I often get questions about my hair care routine, so I thought I would write a post about it in case you were wondering too. As you can tell from all of my pictures, I have a lot of hair. What many people don’t know is that it’s actually really curly. I don’t usually wear it natural because my curls drop quickly no matter what I do. It’s a combination of it naturally not holding curls well and all of the stuff I’ve done to it over the years. It just falls flat.
I get asked a lot questions, but the big one has to be about my hair. I’m typically asked about my routine as well tips for hair care, growth and shine – From both men and women.
Many are usually surprised by my very uneventful treatment for it, as I don’t have a magical one-stop-shop answer. It’s a combination of life-long grooming habits that I’ve picked up along the way, and genes passed down from my parents. My answer is usually vague because, really, who wants to hear a whole cultural and biological explanation to hair care?
If you do, you’re in luck. I share all of that here along with a few links and several products that I love to help you get started on your hair care journey.
Curly hair, red lips, cat eye and black shirts pretty much defined my teen years. To this day people remember this as my signature look. But when it comes to my hair, my memories were very different than most. I went to a predominantly Irish elementary school during the 80s, so having big teased hair was the thing. I didn’t have to do much to obtain that look. The bigger, the better. Hello, Bon Jovi anyone? Never Say Goodbye was our 8th grade prom song. There was a lot of giant hair at that party and I fit right in with my equally flamboyant taffeta pink dress. Luscious curls were also all over the pages of my of 17 magazines so it was something I celebrated with confidence and style (well, as much as one could have at 13). Oddly enough, when I got into high school (I chose a school with a heavier Latino influence to be more involved in my cultura), I was teased for having “big” hair. What?! Turned out, big curly was not as celebrated. It was all about cutting it short, blowing it out or slicking it back into the tightest pony tail anyone’s scalp could take. The girls called me “wiggy”. Ya, wiggy. Talk about creative, eh? The response to my hair was a huge surprise to me. My mother, who has pin straight, always loved my locks so I had no idea what the deal was and why some of the Latinas in my school were hiding their beautiful hair. It wasn’t until years later that I started to see/understand the complexities of hair talk in the Latino culture. It was all about looking polished or “fino.” Getting dressed for the holidays or an event meant that your hair got the sleek look too. And if your hair was curly, it was kept really tamed. No shape, no movement.
It’s only recently that I’ve experienced the beauty (thank you internet) of Latinas celebrating their gorgeous hair the way it is by setting it free (For ex., Risas Rizos, Daily Curlz, Sunkiss Alba). Now these women have some seriously flawless curls. Their hair game is tight. Where were they when I was in HS? Well, I think they were toddlers at the time (if that) but they too have had their share of processing stories, and have written about it on their blogs or talked about it on their Youtube channels. Carolina of Miss Rizos touched me so much with her video about beauty, identity and empowerment … and speaks of exactly what I experienced in high school.
I blow dry my hair a lot. But it’s not because I have anything against my curls. I feel just as beautiful with my hair wild and free, and I think it’s pretty darn cool that I can try different looks. The key is finding the right products. I want the curl without the sticky feel. I want my curls to last and not go flat. Because if I’m going curly, it needs to be full on curls with no apologies. I usually use coconut and avocado oils in my hair but I gave Dove’s Quench Absolute line a try (thank you Dove!) and I must admit they got it right. In fact, their products are so good, it comes with an entire campaign focused on loving you hair.
The #LoveYourCurls campaign also comes with a poetry book by best-selling author, Taiye Selasi and illustrated by award-winning illustrator, Annick Poirier. You can download this lovely #LoveYourCurls book and dedicate it to that special curly hair girl (or boy!) in your life.
Hair, hair, hair! This mane of mine has seen it all, and pretty much changes every time there’s a new chapter in my life (and not). I’ve had so many styles and so many colors, I’m surprised I still have as much hair as I do. When She by SoCap reached out to me about their hair extensions, my first response was “I certainly do not need extra hair.” In fact, my hair stylist thins it a bit so it can be more manageable. However, after looking at their site, I saw that they had a variety of ombre shades, which looked really natural. I thought they would be fun to try for summer.
I have a “mild” ombre right now. Many of my friends have expressed an interest in getting these highlights but are afraid that it will not look right on them, especially if it’s done wrong. That’s a justified concern, as I went through an ombre nightmare myself a few years ago. A stylist, who claimed she could do it, totally fried my hair into a bleached nightmare. I looked like a ripe banana. A lot of money and time out the window. After several bottle of pharmacy dyes, my dear friend referred me to Pure Salon in LA. After several hours of toning and conditioning, my hair was saved. You don’t want to go through that. I suggest trying out extensions to see if you like it. If you do, find yourself a great stylist. You can also just wear the extensions for special occasions, and not do anything to your hair. One of the things I like about these particular extemsions is that the hair is 100% natural and come in a variety of textures. You can check out the tutorial I created for Latina Mom or you can keep reading!
All you need to do is style your hair the way you normally would for a night out. Part the crown of your head and tie it up. Tease around the crown (The extension clip comb will grip better). Add your extensions and loosen up your hair. Comb it (or use your fingers if you have curly hair) through so the colors can blend. I actually snipped a few layers and chunks off so it can match my hair cut. Otherwise, my hair looked like it had two different lengths, and the goal is for it look as natural as possible. I also spent a lot of time blending the hair together with a curling iron so it won’t look “stripey”. That would have been great in 1996. Today? Not so much!
Like I said, these extensions were sent to me to try. I wasn’t paid for this post nor was I asked to share it on my blog. But I really liked the product and figured you might too! If you try it out, let me know.
This post is in collaboration with Conair. All opinions are my own.
As I’ve gotten older, I focus more and more on my skin and hair. I feel that if your hair is shiny and your skin is glowing, all you really need is a bit of mascara and gloss, and you’re all set to go. And with holiday season right before us, I really need to be able to get ready quickly for events after a full day of work. When Conair reached out to me about their Infiniti Pro and Cleansing Brush, I definitely wanted to try it out. I actually used to use a Conair hair dryer years ago when I was in college (it has since been discontinued) that I couldn’t live without. Similar to the Infiniti, it had a comb attached and cut down on my drying time. In fact, I had it down to 30 minutes – pin straight!
I’ve been trying out new hair products in the hopes of giving my hair some breathing room from the constant heating tools it endures. I really have never been happy with any products I try, especially the ones used in salons (for the exception of the Moroccan Oil line). My hair is curly/wavy and very full body. The strands are very thin so I easily get fly-aways, which always ends up making my hair unmanageable. I want my curls to just stay place for at least an hour. They almost always go flat or frizzy. Last week, I attended a conference in Atlanta and was given Curls Unleashed products and Curls Defining Moments Serum. The shampoo lather was pretty amazing. I felt I was really getting my hair clean (that’s a big deal when you have a lot of hair). The conditioner was rich but not heavy. The serum was truly amazing. I sectioned my hair and combed in the serum piece by piece. After combing in the serum I twirled my hair and shaped curls all throughout. It dried that way and actually lasted two days (I don’t wash my hair every day). I wrote more about it on Babble.