July 29, 2013 - Hair, Hair and Beauty

Summer Hair Challenge | Results

Last Monday I announced the seven day air dry hair challenge in this post.  For the past week, I’ve ditched the hot tools and stopped the straightening insanity to allow my naturally curly hair to dry on its own and challenged all of you to join in too. 

If you’re following me on Instagram you already got to see a few candid shots of my curly ‘do.  If not, here’s one that I posted.

Curly Hair

Thank you all so much for the product and styling recommendations.  Some of my favorites were to ditch the shampoo and condition only and to touch curls as little as possible while they’re drying.  You curly girls really know your stuff!  I haven’t gotten to buy many of the products yet but due to the success of this challenge, I’m more inclined to invest in good styling products for curly hair.  I feel armed and ready to go with all of your lists!

I haven’t consistently worn my hair curly since 1996 so I thought this was going to be a real challenge for me.  Being on vacation in a high humidity place (Florida) actually made it easier.  The biggest part of the challenge for me was changing my OWN perception of my naturally curly ‘do.  For some reason, every time I see myself with curly hair, I also see the glasses and overbite that went along with it in my awkward teen years.

Rather than going out and buying new hair products, I used what I had on hand and they worked pretty well.  Here’s my list.

The Products:

Shampoo:  Garnier Fructis Hydracharge

Conditioner:  Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Fortifying Conditioner

Leave-in Treatment:  12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment

Styling Product:  Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk

Styling Product/Treatment:  Macademia Natural Oil Healing Oil Treatment

The Results:

Day 1 – Washed and conditioned hair.  Sprayed with 12 Benefits and combed out.  Applied Garnier Fructis Style Sleek & Shine Anti-Humidity Smoothing Milk.  Parted on the side and pulled back into a sleek loose bun before bed.

Day 2 – Woke up with really shiny hair, wow!  I thought I could only get this from flat ironing.  Unwrapped my bun, hair was still damp but I applied a drop of Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment through it.  Let it air dry into loose curls and wore it down all day.  Surprised that I actually don’t hate it.  I don’t hate it!

Day 3 – I wore my hair up in a top knot today.  It’s still incredibly soft and not at all frizzy.  I’m appreciating my natural texture, even it if it a little more challenging to get all of the ends pinned into my top knot.  The Macademia Oil came in really handy again for taming fly aways.

Day 4 – Ponytail day!  Smoothed frizzies again with Macademia Oil treatment.

Day 5 – Used conditioner only and let it air dry.  Twisted bangs and pinned to the side.

Day 6 – Wore it down again, styled it with a stretchy headband.  Got a compliment at a store on my curly hair.  🙂

Day 7 – A hot day that called for another top knot.  I had to get out the door quickly and it was so nice to be able to pull it up and go. 

The Takeaways:

  1. WOW, this was easy. No 40-minute blow outs and flat iron sessions. I used to be so envious of women who can “wash and go”.  It was really nice to become one of them.
  2. My husband and daughters LOVED my hair curly.  Hubby says it reminds him of when we first dated, aww.  Both of my girls have natural curl too so they loved seeing mine that way.
  3. My hair can actually look shiny even without the flat iron.  Letting it air dry with the right products was key.
  4. Macademia Oil was the perfect smoother/tamer for those frizzy pieces that popped out.  Plus it’s really good for dry hair, bonus!
  5. When I finally straightened my hair, it was really stubborn.  That curl did NOT want to come out and it took a full 15 minutes longer than normal.   I really, really appreciated all of that hard work when I saw the end result.

Overall, I’d say the challenge went really well and I’ll be doing it again before summer is over and whenever I feel like it thereafter.  It gave me a really good feeling to know that I wasn’t beating my hair up on a daily basis.  Somehow I felt healthier all around, which was kind of weird.  Maybe there’s something to letting things as God intended them to be!

It’s Your Turn:  Did you play along? If so, share your experience and take-aways in the comments.


