Update: naturally curly hair

It's been a while since I've written about curly hair, so I thought I'd give y'all an update.

Since moving to Michigan nearly two years ago I've taken to cutting my hair myself.  My husband helps me with the back.  :)  I haven't found a local stylist I'm comfortable with, so this seemed like the best option.  It was a lot of trial and error at first.  I gave myself triangle head the first time.

September 2014 - Don't give yourself triangle head!  Make sure you add some layers!

Oops!  But after that I started layering my hair which eliminated the triangle and was also a great way to get more curl definition because of how thick and heavy my hair is.

August 2015, reading with our niece Lucia.

The most recent chop was back in November.  My hair was feeling damaged and I was getting aggravated with how long it was.  I think I cut it a bit too short, but it has grown out some since then and I'm much happier now with how it's behaving.

Thanksgiving 2015, right after I cut my hair.  With our adorable niece Lucy.  :)

My curls tend to be really loopy and big in diameter, almost more like waves than loose curls.  Because of their shape, when my hair is short it tends to end up more in messy waves rather than curls, I think because there is less hair for the curls to use to take their shape.  That's my theory anyways.  :)  I'm ok with my hair falling into messy waves rather than curls.  It's still better than the frizzy poofball I used to have.

The shorter hairstyle has led to a change in my hair routine.  I still follow the three step method from DevaCurl and use their products (the one thing I splurge on for myself), but I dry my hair differently now.

Plopping my hair in a t-shirt or microfiber towel worked great when my hair was long because there was so much of it and it held so much moisture.  I would leave it in the towel for 5-10 minutes and then diffuse on the lowest heat and air settings for 15-20 minutes.

With shorter hair, I scrunch the extra water out of my hair with a microfiber towel after applying gel (sometimes I scrunch in more gel after using the microfiber towel) and then I tilt my head to the right, diffuse for five minutes, tilt my head to the left, and diffuse for five more minutes.  I always use the lowest heat and air settings otherwise my hair gets really frizzy.

My drying time is much shorter now and I don't even have to use clips for added volume at my scalp because changing directions while diffusing does that for me.  My hair isn't completely dry after the ten minutes, but I have given it a head start for air drying.  If I were to keeping using the diffuser until my hair was completely dry then it would turn out frizzy and my curls wouldn't have any shape to them at all.

February 2016 - Still have a bit of a gel cast in these photos, but here is how my hair curls/falls in waves when it is short.

I've started switching between No-Poo and Low-Poo depending on if my hair feels like it has a lot of product buildup.  This has helped immensely in keeping my hair from feeling weighed down.  Occasionally I'll also do a rinse with apple cider vinegar if my hair is feeling really dirty.

Second day hair is still an issue for me.  I switched to DevaCurl's Ultra Defining Gel and that has given me a better chance at still having curls the day after I wash and style, but most of the time my hair is flat the next morning.  I think that's just how my hair is and there isn't anything I can do to change it.  A silk pillowcase eliminates frizz, but I can't find anything else that works to preserve my curls overnight.

Figuring out hairstyles for my short second day hair has been a challenge, but that's a topic for another post.  ;-)


two simple tips to help you combat clutter

Stuff.  It's everywhere.  All over the place.  It cannot be contained!!

Or can it?  Rather than trying to strategically organize your possessions, try out these precautionary measures before you start printing out labels and stuffing things in boxes, never to be seen again.

Tip #1:
Do not buy things you don't need.
Let's go over that again.
Do not buy things you don't need!!
Radical, I know, but still extremely important.
Consider all of things you buy in a week.  Clothes, toys, kitchen gadgets, books, movies, snacks, and whatever else.
How many of these things do you actually need?  Think of what you already have at home.  Do you really need to buy that toy for your child?  Is that cheap t-shirt really necessary?
If your main justification for buying something is "Because it's on sale!" then step away.  Save the money you would spend on that clearance item and put it towards something of better quality that you will actually need down the road.
Not only will this help save your home from being filled with frivolous things, but you will also save quite a bit of money!
Birthday gifts, a new dress for a special occasion, those kind of occasional purchases are fine because of the key word "occasional."  To give yourself a little wiggle room while still reducing the amount of stuff you bring into your home, budget yourself a bit of "fun money" every month to spend on non-necessities.

Tip #2:
Get rid of the things you own that you don't need.
Consider the following scenario:
You go to organize one of your closets.  Everything is pulled out, organized in cute little tubs with labels, and squeezed back into the closet.  Not long afterwards you are frustrated with how full the closet is so you reorganize it again.  And again.  And again.
What is the problem?  You haven't evaluated what you are organizing and pitched what you don't need.  Not long ago I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and this simple thought is the backbone of Marie Kondo's organizing method.  It really makes quite a lot of sense.  Why are you organizing what you should be getting rid of?  Pitching first and organizing later will also free up a lot more space for storing the possessions you keep.  Do you really need to own twelve spatulas when you use only three of them on a regular basis?  Do you have a cabinet full of board games that are hardly touched?

Bonus Tips!!

Keep your belongings contained where they are stored.
Bins are a wonderful storage tool.  You can use a stack of them to store away Christmas decorations or to simply keep your pantry items from spilling all over your shelves.

While our kitchen is a very nice size for an apartment, it does not have a pantry.  We've made a pantry out of a small closet in our living room.

Maximize your storage space.
Rather than storing your folded clothes flat in your drawers, keep them upright.  Not only will this eliminate having to look through stacks of clothes but it will also free up tons of space.  I was very surprised at how effective this method was for even my sock drawer.  It turned out I had a lot more pairs of white socks than I thought I did.  I never saw them because they were buried in the bottom of my haphazard drawer.

I didn't know I had so many socks until I reorganized them!

Try out the ten item wardrobe.
Don't let the wording scare you.  You're not going to wear just ten pieces of clothing for the rest of your life.  (And you can increase the ten items to fifteen or even twenty if that better fits your lifestyle.)  The ten items are staple pieces such as good quality pants, jackets, blouses, skirts, and dresses.  To those ten items you can add any number of t-shirts, sweaters, scarves, tights, and other accessories.  One of the advantages of the ten item wardrobe is that you spend your money on long lasting quality pieces that you can pair with other cheaper staples rather than having a closet stuffed with cheap clothing that will wear out quickly.  Another advantage is that you will have far less clothing to store in your closets and drawers, which makes picking out an outfit so much easier.  To learn more about the ten item wardrobe, read Lessons From Madame Chic by Jennifer L. Scott.