Help! I have no idea what I am doing!

IamDoveIamDove Registered Users Posts: 3
OK so before I get to the question you need a little backstory: (warning: long finding-my-hair story with some humor)

I am 14 and struggling with my hair. Growing up I was the oldest and only one out of four kids with curly hair that I got from my mom. The only sibling that even comes close is my next sister who has these extremely loose natural waves, which she fluctuates from straightening out and wearing them naturally. She and my other sisters doesn't understand my hair (question I got one time: "Why don't you get your hair like mine?" From my nine year old glossy and perfectly straight haired sister.)

I never had anyone with curly hair in my life. My mom straightened her hair everyday (still does, I'm on the road to convincing her that her curls are beautiful and she should let them come back. 4% there) and my dad's entirely family was straight except for one red haired aunt I barely see who I am told is curly too. My mother is an immigrant and all her family is in Peru, and I barely see them. I had no curly role models, living the first years of my life in an area and school dominated by straight haired kids having no opportunity for curly peers.

I went through my entire life up until 6th grade (about two-three years ago) thinking my hair was horrible and ugly's the kicker...WAVY. I never knew curls were a possibility for me.

See, I had always brushed my hair when it was dry and out of the shower, meaning I became Mufasa every single day. When my mom did my hair when I was younger I had gotten my hair cut into a bob and somehow my hair became so "shocked" when that happened it just....straightened out to my younger sisters waves. (I thought my hair was curly when I was little but had to get cut off, like a baby's first haircut you know?) As my hair got longer and I did dry brushing I thought my hair was ugly and horrible. During this time I was going through an ugly-fat phase and thought that all of this was just how it was, so I kept my hair tied up in a monstrosity of a ponytail and believed: my hair is ugly and wavy.

Flash forward: fifth grade. My parents divorce and I begin to get a healthier body image. We move to a different area. Here the population was mostly African American and many of them had kinky hair and tight curls when it wasn't relaxed or braided or (weaved? don't know the term, too afraid to ask my friends) I remember feeling awkward as one of three white kids in the class.

I got over my awkwardness and gained an entire African american friend group with tight curls. One day they were talking about their hair and started talking about my hair. My best new friend just came out straight up and asked why do I brush out my curls.

I had no idea. I didn't even think white people GOT curls. (I'm half white half Hispanic, so I thought it was a no for me)

I ran home from the bus, waited for mom to come home and asked her if I had curls. She looked at me crazy. "Of course you do!" She brought out pictures of herself and I saw them. She's was a little curlier than the girl in the 3b photo they have on the site.

I went back to school and began looking at all my friend's hair and became envious. I wanted (unrealistically) those pretty tight curls they had, that pretty voluminous hair they had without trying (I thought).

I get to seventh grade and finally I take the leap by typing into google: i have curly hair.

This was the first site that popped up. Has helped me a lot.

Little me who blundered with my hair learned that no, I probably would never have that pretty 'fro, but I could embrace what I already could have. My mom pointed out 3b was the closest to me. My journey began with me brushing my hair wet and letting it dry at school. Waves appeared, but no curls. I don't even know if this was the reason, but people told me because I had worn my hair in a ponytail for half my life I had stretched my hair out (????)

After a long tail and many nights of me thinking, "This is stupid, I have waves", one day during mid exams I was done early and began playing with my hair. I pulled my hair a little and found one of what i like to call the "back-hairs" I could never see and look at it. I found my first beginning curl. I was ecstatic.

Eventually and slowly the curls crept up my hair forming longer and longer, perfect rings I could stick my finger through and see it disappear. Eventually it grew to about the length of a finger in curl length, but only the ends compared t the rest of my hair which was long, past boob length.

I had gotten stuck at that point and my mom had told me my hair was too long and it was preventing more curl. She said it was too much pull from the scalp. (????)

During this time I realized the ends of my hair was damaged, and I mean DESTROYED. I went to the hair cutting ladies (third time in my life) and she told me me dying my hair had fried it (i will only ever dye my hair once again in my life, and that will probably to get my whole head back to it's natural shade). I had realized at this point unless I was going to blow my (little) cash on products which I had never thought of using, my hair was unable to be saved. She avoided cutting off all the damage, knowing my entire life I had been long haired and would freak out, so she snipped off the split ends, which was literally almost the the entire ends.

Two weeks later, I'm bold and I'm daring. I psych myself in front of a mirror. Today is the day. I went to a complete different stylist, tell my mom I want self expression, and cut off four sideways finger length of hair that was all damage. Oh, and I got an undercut which is awesome, by the way. The next hours were me feeling good about myself, me telling myself I was so stupid for doing that, then me feeling good again.

The next day, I shower. I brush. Mid day my hair is dry so I look at myself in the mirror. My curls were completely gone.

Is it bad that I cried? I cried. A good cry made me feel a bit better. I felt like I had failed and that my three years worth of work at getting myself curled was gone. It didn't matter that my hair was smooth and healthy again, my curls were gone and I had loved them when they were coming in. I would have traded those smooth silky waves for my damaged curled hair right then and there.

