How true is that ^ ?! 😀
Those expectations of yours are what I’m intending to meet with in this post.
I’d like to begin with a confession . I used to hate my hair !!
Being the sister of a pretty one who was blessed with beautiful silky poker-straight hair kept me busy struggling with the combs and breaking enough teeth all through childhood. I would over shampoo my hair until it looks like a mop , straighten it every 4 hours, comb it in different techniques to get rid of the waves , tie it tight and strain my hair until it would just be straight . But NO !! My cauliflowers just loved defying gravity !!
Once I got into college in 2010 and around that time was when the #naturallycurly outrage hogged the limelight. I had strangers and friends walk up to me and comlpiment me and I was just like ” Where were you humans all this while ?! ” . I attempted to like my curls and move with the public opinion ( like an idiot !! ) but I just didn’t like the way they looked. There had to be a fix !!
That’s when I started reading up about curls and understanding them . I threw away all the products I had owned that were meant for straight hair and got a new set , indulged in routines and packs , repaired all those many years of damage in the course of one year and finally ended up with supple, untamable , big and bouncy curls . Love happened 🙂
So , I very well know WHY extra care and check needs to be constantly maintained with curly hair . Whoever who came up with “curly hair , don’t care ” , certainly did not have curly hair !!
Let’s embrace the curl, shall we ?! 🙂
1 . UNDERSTANDING YOUR CURL TYPE
Curly hair is an umbrella term used widely for wavy ,curly ,coily and kinky hair. Therefore , all curly hair is NOT the same curly hair .
I have a 3B curl type like most indian curly haired woman . So please note that this post strictly deals with the life of 3B curls and not of any other . If you are of a different hair type , please consult a hair stylist or read up on it and do extensive research online .
2. MOISTURE MOISTURE MOISTURE !!!
Moisture is everything as far as curls are considered. The more moisturized your curls , the more bouncy they are .Now , I’m going to talk some science ; bear with me . Apart from believing that the universe blessed you an extra bit , have you ever wondered why your hair is curly and not straight ?! It is because of your hair follicle’s shape .
Due to the shape of curly hair strands, the hair tends to have Multiple Personality Disorder where the scalp is oily and the hair ends are dry . HOW ?!
Your scalp produces natural oil, sebum, to moisturize your hair . Straight hair wicks the sebum down the shaft easily, so that the whole length of the shaft is moisturized. Brushing aids this process by distributing the oils thoroughly . Curly hair, on the other hand, is shaped irregularly and the oil has a hard time wicking throughout the length of hair because of the twirls. It’s also impossible (and often painful) to brush when dry, so brushing can’t help, either. In fact brushing curly hair often wrecks it. Your dry curly hair is then exposed to the environment without anything to buffer it from the wind or the sun, and so gets damaged easily. Further, the unused sebum ends up sitting on the scalp collecting dust . This is essentially why we have 2 grave problems to address – a greasy dirty scalp and dry frizzy ends .
Once you understand this relationship , you will also understand that this is an everyday affair and there’s no one time shot at a solution . Hence , daily hair care routine is of utmost importance .
3. DAILY HAIR CARE
I’m sharing my personal daily hair care routine here and it has 4 steps to hair you will love and more importantly , love you back !!
– STEP 1 : Oil your curls .
The benefits of oil for hair are innumerable . I’d like to just point out that they revive the moisture balance, improves the texture and the health of hair , and also regulates the harsh chemical effects of all the cosmetic products one shall be applying on the hair post an oil massage .
Now , to choose the perfect oil for the curly hair just has one rule . The more viscous the oil is , the better for your curls as it helps in deep conditioning. I have been using cold-pressed virgin Olive Oil for years now and according to me , it is just the perfect , non-greasy daily oil for curly hair. You could also use almond oil but you must be aware that over time , almond oil leaves a brown tinge to your hair .
How to ?!
– Oil your hair half an hour prior to your shower . Take enough oil to massage your scalp and to run it through the hair so that you can detangle the knots and comb it with your fingers. Tie them all into a bun or a braid. I wake up at 6 am and immediately oil my hair before even brushing my teeth so that I can take a shower by 6 30 am and rush to work by 7 am. Weekly once , you may leave the oiled hair overnight , however , if you have a super oily face like mine , please do not do so ! The oil seeps down your face and you’l wake up with pimples as if puberty hit you again during your slumber.
