View Full Version : Newbie Fighting the Battle of the Curl

December 18th, 2014, 12:20 PM
Hi, I just joined this forum a week or so ago. I've been lurking a lot and have already been trying to implement some things, but I had a question so I thought it would be a good time to outright introduce myself. My hair is probably somewhere around 3a/3b and naturally dirty blonde. I've always hated my natural hair, though, so I dye and straighten regularly. In the past, I used to bleach my hair so that I could use unnatural hair colors on it, but I got a job where I wasn't allowed to use those colors anymore, and the bleach broke my hair off to around shoulder-length. That really upset me, so I stopped with the bleach altogether. Now, I dye it red and straighten it sometimes (chemically straightened twice and use the flat iron now that the last chemical straightening has worn off). It took about two years, but I finally got it back down to BSL. This past year, though, I've noticed hardly any growth at all. It may be that the growth is less noticeable now that the overall hair is longer and therefore overall length is increasing by smaller percentages, but I find it more likely that my net growth has just flatlined now that I'm at BSL. After all, my hair never got much further than BSL, even back before I'd ever touched it with heat or dye.

Worried that I'd reached my terminal length, I did some googling and came across LHC. I read up a little on what all can cause breakage, and I think what's been doing me in all my life is mechanical damage. My hair mats up really fast when I don't straighten it; brushing it every morning is basically akin to ripping out little mini-dreadlocks, which I know can't be good for it. After reading some stuff about mechanical damage on LHC, I decided to buy a wide-tooth comb, stop using my brush (one of those ones with the plastic bristles with the knobs on the end that are apparently horrible), and keep my hair straightened pretty much constantly for a little while (I can't even use a comb on it at all if it isn't). I was pretty happy with that, since I don't like my curls much anyway, and I found that I was getting away with finger-combing and wide-tooth combing daily without having to worry about those dreaded mats. However, I wasn't exactly confident that applying heat damage every 2-3 days would be any better for my hair than ripping away at it every day had been.

Last night, I did a little more research and decided to try a doobie wrap. I did my usual wash routine (L'oreal Ever Sleek sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner), combed it out while it was wet and pinned it up. Since I've only ever used bobby pins once before (for a Halloween costume), I could only scrounge up about 12, so the wrap wasn't as neatly secured as it should have been, but I was still impressed with the results this morning. It wasn't pin straight like I love, but it was definitely way more wavy than curly, and I'm sure it'll turn out straighter when I have more pins. It was also unbelievably soft (I guess the moisture from the wet hair couldn't escape the wrap very well?). The biggest problem I had aesthetically was that, while the hairs were straighter individually, I still had all the volume and frizz of my curly hair. I really love the smooth, flat look that my straightening iron gives me, and I think I'd be happy with the waves if I could get them that smooth. I put in a pump of the L'oreal Ever Sleek leave-in cream and a dab of argon oil, which helped a little, and another dab of argon oil when I got home from work, but it was still way too fluffy for my tastes. I think next time I'm going to try applying leave-in cream before pinning, but I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions for other ways to change this routine that would help keep the fluffiness at bay.