At any rate, after this happened, I was so distraught that my hair was so damaged. My hair would not curl like it had before. I waited the 30 days, hoping it would grow out and start being healthy again, but it became worse than ever. My hair was frizzy (besides the regular curl halo), limp, and basically just awful. I put so much product in my hair trying to get it to look "normal".
This first picture is of me at Christmas 2011, and I had put a lot of time and effort into getting it to look like this:
When I went into my stylist, she cut off a lot of hair (I had been trying to grow it out), and told me there was one section of hair she wasn't sure would ever go back to normally curly.
This is after my hair cut.
I was very upset that nothing seemed to help my hair. After probably 6 months of this (and pulling my hair back into a ponytail a lot), I was researching and talking with friends who had starting a mostly natural hair care program with their curly hair. I decided to give it a shot.
I started by stopping shampooing my hair (I was only shampooing twice a week anyway, so that wasn't a big deal). Every day, I conditioned my hair with coconut conditioner, then after my shower, squeezed a bit of argan oil (One N' Only Argan Oil from Sally's Beauty Supply) through my hair, then squeezed out excess moisture with an old cotton tshirt of my husband's (the cotton doesn't encourage breakage like regular towels do), then squeezed through a little bit of leave-in conditioner (Mixed Silk Leave-In Conditioner from Sally's Beauty Supply), then let air dry.
This is a photo on day 11:
As you can see on the right-side of the photo, that area was the trouble spot that refused to curl very well. BUT! This photo shows how big an improvement in my hair just in 11 days. You can still see that my hair is fairly dry/damaged, but it was still better than it had been.
This is 3 weeks in, daily conditioner and leave-in conditioner & moroccan oil.
At this point, my daily routine is to rinse my ends out with a solution of 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar + 1 cup water; then rinsing out with water. After my shower, I squeeze out excess moisture with my hands, then if it's too soaking wet, squeeze out the rest with cotton tshirt. Then I squeeze through leave-in conditioner. Every 7-10 days (honestly, when my hair starts to feel a little oily), I use a solution of 1 TBsp baking soda + 150 ml water dumped on the crown of my head and roots, massage through, then rinse out very well and follow up with the apple cider vinegar solution. If I have to be somewhere right away, I'll use a hair dryer with diffuser attached. If I don't, I'll let it air dry. Here's a picture of my hair now:
I just had a trim before Christmas this year and my stylist said my hair is super healthy, has been growing really fast (something I noticed as well), and I shouldn't need to be back until March-April. I'm very happy that my hair is so much healthier now than it ever has been. It feels better and curls better.
If you're looking for a way to get your curly hair to be healthy, then give this a shot. Don't expect results right away, and the curve can be steep, especially if you wash your hair every day/every other day right now. (Which, btw, is pretty bad for curly hair to wash that often! It strips all the moisture out of your hair!)
If you have questions, leave them in the combox, and I'll try to answer them as best as I can. Here's some questions that I've gotten since I started my "routine":
Does your head itch?
No, not after an adjustment time (which, for me, lasted about a week).
Does your hair smell like vinegar?
Surprisingly, no. If you rinse well, your hair shouldn't smell. If it does, you need to rinse a little better next time.
How much time does this add to your haircare routine?
It actually takes me less time now in the shower than it ever has. I have a small bottle of apple cider vinegar that I keep in the shower, and a glass to pour it into to add water to.
Disclaimer: I claim no responsibility for your hair. Use your best judgment and common sense. In other words, if you fuck up your hair, I'm not responsible.