Curly Hair Care
The first thing I get asked when I tell someone my hair is naturally curly is "Must Be Very Hard To Maintain?" Well the answer is No.
However, it took me a while to figure out the best routine that suits my hair type...
Growing up my hair was in tight ringlets till below my waist and I simply hated it. I was the butt of all jokes and it was a herculean task to comb it every day for school. I was in my early teens and in my rebellious mood decided to cut it all off. I decided to enlist the best of the best to help me so I got an appointment with Ambika Pillai.
After waiting for a month to finally meet her; she refused to cut my hair. Its been over sixteen years since then and I still thank her each time I meet her. Instead of cutting or straightening my hair, she spent her time that day teaching me to love and care for my hair. The simple steps she taught me then is what I follow till date and I am happy to share them with you.
- Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair before you wash it. Twist your hair and start to comb it slowly from the bottom. Don't comb your hair when it is wet as you will break a lot more of it. Also, if you want to wear it curly don't comb it after your hair wash either.
- I workout six days a week so end up washing my hair almost 4 times a week. On average for dry curly hair twice or thrice a week should be good enough. The idea is to keep the scalp and hair clean.
- Since my hair is very dry and thick, I am currently using Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin 2 for dry, sensitised hair. I wash and rinse my hair twice with each shampoo and follow it up with a good conditioner. I am using Kerastase Nutritive Oleo-Curl Intense for its hydrating properties, which I keep for five minutes and then wash off completely.
- The last step of this basic routine, is to apply the L'Oreal Professional Full Volume Mousse #4 on towel dried hair. Shake the bottle and spray some of the mousse on to your hands. The amount depends on the length and thickness of your hair. Flip your hair over and scrunch the mousse in the entire length of the hair. Leave your hair to air dry and you'll have soft bouncing curls with minimal amount of frizz.
I prefer to use a mousse over a gel as I don't like my hair to be stiff. Also, I find that anti-frizz serums leave the top of my head looking oily. For best results, I wash my hair at night and let it air dry through the night. This way I have tight defined curls in the morning, which are ready to be styled any way I like.
I have also used the Bed Head by TIGI and L'Oreal Professional series and was quite happy with their products as well. Check the ingredients and avoid shampoo's that list lauryl sulphates, which are harsh detergents and don't work for dry hair. (Note: Lauryl Sulphates - harsh detergents are different from Laureth Sulphates - gentle detergents).
A common mistake I used to make was to buy shampoo for permed hair, however, that shampoo is suitable for chemically treated hair and not natural curls. If you have coloured your hair then obviously it is best to opt for a shampoo meant for colour treated hair.
When I am due for a trim, my ends become discoloured and extremely dry. For such days I spray the ends with Schwarzkopf Moisture Kick after towel drying my hair to bring some life into them.
Most often than not one hears women asking the hair stylist on what to do to thicken their hair and make it grow longer and I have heard each hair-dresser using two words 'Genes' and 'Diet.' At the risk of sounding preachy, no product is ever going to be a substitute for what you eat. Healthy hair is the result of a healthy diet. So I am ever so thankful to my mom for forcing me to have vegetable juices each morning and vegetable soup every night throughout my life (cause till date I don't eat vegetables). Apart from the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fatty acids that you will get from fruits and vegetables; the hair also needs adequate amount of protein to look its best.
Curly hair by definition tends to be prone to frizz and dryness; so all the more reason to make sure you take you take good care with nutritious food.