Barb's Hair Journey


Bobi Curls Blog Feature Interview

 
CORKICELLI, 3A/B
 
 
MEET BARB...

I'm a divorced mom of 3 kids (boy 18, boy 21, girl 23).  I've been on my own with my kids for 12 years.  I work two jobs, one as a pharmacy dispensary assistant and the other as bookkeeper/secretary at my church.  I am 50, but do not feel it at all.  I am very busy, too tired most of the time, but have a good life with a nice little house, dog, cat, rabbit, and a garden. My 3 great kids live home with me, two in college, and my eldest just graduated from university.  I have become very interested in hair the last several years, and would love to be able to go back to school and become a hair stylist if finances would allow it.

HAIR JOURNEY...
Such a long winding road to summarize, lol.  I didn't know my hair was curly until I was 14 when a hairdresser told me I just needed to have it cut in long layers, stop brushing it, and use mousse, and it would be curly instead of thick and unmanageable. I have worn it curly ever since. Styling techniques and products have changed a great deal over the years, but I've always loved my curls. By chance I came upon The Curly Girl Handbook a little over 2 years ago.  I bought it without even looking it over first, I felt it was a sign.  I read it right away and started using the curly girl method a couple days later.  What a life changing book! I have been co-washing ever since, with only very occasional use of shampoo, and use only silicone free, sulfate free products, always looking for more moisturizing, healthy, and curl enhancing products. Finding various websites, facebook sites, and blogs on curly hair has taught me huge amounts, and I keep learning.  Especially youtube videos have helped me learn how to handle and style my hair – such as how to use clips, and get improved volume and definition.  I've also been growing it for over 3 years now, with only a few trims (one at a Devasalon and a few by myself, for shaping and ends).  It is a very slow process.  I have also coloured it myself for almost 3 years now, and have even learned to do my own highlights. 
 
I always try to be open to anyone with questions about how I get my hair like this.  I always make an effort to compliment others curls, and encourage them and offer suggestions whenever asked, and at least recommend them to google the curly girl method. Online, I try to always take the time to offer my experience when others are looking for suggestions or help managing their curls.  It has been a long road learning about my hair, and products, so I hope I can speed up the process for someone else.

 

 
HAIR REGIMEN...

Twice a week I co-wash with Tresemme Naturals conditioner, de-tangle with fingers, then wide tooth comb in shower, rinse out, and I have recently started using Lóreal Eversleek leave in conditioner (so far so good!).  I apply a liberal amount while hair is dripping wet in shower. Then apply a good palm full amount of Tresemme Bouncy Curls gel while hair is still dripping wet.  I use the technique recommended at the Deva salon as exactly as I can, as it give amazing definition and my curls spiral nicely with this method, although volume is less first day, it is more defined, and it is better for repeat days.  So after gently scrunching in the gel with head tipped down, I use a t-shirt or flannel blanket to scrunch each section for 10 seconds, usually I do this twice to speed up drying, again while head tipped down.  Then I flip my hair back, and try not to manipulate it much, but apply metal clips strategically to give volume on top.  I also use a few medium small butterfly clips to help with this process.  After that I air dry for hopefully an hour while I get ready, then I use the hair dryer on the underneath to speed up drying, and then leave to finish air drying, or if I need it to dry quickly will use a diffuser after air drying 15-30 minutes, otherwise it takes almost 6 hours to completely dry on it's own.  Once completely dry I tip my hair over and scrunch out the crunch, and tousle a bit for volume and loosen the curls.  I do this a few times over the first day.  It comes out shiny and defined every time. 

I pineapple at night, and in the mornings let it down, wait about 10 minutes for it to settle, then tip my head over and mist a bit with water, put a pea size amount of Tresemme Naturals conditioner on the palm of my hand and rub in with some water, and scrunch into my misted hair. Flip it back, touch up any individual frizzy or misshapen curls with wet hands, and let dry.  Once dry, tip over and scrunch again and fluff it up a bit, and that's it for repeat day hair.  I do take several drops of coconut oil and rub in my hands, and then scrunch into my ends then smooth over surface of hair, most afternoons for extra moisture, shine and frizz control as well.  I try to deep condition overnight at least once a month, although I know I should do it more.  I do this by misting my hair till damp, and applying a mixture (changes all the time)  of various oils, conditioners, etc, then braiding my hair, pinning up, and covering with plastic cap and sleeping in it. Sometimes I need to use a bit of sulfate free shampoo to wash this out next day.  I also use Wild Hair Grown Oil when I think of it while deep conditioning. 


