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Scientists develop a pill!, and the subject of curly hair.

From the land of terrible headlines comes one on a subject close to my heart.:
Scientists develop pill that could spell an end to straighteners after identifying ‘curly hair gene’
In direct contrast to the headline, lead researcher Nick Martin is quoted:

‘Potentially we can now develop new treatments to make hair curlier or straighter, rather than treating the hair directly,’

Potentially develop a treatment equals “develop a pill for” in headline-speak. There’s also mention of the forensic aspect of knowing if a suspect or victim has the “curly gene.” Which isn’t terribly useful do to the (somewhat) changeable nature of hair. At best, you could identify a person as having curly hair or straightened curly hair. Since my knowledge genetics and proteomics is rusty, I won’t speak of what else this article may have gotten wrong. Or rant again about the notions of ideals.

On a related note, I’ve been following the Curly Girl way of doing things for about a year now. No shampoo, only conditioner. No brush, only the *occasional* comb-through. While I still use gentle elastic bands, I’ve also played around more with pins and clips. I’m pretty happy with the results. My hair and I have come to an understanding: I treat it nicely and it behaves better. In the last three months, I’ve started spraying it every few days with a lavender oil mixture to add some “moisture.”  Surprisingly, my skin doesn’t have a problem with this, and honestly, the state of my scalp is no different than when I used shampoo. My main difficulty, which has always been a difficulty. is in finding conditioners and gels that works well for me. That don’t cost a finger and a toe. I liked Garnier Frcutis Hydra-Curls, but I can’t find it anywhere anymore. Tresemme has a Flawless Curls conditioner that works okay, but could be a little thicker. Thus far, the only gel I like is Aussie’s Sun-Touched Shine. I wish there was a donation site for hair product that are used about five times before being rejected.

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My name’s Katherine. I’m a curly girl.

Book #27 – Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey

I have a feeling that every woman can relate their history in relation to their hair. I’m not a particularly looks-conscious person, but even I have trouble coming up with a concise overview of what life has been like with my locks.

I have thin, curly, red hair that is unlike that of any of my immediate family. When I was a kid, strangers used to come up to me in stores and ask where I got hair. Neither my mom or grandmother knew what to do with it. No, actually, this isn’t quite accurate. In texture, I have my dad’s hair. My dad always kept his short until he started to lose it in his 40s. He’s solved his hair problems by shaving his head bald. I don’t have that luxury.

I had a short hairdo until I was in my 20s. Since then, I’ve floundered around trying to find an easy way to keep my longer hair healthy and looking good. First, I tossed out the fine toothed brushes and combs. Then I gave up on hair dryers. These were two steps I discovered on my own through ten years of fighting with my hair. My hair was…better, but still often a crap-shoot. I don’t mind having curly hair, but sometimes it’s a tad unruly.  I’ve tried products that were supposed to give me manageable curls and no frizz that only gave me product-coated frizz. Then I read something intriguing in PastaQueen‘s blog. A book called Curly Girl advised her not to shampoo her curly hair. Huh.

Curly Girl‘s basic tenant is that you should love your curly hair and accept that trying to make it straight isn’t going to work. Massey, a curly girl herself and a successful salon owner, provides advice on how to make it so those curls are somewhat presentable. Amid the women’s magazine frippery, there’s daily plan for hair care including tossing shampoo in favor of using conditioner only. I’ve been following the plan for about a week now. My hair has definitely been curlier then usual and I haven’t decided whether it’s a good thing. "Washing" my hair takes longer, but it’s better off for the rest of the day.

One aspect the book doesn’t cover is how to deal with curly hair and physical activity like sports. We’re told to give up elastic bands, but not really provided with a restraining alternative.  And I doubt that a little shake will turn my hat-head back to tumbling tresses.  Still, the beauty of any plan is in it’s flexibility, and I’ve yet to  see how pretty this plan is.  I haven’t thrown out my nearly-new bottle of shampoo yet.