It was always a battle, this hair of mine. Now, in my 50s, faced with it falling out from a combination of medication and menopause, it was time to do something. Initially, that "Something" was going to be a very shirt pixie cut, or perhaps a wig. I knew it couldn't take much more heat styling, and smoothing it with a flat iron wasn't working any longer anyway. One night, scrolling through Tumblr someone linked to Naturally Curly, and I clicked the link. I read one article after the next, effectively un-learning more than a half century's worth of bad hair advice.
To be fair, my mother had no idea how to deal with hair like mine, so she straightened it with giant rollers, hairdryers, and whatever lotion and potion was being sold to do the job. My hair would break a lot, which led to me wearing shorter hairstyles. It wasn't a big deal when I was young-my hair was pretty resilient at that point.
There's a lot of subtle (and not so subtle) ideas about class tied up in hair like mine, and I have an early memory of my mother telling me that people with curly hair looked like they had lice festering in it. Coming from a woman with stick-straight blonde hair you can interpret that as you like.
So I'm giving my hair a break, and seeing what happens. I'm not promising I won't go back to blow-drying it out, but for the moment, I'm learning a bit about myself (and my hair) and seeing what happens. Essentially, the less I do to it, the better it looks. Who'd have known?
I also learned that spray hair gel is a miracle in a bottle.
And cheap, leave-in conditioner ain't bad either.
Just beware there's a learning curve with the gel 😀. You CAN overdo it!