The Dreaded “FUZZY” Hair…



I know this post may sound a bit vain but I have a feeling all my natural curly Amiga’s will understand! Holy crap, I’m experiencing some serious fuzzy issues here in my new home. I did realize I was moving to the tropics, so it’s not unexpected, but what the heck’s a girl to do? Seriously folks, I used to have good hair. I used to get compliments about my hair and thats just not gonna happen here. I don’t even care about the compliments, I’d just like to look in the mirror and not be horrified by what I see on my head! I am in the process of experimenting with different solutions to this horror. It’s very interesting to have to re-learn how to deal with my hair. My entire adolescence was spent standing in front of the mirror, often in tears, trying to manage my curly hair. Of course in those days I just wanted to look like Farah Faucet, (that was too much to ask for!) All the other girls had that beautiful “feathered” hair but If I managed to even remotely duplicate that look it only lasted until I stepped outside in the fog or had to participate in PE! Don’t even get me started about going to the beach with my friends! All my friends could swim and then just towel dry their hair and not have a care in the world. Not me, there was just no “wash-n-wear” for me! I spent unimaginable hours straightening my hair, it was truly a living nightmare. I had the worst hair in my school because it was so fried from all the heat from the blow drying and curling iron. Too bad I didn’t have a flat iron back then , my hair would have been even more fried then it was.

So here’s the funny thing, I spent the first 18 years of my life struggling and hating my hair. Then the next 30ish years enjoying a pretty good relationship with my hair. I stopped straightening it and learned how to use the right products and how to enhance the natural curls . These were good years , my awful hair had morphed into my best feature! Now at 47 years old I’m wondering if I’m back to that oh so familiar hair-hating phase. I haven’t begun crying in the bathroom yet but if I don’t figure it out, ya never know. And once again, all the other girls have such nice soft curls! Waaaaa!

I have thought of several different options off the top of my head, to calm this wild mane. The time for experimenting is upon me. My first thought was, I need to grow out the layers so the weight of the hair will pull the fuzz out. This option would create a much different shape to my overall hair, flat on the top and a flatter look overall, I think. Hmmmmm? Then I thought, maybe I will attempt letting it dry naturally, no blow drying. I am still trying to see if I can get my tried and true Alterna Curl products to work it’s magic. Yesterday was my first attempt at going Ah-natural. Well, not completely A-Natural… I did use my usual cocktail of hair products that I’m normally accustomed to taming my hair with. I actually left the house with a wet head! Not my normal M.O. . I had to rely on Scotts “Un-professional” and rather biased opinion as it dried,(not the most reliable opinion as he claims I look pretty “all” the time! I know very sweet). By the time I actually took a peek at my reflection the day was nearly over so the jury is still out on that first attempt. But my fuzz monitor, AKA Scott, claimed it was much less fuzzy,although much flatter than normal. Soooo now I wonder if “shorter Layers” may aide in the Natural , air dried look? Hmmmm. When I look around at my new friends who have natural curly hair here, they all seem to have much shorter layers. I have to say, if I can figure out how to have such nice soft curls like them, I will be a happy girl. I’m workin’ on it. At least I’m not aiming for Farah Faucet!

Now in case your thinking that I’m sounding awfully vain about my appearance, I will inform you that I have not even unpacked my make up! Nope, not even one piece of make up have I even laid my eyes on since getting here. And I haven’t even thought twice about it. I’m happily adapting to this much more casual, maybe a bit less fashion conscience culture. Nobody here judges each other about what they are wearing or how current their shoes are. I seriously love this about my new life. I’m not knocking fashion or being conscience of your appearance in any way, (heck I just spent 30 years of my life helping people stay up with fashion) I’m just really enjoying a different focus, that’s all. A focus on the people, not on their outward appearance. It’s refreshing as are many of the new aspects of this life in the highlands of Boquete Panama. As soon as I get a grip on this Fuzzy issue I’ll be a much happier girl! It may quite possibly be that I need to 1. stay away from mirrors and 2. Invest in some Hats!! Two very viable solutions to my issue with my crazy hair. Humph!

