Healing damaged curls?
September 22, 2012 7:08 PM Subscribe
I've been wearing my hair pulled back in a ponytail for probably twelve years. I want to start wearing it down, but it's gotten way too damaged for that. How do I restore it back to health?
My hair is naturally curly but also naturally dry in texture. Since middle school, I've done all sorts of bad things to it: dying, blow-drying daily under high heat to straighten it, neglecting to use conditioner for months, using a brush, not getting it trimmed, and pulling it back in sometimes tight ponytails every day. The result is a frizzy mess that, if worn down, gets blown out of shape with even a slight wind or dab of humidity. That exaggerated rat's nest in the "Before" picture on conditioner commercials? That's basically it. But with more broken hairs.
I've made some changes over the past year, including using conditioner daily, combing it out with my fingers after a shower, and taking a shower the night before work to let it mostly air dry or use the hair dryer on the low warm setting. I have noticed a big improvement in texture, though it's not yet healthy enough to wear down.
I have tried not washing it every day, but it gets really greasy at my scalp by midday if I don't. I have thought about a keratin treatment to re-texture it, but I look WAY better with curls or waves than I do with straight hair (not to mention that it has really thinned out).
What are your best practices for restoring curly hair that's as unhealthy as mine? Preferably DIY, but I am desperate enough for the salon if necessary.