It turns out my hair is protein sensitive.  After using natural conditioner and gel for over a year, my hair which initially had improved quickly with the curly girl method, started to dry out and feel more and more brittle and frizzy and dull.  It peaked after I used a different hair dye brand from my usual .  I was really scared.  It had been doing so well, and it was just horrible.  Dry, brittle feeling, crunchy, dull and my curl had reduced noticeably!  So I started searching for causes and solutions and figured out it was probably the keratin/protein, and took steps to eliminate protein and really worked on moisturizing, with lots of overnight deep conditioning using mixes of conditioner and oils. I started using Tresemme Naturals Moisturizing conditioner after reading the review for this on your blog, and it is still my favourite co wash and for touch ups!  I love it and my hair loves it.  After a couple months all seemed okay again, and now I am careful to watch for early signs of problems.  If I use a product with protein as I have a couple times, just to try, after 2-4 uses, the dry brittle dullness starts to come back.  So I know I must avoid protein. If this happens, and I act quickly with a deep conditioning and an apple cider vinegar rinse, it goes back to normal.  But it has been a great challenge trying to find good products where I live, that are protein free and natural.  Most of the best natural hair products are not in Ontario, Canada, unfortunately. Pretty much all the Deva products contain protein, and my hair reacts even to the Sheamoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie even though for just 1 use, it is great!  

FAVORITE PRODUCTS...
1. Tresemme Naturals Moisturizing conditioner is my most important staple, as it never hurts my hair, and makes it happy.  It isn't enough moisture on it's own, nor is it enough for curl definition on it's own (although not too bad!), but I love it for co-wash and touch ups!

2-3. Coconut oil and Jojoba oil - love them for adding extra moisture during the day, adding shine and softness and for frizz, detangling in the mornings if needed, as well as in deep conditioning mixtures.

4. Tresemme Bouncy Curls gel - so far it's the gel that agrees best with my hair and gives it great shine and definition while keeping it soft and bouncy.  I will keep trying new ones, to hopefully find one more natural, but so far all the more natural ones have not done well with my hair.  And I only use gel twice a week after co washing, not in between.

5. Recently started using L’oreal Eversleek conditioner in shower after co-washing with Tresemme, and Eversleek leave in conditioner after, and love it so far! 

* I hope to try Yes to Carrots soon, and Coily Head Chick Ultimate Treat leave in, when I can get some (it’s in the US, not in Canada).

CHALLENGES... 
I rarely wear it straight as it takes almost 2 hours to do, and the curls are constantly trying to come back with any moisture in the air so it's too much of a fight, plus I really prefer my hair curly and think it looks better on me, makes me look younger, and makes my nose look smaller lol.  There will always be the odd person who likes it straightened but for me, most people prefer it curly. I  hate the thought of damaging it with a straightening iron. I would love to see how long it is straight though!

It has been a challenge learning about it, how to properly care for it, handle it, and style it, and find products that work well and agree with my hair! It has taken me most of my life to learn this, and still learning. But with so many curly sites online now, and with youtube for visual demonstrations, it is so much easier now.  Before the curly girl method probably the hardest thing was having to wet it down every single day and having no way to fix it up part way through the day or if going out at night.  But now with the CG method and pineappling it easily goes 3-5 days and I have so many techniques I can use.  It does take a very long time to do my hair on wash day, but in between it's very quick. It is both good and bad how it changes with the weather J.

The coolest thing is how the dry length varies from day to day, even hour to hour, by as much as 2 inches, and how easily you can do updos as it just takes a few clips to hold it in place, nothing fancy and hardly any effort.  And the shrinkage/spring factor is very cool - how it stretches so much longer then it appears and bounces right back. How it spontaneously dries into various curls, waves, spirals and ringlets with no help from me.  It's funny how many people think you actually have to form each curl yourself!  


 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. She has such pretty curls! :)

    By the way, I sent you a dm on twitter some days ago about something we talked about months ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Samantha! sorry, I didn't see these comments until now .. I'm not very pro at blogs lol
      Barb

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  2. I love the colors on the ends of Barb's hair, especially!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, me too :-) .. I love the way the ombre highlights accent the curls

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