I am one of the few people I know who loves her curls. Ok, ‘love’ is a very light word for what I feel about my curls. I adore them, I am crazy about them. They have so much of character.
I have had extremely curly hair since birth. But, it is not until the early years of my college that I started loving them. Prior to that I used to brush the hell out of them and tie up a ponytail with that hay *sad days*. During my college days I used to twist my hair up into a bun and sleep on it and the next day my hair had curves, which looked nice. So, I did that for a couple of months and slowly transitioned into totally loving my curls for what they are. They didn’t need any twisting or braiding.
From using just a shampoo and a hair oil to using at least 5 curl loving products at a time, I have come a long way in understanding how curly hair behaves and what it wants. And now it’s almost been 5 years of flaunting my curls.
I have tried the no sulphates-no silicones curly hair method. It didn’t work for me. My hair needs sulphates to clear all the sweat, grime and of course the pollution of our country. It also needs silicones to be able to relax in its curly shape. (The above said method may be helpful to some. You can google more about that and try it out to see if it works for you). I have also tried umpteen sprays, gels and creams until I found out what works for me.
Here is the A to Z of my curly hair regimen; what works for my type 3A curls. I will start with my few-days-old-unwashed hair that needs a wash.
I always wash my hair at night because it dries gradually leading to well defined curls the next morning.
I have dandruff and so I use 2 kinds of anti-dandruff shampoos. The Body Shop Ginger Anti Dandruff Shampoo (which has sulphates) on Sunday for the thorough weekly cleansing and Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo (sulphate free) for my mid-week cleansing.
I take about 20 ml of the product into a mug and dilute it with water before applying it to my hair and working up a lather. There is no need to ‘rinse and repeat’ – it will only strip off whatever little oil is left for your poor curls. I do not shampoo hair more than twice a week.
This is perhaps the most important part of my regimen. I cannot stress enough about the importance of conditioning. Curly hair is the driest form of hair. This is because the hair sebum cannot trickle down to the tip of the hair strand due to its coiled structure. So we need to rely on external hydration. I keep rotating between conditioners. I am currently using Suave Almond & Shea Butter (the best), Organix Coconut Milk Conditioner and Organix Acai Berry Avocado Conditioner and Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Conditioner.
I take a palmful of the conditioner and apply it all over my hair in sections, detangling it as I go. To be able to detangle, the conditioner must have good slip. I apply some onto my scalp, also unlike the norm. After I am sure it’s perfectly detangled I put my hair up with a jaw clip. Then I wash my body. Now, the conditioner can do its work for a good 5-7 minutes. After that I wash my hair. I gently use my hand to wash off the conditioner for about 1 minute. Not more than that. You want some to remain in your hair.
One thing to keep in mind is anything that is hydrating is good for curls. So, even if India doesn’t have too many curl products, anything that says it is ‘hydrating’ or ‘moisturising’ has almost the same ingredients as a curl product.
3. Tee drying.
I gently squeeze out the water from my hair and tie an old tee around it. I do not rub the tee onto my hair. I just let it sit for about 5 minutes to absorb the water.
After removing the tee, I take a handful of some curling product, flip my hair over and apply it onto different sections of my hair combing through the hair with my fingers. I am currently experimenting with OGX Moroccan Curling Perfection Defining Cream, L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil – Rich Oil, Macadamia Oil Nourishing Leave-In Cream, OGX Shea Butter Smoothing Treatment, FX Special Effects Curls Up Curl Reactivator & Defrizzant and Tigi Bed Head Foxy Curls High-Def Curl Spray. Then I scrunch my hair for 1 or 2 minutes, while it is still wet.
How to Scrunch – Hold a small section of hair. Start crumpling this section of hair up towards your scalp. It’s like how you crumple paper to make balls. Continue this with all sections of your hair.
You can already see how defined your curls look as you scrunch your hair.
Now I totally forget about my hair. I go to sleep and let my hair air-dry. I use a 100% pure silk pillowcase by spasilk. Satin is not a natural fibre and hence your skin and hair cannot breathe. Silk is natural and reduces friction and thus frizz.
6. Deep conditioning.
On Sundays, after the sulphate shampoo, I do a deep conditioning treatment instead of the regular conditioner and let it sit for about 10-20 minutes. I am currently using The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter and Pantene Silky Smooth Care Intensive Hair Mask.
This is how my hair looks the next day:
A few miscellaneous tips – I do not comb or brush my hair ever. I do not blow dry my hair. I do not use anything with alcohol in it like gels, mousses and sprays. I get my hair cut in layers whenever I feel like reducing its length (I thankfully do not have split ends).
Hope this article helps all you curly haired beauties who don’t know how to take care of your curls, to love and appreciate the vivacious curls that you have been gifted with. or if you are already rocking your curls; the above points might be new ways to take care of your curls 🙂 . It just looks like a lot of things to do because I have written a lot; in practice, this is as easy as your regular routine. 🙂
P.S:- I will review all products mentioned in this article shortly if they haven’t already been covered.
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