Tag: straight hair

17
Aug

Gained a baby, lost my curls.

I’ve Googed it, and it’s a thing: you can lose your curls when you have a baby.

For a while I was in denial. I couldn’t believe that my curly hair had just racked off for ever. No more waves. No more bounce. No more texture. Just hair that was foreign to me: straight (but not the good straight – limp straight), thin, lank and completely unresponsive to the products and styling that used to boss it around so perfectly. Every morning it felt like I had used a super heavy conditioning treatment the night before.

IMG_1837

IMG_7100

My pre-baby hair.

Baffled, I began to idiotically point fingers at the Bhave keratin smoothing treatment I had just before I had Sonny, in May 2014.  I emailed the lovely crew at Bhave in December, frustrated with the weird wig on my head.

Keep in mind that Bhave, like all keratin treatments, is temporary, and washes out in about three months, so I was really going out on a limp little limb of feasibility here:

“Ummm guys, the keratin seems to really love my hair… it is hanging about and making my hair flat and lank and heavy? I’m confused and wondering what you might advise? I keep cutting my hair shorter in the hope it will grow out…”

Also keep in mind I am a dingus and had no idea what was really going on and they were very polite despite the fact that what I was suggesting was impossible.

They sent me their prep shampoo which would strip the keratin out… but by then I had:

A)  Waltzed into Edwards and Co and had a big snip because I thought that would definitely stop the problem, and,

B) Been educated on said trip to Edwards and Co about what pregnancy hormones do to hair texture.

In short: they really fuck with them.

IMG_2754

The Big Snip. God it felt good. Like a re-birth after being in the baby fog for six months. Highly recommend it.

Oh yes, we all know about gaining hair as we grow the baby, and losing it once we stop breastfeeding it, but what of the texture change? WHAT OF THE TEXTURE CHANGE?

I’m not the first mum to notice a complete change of hair, nor are big hormonal hair changes a new phenomenon: I had a friend at school who had straight hair until 13 and then it went bonkers corkscrew curly. It was fantastic. She was impossibly beautiful. It all just worked. Ditto the boy who had the opposite: wild curls until high school and then just, nothing. Simple, straight, normal hair. I think he was relieved.

I understand now that hormones mess with the shape of the follicle, (shape determines curly or straight hair), and babies are completely worth it, but it is annoying. It’s as though I am starting again after decades of knowing and understanding my texture and unique hair idiosyncrasies. I am supposed to be an expert in beauty and hair and shit, but now have the styling skills of a salmon, and hair that is way too much work.

 IMG_1185

IMG_5368

My post-baby straight, floppy hair. And the cute little culprit. (Maybe all my curls went into his mega curl.)

I have bought a new curling tong, and cleared out my entire styling kit, (especially all the curl boosting stuff, the heavy creams, the frizz fighting stuff, the oils, and the straightening balms), now relying on volume boosting mousse and texture sprays and volume powder to try and mimic the old natural texture and grip (oh man is grip something I took for granted: now nothing holds in my stupid slippery hair: not curls, not waves, not styles, not bobby pins, not nothing. I may as well have hair that is made of washing up detergent.) I don’t use conditioner, it’s way too heavy, (I use R+Co One Prep Spray instead which protects against heat styling and gives some grip and texture) and I have an unhealthy reliance on my poor hair stylist Lauren to product some texture, any texture, with highlights and crafty cutting. I am several postcodes from wash and go, in fact I am in the next country.

Perhaps it’s karma for complaining about my curls since I was a zygote.

For having it permanently straightened.

For using ghds daily for two years straight when I was 24.

Some say the curls will come back, that it can take up to 18 months. Some say my next pregnancy might swing me back the other way. And some* say curls are for dumdums anyway.

I say Sonny owes me some godamn curls and he’s not getting any pocket money til they’re back.

 

Here are some links on this topic: here’s an NPR one, an anecdotal one, and a forum one.
Here are some links not on this topic: frog spirit animals, a very funny film clip, and delicious peanut butter mug cake.

*No one.

 

Responses to this drivel: 45 Comments
06
May

The easiest, quickest hair I’ve ever had.

Which is what you want just before you bring a teeny human home from the hospital, isn’t it?

YES.

And that’s precisely why I did what I did.

What did I did?

I booked in for the  bhave™ smoothe™ keratin therapy (which is Aussie-made and entirely free of formaldehyde, because the days of keratin smoothing treatments with formaldehyde are OVER) (or really should be) and is a nourishing smoothing treatment for the hair that kicks frizz and tames curls for 2-4 months.

I have tried Another Brand of keratin smoothing previously, which was fine, but after doing an event with the lovely Nikki Parkinson from Styling You in February and hearing her rave about how much she loved bhave, (and she lives in Frizzbane, so she really gets the need for smooth, fast hair) I wanted a go.

Why I did what I did:

Keratin smoothing treatments are well-loved because they give those of us with tricky mops the famed ‘wash and go’ hair we read so much about in magazines and in Disney stories. I want this hair as I head into newborn territory. Very much. And, after two weeks, I can vouch that bhave has made my grooming/hair/appearance approximately 458% easier and swifter. I just wash hair. Dry it off with hair dryer. Use brush if can be bothered. Go. You know, the stuff of godamn dreams.

What’s the process?

