"Remember who you are, not who they have told you to be"
Sooooooo, the secret is out!..... This girls got a full head of curly hair, well, sometimes wavy, sometimes a confusing little combo of both with a few random straight bits thrown in, weird eh? Curly hair has a mind of its own, and many of you reading this will relate to the bad haircuts, frizz control challenges and general unpredictability of naturally curly hair. It's been one of the biggest cover ups of my life, if not the biggest. That might sound a bit extreme, but I've spent most of my 34 years on this planet trying to hide, straighten, smooth my hair and replace it with the kinda waves that are acceptable in the fashion & beauty industry, that scream at us from all angles. Ya know, the ones that are on the majority of magazine covers. It's the reason I actually got into hairdressing, to learn how to cover my crazy curls.
So what's happened? I got tired, like REALLY flippin' tired of styling it three times a week. I got tired of the hours I spent, that I can never reclaim, trying to have 'perfect' hair. I got tired of not being completely comfortable with me, in my natural state, just as I am and feeling I always needed to fix myself as if I was somehow broken. I want to be authentic in all I do and I looked at my kids and thought, I want to teach them that beauty comes from within and being comfortable in your own skin is inevitably a much more successful route to joy and happiness. I'm not saying I'll never style or blowdry my hair again. I'm sure I will on occasion, but my goodness I plan on doing it a LOT less. And I cannot tell you how good it feels to just wash and go'. Or swim in the sea any damn day I feel like it. Like, there are no words!!!!
Here's a couple of my tips for curly hair, I totally know and appreciate that everyone's hair is different and so there is an element of trial and error. My own hair is thick in volume but quite fine so the products that suit me might not necessarily suit you if you have thick, coarse hair and vice versa. I believe that enhancing what you naturally have is a good place to start. Like, we all want to feel good and I am not saying no to self-care. I just think instead of wishing you had someone else's hair, skin, life, why not start with what you got and make the most of that. I really hope it's helpful and you find your sweet spot, so you can start embracing your own wild locks too. Let's start a revolution!
- Never ever brush or comb your hair. Ok, well kinda. I do comb my hair when I have conditioner in, in the shower to prevent matting and major knotting. But, after it gets rinsed with water it doesn't get touched again with a brush. This is soooo important, because brushing the hair confuses the natural direction of the curls your hair wants to form. And if your hair is dry and you put a brush to it, well frizz city how are ya. If your hair is wet it will flatten you root area and encourage that dreaded triangle look.
- The hand scrunch. This is your best move for applying product and just for general encouragement of your natural curl or wave whilst the hair is drying. That, along with a little Kevin Murphy resort spray is all I did to get the beachy waves in pic 1 above. When I'm out and about I got the subtle (ish) side scrunch down. Basically I like to keep a little lift in my roots, where hair can have a tendency to go flat. This also helps balance out the wilder, more naturally voluminous curls further down the hair. I place my hands in against my scalp and draw the fingers together, causing light friction to the hair and creating movement, volume and shape.
- The cut. This is massively important. Like if you don't have someone talented at cutting curly hair cutting your hair. Keep looking, hunt them down, ask for recommendations, they are out there. I believe that curly hair should be cut according to how it naturally sits on your head and not in straight lines as some hair stylists are trained to cut hair. It also requires a lot of the haircut to be focused on texturising your hair. This means lightening the ends so that it doesn't sit out in clumps or have a triangle shape on the head. I think layers are a must and you'll find if your ends are texturised with a scissors that your hair will sit much better. You don't have to go crazy short with them, play around with what works for you. I personally am not a fan of blades or thinning scissors, they are very harsh on the hair.
- Product. So less is more, I truly believe this. First up, ditch the store bought shampoo, conditioner and product. Unless you've managed to find one free of nasties, plastics, sulfates and whatever other rubbish most readily available brands contain you need to bin them. Instead look for sulfate and paraben free, organic where possible. I've listen below, some of the products I like, but I am always open to more and new safe and eco friendly products.
- Styling. For the most part avoid heat. Sometimes if I want to look more groomed I will use a small wand and curl random parts of my hair. In the third pic above, I used the small end of the wand on some of my curls after they had air dried. Then ran my fingers through it, to soften it up. I wouldn't recommend you use much product if any until after you use the wand. I finished up with a little 'motion lotion' from Kevin Murphy.
Shampoo and conditioner
Curly hair needs moisture, particularly on the ends. Buy shampoo according to your hair type. I like some of the Kevin Murphy range, but for me personally the angel wash did not work for my hair type. I am yet to try the curly hair shampoo and conditioner but I hope to soon. What I do love about this brand is the fact they are cruelty free, paraben free and if you look at the website here you can actually fill out a questionnaire for products based on your specific hair type! Currently though, I'm using Green People shampoo and conditioner which I like, although I think my hair needs a more moisturising conditioner from time to time. One that I reach for is the Pureology hydrate conditioner.
Kevin Murphy resort spray
This is my personal fav product right now in summer. It just creates beachy waves and light texture. It's a spray and I would think is more suited to finer hair types. I just spray and scrunch. Simples. It does come in a lotion and this is heavier and stronger in nature, so I would recommend it to thicker/ coarser/ frizzier hair types in need of a bit more!
Kevin Murphy Killer Curls
This does not work for my hair type, it's just a tad to heavy for my hair and taste. It's much more suited to thicker/ coarser/ frizzy hair types. For me, I definitely felt like I had product in my hair and it weighed my finer locks down, but I can see how this is a good choice for other hair types and I keep it in my kit for work.
Kevin Murphy Motion Lotion
This was a surprise love. So I bought this in a mini. Kevin Murphy provide some mini products from their styling range, which is a great way to find out if it's love. It's a cream and I love to scrunch a bit into dried curls for light hold and shine. No sticky, heavy residue. I will be re-purchasing.
Sea Salt Spray
So, love this. I personally love what the sea does to my hair. When I'm not diving into the surf, I reach for Bumble and Bumble but you can actually make your own, which is on my to-do, (as I am all about avoiding as much chemicals as possible in all my products, skincare, cleaning products etc, which I know is a whole other blog post). Anyway, the salt is what creates those beachy waves. It does make the hair feel slightly dry and gritty, which I like, but it really is a personal choice.
I love both Unite texturiza spray and Kevin Murphy bedroom hair. These create a little lift at the roots if you lift up sections and spray and light movement and volume through the ends if desired.
Weird eh? But, have you ever noticed how much nicer and softer your curls look after a little natural rainfall? This is because rain water is soft, whereas tap water is hard. You can collect rain in containers and even a rinse for your hair would be awesome at the end of your shower. Or how about spraying your hair with rainwater? One thing to note, if it hasn't rained in a while the toxic load in the water could be a little harsh as the rain has cleaned the atmosphere. Subsequent rainfall is much cleaner, and let's get real in Ireland we get plenty! If that seems like too much work, just get outside and dance in the rain!!!
Keep rockin' you,
Love Aisling xxx