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  • Girlfriend! Keep the curls!! I love, love, love your curly hair!!!

  • I have always loved your hair but your curly version is amazing! So naturally beautiful, I am v-e-r-y jealous!

    Annette | Lady of Style

  • You hair looks fabulous Alison! I have always wanted curly hair! I just found you on IG! Cute kiddos! Susan

  • Ann

    Your hair is so pretty, your curls look great 🙂

  • Yes! Your curls look awesome!!!!!! And Alison! I too rocked an overbite in my day. Had to wear headgear at night. Yeah, that was totally cool.

  • Your hair looks so pretty curly! I tried the challenge for one day but with my shorter hair it just looked like a big poof ball!

  • Your hair looks great curly! I have really wavy/curly hair and can’t wait to try the macadamia oil to tame some of the frizzies. Typically when I let my hair air dry in the summer I put it up in a bun because feels cooler to have my hair off my neck!

  • Wow. How attractive.

  • I actually love your hair like this, those are some pretty curls!

  • Um, GORGEOUS! My hair is thick but very very fine and straight as a pin. To get it all to stay in a top-knot takes a lot of gel and bobbys. (and still some hair decides to stick straight up out into nowhere) I’m in love with your curly do. 🙂 xoxo jules

  • Your hair looks gorgeous curly! My hair is naturally wavy but I admit I prefer my hair straight using the flat iron. I try not to use as many heat styling tools in the summer though to give my hair a break!

    The Tiny Heart
    Forever 21 Giveaway!

  • Pomereta

    Wow, your hair looks beautiful!! You should leave it curly more often. I did stop straighten my hair and embrace my curls few years ago when moved to a very “rainy” place… haven’t regret it!! Is so much easier…

  • Love the curls – embrace them! I have fine limpy hair would love to have full curly hair just for a day or 2.


  • I was already on board with your challenge since I’m living in a beach town! I love the curls, you have great hair!!!

  • Gorgeous curly hair! I have curly hair but hate it so I always straighten it and then curl it with a curling iron.


  • I love that you can do both curls and straight hair and they both look great! Hope you win the getaway!! I’ve been voting for you 🙂

  • I absolutely love your curls! I took on the challenge and embraced my curls. I got so many compliments when I wore it down! I might start wearin it down more often! I’ll be posting my results soon!

  • Meg

    I’ve had a love/hate with my curls since I was in high school. Summers in New England usually win though so I go natural. Your curls look fab too! Practice makes perfect and its definitely trial and error on the products.

  • Love the curly hair!! I’m following you now on Instagram too!!

  • PS: I’d buy the Sami Beaded Cluster Statement Necklace, the Mimi Bib Necklace & the Betty Bubble Cluster Necklace from The Shopping Bag Store!

  • Love the curls! You should definitely keep it that way…a lot of women would kill for that hair!
    Debbie 🙂

  • I absolutely love the Macadamia Healing Oil! It has really helped my hair become healthy from going dark to blonde!

    Sincerely Miss Ash

  • I go through phases of loving and embracing my curly hair, especially when it’s longer. I also think it’s all about the right product.

    Great giveaway, too! I rarely enter them but this one’s good. 🙂

  • Johanna

    Your hair looks great like that!

  • You have some seriously gorgeous curls!! You have to wear your hair curly more often! I took the challenge, too. My hair is more wavy than curly, but I still like to change it up from time to time. I like to give it a break from the heat. Today when I got to work I wore it straight, and one of the guys said, “Your hair is straight today! Last week it was curly!” Haha!

  • I love the versatility the world seems to be going with on straight and curly looks! I have been using Mixed Chicks system for a while and it has been serving my curls and frizz free straight locks for a while.

  • Major props for doing this! I too have natural curly hair and I try to let it stay natural several days a week, but I always get so frustrated, because like you, it reminds me of being an awkward, out-of-place teen….I’m going to have to try some of the products you used to see if that helps me!

  • Jealous of your curls, beautiful!