'I’m a librarian in Austin, Texas. I began my wavy curly transition in May 2017. Up ‘til then I had been hating the texture of my hair, calling every wave “FRIZZ!” and attacking it constantly with heat tools, clarifying sulfate-riddled shampoos and dimethicone-laced stylers. Usually none of that worked, so I’d just pull my tortured locks up into ponytail with a tiny rubberband that I would yank out of my hair each morning as I recreated my ponytail, since clearly it didn’t look good enough to stay down. The last transgression against my hair I perpetrated was obviously color! After a botched box die in 2015 (is anyone surprised?), I endeavored to recreate my virgin hair with a few more years of color before I eventually found a stylist who created a decent balayage.
Strangely, even though I was committing all these crimes against my hair, I was utterly mystified as to why it wouldn’t grow out nearly as long as luxurious as it had always been when I was a kid? And WHY, WHY was I starting to get bald spots on my temples?!
So like the millennial I am, I sought answers for my hair woes on YouTube. Curly Penny taught me why sulfates and silicones were so terrible, India Batson encouraged me to embrace “the wavy curliness” of my texture, and Lana Summer’s exuberance for rice water and the inversion method fascinated me. These women (and many others) helped me realize how ignorant I was of proper haircare techniques and prompted me to make some drastic habit changes.
Fast forward a year, and I’m not perfect and neither are my waves, but I’m so much healthier and more content with my hair. I don’t use sulfates or silicones at all, I use heat sparingly (and only with protection), I never use terrycloth towels, I sleep on a silky pillowcase, I’m all about silk scrunchies, and I deep condition religiously at least once a week. These habit changes have enabled me to enjoy hair regrowth, an increase in volume and definition and a sense of pride in my natural (2Cish?!) texture.
In the photos below, the big one on the left is me at the beginning of the wavy transition, and the two to the right are further along! I feel like my hair is much healthier, more defined and voluminous on the right side :)'
Keep up to date on Emily's curly journey @emilyechols
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