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Curly Nikki

On the Couch With Carmen

By January 27th, 202119 Comments



On the Couch With Carmen
Carmen of God Men and Money writes:

I’ve been ‘natural’ for about 18 years. Bending to societal pressure and the Florida humidity, I conceded to my first and last perm at 12. Surprise, surprise, I hated it! My thick, shoulder length hair turned into a crunchy, hot mess.
No one told me that every one’s hair texture wouldn’t respond well to a relaxer.
My hair has never really recovered from my foray into chemical land.
Moving on, I transitioned back out of perm land, even before there were great portals like yours to guide me. I mainly used the advice of one of the hair beauty consultants in a Black Hair magazine–her main point was not to use a pressing comb when growing out a perm. At around 16, the remnants of the relaxer finally grew out. Surprisingly during that period I had grown the longest hair of my life.
Now, even though I’ve been ‘natural’ my whole life–it wasn’t until this year that I started experimenting with my hair in its pure, natural state. The press & comb, flat iron, and the Doobie were my standard hair styles up until this year. If I wanted to give my hair a break, I wore my hair pulled back in a wavy bun or I wore a weave. You see, my hair always confused me–it’s wavy & it’s curly and usually dry [because I have never found the right product that wouldn’t weigh down fine, straight hair].

On the Couch With CarmenOn the Couch With Carmen

For some time, I’ve had a hint that maybe I had some great curls lurking beneath the dryness. This is because, post–washing, my gorgeous, wavy/curly always hair looked healthy and nice. But a short time later, that waviness turned to dry frizziness.
I decided in 2010 that I was going to learn how to do this curly head of mine. At the beginning of the year, I tried all types of products and I viewed 10s of videos trying to figure out what to do with my hair and my hair type. I grew frustrated because none of the products seemed to work and none of the hairstyles made me feel great. I would leave my house with fresh looking hair, and less than an hour later it would turn into a frizzy chaos. I would end up, always, having to pull my hair back up in a bun. The frustration made me feel like my natural hair look was unkept and I didn’t really want any parts of it.
By August, I bit the bullet and went to a salon that specializes in my hair. I wanted to learn how to love my hair without straightening it. A few friends had visited my salon of choice and they all looked amazing after the owner put his hands in their hair.
The salon experience was awesome.
Even though I wasn’t thrilled about the trim [that turned into a chop], or the hefty price I paid [300+]….I was shocked, geeked and excited about my post look.

On the Couch With Carmen

I had finally found my curls!! I left the salon feeling pretty in my curls for the very first time, IN LIFE!
I was relieved.
I’ve only straightened my hair once since August. I’m searching for a new job, and at times I feel the urge to straighten it to look more main stream. But, I usually quell the urge because this ‘look’ is how I will be wearing my hair for a few months out of every year. So, wherever I work, they will need to get used to the versatility of this black girl’s hair.
For the first time, I am absolutely in love with my hair. I love the flexibility it gives and I feel like now I have a choice in ALL hair styles. This week I can straighten it, the next week I can twist it, and another week I could protect it with a great looking weave [oh, I love a great weave].
I believe the way we wear our hair is all a choice, and it’s all beautiful. Being ‘more’ natural has given me an even greater appreciation for all types of textures, hair styles, and even my sister-friends who adore the creamy crack ๐Ÿ™‚
Mastering my natural hair has given me a sense of freedom beyond belief. It’s given me more creativity to be ME–and that ME’s look can and will change everyday. How amazing!

19 Comments

  • Rella says:

    Wow your hair looks great! I can definitely relate to how you felt about your hair before finding your curls. I have similar texture hair as yours and it can be frustrating when you envision a look and it doesn't come out that way. However, don't give up! It's a trial and error process until you find what your hair actually loves.

  • QueenKia says:

    Thanks for the reply Carmen. I too can go through much of Hair Rules within a blink of an eye. Good luck with everything!

  • Carmen says:

    Hey Keemya!

    And @Anon…It's on 9th Avenue around 51st street in Manhattan. I dont remember the exact addy, but I know it's on the website.

  • Anonymous says:

    I Love your hair! I know Hair Rules is in NYC but where?

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Carmen! How surprised was I to see your story when I visited CN today ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking great! Can't wait to see it in person!

  • Anonymous says:

    Your hair looks great…I was gonna ask what exactly they did to it, but you already answered. Thanks for posting!

  • Kristen says:

    Your hair is pretty in all these pics but i do like the self photo with the phone the best!! Very nice curls!!! :o)

  • Tiera C. says:

    Your hair looks pretty! But PLEEEEEEASE don't spend that amount of $$ on your hair again. Lol. Having natural hair is so awesome b/c we get to learn how to do our own and save tons of money once we develop a regimen!

    Loved your post and im glad your curls are bouncing now! I hope they stay that way ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Carmen says:

    @QueenKia – Yes, I use it–but not everyday. It's something I only use on 'special' occasions, lol. I'm cheap, and I can go through a bottle in a month.

    Being in between jobs has gotten me comfy w/ 'moderately priced' leave in conditioners & the regular conditioner's Nikki suggests like Herbal Essence & Garnier Fructis

  • SaBrina says:

    Yall pray for me now..lol I just did a crazy thing, I purchased online the BOGO from Curltopia.com for the Miss Jessies products in the 16oz Baby Buttercreme for $58.00 and got the same in the freebie as well. I will kick myself if this product doesn't work, but if it doesn't please be sure that I will be giving this away lol….

    Wow your hair came out really good even though 300+ is alot to pay tear moment lol.lol…. I love the slant of your eyes maybe some Asian somehwere down the line. But welcome to the natural world, your hair looks really good.

  • Blair says:

    Great post! I myself am natural and love to see a fellow natural girl who isn't afraid to wear a good weave! Great post! Your hair is awesome!

  • QueenKia says:

    I went to hair Rules for my first curly hair hair-do and I loved the results as well. I highly recommend going there ladies. Carmen- do you still use their products? If so, what do you use? I'm trying to transition off in order to save a couple bucks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Carmen says:

    Thanks!

    I was washed/conditioned with their daily cleansing cream/quench conditioner. Then curly whip (I think), I sat under the dryer for about 45 mins. He finished me off with a quick whirl with the diffuser and I was done.

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautiful curls! Kudos to you for embracing them. ๐Ÿ™‚ ~KF519

  • Anonymous says:

    How did the salon style your hair in the last picture? It's gorgeous!

  • Anonymous says:

    Love post and curls. LLP~OGC

  • Yarb says:

    Yay Carmen! Loved your story. I can't believe I went to college with you and never knew you were natural. You're a rockstar girly! Love you hair!

  • Carmen says:

    Hair Rules in NYC….you'll be broke, but beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Melanie A Johnson says:

    Where is this magical salon!?! love the curls!

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