Weeks passed and I began to realized I needed help in the shower. I abandoned the shampoo and conditioner my sisters used and got a curly hair conditioner, forgoing shampoo as I realized every time I shampoo I literally stripped my hair of all it's natural oil. I shampoo sparingly now and then, to remove the gunk. My hair became even smoother and softer and I had never had this healthy of hair before. Did something different, tried a product or too, used oils on my now only slight damaged ends, washed my hair with cold water.

A week today my curls stared coming back.

It's only about a couple segments of hair, but if I;m careful they're there.

I don't have a good curly role model and my mom herself hasn't had a fully formed curl in 20 years. I have no idea what most of these fancy words mean. I need help. I'm 14 and trying to get my curls to come back. Can my entire hair curl? Or will it forever just be a few inches at the ends? I'm a beginner in the world of curliness and need help knowing all the terms. Can I have hep because I feel on my own because I feel like so far I've done everything wrong!


  • rbbrbb Registered Users Posts: 4,356 Curl Connoisseur
    first, i think you are a talented writer. seriously.

    3 easy things to help you right now with your curly hair journey:

    1-- throw away your hairbrush. never brush curly hair,ever.
    curly hair is fragile and is damaged easily and brushing damages it.
    do not comb dry hair. if you need to detangle in the shower, only comb with a wide tooth comb with conditioner in your hair. many people with 3b hair or looser do not comb.

    2 -- leave some conditioner in your hair. curly hair is by nature dry and needs moisture, so leave in conditioner.

    3-- try to get a copy of 'The Curly Girl book", 2009 edition, by lorraine massey. it is a very easy, fun read and has so much great info. if you can't buy a copy (should be on amazon, is on curl mart here, or on devacurl website), some libraries carry it so you can read it for free.

    good luck and come back here with any questions.

    3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity :-(
    washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
    leave in:curl junkie conditioners and treatments as leave in
    styling: curl junkie 
    sealants - jane carter nourish & shine
  • IamDoveIamDove Registered Users Posts: 3
    Thanks! I have only recently stopped using the brush when I realized it was a horrible sign that I had to pull my damaged hair out of it.

    Thanks for the writing compliment! I love writing so it just kind channeled into my post and you got the wait-im-curly? Story.

    Is there anything better to detangle with? I use the comb and it takes longer. No matter how nice I try to keep my hair I always have these knots for no reason that take forever to get with a comb and sometimes I find myself getting out the brush because I've just run out of time.

    Sent from my LGLS665 using CurlTalk App
  • rbbrbb Registered Users Posts: 4,356 Curl Connoisseur
    if you do some reading on these boards, you will find helpful info, more than i can give.
    the newbie forum, teens forum. and do a search for tangles/knots/fairy knots, there are many threads about this. i think using a rinse out conditioner with good slip is helpful to comb out tangles.

    3a, some 2c & 3b, medium texture, porosity normal, low elasticity :-(
    washing/cowashing, conditioning, protein tx: curl junkie products
    leave in:curl junkie conditioners and treatments as leave in
    styling: curl junkie 
    sealants - jane carter nourish & shine
  • Therese1Therese1 Registered Users Posts: 2,563 Curl Virtuoso
    Welcome to the curly hair community! :) Nice to have you.

    You're not alone in feeling like a fish out of water. No one in my family taught me how to care for curly hair either. My mom had coarse, wavy hair (probably 2a/2b), but she always brushed it out and would use a roller set on it to make the curls like she wanted them. I always thought that my hair was straight, because my mom always had me keep it cut short (she didn't want to deal with my hair), and that coupled with the harsh shampoos we were using gave me frizzy, flat, almost-straight hair.

    I would suggest that you keep reading everything you can find on naturally curly hair. There is a lot out there! Curly Nikki has a nice site with lots of info too. Definitely try to get the Curly Girl book that rbb mentioned. If your library doesn't have it, you can ask them to find it for you at another library by using a service called interlibrary loan.

    As far as your curls going away when you got your hair cut, if your hair is more wavy than curly, you might not see a lot of curl at the root. Some people's hair doesn't show its wave much until it gets longer. I have been growing my hair out, and the longer it gets, the more wave I have. Some months ago, I had my stylist cut some shorter layers to frame my face, and they came out straight! They had been cut to nose length. It wasn't until those layers grew back out to chin length that their waves became obvious again. So that may be part of what is going on with you too.

    Others may have suggestions for detangling. I am relatively lucky there and have pretty tangle-free hair. But some people really have a tough time.
    Low poo: Intelligent Nutrients (IN) Harmonic; Oribe Cleansing Creme
    RO: IN Harmonic
    LI: CJ Beauticurls; Jessicurl (JC) Gelebration Spray
    DC: JC Deep Conditioning Treatment; Weleda Rosemary Conditioning Oil
    Stylers: JC Confident Coils; IN Volumizing Spray; IN Perfect Hold Hairspray; John Masters Sea Mist; Bumble Bb. Gel; Kenra Firm-Hold Gel; Sevi Blue Yarrow Sea Salt Spray
    Low-porosity 2a/b baby-fine hair
  • Obeb0801Obeb0801 Registered Users Posts: 2
    I have a very similar hair story. I used to brush my hair out, but when I watched curly penny, I realized what to do and now I realize I have 3b 3c hair. She has a lot of great tips, and I am recommend IamJeshuaV, both from youtube.

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