Me and my hair have a somewhat…fraught relationship. In a lot of ways, I’d be lost without it. It’s my security blanket, sometimes my defining feature. If I’m meeting someone for the first time, I tell them to look out for the curly redhead. But sometimes, I spend hours fantasising about shaving the whole lot off and wearing fabulous wigs for the rest of my life.
Curly girls, tell me if you’re nodding yet.
For the entire duration of my teenage years, I looked like this (far right):
I know, I know. The braces, the fringe, the waistcoat…but for now, let’s focus on the frizz. This would have been after approximately an hour of wrestling with my hair straighteners. An hour of tugging and sizzling and frying to still look like an honorary member of the hair bear bunch.
Fortunately, once I got into my twenties, my hair started to calm down a bit. But by this point, I was too far gone. My love affair with my hair straighteners had been going on so long that I just didn’t know how to end it.
And then my hair started falling out.
Now, not to get all dramatic on you, this was mainly to do with stress, not my straighteners. But I’ll tell you, nothing gives you a kick up the arse like standing in the shower holding a handful of your own hair. So I had to embark on the terrifying journey of working with, not against my natural curls.
Moisture is the enemy of frizz. The drier my hair is, the fuzzier it gets, so my haircare routine basically involves pumping as much moisture into my hair as I possibly can. Your hair might be different, so it might take a while to find a routine that you and your curly hair love, but it’s so worth it.
These are the products that I’m loving at the moment:
Before I get in the shower, I detangle my hair using this guy:
If you have thick hair and don’t own one of these, go buy one immediately. I bought mine after my hair started falling out, because I wanted something a bit gentler on my hair than my normal brush. It gets all the tangles and knots out so easily, and there’s hardly any breakage at all. I brush my hair out carefully – this is the only time a brush or comb comes near my hair when I’m wearing it curly, so I try to make it count!
I’ve been using Lush’s Trichomania shampoo bar to wash my hair. I started using their solid shampoo bars after getting Seanik as a present and haven’t looked back. Trichomania is packed full of coconut oil, to boost your hair’s protein content, leaving it soft and smooth. It lathers up really well for a shampoo bar and smells gorgeous.
Once a week, I use a deep conditioner. Right now, I’m using an Argan Oil one that I got at Savers. Fun fact: argan oil isn’t actually very good at penetrating hair strands, so it’s better as a finishing touch than a deep conditioner. For deep conditioners, you might be better looking at something like coconut oil or shea butter, which are very good at penetrating the hair cuticle. But, for whatever reason, this conditioner plays nice with my hair, so I’m gonna stick with it. Slather your hair generously in conditioner, wrap it in a towel to keep the heat in and have a wee cup of tea.
After about ten minutes, I hop back in the shower and rinse it off.
When I’m not deep conditioning, I use Biolage Matrix Conditioning Balm. I love this conditioner so damn much. It’s seriously thick, so if you’ve got greasy hair, definitely give this one a miss, but it absolutely melts through my hair and leaves my curls beautifully soft and moisturised.
Once I’m out of the shower, it’s plunking time! Plunking, or plopping, is a method for drying curly hair and it works fabulously for me. It allows your curls to dry in clumps and lets them form their curl pattern as they dry, without gravity pulling them into weird assed shapes.
When I get out of the shower, I squeeze the excess moisture out of my hair and pat it as dry as I can with my towel. Do not turn your head upside down and attack it with your towel. Seriously, if I find any of you roughly towel drying your hair and then complaining that it’s frizzy, I will come over there and push you off your chair. Curly hair is a precious little princess and should be treated as such.
Then, I run a smoothing serum through my hair. Just now, I’m using Twisted Sista’s Different Strokes Smoothing Serum, but any curl defining or smoothing serum should work.
To plunk my hair, I lay a pillowcase out on my bed. A microfibre towel or cotton tshirt will also work. I tip my head upside down, arrange my curls in the middle of the pillowcase, fold the material over the top of my hair and roll the sides into big sausages down the sides of my head. I pull the sausages round the back of my head and secure them with a hairband. This is sort of difficult to describe without images, so I made a handy video to show you how it’s done!
After half an hour, I take down my hair and scrunch in some mousse. I love the V05 Smoothly Does It Curl Defining Mousse – it’s definitely the best mousse I’ve used. Then I put my hair back up in a dry pillowcase and sleep on it.
In the morning, if it looks a bit mad, I’ll put it in a plait while I have breakfast.
Et voila! Beautiful, bouncy, pampered curls.
Fellow curly girls – tell me your secrets! Are there any amazing products I need to know about it? Get in touch in the comments or at @EscapologistGl!