Color me tickled pink…er…green?
February 8, 2011 § 12 Comments
I really ought to have taken pictures of my hair before I posted this, but whatevs.
Y’all, I’ve done it. I’ve crossed the hair product segregation lines and found the absolute miracle product for my hair. The big secret? Olive oil! I suppose I actually could just drench my hair in straight olive oil, but I’m too scared to go quite that far. My hair is of a pretty coarse texture. Very dry. Frizzes easily. It used to be curly when I was a young thing, but once I hit puberty, my hormones sent my hair into an utter panic attack. My hair didn’t know what it wanted to do anymore. I used to describe my hair as straw-like. It was once this really pretty red color. But the dryer and frizzier it got, the lighter and duller it got. So gross.
I tried everything. Nearly every product known to man that was labeled “for curly hair” had a home in my cupboard at least once. I was given a perm at the age of 14 because my hair dresser claimed it would reteach my hair how to properly curl again. It was disgusting. I was told that my hair was like “black” hair and that I would have to use this extremely hot gold plated straightening iron to flatten those horrible “curls.” It fried my hair. I was told that for curls that wouldn’t stay in shape, I had to use as much mousse as humanly possible. Most of high school, I rocked the “wet look” because of that mousse.
Finally, in 2005 I met my current hair stylist. The woman who single-handedly revived my curls and hair color, one careful haircut at a time. She has never used a razor on me (once the only tool one of my hair dressers used to use on my hair) because, she said with horror in her voice, “all it does it create frizz! You should run, not walk, away from razors!” I love my hair stylist. She’s amazing. She did my hair for my wedding. She’s the woman who told me to stop shampooing. Completely. Because it was drying out my hair. “You don’t produce a great deal of scalp oil as it is,” she said, with a sad shake of her head. “Your hair is so dry because the shampoos just wash out what little oil you do produce. Your hair needs that oil to maintain shine.” I was excited and nervous to try to cut my shampoo habit…and it has worked. I haven’t shampooed my hair since before my wedding. I don’t even remember when the last time was.
In the meantime, I was trying every other kind of creamy curl product to give my hair some bounce and chemical control.
And then I had a random conversation with a friend, and she revealed the secret: olive oil.
So, armed with this newly acquired secret, I took to Kroger. And searched. And searched. I saw Pantene Pro-V. Tresseme. Garnier. Head & Shoulders. But where was the olive oil?? “Turn around, Amanda,” the hair gods whispered in my ear. I obeyed. And there it was. In the aisle labeled specifically for “ethnic” hair was the magical olive oil in many, many glorious incarnations!
Did you hear the cherubim singing hallelujah? Because I sure did!
I had to work hard to get over my indignation that the hair product aisle is still segregated. If I could send a message to product marketers and store department organizers, it would be this:
Hair is hair. You would generate a great deal more business if you would market your products and organize them according to hair type/needs. A section for all normal hair. Oily hair. Dry hair. Dry/curly hair. Coarse hair. Fine hair. Don’t draw the lines according to race. I’m white and have super coarse frizzy hair. My race has nothing to do with my hair. At all.
Okay, that’s done. Back to the miracle products.
Because I live in a stupidly humid climate, one that my hair absolutely hates and has always hated, I normally wear my hair pulled back into a ponytail. As it grew longer, I started to wrap it into a bun. This was depressing and really started to mess with my self-esteem. In many cultures, a woman’s beauty is her hair. And in some of those cultures, she chooses not to display her hair to anyone who is not her spouse because nobody else is permitted to appreciate that beauty. It would be like an American woman flashing her breasts. (That might be a bit simplified, but let’s just go with it, okay?) And then olive oil came into my life. And, baby, my beauty has been showing!
I’ve worn my hair down almost every single day this semester–I think I’ve had it in a ponytail once (not counting workouts). I absolutely love the curls I have now. The color is brilliant. And I do not have to use a curl-specific product (like a styling gel) except on rainy days. My hair is not oily, it’s not greasy, it’s not stringy. It’s beautiful and soft…and I don’t have to rock the wet look any more!
Ladies, if you are a victim of super coarse, dry, frizzy hair…give olive oil a try. If your hair isn’t crazy thick (like mine is…like, I can tie my hair into a sort of knot bun where I pull it through itself, and it will stay without any assistance), then I would experiment with amounts until you hit your sweet spot.