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Guide to Managing Curly Hair
Beauty
Published Thursday Oct 31, 2019 by Sara Lesher

Taming the Mane: My Guide to Managing Curly Hair

Beauty
Personal Growth
Motivation

If you have curly or wavy hair, you understand the struggles of battling weather, frizz, product overload, and unpredictability of your look. For years, I have tried tons of different methods, products, and tools for controlling my mane. I always looked at my straight-haired friends with envy as they effortlessly tossed up a beautifully sleek pony or walked in the rain without fear of the frizz

Wasn’t there an easier way I could embrace my natural curls instead of trying to flatten them? That’s when I began my research and discovered the Curly Girl Method, a list of dos and don’ts that help restore your natural curl pattern to its healthiest form. Sounds simple, right? Not really.

 

"Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen."

- Lorraine Massey

 

I learned that if I were to fully embrace this method, I would have to give up heat, shampoo, and color. I was ready to embrace my natural curls, but I still wanted to use styling tools on special occasions and couldn’t fathom cutting out shampoo in my active, sweaty lifestyle. So I decided to start small, with all of the things that seemed doable for me.

 

Here's what I did...

Swapped my pillowcase

I have always used a traditional cotton pillowcase. I never realized that when I move around in my sleep, I’m rubbing my head against it and causing frizz and breakage. Switching to a silk pillowcase is much more gentle on my hair. When I toss and turn, my hair glides over the material rather than breaking into small strands. Plus, it makes me feel like royalty

1
Swapped my pillowcase

I have always used a traditional cotton pillowcase. I never realized that when I move around in my sleep, I’m rubbing my head against it and causing frizz and breakage. Switching to a silk pillowcase is much more gentle on my hair. When I toss and turn, my hair glides over the material rather than breaking into small strands. Plus, it makes me feel like royalty

Tossed my hairbrush

If you have curly hair, you know brushing turns your locks into one giant poof that engulfs your entire face. However, I did brush it while it was wet. I gave up brushing outside the shower and purchased a Vitagoods scalp massager/shampoo brush, and let me tell you, I love this thing. This vibrating tool fits in the palm of your hand and makes for an amazing scalp massage, stimulating hair growth and removing any dryness or dead skin from your scalp (gross).

2
Tossed my hairbrush

If you have curly hair, you know brushing turns your locks into one giant poof that engulfs your entire face. However, I did brush it while it was wet. I gave up brushing outside the shower and purchased a Vitagoods scalp massager/shampoo brush, and let me tell you, I love this thing. This vibrating tool fits in the palm of your hand and makes for an amazing scalp massage, stimulating hair growth and removing any dryness or dead skin from your scalp (gross).

Quit towel drying

I used to wrap my hair up in a bath towel to dry it, as many people do. But just like the pillowcase, the material of towels leads to breakage and frizz, especially if you wrap it tightly on top of your head. I stopped towel drying altogether and begun scrunching my hair dry with a cotton T-shirt—or you can use a microfiber hair towel. I immediately noticed a difference in the way my hair looked! It was smooth and shiny with much less frizz than before. 

3
Quit towel drying

I used to wrap my hair up in a bath towel to dry it, as many people do. But just like the pillowcase, the material of towels leads to breakage and frizz, especially if you wrap it tightly on top of your head. I stopped towel drying altogether and begun scrunching my hair dry with a cotton T-shirt—or you can use a microfiber hair towel. I immediately noticed a difference in the way my hair looked! It was smooth and shiny with much less frizz than before. 

Said goodbye to chemicals

When I began to read about sulfates, silicones, and parabens, I was mortified by what I had been putting in my hair! Obviously, my hair will look damaged if I consistently cover it in toxic chemicals. It is so easy to read the ingredients of products before you buy them to check for those three things. Many shampoos and conditioners will say right on the bottle if they are free of these chemicals, so be sure to read before you buy (plus, it’s better for the environment!).

4
Said goodbye to chemicals

When I began to read about sulfates, silicones, and parabens, I was mortified by what I had been putting in my hair! Obviously, my hair will look damaged if I consistently cover it in toxic chemicals. It is so easy to read the ingredients of products before you buy them to check for those three things. Many shampoos and conditioners will say right on the bottle if they are free of these chemicals, so be sure to read before you buy (plus, it’s better for the environment!).

Cut down on washing

Although I wasn’t ready to quit washing completely, I knew I should cut back. Hair is not supposed to be cleaned every day, and doing so makes it look dry and lifeless. I thought I had to wash my hair every time I worked out! Wrong!  I cut back on shampoo and started using As I Am’s Coconut Cowash. This, combined with my daily scalp massage, left my hair feeling clean—even after sweating. Although I noticed a little extra grease at first, my hair quickly adjusted to the new routine, and now it looks better than ever.

5
Cut down on washing

Although I wasn’t ready to quit washing completely, I knew I should cut back. Hair is not supposed to be cleaned every day, and doing so makes it look dry and lifeless. I thought I had to wash my hair every time I worked out! Wrong!  I cut back on shampoo and started using As I Am’s Coconut Cowash. This, combined with my daily scalp massage, left my hair feeling clean—even after sweating. Although I noticed a little extra grease at first, my hair quickly adjusted to the new routine, and now it looks better than ever.

Stopped comparing

My biggest mistake during the beginning of this journey was comparing my hair to other types. I wondered why my methods didn’t give me the same results as the girls I saw on YouTube. I took this quiz to determine my hair’s pattern, type, porosity, density, and width, which allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation of my hair’s unique qualities. After just a few months, I'm now straightening less and loving my curls!

6
Stopped comparing

My biggest mistake during the beginning of this journey was comparing my hair to other types. I wondered why my methods didn’t give me the same results as the girls I saw on YouTube. I took this quiz to determine my hair’s pattern, type, porosity, density, and width, which allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation of my hair’s unique qualities. After just a few months, I'm now straightening less and loving my curls!

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Lifecycle Program Manager
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. A former English major, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).
people in upward dog practicing yoga on mats
Fitness
Published Wednesday Jul 28, 2021 by Bree Lewis

Sweat Redemption: 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Your Hot Yoga Practice

Yoga
Fitness
Expert Advice

If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.

To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.

1. Go at your own pace

Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you.  And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it (honestly, it might)

The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!  

3. Nourish your body

Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.

4. Replenish those electrolytes

Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.

5. Bring the right equipment

Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.

So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.

Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you

While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!