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!

If I could, I would write this stuff a love poem. This is what I "wash" my hair with.

I rub this into my gently towel-dried hair immediately after my shower.

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.

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§ 12 Responses to Color me tickled pink…er…green?

  • postadaychallenge2011 says:

    Great advice, great article, Olive Oil your miracle cure, and Yes I believe it. Amen.

  • Tori Nelson says:

    I am such a fat kid. You said Olive Oil and I said YUM!
    I learned a few tricks from my little sisters who are biracial. They actually make a product called Hair Mayo (sounds disgusting but MY GOD your hair will look brilliant). I always get a few glares while checking out at Target, but the sheen is worth it!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      LMAO, Tori! That’s hysterical. Oh, and I’m no stranger to Hair Mayo, lol. I had a friend in college slather it on my hair once. But it actually did make my hair greasy and gave me dandruff! I think she probably used too much, lol. Or maybe I didn’t get it all out when I washed. I dunno…I haven’t tried it again.

      If only they would desegregate the hair aisles. Then we wouldn’t get ugly looks when we shop.

  • Quick note–
    I left something “special” for you over at my blog.
    http://www.reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com/2011/02/09/awards-ceremony-101/
    Hope you don’t mind!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Oh god, Kathy. Lol. I don’t mind at all! It’ll count for one of my daily posts! 😉 Too bad you already nominated Tori…I guess I can’t renominate the same person, hm? 😉 (She’d probably not appreciate that, lol.)

  • I love anything writtem by people with curly hair. I have very curly hair (very fine, lots of it) and a 60 year old love/hate relationship with it. The only reason it isn’t a 63 year old history is that I wasn’t aware of my hair for the first three years of my life. I am happy you have found the magic elixir. I am now in one of my curly phases and wondering whether to get another Brazilian Keratin treatment.

    • Mrs. H. says:

      I hear you, Renee! When I was a little younger, I would accost any curly-headed woman whose hair style looked beautiful. The funny thing about us curlies (as you probably well know) is that we’re so used to being asked about our hair that we normally don’t mind when another curly asks us about our hair care. In fact, I take it as a huge compliment.

      I’ve had to come to terms with the exact kind of curly hair that I have. I do not have thin curly hair that is beautiful and shiny and smooth, like Taylor Swift. I have curly hair that thinks for itself and takes revenge on me. So I’ve had to try the things that work for other people, but I’ve also had to just accept that sometimes what works for someone else just won’t work with my hair.

      And I haven’t tried the keratin treatments yet. I saw Hoda try one on the Today Show, and it looks really beautiful. Do you like it?

  • Clare says:

    bahahaha, well since your hair is apparently like mine, you should probably give castor oil a try too. I’m so tickled you have no idea. In high school I was perming my hair straight and you were perming yours curly. LOL. Hindsight. If you do try castor oil, too much will be a sticky disaster. A little goes a very long way Humectant conditioners also help with our curly hair. Since it’s curly apparently it has open cuticles which lets out all the damn moisture.

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Open cuticles??? That’s not fair at all! No wonder my hair is always so freaking dry all the time! Oh, and don’t worry…you’re not the only one who went through a “my hair must be straight” phase. Most of college, I had a friend of mine fry my hair with that gold plated iron! And she slathered Hair Mayo on my hair, too. It was so gross looking, lol. I’ll check out the castor oil and the Humectant conditioners. Can you get those in grocery stores most of the time, too? Or are any of those just in specialty stores like Sally?

      • Clare says:

        *amused all over again* Castor oil you can probably find anywhere. or a pharmacy. It’s that yucky stuff they used to choke Tom and Jerry with in the cartoons lol. I just picked up a bottle of Hello Hydration conditioner from Target the other day. But yes the open cuticles are also the reason our poor hair is never shiny. It can have sheen though…D: dude, do you have any of the messengers?

      • Mrs. H. says:

        Oh! Haha! You actually mean straight castor oil! I thought you were talking about maybe some castor oil hair products (like they make olive oil hair products). I’ll tell you, though, the olive cholesterol is starting to make my hair shimmer (in the sun, but still). I’ll try the others sometime, too! 🙂 And no…I don’t use any messengers any more, except G-Chat when I happen to be on at the same time as the person I’m e-mailing. My normal mode these days is either e-mailing or texting. 🙂 Sorry!!

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