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Bye Bye Straighteners: Time to confront a lifelong battle... with curly hair

As part of the decluttering frenzy we are on to prepare for our trip, I donated my once highly treasured GHD hair straighteners. This was hard for me as they represent a formidable weapon in what has been a life long battle for me: my curly hair.  This blog-post is less about travel but more about the virtual journey we are on to declutter our lives.  So let me tell you about this foe I have been fighting for forty something years.

People who don't have curly hair say things like "you are so lucky", "I'd love to have hair like that". Really, you want this uncontrollable monster living on your head! It's the same reaction that I have, as a short person, when tall people say they can't find clothes to fit. My inside voice thinks of all the stats that show what social and business advantages tall people have, and I fight the urge to punch them in the face (or belly if we are standing up). However I am mostly polite, so my outside voice feigns concern of how terrible it must be to be tall.

For my whole adolescent and adult life I have fought my curly hair.  In the most recent years I have paid to have expensive salon straightening treatments. I've invested in the best flat irons money could buy, I have slaved with a paddle brush and a dryer.

As part of my journey to a less stressful existence I decided to take the plunge of going back to my natural curly state.  Of course the Internet is a great thing, when you start to look for ideas about how to take his step, you find a whole community of curly haired people who have been on the same journey as you.  I found The Curly Girl method by Lorraine Massey on Amazon, $3 on kindle, and read away.  I threw away all the non "curly girl approved" products that contained sulfates or silicones, and I had my last wash with shampoo.  The method is so simple and low maintenance.  No more straightening or hair torture.

Several months in, my hair isn't fully rehabilitated yet. Sometimes it's still too dry or too messy for my liking, but I have probably saved 30 minutes a day, and hundreds of dollars in straightening treatments, and I value having one less item in my beauty maintenance regime. And while sometimes my hair looks crazy and wild I also think that sometimes it has a personality that my flat-ironed locks never possessed.

So do I still sometimes wish I had that beautiful straight, shiny hair.  Hell yeah! But, just like I've learned to accept I am never going to grow another three inches, I've learned to embrace my curls.


  1. I hear ya sister! - we are just the short and curlies!

  2. I can't imagine giving up my hair tools! Although my hair is as flat as yours is curly. I can curl it and spray it for hours and it will still end up limp and flat. I need the 70s and flat straight hair to come back into style. :)

    At least you aren't having formaldehyde put in your hair anymore! That stuff worried me. Who knows, might cause brain cancer. har har. ;o)

  3. It makes me so happy to happen upon these types of blog posts! We're working on making a similar lifestyle change next year and this is exactly one of the things I worry about! Thanks for posting.

    1. Thanks Jaime. I know just because you hit the road doesn't mean you have to live like a hippy. Just some little adjustments are all that's needed. I can report that 8 months on my hair is still wonderfully curly. I have actually grown to love it.

    2. If you feel like sharing, I'd love to know which products are working for you!

    3. Sure. In my few years of experimentation I have found that what I wash my hair with is less important than the styling products. Shampoo (I use once a week) and conditioner I use to scalp-wash with in between are just Natures Gate sulfate free ones that you can get in Sprouts and Whole Foods. I use a heavier conditioner also. At the moment I am using the DevaCurl One Condition.

      The styling products I love are both from AG Cosmetics. Fast Food leave in conditioner - I use lots and lots of it, and Re:Coil which is more of a gel and I use it sparingly. I have put Amazon links to all of them below. Good luck.