Some Bad Curl Days

Last week, I had some bad curly hair days.  It was disappointing, and it made me want to straighten my hair.  It also made me want to cut it off, and I kinda did.  Kinda.

It was all driving me crazy, but the part that was driving me MOST crazy were my curly bangs.  They were a mixture of stringy and frizzy. I googled what to do with curly bangs and did not find any solutions.

So, I cut them.


I did the same thing when I was four years old and days away from being a flower girl in a church wedding.  But you’d think, after 46 years, I’d outgrown it.  Apparently not.  (Tip: NEVER cut your hair when you’re in a bad frame of mind.)

Here’s me before I cut my curls, waiting for the hair to dry last Saturday (4 days ago).  I’d used the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque in the shower.  I’ve used it for quite a while now.  Out of the shower, I added another Shea Moisture product–a leave-in conditioner, and I used A LOT of it, hoping it would add needed moisture since my hair had been getting frizzy.

curly hair at 50 Curly girl techniques moisture products SheaMoisture

After it dried.  I  added Sachajuan and lots of Balmain Curl Cream.  It looked decent….for a couple of hours.


The second day, I woke up with it looking frizzy and crunchy.  I wet down the curls with my water, lavender and conditioner mixture, and as I ran my hands through, I could feel a TON of product.  Just yuck.

That’s when I cut the bangs.

When it dried, it looked like this.


You can’t really see a whole lot of difference. The middle portion of the bangs shrunk up quite a bit, but the rest are not noticeable.

What I didn’t like about this hair is that it felt stringy and crispy. (You can kind of see that in the picture.) When I’d run my hands through, they’d get tangled up and feel like dried product. And, by the time I got home from work, it was poofy and frizzy!  It had just gone wild.  (I should have shot a picture then!)

I got on the internet and googled “stringy curls,” and found article after article that blamed it on too much product.  I had used A LOT of product!  As my hair got worse, I used more.

Someone suggested washing with a clarifier, and I happened to have Suave Clarifying shampoo.  It has been probably 5 months since I shampooed, so I thought it would be safe to strip the hair and recondition with my new SheaMoisture product–Jamaican Black Castor Oil Intensive Strengthening Masque.  The new masque felt a lot different than the other.  The raw shea butter feels like it sounds–solid butter style, whereas, the Black Castor Oil Masque was runny and oily-soft.  It smelled good.  Honestly, it felt in my hands like what my hair needed.

When I was out of the shower, I dried the hair with my t-shirt towel and added in a quarter sized dollop of As I Am Leave-In Conditioner, and I put the towel back on for ten minutes.  After ten minutes, I worked Sebastian’s Potion 9, my 90’s favorite, all through my hair.

It felt like the old days.

I’ve always wondered what Potion 9 is–a leave-in conditioner?  A gel?  A curl cream?  I guess it’s all those things.  It has “9 botanical extracts” and is a “wearable treatment.”  It has been around for a LONG time, and has a ton of reviews, and still only a tad under a perfect 5 stars on Amazon.

One reviewer said, “if you have thick curly hair (Check) look no further, this is what you want. (Check) It detangles, tames, and conditions your hair. (Check) Will order again and again. (Check).”

Here I am with nothing other than the SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil and the Potion 9, a dollop of As I Am Leave-In Conditioner, and a little Balmain on the bangs to make them longer which, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have done because the bangs look slightly stringy.


But the mass of my curls were soft again.  Bouncy again.


Lesson learned.  You CAN have too much of a good thing.  Oh, and I only added water and a couple drops of lavender to my touch up spritz today, and they sprung right back to soft perfection.

I wish I could say THIS is the routine that will work every day, but we all know that is not the case with curly hair.  My only hope is to get smarter at diagnosing issues–by feeling the hair and sensing what it needs–and then quicker at making necessary changes.

For now, I HIGHLY recommend the Jamaican Black Castor Oil and the Potion 9 as products to keep in your Curly Girl cabinet.  And, if you feel the product in your hair, you may want to consider clarifying.