I love a good blowout, but I must always return to my beach babe roots around this time of year as humidity builds. Nothing extinguishes a good hair day faster than a dip below ground to ride the subway, even when it’s only 70 outside. It's truly an exercise in futility to attempt to wear smooth, lingerie-model waves when the stale, fish-scented wind isn’t powerful enough to evaporate the beads of sweat off your brow.
It is for this reason I have decided to take a little pledge: 90 days of 99% curls, aka The Curly Summer.
My hope is that less blow-drying will allow my hair to be a bit healthier. It takes a few washes for my hair to truly settle back into it’s tightest curls. After a few weeks, it then even has a hard time going smooth! I’ll be giving myself three blowouts total this summer, once per month, but generally speaking, it will be all curls from here.
In preparation, I will be putting my clip-in extensions aside for a time, and prepping some fabulous new Indique hair with color for my summer look: Lady Godiva meets Lily Aldridge. I used balayage to add blonde up into the brown wefted hair. I'm using 18 inches of wavy virgin hair from India, from Indique’s Pure Wavy collection. Basically, it's the cream of the crop when it comes to faux hair; I have hair pieces that are nearing their first anniversary and are still in perfect condition. One hair piece even survived a swim in a pee-filled toilet, when my roommate’s cats were angry at me for sleeping through their feeding time—those jerks. This stuff is the real deal.
To prep the Pure Wavy hair for a sew-in installation, I top coated the ombré blonde portion with Joico Color Intensity in Yellow; its super-bright finish matches what I have going on in my own hair. I love this part—getting the hair to match is really tricky when you are starting with espresso-brown virgin hair. It takes a few color balances and two rounds of highlighting to get it where it needs to be, and once I’ve nailed it, the feeling of accomplishment is immense and the excitement mounts.
I took a quick ride to Downtown Brooklyn to see about some braids at one of the many braiding salons in the area. At Bo Fanta African Hair Braiding, where I went, it was only 10 bucks per track. Three braids and 45 minutes later, I have a secure and semi-permanent full head of curls! I find braiding salons to be the fastest and most affordable option for a sew-in weave if you don’t have a handy friend with good braiding skills. The braids last three to six weeks, depending on your hair type, and you can get a few or do your whole head. Just find a place that takes appointments; many are first come, first served, and braiding styles on a whole head can take a long time.
I will continue all of my scalp treatments at this time, as well as massaging the scalp regularly and taking my vitamins and supplements, but it will really be interesting to see if skipping blowouts will help my hair look longer at the end of this 90-day period (95 if you count the week before I decided it would be all of June, July, and August).
I will likely still be diffusing my hair from time to time, and probably touching up my curls with a teeny tiny curling iron if I have to, but for the most part it will be air drying, braids and Bantu knots for me!
Would any of you like to join me on this journey? I’ll be tracking things with the hashtag #90daysofcurls if any of you want to participate! I think it will be an awesome way to embrace and explore my natural hair texture while hopefully giving it a break from my constant cycle of blow-dry styling. It will also be fun to use some of my favorite hair product cocktails to keep the curls soft, shiny and bouncy.
- Anyone game for a 90-day challenge? You get three blowout passes!
- Who else dabbles in both curly and smooth with ease?
- What products should I try now that I’m going steady with my waves?