Welcome to Week 3!
Step #15: Water is the Replacement for Product
There is one little known fact that is missing from the equation when it comes to curly hair: WATER IS THE REPALCEMENT FOR PRODUCT.
Don’t roll your eyes at me. 🙄 I’m serious, it works!
When you are leaving the conventional world of hair care and start stepping into your consciousness, water that will give you the hair of your dreams, not products.
I PROMISE YOU.
I know you’re probably thinking something along the lines of “my hair looks like crap without products” but hear me out:
Real products won’t do jack without water because real products are designed to help water work it’s magic.
For example: conditioners.
They bond to water on one end, and are attracted to clean hair on the other. They break surface tension and help water nourish and hydrate the hair from within.
Or cleansers. They remove a layer of what I like to call “Life” – meaning product, hard water, air pollution, dirt, etc., from the hair so that there’s enough space for water to even enter. Without space, no magic can be done.
Great styling products are used to help the hair trap and hold water, and then seal the outer layer of the hair down around it to create a smooth surface.
And hair that stays hydrated longer. Without water all you’ve got is some product on top of dehydrated hair.
Which used to work, don’t get me wrong. With the old stuff coating your hair and hiding its dehydration was the name of the game
But that’s all changing now. Are you? Is you intention??
That’s the question.
Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments of today’s post.
Step #16: Let Me Introduce You To Your new BFF
I’d like to introduce you to your new best friend: your conditioner.
As a curly girl, conditioner is everything we want out of a hair product.
It instantly improves hand feel making hair softer and smoother to the touch. I don’t care what kind of conditioner you have, your new goal is to start using it like you love it.
Fake it till you make it.
Conditioner works by creating an acidic environment which contracts the cuticle of the hair and helps it lay flat. This, combined with the slip that conditioner provides, makes the process of detangling so much easier and allows you to get through knots and tangles without causing breakage.
It bonds to water on one end and is attracted to clean hair on the other – meaning that it literally pulls water into the hair shaft.
I’m telling you. That’s a curly girls dream right there.
If that’s not enough, condition also creates slip and smoothness on the hair, which stops it from ruffling up and causing friction and therefore more frizz and more damage to itself.
It’s got all the things.
This week your homework is simple: fall in love with your conditioner. Use it more deeply than you have ever before.
Rake it until your hair is fully detangled from root to end while upside down. Then bring it all over your right shoulder, creating a brand new angle from the roots, and detangle it again.
Repeat on the left side.
Focus on the areas that are tangling or appear to be drying out quickly. Work them smooth with raking, clawing and gliding. The idea is to encourage the hydration of the hair shaft while causing the least amount of damage.
Really work that conditioner in deeply.
Add a tad more water and scrunch, not randomly but with intention. Choose a specific location on the hair that needs more hydration and really press and squeeze it in deeply. Raking and gliding and then scrunching and pulsing, again.
On days when your hair still feels coarse, you can rinse out the conditioner, and do it all over again.My hair loves these kinds of Double Conditions, especially close to or on wash/clarification days!
Some people love to use a bowl to catch the milky white conditioner filled water so they can continue to work, press and squeeze it into the hair.
Here’s the thing: 🙏 I genuinely believe that if your shower doesn’t look like a conditioner murder scene then your aren’t doing it right!
Exhibit A below.
I like to use conditioner with strategies like double conditioning, condition plopping or the bowl method on wash day and in the the days right after because that is when my hair is thirstiest.
Cleanser makes space in the hair for water. Conditioning deeply is you taking advantage of that moment to discover a deeper level of softening.
Just remember – you don’t have to have a deep conditioner to condition deeply.
Use your hands. Move with intention.
Create the wettest, clumpiest curls your can muster and post them below.
(not all clumps will look like mine. The point isn’t to make your hair look like mine – it’s to make your curls look and feel as wet and smooth and clumpy as YOUR hair can be ❤ )
LOVE YOU! Happy Tuesday!
Xoxo – Lo
Step #17: Clumps of Curly Love!
Every single time I get my hair wet my goal is the same: make curl clumps.
