I am a firm believer in the saying that hair is a girl’s crowning glory and that a great mop of hair can actually make or break an entire look. Perhaps this is why I put in an extra 15 to 20 minutes each morning to ensure that my hair looks absolutely perfect each time I step out of my house.
Now, to give you a little background – my natural hair is medium to thick and super frizzy. Trust me when I say this: I have tried everything from chemical treatments to home remedies in hopes of finding that one holy-grail product or treatment that would transform my hair game but without any success… sigh! Hence after having lived with this sorry state of hair for so long, I resorted to heat styling my hair every single day.
While this practice definitely made my hair look coiffed and frizz-free, it came with its own set of problems. When my hair wasn’t styled, it looked dehydrated and frizzier than usual and I started experiencing hair loss like never before. I knew I had to cut down on all that styling, but I wasn’t confident to flaunt my natural hair.
But that’s exactly when lockdown happened, and I knew this was my chance to give my hairstyling habits a break and embrace my natural hair texture.
Want to find out how that worked out for me? Well, read on…
The first month was obviously the most difficult. Since I was so used to blow drying my hair right after a hair wash, I found myself reaching for my hairdryer almost out of reflex. But good sense prevailed, and after squeezing off the excess water, I applied my usual serum and let my hair air dry. Since this practice saved me a lot of time in the mornings, I could spend that extra 20 minutes catching up on some much-needed Zzz’s. Also, since I felt relatively less tired and lazy over the weekends, I indulged in regular hot oil and deep conditioning treatments, which made my hair feel less drier and more manageable by the end of the first week.
By the end of the first month, I had more or less gotten used to walking around with my natural hair (and I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t getting used to all the extra snooze time). Also, I happened to cut my own hair because the split ends were getting a little out of hand! Mid-month I noticed that my hair was feeling slightly softer than it had in a really long time and the number of strands I lost during the day had definitely gone down. While giving up on heat styling was definitely the main reason behind this, I had also made the switch to a silk pillowcase and I feel like it helped my hair quite a lot too. I noticed lesser hair breakage each morning, and the frizz relatively went down too. This little switch coupled with everything that I had started in the first month ensured that my natural hair looked a lot better than it ever had.
During the duration of this experiment, month three would definitely have to be the hardest so far. As fate would have it, a really close friend randomly announced her Zoom engagement out of nowhere. As someone who’s always seen with perfectly straightened hair, attending an engagement party (even though it was virtual) with my naturally dishevelled hair sure gave me sleepless nights. As tempted as I was to break this resolve only for a day, I somehow didn’t. What I did instead was binge-watched a few hairstyle tutorials on YouTube and tried to recreate a hairstyle that was not only simple but super chic. Apart from all the compliments that came my way, I learnt to experiment with my personal style and I realised that it made me feel extremely confident. Additionally, I also learnt that it is possible for my crazy, frizzy mane to look chic and manageable without using any heat *yay!*
I am soon going to complete four solid months (say whaaaa) of not having used any form of heat on my hair and tbh, I am feeling kinda proud of myself. Although my hair is still pretty dry, messy and weird (trust me, years of heat damage doesn’t go away in a few months’ time), the overall texture of my hair has improved immensely. Earlier my hair felt super coarse and damaged, but it now feels a lot softer and bouncier. The hair fall and breakage has definitely reduced and my hair has more movement. These positive changes have strengthened my resolve to substantially cut-down my heat usage and limit it to those special occasions only even after this lockdown ends.