I went to the wee little Reveur Cheveux salon in McKinnon where Neil Cleminson – Creative & Technical Director of bhave (a brand also boasting a lovely range of wash and care and styling products – all sulphate and sodium chloride free – as well as the keratin therapy) performed the miracle. It took around three hours all up. I have fine hair, coloured hair, damaged hair, and none of these things mattered. Any hair type can do it.

What happened to my hair?

For the first 48 hours your hair will be REAL flat. That’s cos it’s setting. And you’re not to touch it. It took me back to my days of getting permanent ionic hair straightening (“Japanese straightening”) back in the early 2000s. I was obsessed. Seven hours in a dingy Chinatown salon was nothing to a young squid back then. Hangovers, Snickers and magazines were my faithful companions. It allowed me to have a fringe and hair extensions and all manner of previously ‘straight-hair’ only joy. Was a real shit when it grew out though.. Pube scalp, we affectionately called it.

bhave2

My hair during the ‘setting’ stage of bhave. Highlights suddenly SO light!

As soon as I washed my bhave hair, the flatness racked off. As a fine-haired babe you do wonder if you’ll be left with nothing, but in fact it’s just very silky and smooth. Feels healthy. Happy. Sure, it requires a bit of mousse and blow-drying if I want volume, but to be honest, the quick dry off with a barrel brush does the job for me. And I do mean quick – this is hair that dries in less than five minutes. I love the speed but I also love the obedience.

Also, rain? Whatever. It impacts my hair not one bit. This is a Big Deal for a life-long member of the Frizz Society.

I should mention that my curly hair did go straight with the treatment, (it still has some body, to be fair) but you can request maintaining your wave if you like. (It’s a keratin-infused smoothing treatment after all, not a straightening treatment.) I figure since as the treatment wears off my curls will return anyway, why not go straight, yeah? (Plus, straight, silky hair makes a high ponytail super swishy and cheerleady, a secret hairstyle love of mine.) And I can easily tong in some waves if I want them.

In terms of my colour, it really faded it. I was practically a blonde when I left Neil. That’s why you should wait til your hair needs colouring (and cutting) when you book in for your smoothing treatment. It will just nick all your colour so don’t waste your cash colouring beforehand. Neil recommends waiting at least a week (with two washes in there) before colouring and cutting.

Regarding colouring and cutting:

I was so bloody due for it. Even before I had bhave. So a week after my smoothe treatment, I waddled off to Elliott Steele in Ivanhoe to see Carly, who owns the salon and who is a top dog colourist for OriginalMineral, a company whose salon colour I have loved for a long time. Carly was one of those babes you instantly get along with, and I promise the fact she was also pregnant had nothing to do with it. It felt like I was in a sitcom salon, yknow? Where everyone is warm and having fun and are mates and I’m sure a bottle of wine sneaks out at 5pm each day.

Carly, using O&M’s splendid  CCT (Clean Color Technology, AKA free of ammonia and nasties) went over the top section of my hair with a lovely, cool, ashy dark blonde/light brown semi (I wanted to go a bit darker than usual) and then toned the lighter ends with a slightly lighter shade of the same ashy dark blonde.

ASHY and COOL, as always, are my key words when having my hair coloured. I bloody hate red tones. And if you do too, you’ll never utter the words CHOCOLATE, or WARM or RICH when explaining the kind of brunette you would like to be.

Then Carly  snipped off some ends (a good thing to do after bhave, since the straightness accentuates any splitsies) and quickly blow-dried it (impossible to slowly blow-dry hair that has had bhave) and I was off.

Here’s how it looked the day after. (Hair ALWAYS looks better the second day.)

O&M2

I always look like I just woke up since being pregnant. Cute.

 

Would I recommend it?

Yes. I may only wash my hair twice a week, but the styling and setting of my curly, fine, frizzy, tricky hair that follows (I am a fan of the old-school mousse/blow-dry/tong procedure which then lasts 3-4 days) takes TIME and I have been told roughly 627 times a day that that is one commodity new mums do not have. (As long as we get to eat sashimi, I’m okay with that.)

It’s also great if you’re going off traveling or to a very humid climate (the last time I did keratin smoothing was before living in NYC for summer – a veritable frizz orgy.) Be aware though that if you have very fine hair – as I do – it can last longer than you may like, and your hair can, after a few months, still be lacking in volume.

 bhave™ smoothe™ keratin therapy starts at $199 – cost depends on the length and thickness (which will affect how long it takes.) Click here for some more info.  And click here for some hungover owls.

 

NB: There has been some conflict over whether keratin smoothing treatments (along with, oh, you know, everything) are safe for pregbots, however there is so far no evidence of any adverse effects. Safety came into question because the old formulas were BURSTING with atrocious chemicals and in truth were probably unsafe for any woman, pregnant or not. But formulas have changed. Despite Neil cautiously suggesting I wait until after I’d had the baby (most stylists will, to err on the side of caution/avoid litigation/play it safe, which is far better than them not ) I researched thoroughly, and decided that since bhave is completely free of formaldehyde (as well as any ingredients that break down into formaldehyde) I was fine with it going on my hair. Also, bhave doesn’t flat-iron in the product at a temp that causes fumes and steam – another reason these treatments were to be avoided. Bottom line: it’s completely a personal decision, just like choosing to highlight your hair or having gels on your nails or a glass of pinot once a week or having narcotics in the delivery room or watching far too much One Born Every Minute.

 

Responses to this drivel: 46 Comments