The reality with sharing your thoughts and plans online is pretty phenomenal. The truth is even the best of plans change. Recently I attended a beautiful baby shower for a good friend of mine and her husband. While sitting at the table with a few friends one asked about my hair. “Is that a braid out?”
Braid Out or Wash and Go
I had set myself up. No my hair wasn’t a braid out. It was a forbidden super curly wash and go which I had sworn never to attempt again after struggling with so many single strand knots and writing about it here and here. Another friend chimed in “I thought you weren’t doing wash and gos any more!” I was called out since both friends read my blog.
So there you have it, my wishy washy hair plans. My determination and frustration dealing with single strand knots had gotten the best of me and limited me to one hair style. What I needed at the time was to better understand why I was all of a sudden dealing with so many single strand knots. I was not having any problems with them earlier this year.
“I Whip My Hair Back and Forth”
I’ve been to more than a few sweaty sweaty summer dance auditions where my hair did not frizz or get crazy on me because of my wash and go curly style. I know that no matter how much shea butter is applied, my hair would not behave as well with a braid out while dancing although perfect for a normal day. Most are not concerned about how their hair moves for a job interview or gig. As ridiculous as that may sound, that is an aspect of my world as a professional dancer doing commercial dance work.
How I Dealt with Single Strand Knots
One of the best things that I did for my hair recently was give it a good trim and shaping. I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was in middle school. I am extremely comfortable with a pair of hair scissors. I cut about 1-2 inches off this past February to reshape my hair curl by curl which I learned reading the 2nd Edition of Curly Girl, The Method by Lorraine Massey. I’ve heard Lorraine Massey also refer to cutting curly hair similar to how one would cut a bonsai tree. Curly hair should always be cut dry and cut with each individual curl in mind. I’ve noticed that my hair falls completely different since cutting my hair with this method.
(The photo above was taken April 8, 2012, two months after I initially cut and shaped my hair in February. I had cut bangs the year prior, so this cut was intended to blend out the front of my hair and clean up the layers. I wasn’t in love with the initial cut, yet I knew it would grow out well.)
This past week I cut about another inch or two off the longest back layer to reshape my hair again. I then cut a tiny tiny bit off of each curl for an all over trim to refresh my ends. I usually take a few days to perfect the shape whenever a curl I missed pops out of the bunch.
(This photo was taken July 31, 2012. Cutting off the longest layer evened out the back especially now that the sides of my hair are a bit longer.)
Since the cut my hair has been acting quite nicely. My problem with single strand knots was just a sign that I needed to trim my hair. Sometimes it is simply what you are doing or not doing to your hair that needs reevaluation.
I love braid outs and I love wash and gos. I’m still using the same products and still doing the same hair care methods. My hair has truly thrived using a mix of the Curly Girl Method and the Tightly Curly Method. Nothing has really changed, and if it does I’ll simply update my beauty regimen. As for natural hair stylers, flax seed gel is still the best thing for curly wash and go styles while shea butter sets my braid outs like no other. Of course I’m still in love with monthly/bi-monthly henna treatments and will most likely be trimming my hair much more often.
(Image by Dawn Michelle)