-STEP 2 : Shampoo your curls .
” Sulfate-free ” and “Paraben-free” are the key words to scout for while deciding on which shampoo to use. Sulfates and parabens are harsh cleansers , often used in detergents and you certainly don’t want the consequential frizz to spoil your romance . Opt for a deep moisturizing shampoo which will remove the excess oil and yet add suppleness to your curls . The first shampoo I had icked specificaly for curly hair back in college days was Herbal Essences – Totally Twisted , which was really good . However , after I landed in Mumbai and to combat that grade of pollution and the super greasy scalp and super dry hair it gave me , I switched to L’oreal Professionel’s Absolute Repair series upon expert opinion from my hair stylist at BBlunt , Mumbai. She suggested this not because I’ve damaged hair but because this shampoo meant to repair extremely damaged hair obviously has more moisture infusion contents that any other shampoos of the same brand . So it works better than a shampoo intended for curly hair as well . The Absolute Repair shampoo works wonders with my hair and strips off the excess oil and keeps it well moisturized. It’s creamy texture itself is a promise for the additional moisture it imparts to hair.
How to ?!
-Wash your hair upside down as this will give your curls a chance to curl right from the root and make sure your product is applied all over. Take ample amount of shampoo and lather it on to wet hair and cleanse your scalp . Rub it along till the ends of your hair and wash it off .
-STEP 3 : Condition your curls .
The conditioner is the heart of your curls . One needs a formula that is rich in moisture, grease free and one that doesn’t weigh down hair . I use the L’oreal Professionel Instant Reconstructing Masque from the damage repair series and it’s been breathing shape into my hair ever since. I chose the masque over the regular conditioner of the same range as this one’s creamier and thicker and as I said before , the more viscous the product , the fuller your curls .
How to ?!
– Squeeze out the remaining water after the shampoo wash and apply product evenly on the hair with your head upside down. Avoid the scalp and roots as the sebum shall keep the area well moisturized already. Apply generously on to hair ONLY and comb it down with your fingers . Scrunch them up when you finish combing and untangling the curls . Leave it on for a minute or two and then rinse it off. Scrunch the excess water out and wrap the hair with a towel .
-STEP 4 : Leave-in Conditioner for your curls .
Kerastase Oleo-Curl Definition Cream is the holy grail leave-in conditioner to bouncy , fluffy, glossy and wholesome curly wurlies . The most elite in the world of hair-care , Kerastace’s products are undoubtedly bottled science created to befit all our myriad hair needs and wants. The nourishing formula will leave your hair soft, supple, light and shiny from root to tip and curls will be left defined and disciplined. Though I’m still trying to save up to buy the entire series comprising the shampoo and conditioner which will cost me more than a month’s savings entirely , I always make do for this one bottle I certainly can’t do without !! When looking for something more easy on the pocket , I would suggest Loreal Professionel’s Spiral Splendour leave-in conditioner which is the next best thing .
How to ?!
– Apply appropriate amount on to towel wrapped (not towel-dried) hair and spread evenly from mid lengths to tips. Remember to avoid the scalp . Comb it down with your fingers . Scrunch them well and leave it to dry naturally .
Four simple steps to beautiful and bouncy curls , all day , every day 🙂
4. DRYING & STYLING YOUR CURLY HAIR
* What the hell is a comb ?!
You do not need one . Your hair is untangled and free from knots if you follow the 4 steps as you’re doing enough of combing through your fingers . Combing your curly hair , while wet or dry will result in damage and ugly shapes. Curls are rebellious creatures. You should let them be !!
( I’ve never owned a comb in the last 6 years . But I’ll let you run your fingers through my curls and guarantee you that you won’t get stuck anywhere at all. Want to bet ?! 😀 )
* Towel-wrap your hair !!
Forget towel dry . Don’t even think about rubbing your hair and your towel and generating enough friction to get you looking like Lion King . The more you try to distort your curls , the uglier they will look and the frizzier they will get. Just wrap your hair in a micro-fibre towel ( the soft textured ones ) and let it absorb the excess water. Apply your leave-in and after scrunching if you want , you may take off the excess product by scrunching with the towel too . But that’s it. No more .
* Blow drying is NOT for you !!
Diffuser is what you need if you aren’t looking at letting your hair naturally dry . Not the regular blow dryer nozzle. The diffuser ensures your curls aren’t meddled with or subjected to hot air strain which is the case in a regular dryer.
