Six Steps to Embracing Your Curl

I feel the need to preface this post with a few notes.

1. I am not, nor will I ever be, a fashion/glamour/beauty/whatever blogger.

2. I still burn myself with my straightener, curling iron and diffuser.

3. I’m not confident that I can put a curl in my hair without the awkward kink at the end signifying I turned the barrel the wrong way.

4. I was raised by an amazing woman who never used conditioner on her hair. She didn’t use product, and she brushed out her beautiful curls.

Now that my disclosure is out of the way, I would like to talk to you about frizzy, curly, uncontrollable hair.

Let’s be real, no curly hair is the same – inherited or not. We all have to figure out what type of hair we have and what product may or may not be successful long enough to finish the bottle.

Lord knows the next bottle will be a waste because your curl, like a bacteria that wasn’t completely killed by an antibiotic, will adapt to that product, rendering it useless. And your curl will be that much more powerful…

Or maybe that’s just me?

I’m going to be completely honest. I was in hair denial for about 10 years. I scorched my hair into place or pulled it up in a ponytail. I refused to acknowledge the curl.

For a while, I went through an incredibly awful stage. I went to work with wet hair nearly every day.

I have one question. Where were my friends? Who looked at me and thought, “oh, yeah. She is working that wet dog look.”?

Finally, I discovered Pinterest contained more than ridiculously unhealthy recipes and impossible crafts. I came across a blog about curly hair that changed my life! I learned what the heck the claw thing was that attached to my hair blow dryer; and it would help me!

IMG_8858.JPG

In all seriousness, who would know that is a diffuser or what that thing does for your hair? It looks like a car part… Or a ray gun! It sure doesn’t look like it would help curl my hair.

I experimented with different methods for using the diffuser: upside down (successful), pre-styled (not so successful), over one side of the head and then the other (successful).

I tried different sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. I don’t remember why but it’s supposed to be better for curly hair. The AG brand smelled terrible and made my scalp very oily. It was disgusting.

I also tested different products. I have no less than three different curling products at any given time. If the instructions include a step for twisting your hair, throw that bottle away. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Ok, so… I have not mastered my curls by any means, but I am now proud of my hair. I wear it curly 90+ percent of the time.

This is the method that works for me:

1. I wash my hair with Hempz Couture Volumizing shampoo and conditioner. This is not for everyone. I have thin hair that needs a boost!

IMG_8857.JPG

2. For the best volume and curls, I rinse the conditioner from my hair upside down. Yup, flip my hair over my hair and bend my neck forward to rinse my hair. It’s worth it!

3. I squeeze out excess water. I shake out my hair and scrunch it all little with my fingers before wrapping my head in an old, very thing towel. I don’t want it to dry, simply stay out of my way.

4. Remove the towel and massage a quarter-sized dollop of L’Oreal’s EverCurl Sulfate Free Hydracharge Leave-In Cream into the end of my hair, working upward toward the roots.

IMG_8855.JPG

5. Begin diffusing upside down, focusing on the front hairline. Tilt head to the right and diffuse. Tilt head left and diffuse. Fluff hair with fingers in between. Lastly, diffuse the back and fluff. Make sure all the hair us dry!

6. Style bangs, if needed. Use light hold hairspray on curls.

Ta-da!

IMG_8737.JPG
(Insert funny remark about the awful duck face.)

Not bad for a girl who used to look like a dog in from the rain. You, too, can learn to embrace your curl with these six simple steps!

Or maybe not. Like I said, every curl is different.

I would love to learn from other curly-haired people. How do you style your hair?

Meringue is no Joke, People

When I was young, my great grandparents would take my brother, sister and me to a cafe in Broken Bow, NE. If I remember correctly, I believe it was Charlene’s? Or maybe that’s what we called it…

There was an older woman who would always wait on us. Great grandma always had her hot water for tea. I remember wonderful mashed potatoes and gravy, and my brother and I always ordered chicken nuggets and Mountain Dew. The dream lunch of all 5-10 year olds. And some days, we were allowed to order chocolate malts. I’m not talking about the shakes you can order at any old fast food joint. These were the delicious malts of yesteryear. We watched a magical malt machine churn out the dessert into an icy metal cup. This was the kind of treat that ruins you for all other treats!

What does all this have to do with meringue?

My memories of this cafe are some of my fondest memories with my great grandparents. It was the type of cafe that only exists in small towns, and I hope that each of you have experienced a place like this. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the pie case filled with apple, cherry and peach pies next to lemon, chocolate, banana cream and coconut cream pies with mile high meringue. You know the kind… When the meringue is just as deep as the filling!

I never attempted to make meringue until this weekend. And it really is no joke!

Meringue instructions appear very simple, but don’t be fooled! It took three attempts to top my homemade chocolate pie with somewhat presentable meringue.

Failure Attempt #1
“Whip egg whites until they become fluffy…”
What the H does that mean?! I whipped the whites with a fork and they became a little bubbly. Does that count as “fluffy?”

It does not.

Failure Attempt #2
I was smarter this time; I watched a YouTube video!

When searching for a video tutorial, I recommend finding someone with a skill level close to your own. Don’t watch some top chef like I did..

While I finally learned how to make my egg whites fluffy using a whisk
, they were not fluffy enough and sat on top of my chocolate pie like a greasy, gooey excretion.

Yes. Gross.

Attempt #3
Success-ish!

I found a YouTube video from what’ sounds like a lady who would play cards with my grandma every Saturday. Bless this woman with for meringue for dummies tutorial and her use of a mixer.

Thanks to her video, I was able to produce the pie seen below. It’s not going to win the blue ribbon on the fair or take a place of honor in the cafe pie case, but I’m proud nonetheless!

20140713-140357-50637318.jpg

If you’d like to make a meringue, I recommend watching this video beginning at the 4:10 time stamp.

Can you make an awesome meringue? I’d love to know your secret!