Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Going Natural: 5 reasons to TOSS your flat iron this Summer

Posted by Jen Lennox at 3:25 PM
I've been going natural for a few months now, and as we head into the lazy, hot days of Summer I am struck by how different this Summer is compared to Summers of the past. I never realized until very recently how much my hair controlled what I did during a time of year that's supposed to be about relaxation, the outdoors and fun. Here are my top 5 reasons to ditch the flat iron until at least September, if not for good!


More or less, I've spent the last decade flat ironing my hair. I have long, thick, heavy, wavy hair. When school would get out for the summer, I'd spend a lot of time (without realizing I was doing it) finding ways to stay inside as much as possible. That's right. In the Summer. Stay inside. Why? Because when you spend 20-30 minutes drying your hair and another 20-30 minutes flat ironing it, stepping outside into the humid abyss of Summer is going to undo every moment of that. Which means a frizzy, half-wavy MESS, and the day will end with another shower, another 20-30 minutes of drying, flat ironing, blah blah blah. It's all too much to handle. I used to let my kids go outside while I stayed in my happy place, which was full of AC, 4 walls, and cable. Pretty much the same way I live in the winter, just switching out the AC for heat. Now that I've gone natural, I no longer worry about humidity, or heat, or sun. I go OUTSIDE, enjoy time with my kids, and don't stress about my routine later, because a CoWash is easy peasy. Summer is FUN again, and I love that.


The only thing worse than humidity for those of us who flat iron our hair is the concept of sweat. There's NO way to recover from a sweat session without washing your hair, especially if it's been flat ironed. Our roots start curling up right away, so BACK WE GO to that same ridiculous routine of washing, drying, heat styling again. For years, I avoided exercise at all because of this. Even more so in the summer. Sand Volleyball? Corn Hole? Mini Golf? Yoga? The Gym? Nope. Count me out. I can't get to sweaty because I'll have to spend too much time fixing my hair. You heard that right. LET ME SACRIFICE THE HEALTH OF MY BODY BECAUSE OF MY HAIR ROUTINE. I was doing that, and I doubt I'm alone. Come on now, Curly Girls. Let it GO. Go to the gym. Run around the block. Play games with your kids, your friends. Let the sweat roll. When you go natural, sweat is an easy fix. Curl refreshing and CoWashing takes less than half the time and your hair just keeps getting better and better.


Oh boy. There's humidity. There's sweat. And then, there's the POOL. Nothing more terrifying for those who flat iron than the damage you have to deal with when your head is full of chlorine. I used to dread going to the pool (although I LOVE THE POOL) because I knew the hot disaster I'd be dealing with when I came home. Not only do I have to deal with the HOUR (or more) routine that awaits me, but now I have to use a bunch of special products to try to make my already damaged hair soft enough to even start the process in the first place. Which is an ordeal. When you allow your hair to go natural, a trip to the pool is easily managed with a little clarifying (non-sulfate) shampoo (Kinky Curly Come Clean is excellent) and a quick 5-minute hair masque (Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex is my current fav) in the shower. Go to the pool again. Do a cannonball or two. There's no longer a reason to get anxious when your hair is no longer an issue.


Ahhhh, the Beach. The sounds of the waves. The Sun. The salt in the air. Every one of these things are a breathtaking part of Creation that we should be able to enjoy, but for those who heat style, they can induce panic. Even if you manage to pull your hair into a ponytail or bun it's a stiff, gummy mess when you get home. When you allow your curls to just BE, that salty air can enhance your style in many fabulous ways. In fact, many of our straight-haired counterparts actually BUY PRODUCTS with salt in them to GIVE them the beachy look that WE get naturally if we would just LET OURSELVES be natural. Which leads me to my number 1 reason to ditch the flat iron....


(Annalyne McCord is fabulous. And natural.)

Yes, we all want what we can't have. It's the human condition. I'm just as guilty of it as the next gal. What I've discovered in my journey is that SO many women are jealous of my curls. They wish they could have them. They pay money getting perms and body waves just to have a HINT of what God gifted me naturally. What a disservice not to embrace it. Until this Summer, I never realized how my hair was controlling my life in many negative ways, all because I was fighting something that was given to me as a gift, not a curse! Life is SO SO good. I cannot wait to jump into Summer with both feet....and big hair.

This is my husband and I at the Rolling Stones concert. It was outdoors, super humid, and would have caused mass panic before I went natural. It was one of the best nights of my life. Get out there and start living! 


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