* Thou shall not brush thy hair when it is dry !!
This wrecks your curl pattern by breaking up the hair strands that are forming curls.
* Do NOT touch my curls . Thankyou !!
Avoid touching and playing with your hair. The more you try and fiddle with them , it gets limper with grease accumulation .
* Extra-special days , eh ?!
For those , I can tell you about a technique called “twisties” . After you apply your leave-in , you have to take small sections of your hair , just enough for your index finger to hold and twist them tight with your fingers and leave it to dry naturally or use a diffuser. Once they’re dry , you will have super-duper curly hair that will let you run the world .
If you are a BIG hair lover ( like me !! ) and want an extra bounce , you can use the Kiehl’s Super Thick Volumizer that will give your hair all the bounce it needs .
5. PACKS & HACKS
These are the hair packs I indulge my curls with once every month. During my wedding time , I used to splurge in these once every week because I had elbow length of curly hair to live with . These divine mixtures are from my research, my grandmother’s erudition and my own tried and tested experiences .
(1) Banana – Mayo Hair Mask
Mash the ripest of bananas with an equal amount of Mayo and put it in the mixer adding olive oil to suit the level of consistency you want . Make sure it isn’t too drippy . Apply it evenly to roots and hair with a brush and wrap your head in a plastic cover and then with a hot towel ( dip a towel in hot water and squeeze the water out )to generate enough heat for your wrapped hair for intense conditioning. Wash it after an hour. You will feel the bounce !!
Provides deep conditioning and locks moisture .
(2.) Hot Essential Oil Pack
Mix almond oil , olive oil , castor oil and coconut oil and to this mixture add 4-5 drops of the essential oils like tea-tree , lavender , chamomile , lemon or argan oil. Heat the mixture and apply with fingers to scalp and hair and massage well. Towel-wrap your hair and leave it on for an hour or two or leave it overnight , depending on your skin type.
Essential oils have been used since antiquity for their medicinal and therapeutic properties. Unlike ordinary vegetable oils (sunflower, olive, almond, sesame), essential oils are highly concentrated and potent oils. They are extracted or distilled from various parts of plants and trees, such as flowers, fruits, leaves, stem, roots or bark. The gentle power of these plant extracts can work wonders on your hair and scalp. These aromatic oils penetrate deeply into hair shaft and follicles and help produce healthy, shiny hair. Some oils can be extremely helpful to soothe dry, irritated scalp. Other essential oils influence the sebaceous glands and can normalise their function.
(3.) Hibiscus – Aloe Vera Hair Mask
Mash hibiscus ( shoeflower ) leaves to pulp with the help of grinding them in a mixer and adding adequate amount of aloe vera jelly you can obtain from aloe vera plant by peeling away it’s outer thick skin. Apply evenly on wet hair and wait for an hour . Shampoo wash and dry thereafter.
Hibiscus leaves with it’s vitamin C, Phosphorous, riboflavin, carotene and calcium content restrict hair fall control, dandruff and graying of hair due to it’s properties. Aloe vera contains something called proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cells on the scalp. It also acts as a great conditioner and leaves your hair all smooth and shiny. It promotes hair growth, prevents itching on the scalp, reduces dandruff and conditions your hair.
(4.) Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Take a mug and pour one-sixth of it with apple cider vinegar and dilute it with water. Douse your hair after washing with this solution. Rinse thoroughly, and follow with a light conditioner.
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar will remove residue from product buildup and help you get shiny, lustrous locks. Gloss is a guaranteed outcome from this rinse.
(5.) Egg white – Curd Mask
Take egg whites suitable to the length of your hair ( I use 1 egg ) . Mix it with ample amount of coconut oil and thick curd . Mix it to even consistency and apply with a brush to scalp and along the length of hair. Wait for it to dry ( say 20 mins ) and wash it off .
Egg is the best source of protein. Using egg for your hair is extremely good for moisturizing it for longer period of time. The egg white is full of bacteria eating enzymes and cleanses your hair and scalp and is suggested for those having oily hair.
Curd intensively conditions hair and leaves it dandruff free and bouncy.Coconut oil helps in hair growth and general health of hair.
Phew !! THAT IS PRETTY MUCH IT, Curly humans !!!!
Don’t let anybody dull your curl 🙂
Go !! Run the world !!