was going to wash my hair in the morning and let it air dry, without using the styling cream. I didn’t want to add any unnecessary product to my hair that would slow down the drying process and I didn’t want to make it heavier than it already was (although my hair is not thick, it is very long, which adds some weight). I was going to my boyfriend’s sister’s play that evening and, while seeing his family was usually an event I would make sure my hair was done up for, I decided they were going to have to embrace the natural WHATEVER my hair was to be that day. I showered, watched way too many episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, painted my nails, and did my makeup while my hair air dried. It was nice to just let it do its own thing and not have to worry about fitting in time to attack it with product and heat tools.

One of the issues I often have with my hair is the front pieces. They are slightly layered, falling shorter than the rest of my hair, and usually just dry in a limp, not really curly or wavy just kind of hanging there, type of way. My mom has been telling me for years to twist and clip up that part of my hair while I’m doing my makeup to “give it some lift” and I finally decided to listen to her. Not only was it handy to have the front of my hair out of the way while I was doing my makeup, but it actually did provide a little more lift and structure to my usually limp section. I ended up throwing some styling cream into my hair right before walking out the door, just as a way to cut down on the frizz. I made sure to avoid the ends and only apply the cream to the middle of my hair and sparsely on the roots. My hair still wasn’t the curly spirally look I was hoping to achieve, but it definitely held a more defined shape than it had in the past.

I know that I am going to have to use heat on my hair in the upcoming week, as I have some business professional events to attend. My hope is that, as I continue to use the L’Oreal EverCurl system, my hair will begin to adjust to its “natural” shape. If not, I am going to have to find a different hair care system and see if it works better. The quest for the curls continues!

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Lenten Lessons: Test More, Rest More, Accept More

Happy Lent! I know that might seem like a contradictory phrase, but I truly do look forward to the Lenten season every year. I feel it is a time to look deeply into our current lives, our relationships with God, and the sins we are committing. Recently, Christian and I were talking about the Lenten season. I asked him what he was giving up and he proceeded to tell me that he struggles with this time in the liturgical year. He feels that, if you want to give something up or work on your relationship with God, you should do it, regardless if it is Lent or not. I urged him to consider maybe committing to something rather than just “giving something up.” Yes, Lent is a time for us to reflect on our transgressions and consider the gravity of the decision Jesus made to give up his life in order to help us get to Heaven, However, the season could also be viewed as a time of commitment. Jesus COMMITTED to bringing us eternal life through his death. Therefore, committing to an act that will bring you closer to God in some way is just as powerful as giving something up.

This year, I am committing to three specific ideas; test more, rest more, and accept more. Test more refers to my diabetes care. I am not the best at remembering to check my blood sugar, and sometimes will go whole days only testing once or twice (don’t tell my endocrinologist. Or my mom.) I have trouble prioritizing my diabetes care because I view it as a burden. This is detrimental to my health, as well as my relationship with God. I know that there is a reason God have me this cross to bear six years ago. And I know that I need to continue to take the best care of my body and my diabetes in order to live the life God has planned for me. Therefore, I am committing myself to testing more regularly and taking an overall better interest in my diabetes.

Rest more is my second Lenten mission. I don’t necessarily mean take more naps, although that is never a bad idea! Rest more, to me, means taking more time to intentionally pause. Whether that is eating a meal in silence and taking the time to reflect (rather than scrolling through social media while I absentmindedly chow on my food like I usually do) or taking the time to put down the screens and just breathe at the end of the night, the purpose is to be purposefully still. I am usually going a million miles a minute and sometimes I just get burnt out. I need to make sure I am taking the time to rest and recharge and check in with myself every day. This is why I am committing to resting more this Lenten season.

Finally, my third mission is to accept more. I know  that I myself am guilty of judging someone before I know their full story. In today’s world, with social media allowing people to project different versions of themselves, it is easy to make snap judgments. I hate when I am the one that is judged and, knowing that I do that to others makes me feel terrible. Life is hard enough without us out there judging each other for the way we choose to live it. therefore, I am committing to accepting more and judging less.

I’ll be posting updates periodically on my Lenten mission and what I have experienced and learned from it. Happy Lent!