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Pomp and CURLStance: Nadine

July 15, 2010
This week we have Nadine, a Puerto Rican curly mom from Florida, sharing with us how she learned to let [her curls] loose!
C: Tell me about your curly hairstory.

N: Hair has always been an issue for me.  To sum it up- I spent countless hours with my hair in “el doobie” which is a technique involving what seems like hundreds of bobbie pins Puerto Rican girls use to attempt to straighten their hair and with “la plancha” the iron we use to get that ever so sleek finish. I stopped the ironing of my hair sometime in high school.  However- I spent the next few years pulling it back into VERY tight buns and ponytails with A LOT of mousse and hairspray.  I used to get these aweful headaches and have this funky attitude- I bet you I had some sortof restricted blood flow to my brain!  The only time my hair was “down” was after a shower. Period!

C: When and how did your “learn” how to do your hair?

N: After having a kid (or maybe it was after the 2nd kid) I started leaving my hair down (after chopping most of it off).  At this point I graduated from the mousse and was on to using gel and curl cremes.  Then my husband bought me Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey and I haven’t been the same since.  I have officially coined myself a natural curly hair advocate.  I have dipped into several of her ideas (co-washing, lavender spray, lemon rinsing etc) but nothing really “stuck” until I found and discovered homemade flaxseed gel and I have been in true love ever since…

C: How did your hair change during pregnancy?

N: Pregnancy did wonders for my hair- lots of growth and shine!  Then again I went through a thing and chopped about 10 inches after my 2nd child- I think it was an impulsive decision based on fluctuating hormones- why else would someone chop off all that healthy curly hair (ugh… I’m still sick over it!) I also think that my curls are getting tighter as I get older which is nice.  It could be that I keep a simple routine and don’t cause any unnecessary damage to my hair- NO HEAT, NO CHEMICALS (ex. highlights, coloring, etc.)
Or maybe the mantra “less is more” is really what we all need as we grow older and wiser 

C: What’s your current regimen and what products do you use now?

N:  I was co-washing with Suave Ocean Mist and Tropical Coconut but decided I need some shampoo in my life again so I started using Escencia by Samy- a sulfate-free shampoo/conditioner available in drugstores but then it got discontinued (I HATE when that happens!) so I am currently using Everyday Shea from Whole Foods (shampoo and condtioner) for a couple of months now and I really like it.  I am open to affordable options (I can’t spend a ton of money on products when I know my hair can look good and feel good using Suave). The ONLY styling product I use is Homemade Flaxseed Gel.  It’s basically simmered flaxseed in water with added aloe vera and essential oils.

C: Now that you have your own youngins, what is it like maintaining a head of hair that has a different texture than your own?

N: Unfortunatly they have straight hair (and the boys have buzz cuts so thats’s zero maintainance). Maintaining my daughter’s hair is pretty easy for now- just wash and go. There are times (like when I french or “basket” braid it) that having a little texture might work to my advantage but other than that I have no complaints.  I am sure it would’ve been more a challange if I were the one with straight hair and her having the coarse curls.  I believe there is a chance that she might gain a little wave when she gets older.

C: Any tips/tricks/techniques you’d like to share?

N: Natural curlies- PLEASE…. give your hair a chance! Our hair is gorgeous and exotic and should be celebrated and shared.  The possibilities are endless and natural curls are low-maintance once you give it the TLC it needs!   Between hair forums and blogs like this, how can we not?

C: Can you share a curly anecdote or memory with us?

N: My daughter made a mother’s day bio-poem for me and said “my mom has the most beautiful black curly hair ever…”  It means a lot coming from someone who looks up to you!  How can I not embrace what my mama gave me after that?

C: If you could use three words to describe your hair, what would they be?

N: Sensual, Flexible, and Carefree…

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