In my mind – chunks are the visual representation of hydration and hydration is everything when it comes to your curls.
I start forming them right from the beginning of my shower regardless of if I am washing, co-washing or wet refreshing.
It’s like setting my finger on the pulse of my curls.
I can gauge the hydration level, build-up and lightness of my hair while also getting my hands on each strand and noticing what I feel while I form them.
I make decisions based on what I am seeing and feeling in those moments.
If I feel more coarseness and dryness but seems to be softening a bit with water, I’ll work with conditioner to see what happens. If my hair softens and clumps up, I am good to go.
If my hair doesn’t. if it feels more stiff, heavy, frizzy. tacky and coarse than I am used to, despite the conditioner, and in general feels more like my hair does when I pushed out my wash day in the test we did last week – I usually cleanse or co-wash.
If you have ever felt struggle when trying to work your curls into clumps, remember this:
While clumping is the vibe, comparing your hair to me or anyone else in this world is totally not.
Getting your hair the clump-iest YOU have ever see it, is the vibe. Your goal isn’t to have the clumpiest hair in the world, just curl clumps relative to when your hair isn’t clumping at all.
The day you start comparing your hair to what it used to be and what you have seen it do in the past, rather than to what you’ve seen on the internet, is the day you start making true progress.
That’s a fact.
As you are, discovering your hair truth do not forget that your hair is not mine. Your clumps are not mine. They never will be.
Even if we all washed, cleansed, conditioned and styled our hair the same. If we used the exact same process and all the same products, lived in the same places, and did all the same things, our hair would not look identical.
That’s the beauty of this.
Use raking, roping, gliding and scrunching motions in a repetitive sequence with LOTS of water to encourage your curls into the smoothest and clumpiest version of themselves that you can muster.
You may find that your hair is more dense or coily. That your hair forms smaller and curlier clumps than mine does. They’re not wrong, their perfect. Make note of them.
As you stay curious, you’ll notice you can create clumps of all shapes and sizes, and if your conscious over time you’ll learn what you like best.
You’ll fall into rhythm.
I want you to find the silky, beautiful softness that is YOUR HAIR, and be comfortable as this look and hand feel changes over time. Your hair healing.
Compare your curl clumps to the ones you got yesterday, last week and last month. Make note of the progress. Take photos. Make posts. Write journals.
THIS JOURNEY IS YOURS.
Do what feels good. Period.
I love you.
Xoxo – Lo
Step #18: Healthy Hair Has No Type
If I could give you one piece of advice it would be this:
Stop trying to make your hair fit into someone else’s box.
Here’s the thing – People in the curly hair world love boxes. They want to put you into one based on your hairs thickness, how many individual strands you have, how much your hair curls, and what phase the moon is in.
But, you don’t have to actually get into the box if you don’t want to.
One thing I can absolutely promise is that just because your hair is considered Wavy, or Curly or Coily does not mean it is the same as everyone else with that same curl pattern.
There is SO much more at play.
Like how easy it is for your hair to take on water. That’s important, and ranges WILDLY in each of the above categories.
For girls like you and me who just want to style and love on our hair, it seriously doesn’t matter.
I repeat: YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW WHAT CURL TYPE TO HAVE SUCCESS HERE.
I’m not saying that all the 2A, 4B, 36C stuff was designed to distract you, but usually that’s the only result I’ve ever seen from it. 🤷🏻♀️
And to be honest – your curl type should be changing anyway.
I mean, if the entire point isn’t to get curlier hair, I’m not exactly sure what it is.
Here is what does matter:
- getting personal with your curls
- starting to learn what build-up feels like
- knowing the highest level of softness your hair can achieve and striving for that
- realizing that what worked yesterday might not work today.
- trusting your instinct
- experimenting and tracking what works
- being flexible with your routine
- being willing to switch up the process and the product based on what you’re FEELING.
Your beautiful uniqueness doesn’t fit into a chart, my love.
And that’s perfect. You’re perfect.
Xoxo – Lo
Step #19: Seeing Saturation
I have a little homework assignment for you.
Wait, don’t leave.
