Thursday, June 17, 2010

My First Plop

I've discovered a new hobby in the last few days- my hair. As with most of my new interests, it was sparked by an off-topic discussion on Ravelry, this time about curly hair.

For the first 32 years of my life I had smooth, straight hair with just a bit of wave. And then all this health crap came along, which I won't get into (again) except to say that in fall of 2007 I started losing hair. Eventually quite a bit of hair. When it grew back it was... weird. Not smooth. Frizzy. Snarly. It looked bad enough when I tried to wash and go, but it's true, horrible form came out whenever I tried to spend a little extra time on it to make it look nice. Horrible. I spent a good 6 months or so wandering around looking like Don King.

Finally, a friend took pity on me and directed me to her hairstylist. Imagine my shock when she looked over the disaster on my head and said, "You know you have curly hair, right?" Er, no actually. When did that happen? Apparently it's not unusual for hair that has fallen out due to medical treatments to come back a different color or texture. (I also got a liberal salting of gray hair at the same time. Yay.) So she cut and colored and styled and basically messed with my mess for about 4 hours. And when she was done... crap, she was right! I had curly hair!

That's all me, no curling iron required. And it only got curlier as my hair adjusted to being allowed to do it's own thing. I don't know how I could have missed it. More evidence that we don't ever really see ourselves until someone or something makes us see.

Unfortunately, I haven't liked any of her cuts as much as that first one, and at $200 a pop for cut and color, I'm just can't afford to keep going. So what to do? Well, there's a solution for everything else on Rav, I should have trusted that Rav would have a solution for this, too. Did you know there's a whole world of information and techniques to make curly hair behave better? It's amazing.

This blog post is a great starting point for the Curly Girl method, or going "CG": I've already cut the sulfate and silicone out of my hair care routine, and now I'm starting to experiment with styling. I have no energy for a big styling regime. Just the cowash takes more time than my old shampoo and condition routine, which means sore arms and back by the time I'm finished. So anything that requires a lot of blow drying, rollers or a curling iron, or much in the way of general fussing is right out. Fortunately, air drying appears to be the preferred method, along with something charmingly called "plopping". This is a good video on plopping:

And here I am, plopped on the couch, plopping for the first time. Wish me luck!

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