My obsession with straight hair finally stopped
This article is very important to me. Since I was a child, I’ve never liked my hair curly, all I wanted was straight hair. It actually makes me sad to admit that I had real a complex with my curls and felt “not physically acceptable” if my hair was not straight. When I discovered a strengtheners for the first time, I was probably about 12 years old and I got so excited to try it out, thinking it would change my life (I know a bit ridiculous but I was only 12!). This first strengthener was a Babyliss. I remember being so excited to wash my hair so I could then use it and have silky straight hair. Turned out, it did not work as well as I thought. When you have curly hair like mine, you need a very good straigthener! Or an iron, which was the method I used until discovering GHD! Yes, you read right, a proper iron. Girls from North Africa like me will understand this alternative to strengtheners, which is a bit peculiar I know but so effective, and provided very straight hair! Not the healthiest way for the hair and not really safe, I got burnt a couple of times!!!
Anyways, I then got introduced to GHD, which was a revelation! It became my best friend, I would take it everywhere and I would straighten my hair every day. Even on holidays when it was 40 degrees, my friends (bless them) would have to wait for me so I could straighten my hair before going out, knowing that an hour later with the heat and humidity it would look horrible anyway! I know, it is a shame and very stupid of me, but like I said I was obsessed with straight hair! It is hard to tell why I felt that way but I think it is because I never learn how to look after my curls and really appreciate them. Probably the society’s influence did not help, at the time most girls in movies and TV shows had straight hair (Lizzy Mc Guire, Britney Spears, Ashley & Mary Kate, Sister Sister, Buffy the vampire slayer and so many more that I will not mention as it makes me feel old) or if they had curly hair, it would not be natural curls. I am not saying this was a real excuse but I think it did not help.
It is only 9 months ago, realizing that my hair would not grow, that it was damaged, getting thinner, with the combination of seeing inspiring natural curly girls on Instagram that I got hit by the truth… Curls are gorgeous, but they need to be looked after and most importantly I should appreciate them instead of trying to go against nature. I also had to stop this carnage; using so much heat on my hair everyday is not right. My poor hair I apologize for everything I put you through all those years…
That’s where my hair journey started. It is a long introduction but it was important for me to explain where this comes from, and I really hope it will inspire other curly girls who felt like me to take a step back and embrace their curls.
I have started by following various curly influencers and curly hair products brands to learn about my hair type and needs. You will see below the various stages I went through;
STOP ANY KIND OF HEAT
The first thing I’ve obviously done was to put away my strengthener (heart breaking) and stop using any kind of heat even with the hair dryer.
I have ordered a curly collapsible hair diffuser from The Curly Co. which is the best thing ever to dry your hair. It can be used with any hair dryer. You can order it in the UK through Amazon for $12.99.
STOP USING A NORMAL TOWEL
I have stopped using a normal towel and instead I use a microfibre towel or even just a t-shirt as the friction with normal towel is not good for you hair.
USE THE RIGHT PRODUCTS FOR YOUR HAIR
I have stopped using normal shampoo, conditioner and mask which contain sulfate, parabens and phthalates. Investing in the right products is so important and not everyone’s hair will react to the products the same way so it is all about testing what works for you and be patient, trying new things until you find the perfect combination.
So I wash my hair with the Palmer’s coconut oil conditioning shampoo which is free of – sulfates, parabens, phthalate, mineral oil, gluten and dyes. I am very happy with it and I like the smell of coconut. You can find it in Superdrug for £4.19
DEEP CONDITIONING IS KEY
I then use Shea Moisture raw Shea butter deep treatment mask deep conditioning mask. It is amazing for transitioning hair as it rehydrates, enriches and protects your hair. I try to leave it on at least for 10 minutes, during the week it is not easy but at the weekend I will do 20 minutes.
Whilst I have the mask on, I use a comb to spread the product out and get rid of knots. Whilst doing so, I lose quite a lot of dead hair. It can actually be quite scary sometimes but since I do not brush my curls whilst dry, dead hair never has a chance to fall like it would do if you brush your hair every day, so do not panic!
You can find this product in Boots for £12.99. I bought mine 8 months ago and still have not finished it.
I rinse it off properly and then use the microfibre to dry it roughly.
HYDRATE AND DEFINTE YOUR CURLS
I then spread my hair into different sections to apply the Shea Moisture Coconut & hibiscus curl enhancing smoothie which is also another great product to moisturise and define curls. It smells so good too! Again I use the comb to spread the product out. I do not apply too much of the product as it can make your hair feel heavy; this is what I have learned by using this product. This is also available in Boots for £10.99.
And the final product I put is the Bounce curl gel which is fantastic, it holds the curls and defines them without that sticky feeling you would find with other gels. I would say this is the product I cannot live without now. I have recently ordered my third bottle, I love it so much and it works wonders with the shea moisture curl enhancing smoothie.
You can order the Bounce Curl gel in the UK through this website for £22.99 – https://www.naturalisticproducts.co.uk/products/bounce-curl-light-creme-gel-with-aloe
You will not be disappointed honestly, it is not cheap but so worth it!
SCRUNCH, SCRUNCH, SCRUNCH AND DRY
Once I spread the product out, I will scrunch my hair as much as I can to create the curls. Head down is the best way to do it.
I will then use the diffuser to dry it out, unless I’m on holidays and I have time to air dry it. I finally fluff the roots either with my fingers or with a comb to create volume.
This is a summary of my “Weapons” to help me through my hair journey.
I try to wash my hair every 3 or 4 days, even longer if I can, thanks to up do’s and other hair styles. Washing your hair too frequently is not good for you curls.
I would also recommend for curly girls to get this type of bobbles, they are fantastic for curly hair. Sleep with a pineapple hair style as it’s the best way to protect your curls at night and those bobbles do not leave any mark, your hair does not get stuck as it would with normal bobbles. You can find them anywhere, mine is from H&M.
The night before washing my hair; I would also put virgin coconut oil in it, put my hair in a bun and sleep like this. It hydrates my hair and this is perfect before the next hair wash.
The struggles of my hair journey
- The first couple of months were very difficult as my curls did not look defined, I had to get used to this new hair style and I did not like my curls. But I read stories from a lot of girls who had gone through this journey and they always advised to be patient and persistent as the curls would get better, which is what happened, so I am glad I stuck to this! I have straightened my hair once in 8 months to see how much my hair had grown. I have decided that I will straighten my hair only every now and then until I have completely fixed my damaged curls.
- Like I said, it is all about being patient and finding what works for you. There are days where my curls will just look flat and it really bugs me but it is part of the journey, you need to give it time and when I see how my hair has improved in just few months it really gives me hope I will have perfect bouncy curls soon.
- Looking after curly hair requires more attention and research than straight hair. Who would have thought that! I have limited myself to only a few products for now but there is so much more I need to know and use. My next on the list is DevaCurl,I have read so many good things so I will let you know once I have tried!
- This might sound strange to some people but I do feel that some outfits do not go with curly hairs. I don’t know why, but some clothes I do not wear as I feel it would look better with my hair straight. I think my straight hair obsession must still haunt me!
Apart from these little struggles, I am really enjoying this journey and love the support the curly hair girls from around the world give. It is a great a community to be part of.
I am now proud to be curly and wish I woke up earlier!
I would love to hear other people who are on this curly hair journey. What do you use? How do you find it? What do you recommend?
Hope you enjoyed this article.
Chiccie Chérie x