About hollycarter184

Life is Good! But it's time for a change, and more adventure! I'd like to share the whole experience of preparing then actually making a reality of expatriating, and moving to a new country. It's an exciting, and slightly scary move full of possibility . I'm looking forward to learning a new language and making new connections with the people who share our spirit of adventure. This blog is my way of continuing my connection with my friends and family in the States. Sooooo here it goes! :)

16 responses »

  1. I think you’ll find if you let the layers grow out (as I did out of sheer laziness) you will have something on the top of your head that is similar to an object you would put in a bucket and wash the floor with. And it will be heavier than all heck.

    I don’t even own a curling iron, blow dryer, flat iron, or hot rollers anymore. I use a leave in conditioner cream, or in a pinch just some of my regular conditioner and a light spray gel. Most of the time it’s just too darn hot to leave my hair down although I am trying…:)

    My hair is still not in great shape because of the sun, sand and sea but shorter layers and a little thinning the forest out seems to work. And I love my hairbands, bobby pins and colored hair elastics.

    We’re all in the same boat when it comes to make up. I just use it to go out at night every once in a while. It just melts off my face anyway. I find that we all concentrate on having pretty toes. No melting, lasts for a while and adds a pop of color!

    • Thanks So much Karen! I figured I’d get some valuable insight from you, my curly friend! I figure as long as I can laugh about it , it;s not too serious! But I’m seriously considering losing all the mirrors in my life! Ha!Ha!Ha! Cheers! Here’s to livin’ fuzzy!

  2. Don’s comment made me laugh!
    Amiga, I totally understand! In Costa Rica, I always dunked my head before going out – it was much easier to have a slicked-back head of hair than a frizzy one. My sisiters called me ‘Bush Woman” when I was growing up in Mississippi, and the bush Woman returned in the tropics.
    One older friend once stated tongue-in-cheek, “lisa, I have a hair dryer if you’d like to use it.”

    Like you, I knew it would be a token gesture, and ten minutes after stepping outside, the frizz would resurrect!. Dunking my head was always the easiest, and it also kept me cool!

    One thing that I love about Ecuador is that the climate is rarely so humid, but every so often it’s enough to remind me to be thankful to live in a less-humid atmosphere.

    You surely look lovely with a halo of frizz – it looks bad to your critical eye, but I am sure that it adds a lot to your magnetic personality!

    Welcome to the tropics! The benefits outweigh the negative issues!


    • Here!Here! on the Benefits outweighing the negative issues! Your absolutely right about that. I am working on that critical eye of mine, embracing the “Bush woman” in me is something I indeed am working on. Cheers! To all us Bush Woman!! Life is good, even with a little frizz!

  3. Well Hollyberry as the one that gave you that FUZZY CURLY hair and as one that is living in HOT HUMID TX it is what it is (Wink) I have on hand at all time the OLDY BUT GOODY V05 🙂 🙂 Love you, the woman that gave you this budden to cary on your HEAD xxoo

  4. Holly, as you know my hair is not as curley as yours but still have found that having a conditioner which you leave in has helped my hair be more settled and easier to manage.. Magic oil is good

  5. Holly,
    Having spent lots of time in Texas and Florida, I’ve found one of the secrets is the hardness or softness of the local water. Hard water requires more hair products, soft water means less works better. And I found your alterna works better for me in humid air if combined with soft water. I’ve also found that the detergent they tend to use on hotel towels and pillow cases gives me the frizzies. They are just too crisp and clean and well-bleached! I really admire you for having figured out how to make your hair look great at least 5 days a week in California! I know you will crack the code for Panama.
    Good luck,

  6. About 25 years ago, my 19 year old Southern California cousin with long (!) flowing thick locks of hair and I (dull brown, past my shoulders, always pulled back for work hair) shared a hotel room in New Jersey (grandmother’s funeral). She couldn’t do a thing with her hair and couldn’t understand it (I remember her standing at the bathroom mirror saying “I don’t get what’s going on with my hair. It won’t do a thing but this…”). Oh, the trials and tribulations of New Jersey August humidity (before flat irons). I loved it. lol I, being from Northern VA, knew to just let it go and to embrace what it wanted to do that day. Good luck and let us know what you discover so we can all partake 🙂

