Giving Up My Straight Locks For Some Curls

Weekend. I have nothing to do. I am bored.

I got up from my bed and prepped up to go out somewhere (probably to the mall? or to the park? or a quick visit to the National Museum, maybe?) But I ended up entering the doors of a salon and asked for a hair makeover. I want curls. Yes, I asked the beauty specialist that I want my dull, unappealing crown of hair to be transformed and become curly.

I contemplated getting curly hair sometime before, but I was afraid to have it done as I was not sure if I’d look good in it. The closest that I got my hair curly was when a cousin braided my hair and I slept in it throughout the night, untied it in the morning and get that curls that eventually straightened up when I took a bath.

I told the salon staff what curl style(?) I wanted. I showed them a picture of the curls I wanted to be done (as suggested by a colleague of mine), only to be told that it’s a good-for-a-day curl. Despite this, we proceeded (and I never, not one bit did I backed off) and we just agreed to have something different.

So, without any concrete plans and other curly hair preferences, I just trusted the salon staff of what they would do to my hair. This is probably the second most impulsive thing I have done this year (the first one was traveling out of town on my own), but my instinct was really pushing me to “go, get yo’ hair done, gurl!!!”

Just like how hair rebonding is done, I realized getting your hair curled, or getting a “perm”, is a time-consuming process. While both hair treatments may have the same chemicals used to achieve the desired hairstyle, the curling process has to have another 30mins to an hour to enable hair strands to curl and stay that way using plastic curling rods. Afterwards, a handful amount of conditioning neutralizer will be applied (this helps the hair to take the curly shape) and it must be set aside for another half an hour or until the hair strands manifest a “satisfactory” curl.

Once the curls show (this can be tested by removing one of the curling rods and check the “curliness” of a section of the hair), the hair is now set to be washed and conditioned, so as to diminish the odor of chemicals used on the hair.

After five long hours of waiting, my curls shaped and showed up. I thought the curls will stay as it is (1), I took a bus going home and my hair got puffy and big (2), by the time I got off the bus my hair was still damp, and given that it is windy, my hair “reacted” and became huge and frizzy (3), I went home and waited if my hair’s puffiness will subside, it did a little (4), but to me it still seemed like a curly-hair-gone-bad.

The first night of having the curls bothered me, as it seemed that the process did not go well. I thought having curls is just as easy as having your hair straightened; let the mix of hair treatment chemicals sit on your hair and scalp for quite some time, rinse it off and voila! you got a new hairstyle.

I slept through the night and checked on my curls the morning after. I did not let 48 hours pass before I washed my hair, as I have to go to the office and I don’t want my hair to smell and be greasy.

After the bath, my hair looked like it was well-rinsed. I styled it to one side of my face and prepared to go to the office.

The morning after

It looked good curled, didn’t it? However, that great hairstyle did not last long.

While I was on my way to the office, my hair felt getting puffy, coarse and somewhat not looking curly. It looked more like my hair strands were damaged. Imagine a lion’s mane not taken care of. Like that. #CurlFail

In a not-so-obvious panicking state the whole day, I started to browse blogs and videos on how to manage curly hair, regardless of whether it is naturally curly or chemically treated curly hair.

And I have never been so surprised how laborious it is to care for this kind of hairstyle.


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