Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Don't Give Up!

Sometimes you have to alter someone else's hair care and styling tips to make them work for you. It can be frustrating when a style doesn't work out after you carefully follow someone's instructions to the letter. As much as we wish it weren't so, no two heads of hair are alike. This means no two routines are going to have the same results every time. Here is the story of how I (finally) learned that lesson.

I have had quite a few people ask me how I got Syd's curls to look like they do in this picture, which is also found on the right at the top of the blog.
This was actually done by using Teri Laflesh's tightly curly method. We did the style for my niece's birthday party last summer, and it looked great, but that wasn't always the case. In fact, I almost gave up on this method completely when our first try produced some pretty disappointing results.

My first attempt at this method resulted in this in the front:
But this in the back:

Her hair looked so good from the front! But there was definitely a problem with the way the back turned out, and here's why.

If you can't tell from these pictures, Syd has several different hair types on her head. The hair on the sides is thinner, the strands are finer, and the curl is looser. As you move toward the back of her head, the hair gradually gets thicker, the strands get more coarse, and the curls are much tighter. The very back of her hair is very tightly coiled and very, very dense. It is nothing at all like the sides and front. This means I will never get the same results on the front and back of her head if I treat all of her hair the same.

A few months after the first attempt failed, Syd and I decided we were going to try again for my niece's birthday party. We could always throw her hair in a ponytail if it doesn't work, right? But this time, I put some thought into how I could keep from getting the same results again.

I used less product (normally Herbal Essences Hello Hydration for this method) on the sides of her hair, because that hair isn't as dry, course, or tightly curled as the hair in back. I gradually used more and more conditioner as I got closer to the back. I used a LOT more in the very back to help give the curls some more weight and keep them from shrinking so much more than the rest of her hair.

To my surprise, that actually worked! Here is another picture of Syd's hair from that day.
The curls look much more uniform and the whole style just looks better when I took the time to pay attention to the diversity of her curls. The sides aren't weighed down and the patch in the back hasn't experienced twice as much shrinkage as the rest.

I guess what I'm saying is this: Don't get discouraged when you don't get the same results as someone else, even though you're doing the very same steps. Pay close attention to the needs of the hair you are working with, and don't give up if something doesn't work the first time. A second or third try can lead to some pretty great results!


  1. Awesome, thanks so much for the insight! The picture from the side looks exactly like my daughter's hair. The sides and bottom always look good but the middle/crown frizzes and poofs. I also do hers soaking wet and I think a lot of the product just drips on down to the bottom of her hair. Maybe I will try to be more diligent about getting the product balanced out to what her hair needs. I linked to you from happygirlhair just for fun (my daughter's only 3) but I like your blog too....good advice and hairstyles to look forward to in the future!

  2. Great advice! Great blog! Following...

  3. I've had some difficulty trying to use the Tightly Curly method too. Thanks for the encouragement. What method did you use to define the curls? Just the Denman or something else? Thanks!

  4. I just knew it was Teri's method you used for this style! Beautiful!

    And yes, we do have to alter techniques from time to time to get them to work!

    BTW, you have one gorgeous little lady there! :)

  5. Thanks, KP!

    Shonda, just using a Denman gets us pretty good definition for sides, but not so much for the rest of her hair. To get the same definition all over, I actually brushed through it with a Denman and then used my fingers to smooth and define each curl. It takes a while, especially with Syd's thick hair, but the end result is totally worth it for us.

  6. I just LOVE the Tightly Curly method for my daughter's hair. Like you, we always have to add more product at the back of her head and toward the ends, but the results are stunning.

    And killer idea for the box braid parts! I'll have to try your half-moon method soon. =)

  7. My youngest daughters hair does that alot, where the back shrinks up but the underneath and sides look great. Thanks for the info, great post!!



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