I am 27 years old and have curly hair. What does this have to do with anything? Simple. I was the girl with curly hair who for at least 17 years didn’t really have a clue on how to take care of my hair. I didn’t watch tutorials on YouTube (did they exist back then?), and I didn’t have all the options of curly hair products that we have available today.
My mother tried very hard to fix my curls and tried several hairstyles. Her efforts were enough up to a certain age, but then adolescence happened and adolescence can make some things very complicated.
I remember all the times I cried as a teenager because I wanted to have straight hair like my friends. I remember seeing them arriving at school with their hair straightened and the times I thought that having straight hair would make me feel prettier. But I also noticed how they suffered from having to wake up earlier every day to use the flat iron and, especially, when it came time to go to the salon and get the chemicals reapplied. Often, due to financial reasons, they couldn’t get the perm redone (at the time, these treatments were expensive, difficult, and aggressive).
After insisting and pleading with my mother, she finally acquiesced and took me to the salon for a straight perm. When we arrived, the hairdresser said: “I won’t use chemicals on this hair; it’s beautiful. You’ll ruin your curls.” So infuriating! I cried again.
I didn’t suffer prejudice like many girls I know, but I did hear comments from people close to me that bothered me for a long time. These comments made me believe that the hair I had wasn’t ‘real’ hair. Often when someone with straight hair would pass by they would say: “Now that’s real hair!”
When I turned 15, I straightened my hair for the first time. It was also the first time I saw my long face framed so strangely. But it was what I wanted. I took so many pictures on my compact camera that I could post photos for an entire year without ever repeating an image. But when I walked, the wind caused my hair to fly everywhere, and I had to get it out of my mouth every minute. So I thought to myself, “Yeah, it looks like I wasn’t born to have straight hair.” Today I look back with gratitude. I am grateful for all the times that my mother said that my hair was wonderful or when my father saw me with my hair ‘straightened’ for the first time and said: “It’s beautiful, my daughter, but dad prefers the curls.” I am thankful to all the hairdressers who made me cry in anger but said “NO”.
Today I look at my hair and think: “Girl, can you believe that you almost ruined this wonder?”
It’s true, it’s your right to want to change. But change for yourself. Don’t let anyone in the world make you feel inferior because of the characteristics that make you unique!
What I’ve learned over time is that we need to find balance. My hair was either glued to my head because I used too much cream in an attempt to control the volume, or it was too frizzy, which made me uncomfortable. So I would like to share with you some things I’ve learned because I see that many girls make the same mistakes that I committed in the past and which make them embarrassed or uncomfortable.
The first thing you need to understand is that curly hair has volume. Some curly hair has more, others have less, but every curly hair has volume. What makes you think your hair is beautiful or not is almost always related to curl definition. So, write down the following super important tips for beautiful and defined curly hair.
If your hair is very dry, with a lot of frizz, start by investing in hydration. There are several ways to recover the hair follicles and one of my favorites is MOISTURIZING.
Apply vegetable oils to your hair and allow time for this mixture to be absorbed by the strands. What types of oil? Olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil. You can combine these oils or use them individually. Place a generous portion on your hands and spread it along the entire length of your hair, always avoiding the roots.
You can leave it in for 30 minutes or even overnight. If keeping on overnight, roll up your hair and put on a cap or cotton shirt to keep your pillow clean.
The next day, wash your hair as you normally do with shampoo and conditioner.
Finally, choose a hydrating cream of your choice. I particularly like thicker creams. I don’t get attached to any particular brand, and I love those giant, inexpensive tubs of cream.
After washing my hair, I normally separate it into two layers. This step is very important: NEVER SEPARATE YOUR HAIR EXACTLY ON THE MIDDLE OR SIDE PART, otherwise, you will lose the ability to move it wherever you want.
Separate into smaller strands and work in the cream. Be careful not to clog the root, as this can cause dandruff and oiliness.
You can now run your fingers or a long-toothed comb through to separate the curls.
Once this is done, scrunch up your hair with a towel, or preferably a cotton fabric to avoid damaging your hair. Do this all along the bottom portion shaking your hair without fear and scrunching up the ends to loosen and shape the curls.
Let down the top part and little by little separate your curls, always throwing the hair back once you’ve combed through. Once you reach the forehead, where the hair is often smaller, pull it up and apply the cream to the ends always making sure you don’t apply the cream on the roots.
Throw your hair all the way forward. Run your fingers between the hair and your head and shake them as you do so for the curls to come loose. Then you can scrunch up the curls one more time.
Let it air dry or use a diffuser. As soon as your hair is dry, throw it forward, place your fingers very close to the scalp and run them through to the ends shaking them once more to separate the curls and add even more volume. Scrunch up again to loosen the curls.
The next day
On the following days, I like to put a little water in a spray bottle and fix the curls with a little cream, without scrunching the hair too much. I normally only do this on the front part where the curls are usually a little less defined.
When you are tempted to think that your hair is a lot of work, remember that everyone is unique and everyone’s hair needs care, whether you spend hours in the salon, or take care of it at home. God made you unique and what makes you beautiful is precisely the details. Free yourself from other’s standards and judgments and live a lighter, happier life!
The God who formed your heart lovingly knit you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). You are loved by Him. Love yourself too.