  7. hi there! i found you through kris’s blog, and am a fellow panama blogger. i’ve been in panama for 2 years now, and also have naturally curly hair. i spent one year trying different products, including importing my normal routine from the US…. and then gave up and i’ve fallen victorious victim to the terrible for you/the environment/your stylist keratin treatments (also known as brazilian blowouts i think.) gosh, i love my hair! blow dries straight, holds ironing well, and if i just let it air dry? soft silky waves with NO FRIZZ! (was in bocas del toro this weekend and tried this… super humid beach hair was anticipated, but it looked great.)

    an expensive and not the healthiest option – i get groupons usually but pay full price if the time has come for a touch up and there aren’t groupons to my favorite salon available – but one that has worked for me. i go every few months. hopefully you discover a good combination of products soon!

    • oh no. now i’ve read more and realize you’re a stylist. so, i’ll shove my foot down my mouth a bit. 🙂 BUT… sadly… tragically… that’s indeed what i’ve resorted to. a note about color – i don’t color my hair, but from what i’ve heard, many salons just buy the box from the store and put that on, and charge you for it. there are probably some higher-end salons that are more legit, but the girl who cuts my hair (an expat, former paul mitchell stylist who brought her hair box down with her!) imports her color products when she goes home….!

      • Hey Emma! Nice to meet you! I just love the advise I get from other bloggers/expats, especially the ones living right here in Panama! Thanks for the Brazilian blow out tip, I gotta tell ya, even though I’m a stylist I’m outta’ my comfort zone here in the tropics! LOL! it’s a completely different game here as far as that stuff on top of my head that used to be my friend! Unlike most naturally curly folks, I really like my curl, or at least I used to, now is sort of resembles an old used up mop for the floor! Yikes! Any time I’ve tried straightening my hair in the past, I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize myself. I’m much more accustomed to fluffy hair, even though I wish like heck I could have that naturally smooth, soft, shiny hair, when I see it on me I look so weird! Ha!Ha!Ha! Never Happy, huh? Well, I’m settling in with it and trying to just let it dry naturally, I get a bit more defined curls when I do that but back in California I used to be able to wash it every other day and here It is just totally fuzzy and not even close to repairable when I wake up in the morning . Humph! Oh well, Ya know… if that’s my biggest complaint about this move to Panama, I’m doin’ great!! I am so glad you found my blog and I cant wait to get caught up on yours! I’m curious where you are living but I’m sure I’ll learn all that as soon as I get reading! Cheers! Holly

  8. i’m in panama city but hoping to have a visit to boquete next january! i went through hair puberty (literally!) and had super frizzy pieces before i settled back into my wavy curls… i went through phases with them, with most of college just being in a ponytail since i was sick of dealing with it! as i got older/could afford salon visits and more products, i settled into a routine but sometimes straightened it for fun (it took close to an hour, so not an every-day thing!!!)… then after a nasty break-up i chopped it all off into an assymetrical bob with sultry side swept bangs that required daily straightening. heh. as it grew out, i came back into the curls, and embraced them just before my move down here a couple years ago… but… it just wasn’t meant to be. in the year i was attempting the curl, i did discover that sometimes just rewetting them in the shower each morning, even if i didn’t do a full wash, would help them come back into a great curl – sometimes even BETTER than the wash-day curls – something about semi-rinsing the products out and then maybe using just a tiny bit more mousse really helped them gain definition on that second day. good luck!!!

    • Sounds like you got it down! Make sure you contact me when you come to Boquete, would love to get together! I’m sure we will be in PC at some point when we get rolling on our Pensionado Visa. We haven’t spent much time exploring the city so would love to have someone to connect with there. Hope your day is going well, mine has been so great, except I gotta stop smiling so much, my face is beginning to hurt!!!LOL! Cheers!

      • will do, and likewise! i’m leaving sunday for 7 weeks (teacher = summer vacation time!!!) but if you’re in the city after august 2, let me know! i love showing people around. 🙂 it’s my last teaching day and i’ve only got one class left, so my day is going pretty well…! haha. enjoy all the newness. 🙂

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