the heat-free challenge.
What's the first thing you do in the morning? Check your cell? Log into your e-mail? A bowl of Cap'n Crunch? Snooze the alarm, and sleep some more? Whatever your answer is...that, I believe, is your number one addiction. So, while some women stumble to the coffee maker to feed their addiction...I beeline for the straightener, fumbling for the "on" button, and double checking the "Turbo Heat" setting. Then I shower, mix my oatmeal, click through blog updates...a morning tradition set solely to ensure that my styling tools are fiery enough to brand a cow before attempting to tame my mane. Next, I cook my hair until it's well-done. Some might say charbroiled. Infact, I'm so determined to straighten out every natural curl, that I often burn my tresses due to prolonged heat exposure.
A few weeks after mending my rifted relationship with hair salons, I decided it was time to kick my addiction to heated tools. My previously-disastrous hair already felt remarkably better thanks to a talented stylist, but I wanted to see how long I could go without blow dryers, straighteners or curling irons. It's been ten years since they became a part of my daily life...I couldn't remember the last day I'd gone heat-free. Years have passed, every morning marked with that half hour spent cursing, coaxing my curls into submission. Could I go for a few days without? Could I live my life as a curly girl?
Day one dawned, and I'm not gonna sugar coat it: It was tough. I felt undone...my curly locks seemed unmanageable in comparison to my usually straight-styled 'do. I opted to shampoo and condition every other day, allowing my dry hair time to breathe in between. So, by my wash on day three, my curls were unbelievable, in a really beautiful way...shiny, well-defined, voluminous. Infact, so voluminous that I couldn't wear them down due to their new ability to defy gravity, so I pulled them up into a high pony, with pinned back bangs. (See above.) Not only did I feel rather cute, I also realized I'd created an extra half-hour in my morning schedule. Days four through seven consisted of day three's hairstyle, with increasingly shiny, healthy looking locks. And...here's the best part: my skin looked better, too. What? YES. I've credited the extra 30 minutes of sleep I was snagging every night with improving my dark circles and frequently dry skin. Amazing what a few extra z's can do for a girl.
By day eight, my hair was looking luminous (yes, I jacked that word that off a shampoo commercial), my skin more radiant than ever, and I was one well-rested girl. But, I'd become incredibly bored with my one-note look. Gabe laughed when I whined that just a week into my challenge...I was fit to be tied. I think he predicted it. The man has, only a few months into our relationship, figured out that I tire of new things quite easily. But, bless his heart, he somehow finds it endearing. In all truth, I didn't have many more curly-girl options. With my curls back to their years-ago spring and bounce, they looked gorgeous, but could only be worn up.
So, my straightener itch won out on the evening of day eight. But, eight days...cold turkey? Not bad for an addict. Strangely enough, I received so many compliments on my undone hair. From people I work with, to random girls on campus, a lovely stranger in the store...I was astonished that my complete lack of effort was awarded so many well-dones from my fellow females.
And for once, I could really say, "Oh, this old thing? Just tossed it up today." :)