There are certain things that I have learned as a curly haired girl. That curly does not have to mean weird, or unruly or unprofessional even as all of these other voices are teling me so. here are some real guidelines that actual help the health of your hair rather than keep you from being the you that you are or want to be.
Disclaimer: I am not a salon professional but I have 2 and half decades of being have curly hair behind me so I hope it counts for sometehing. Most the information I have learned is from the last 5 years. My goal here today is that if I help one girl either feel better about having curly hair or useful information than I have done what I have set out to do. This information has helped me and I want to remember it all so if anything it has helped me and I invite you to join (:
1. No Shampoo
Try to shampoo less often
There are so, so so many bad things in them. I feel if you want to live a more healthy lifestyle you might want to consider stopping. I still have some work to. I am trying to not use toothpastes with fluoride, use my phone at night. I feel like there are somethings around today that when I was younger were considered an absolute necessity. I feel that if the person advocating this knew about me and m hair and my hair journey they would not have recommended that. I really wish someone would have been out there with a megaphone outside my bathroom like DO NOT DO IT!
Now I Use conditioner to wash and then deep condition my hair. I shampoo once a month instead of every shower.
After a weird experience with a shampoo advertising keratin or whatever, I realised this needed to stop. I was really damaging my hair. I know that there are shampoos out there that are better but still foam up. There are also no-poos, cleansing but moisturizing washes for your hair
I am going to try to migrate to more natural organic products, even diy if need be. It is cheaper and ultimately you have more control of the ingredients. You can tailor your product for your own hair needs.
2. No Towels
Do not dry with a regular towel or you’ll have frizz and breakage. All of the breakage! All of it. I did not have a microfiber towel, so I had to dry with an old tshirt at first but as soon as I did this I immediately saw results in the way my hair felt and looked when it was dry.
3. No Paddle Brushing
Do not brush with a harsh paddle brush. This one is for me. In the shower I would yank my hair with a paddle brush. I would think oh what innovation, it was so easy to get through combing my hair. All of the volume left with it. I thought I had found what it takes to get my hair tame. At the time I was after another person’s curl pattern when I should have just left mine alone it was curlier.
Now I finger detangle within the shower or take a wide toothed comb and gently comb from the tips up to the root instead of dragging a comb or huge brush down my hair from root to the tip. It causes so many issues with my hair for sure. That is when I started seeing split ends and brittle hair.
3. No Heat
Do not apply heat directly to your hair
There is really no need for heat damage what so ever. I fell in love with my hair after I came into contact with the community online. There was a whole world out there I had no idea about for curly haired girls from loose curls to super kinky. There were a load of friends ready to recommend products techniques to achieve whatever style you need and step by step tutorials to get there.
If I want to straighten my hair which I rarely do anymore. I definitely just try to manipulate my hair using some of techniques I learned instead of lusting after a super straight hair that I do not have. So I braid my hair a lot more now. I do different styles that way, instead of damaging. If I want to still straighten and apply heat to my hair, I protect my hair with hair insurance and use ceramic irons and try not to flat iron your hair when it is sopping wet.
Note: Apply heat protecting spray, be gently when your straightning do not straighten wet hair gently brush out
4. No Cotton Pillows
Do not sleep on cotton pillows, it sucks the life right out of your hair and your hair needs moisture.
Sleep with a silk pillow or a silk cap. Put it in a pinapple do whatever you have to do, a protective hairstyle. I definitely felt the same after a lifetime of not really caring for my hair the way it is meant to be cared for I still have so much to learn but preparation is key. Making an environment where its easier to live my life and also have decent hair is a win for me. So there are certain things like having a silk pillow which allow me to not worrying about my sleep literally crimping my style.
5. No Harmful Media
Try and take a break from social media or media that is presented to you.
I love this dove commercial because I feel like it finally was a moment that clicked when like the old proverb. It’s not you, its me. But it applies to magazines, social media, television, commeercial companies that had yet to reach out the curly community. I was so taken aback and what surprised me really was how surprised I was to see a commercial that just made me feel all of the feelings. Do you know what I mean? Supporting girls with curly hair and also educating others on how just powerful media is. I just made a promise to myself then and there: whenever I felt evious of another having super sleek straight hair I remembered there is nothing wrong with having curly hair. That I would replace the images that surrounded me that really had no representation with ones that I could relate to. I just subscribe to natural hair girls on youtube, buy tickets for movies that have different kinds of hair, and even reblogs more woc that have natural or textured hair. I have become very deliberate with not only what products I use but the media I expose myself to.
Here is an extra!
Yes to Dry Hair cuts
New one: cut your hair dry and /or if wet be careful.
I know that I am late to the Deva girl train but I really wish that someone had told me about it when I was younger every. single. haircut trip. I had experienced salon professionals that would literally leave me with a poof for hair. It always end up shorter. Always. I did have one woman who had a niece with hair like mine. She was a Latina with a tight curl pattern. She
knew how to layer my hair give me bangs give me half bangs get a curlier round shape the list goes on. She was it for me.
After I left that area for college, it went back to normal nice well meaning experienced hair stylists that left me hangin’. They brushed my hair really vigorously after shampooing with some sulfate shampoo, drying with a rough towel. Its like eeeeek and then giving me an unintended big CHOP every single time I went to the hair salon.
A big chop is a thing where curly girls that what to wear natural hair go through to cut off all the damaged bits. For some that might mean shaving their head for others it might mean a super short cut in a bob basically but for curly girls more often than not it’s an mini afro.
If I mean to go through the big CHOP that’s fine but I do not want to have to experience growing out my hair every time I try and get my hair cut. Its like ugh really?
Those are the tips I have so far, if you have any others please let me know in the comments below! I would love to get a real feel with young adults that are attempting to find a way to live with their natural hair after a lifetime of wishing it was straight.