Pandemic: Terrible for everything except my hair...

I first discovered and started using CurlyEllie in February 2020…

(I have included some very questionable visuals, please enjoy at the expense of my dignity, I truly did enjoy pulling faces in my teenage years and clearly didn’t realise that one day I would have to look at them again and wonder what was wrong with a simple smile.)

Bald Baby
Bald Baby
BEHOLD: Scandinavian curls, fine but lots of it feat. frizz

I had no hair until I was almost 2, then it just grew up and out and was incredibly curly from thereon out, probably 3b if we want to go into hair types.

My mothers’ hair was only ever lightly curled and didn’t need a lot of attention so we never really got to grips with mine.

Apparently I have “Scandinavian curls; fine but lots of it”. Through secondary school my hair was very long, and mostly frizzy.

I had no knowledge of products or techniques, just try to flatten the frizz with some oil/sticky serum or gel and hope for a good hair day.

If I remember correctly, Leavers Day 2009 was the best hair day I had had in years.

Leavers Day 2009: The Last Good Hair Day

Then I discovered semi-permanent hair dye and dyed my hair light brown, then dark brown, then red, then it “died”. I had to embark on the long, rocky, 10 year journey to healthy curls, starting with a rather unfortunate bob to cut the dead bits off and 2 more dye jobs (from an actual hairdresser this time) to go back to my natural colour. If only I had found CurlyEllie then…

After the third pack of hair dye that ruined it all
The Unfortunate Bob

 

The Lucius Malfoy Phase

This journey would not have taken so long had I not decided to follow my dreams and bleach my hair white so I could be Lucius Malfoy for Halloween one year, and after that a nice shade of pink and also blue which consequently turned a stunning shade of khaki. I fried my hair and had to let it grow out, a birds nest of frizz. Straighteners became my frenemy. As you can imagine, this did not help improve the condition of my “curls”.

Living my best Lucius Malfoy life
Straggly, damaged, rowing and growing (out bleach)
Khaki hair...
Growing that bleach out at the beach (heat damagex100000)

Finding CurlyEllie

My Lucius Malfoy hair had entirely grown out when I found CurlyEllie. The heat damage was however, still rampant. Particularly the sides of my head. So, I vowed that I would ditch the straighteners for now, until my hair was beautiful and healthy.
Post Lucius, taking a break from straightening my hair to eat (surprisingly have a few curls here, not a common occurrence)
 

 

Pandemic Time

Then the pandemic hit, terrible for absolutely everything except perhaps my hair. The UK went into lockdown, and this meant we all had to stay at home, which as a result also meant that it didn’t really matter if my hair looked silly or bedraggled. I could slather on my CurlyEllie Mask during the day, when I mostly sunbathed and attempted to repair some of the damage I had done with my trusty straighteners.

I didn’t have a lot of expectations, I just hoped that perhaps if I kept my freshly grown hair healthy then maybe the damaged hair would all grow out before other humans had to see me again.

My initial haircare routine basically involved keeping it clean, lots of Nourishing Conditioner and using the Hair Mask as a leave-in (as well a mask), then a little Leave-In Conditioner and Styling Serum. I experimented with the Detangling Spray but it hasn’t really ever agreed with my hair, so I just left it out.

Regaining some curls underneath...

There aren’t a lot of pictures of me and my lockdown hair, partly because I literally didn’t do anything and I also ate a lot of donuts so I wasn’t really feeling myself.

Shockingly, parts of my hair were starting to regain some curl, mainly the underneath of the hair, and the new growth at the roots. In some ways it probably looked even worse than when it was straggly, but it was definitely healthier.

The side chunks of my hair were a frazzled mess though, there was no saving them, no amount of mask or moisture was going to save them.

Curly roots, straggly ends and evidence of my pandemic snacking

 

Curly Cuts

However, in July I was lucky enough to bag myself my first ever proper curly cut with Jennie, a curly goddess!

I did my standard ‘please cut as much of the dead bits off but please let me keep some length so I don’t have to relive the questionable bob phase of my life again’.

Thankfully, she was as close to a miracle worker as you could get!

Those horrendous split ends were gone, there was still length, and all that was left was some straight chunks at the side that I would have to keep on growing out.

She also introduced me to the diffuser, which is fine to use if you use it on a cooler/lower setting. This helped those straight bits blend in a little better, so I could do that when I had somewhere special or important to be (which was and still is rare).

She also banned me from using the straighteners ever again, fair enough as I clearly cannot be trusted. I have now lost them.

After my first curly cut

 

Hair Care Routine Part 2

I continued on with my lockdown hair care routine whilst we went into 2 more lockdowns and I ate my way through some more donuts.

Then when we were finally allowed to get our hair cut again, I was lucky enough to see my favourite miracle queen, Jennie.

Three months ago I never thought that my hair could feel this healthy or actually look good.

I have good hair days significantly more than once every couple of years now!

Because my curls are now healthy, my hair care routine is much simpler. I always use the Gentle Shampoo and Nourishing Conditioner, occasionally mixed with some mask if it’s feeling dry and needs a little more moisture.

If I wash my hair after exercise and I’m not going anywhere, I use the mask as a leave-in.

Otherwise I use the Leave-In Conditioner as a leave-in conditioner, finished off with the Styling Serum, and then sometimes the new Intense Oil. I always style when my hair is wet rather than damp, then scrunch with the Microfibre Towel.

I don’t often diffuse as my hair dries naturally in a way I quite like, but I will if I want a little more volume. I also like to sleep with a satin scrunchie to attempt to protect the curls I have been fighting so long for.

A tip for the oil: my hair is fairly fine and initially I didn’t like it as I felt it made my hair greasy!

Turns out I was just using too much, a drop or two is more than enough, it just helps with any extra frizz that the serum doesn’t tackle. Plus, it adds a nice shine!

Any Advice?

If I could go back in time, I would slap that packet of box dye out of my hands when I was 18 and say: Don’t do it, if you dye your hair that colour you’re going to start yourself on a 10 year journey back to healthy hair.

You will cry because of that unfortunate bob and you will never truly look like Lucius Malfoy, no matter how hard you try.

I would tell myself to be proud of my curls, listen and believe it when people tell me that my hair is beautiful.

Curls can be the most amazing thing if you nourish them, I wish I had learnt that sooner.

February 2020 - April 2021

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