I swear it’s a fun homework assignment, and it will help you make some immediate progress with your curls, so I promise it’s worth it!
I want you to show you what full and complete saturation of the hair looks like.
What FULL hair looks like.
In the video below I have already fully detangled, saturated and conditioned my hair. After doing all that I put it up in a Condition Plop and finished my other showerly tasks.
When I was done being a muggle, I went back to my hair, adding water to the whorl after I took it down and flipped upside down to reactivate the conditioner and give it some slip.
Then I started working it through, that’s when I started this video.
Watch as I finish my condition and get my hair nice a full of water by working conditioner (an sometimes my first layer of styling products like a curl cream – I call that layer my Filler) deeply into my hair until there is a milky whiteness to each of my curl clumps.
That’s the money sauce right there. You can see some of it coming out of my hair when I an scrunching it in.
When you see that, you know you are ready to lock it all in and start freezing your curls in place.
The next time you get in the shower I want you to go for this same milky whiteness. Try to recreate it the very best that you can.
Then make a post right here in this group and tell us how it went. Bonus points for photos.
I cant wait to see!
Xoxo – Lo
Step #20: The Assy Side
Anyone else here ready to just tie back the top layer of their curls for the rest of eternity?
My top layer is a BEAST.
It dries out SO FAST, always feels more coarse and less clumpy compared to the rest of my hair.
I totally hear you.
To be honest it’s a struggle that will never end because our top layer is exposed to so much.
Sun and heat and cold and wind and hats and pillowcases and hot water and pressurized water and dyeing and evaporation and brushing and being touched and humidity and dry air and kids and whatever else…
All of this causes damage and it’s all on the top layer.
So today, I want you to think about this section of hair just a little bit differently.
They’re not the rebel curls or the assy side, or whatever else you want to call them.
They’re the curls that have had a rough-as-hell day, the hair that needs some extra love.
They’re the curls holding it all together, the mama duck of the group, protecting all the rest.
The under layers would look like the top layer, were the top layer not there to protect them.
So next time you shower, next time you approach them, approach them with love and kindness and understanding.
Give them an extra drink or an extra pump of conditioner to smooth them over.
An extra scrunch or two for good measure.
These are the curls that are working hardest for us, it’s time we worked a little harder for them.
You know what I mean?
Step #21: This ishhhhhhh takes time!
Here’s how it doesn’t happen: you embrace your natural curls for the first time ever, sign-up for a 30 day challenge and have luscious, bouncy, frizz free curls from that day forward.
Sorry to break it to you.
The ragged and rough to smooth and sleek transformations we see in magazines, the celebrity hair styles that change time-after-time on a whim with no issue – They’re not real! They’re plastic.
On this journey we are doing something different.
We are embracing what is natural and beautiful about ourselves and our hair and one thing I can tell you for certain about self love and acceptance is that shit takes time.
It takes patience. It takes commitment.
It takes a true hearts desire and relentless spirit to carry you through the rough times. A calming patience and inspired curiosity to push you through the road blocks.
My question is, are you ready for that?
Because there are going to be dozens of days on this journey where it feels like you are taking one step forward, and then three steps back.
(Something to look forward to: I still feel this way sometimes, even 10 years later. Not kidding.)
You are healing. Your hair is healing.
When you shift your from a fighter and a fixer, to an observer and a supporter you start see from outside of the tunnel.
The third eyes view.
Consistency is coming. Curls that last all day, all week… they’re just around the corner.
The progress you have made so far with the few practical steps we have integrated in this challenge is more than you are giving yourself credit for.
I know that for certain.
So, stop what you’re doing right now and find two photos:
of a good hair day when you started taking care of your curls.
the other one of what a good hair day looks like now and post them.
What do you see when you really look at it?
Post them both in the comments of todays post and let’s chat.
Xoxo – Lo
p.s. We are over half way through this challenge and have so much more to cover!
So far we’ve spent a lot of time on setting the foundation and mindset – which are by far the most important pieces of the puzzle.
But, get ready! – moving forward we are going deep into styling strategy and it’s going to be alllll about playing with timing and product which makes this all SO MUCH MORE fun!