I am Tightly Coiled but I am not Wound Up

As I type this, September draws to a close and the weather feels cooler as fall settles in. This month I celebrated my thirty-third birthday (woot woot) and as the celebrations continue and I reflect on my last loop around the sun, I desire to share what’s on my mind…

First things first – I want to acknowledge my absence from this space. It has been a prolonged absence; I did not foresee taking such a long break. However, this past year has taught me to extend myself grace when I fall short of goals I have set for myself or when I do not meet the image I see of myself. I intend for this post to be the jumpstart back into regular writing. I hope you hold me to it. A big thank you to my subscribers, many of them friends, who reached out to me to ask when I was going to write again. Your inquiries serve as motivation for me to return to blogging.

While I have much to talk about, I am going to focus this post on hair and dating. Although I did not write many blogs during the pandemic, I started asking dating questions on my personal Instagram story. It was another way for me to connect with others, engage them, learn and share their perspectives on dating with others. Topics have included marriage and finances, interracial dating, and green flags to name a few.

Perhaps it’s the Catholic in me…I feel the need to confess. Here goes: I was a lousy dater. During the pandemic, I realized that I dated wrong the majority of my twenties. While I do not pretend to have it figured out now, I am strides better than I was two years ago. What did I learn? Firstly, I learned to forgive myself for not knowing and doing better. Then it became easier to date and enjoy dating. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Refrain from overanalyzing and trust your intuition
  2. Have fun!
  3. Relax – everything will work how it should

My dating journey is really just a return to girlhood softness, playfulness and vulnerability with the experiences and lessons of womanhood. I feel like I returned to myself and I love it. I enjoy dating again and put less pressure on myself for things to work out. My goal is to discover if we have the five ‘C’s and if at any point I feel his interest waning or I am not happy with the progression then I release myself from the notion that the relationship must work. I let go and let God send us on our individual dating journeys. How has the pandemic shaped your dating journey? Have you changed your approach, thoughts or attitude since dating during the pandemic? I am quite satisfied that I have unwound from my self-imposed mental prison.

Speaking of unwinding, I am embracing the wash ‘n go hairstyle. I wore wash ‘n gos during college but rarely since then because I did not like the look on me. When I was in college, I pressed (straightened) my hair frequently and, as a result, my curls were looser on account of heat damage. My hair was longer back then and I liked the way my hair framed my face as well as the volume. As the years pass, I notice my hair is becoming more coiled and springier – the exact opposite of unwound – which gave me pause in wanting to wear the hairstyle. However, with some tips and tricks from my curlfriends; practice; and acceptance, I am beginning to master the wash ‘n go. I especially want to acknowledge my cousin and Bend, Oregon’s intelligent and fashionable newscaster, Arielle, for her instruction and advice. It feels good to look in the mirror and be pleased with the results. Below are tips shared by my curlfriend

  1. Water, water, water – your hair should be soaking wet when styling. Keep a spray bottle near to add water to your hair as your work the sections.
  2. Separate into small sections
  3. Generously apply a curl cream and gel
  4. Rake, comb, or shingle to distribute product
  5. Use a hooded dryer or diffuser to set the cast on the gel
  6. Nighttime care: single or miniature pineapple(s)

While I have not yet mastered this style, I am enjoying the way my hair coils in sweetly defined tendrils. My goal is to retain volume as the style dries and to avoid my hair becoming undefined and tangled as the days pass during the week. How are you curlies maintaining volume and definition as the week goes on? I notice my hair matts as I sleep on it, even when I section it at night; it’s difficult for me to separate and shape in the morning. Help a sister out!

What hairstyles will you wear as we enter the autumn season? Please let me know in the comments.

Thank you for engaging with me as I catch you up on some of what I have been learning and doing. I continue to embrace my kinky curls, date and have fun. While I may be tightly coiled, I am not wound up!

4 thoughts on “I am Tightly Coiled but I am not Wound Up

  1. Tilly says:

    Yay, you’re back!! 🙂

    i appreciate reading about your recent dating experiences. I agree with you re intuition; I realize i never listened, never trusted it and I found myself left with regrets (that I’m letting go of!) because I ignored it for so long. Now I find myself allowing my heart, gut and mind to lead the way.

    The natural hair journey is constantly evolving. I too started with a looser curl pattern from years of abusing heat and mild relaxers. Then once my hair became healthier (and curls became springier!), the same wash and go’s that worked well for me, no longer served me. A new climate is affecting my hair now. I became accustomed to twist outs and now that I live in an area with a ton of humidity, my hair poofs up immediately, leaving no definition in my hair. This autumn, Im sticking with a low maintenance style, the bun. I will also make sure to use loose headbands and Bobby pins, instead of ponytail holders, so that I dont put too much tension on my edges.

    Regarding the upkeep of your hair; have you tried spraying your hair with a mixture of water and some sort of moisturizer every night? Maybe try that, along with a light application of your styler of choice (gel, creme) and retwist your hair . Don’t saturate your hair. Just add enough to reshape your hair, so that by morning it dries again and you can once again fluff it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Curly Roots says:

      Thank you for your thorough response. Amen to trusting your intuition.

      Have you met other naturals that wear twist outs in your new climate? I think buns are a great protective style for autumn, especially as you find ways to adapt your other go-to styles. Excellent notes about low tension on your edges!

      I have not used the spray bottle with water and conditioner method. Thank you for the reminder! I haven’t twisted or plaited my hair at night so as to try to preserve the natural curl pattern, but that’s an alternative for my nighttime routine. As always, I appreciate your hair care tips and your support!

      Liked by 1 person

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