Next time you walk past a person with curly hair, do have a heart of empathy as a lot goes into making those spiralling volumes of curls look bouncy and beautiful.
There are different types of hair textures such as straight, wavy and curly. And within the curly hair textures, there are different types of curls depending on the width or diameter of the curl or coil pattern. Curls could be tight, medium, or just wavy, depending on how they’ve been worked on.
Michelle Coelho, creative director and partner, Indi Salon, said: “Curls being one of the most beautiful hair texture needs a little extra care. A sulphate-free shampoo works best for this texture along with a hydrating conditioner or mask. A leave-in conditioner on damp hair is a must to enhance and hold the curls in shape. A serum is then used for shine and frizz control.”
Coelho advises that with any hair texture it depends on how you style your hair for a corporate or casual look. Curls can be worn with all types of clothing. Curly hair textures are best worn in their natural form using products to help hold the style.
“For all those with curls, do not fight your natural texture, embrace it as it will save you time rather than blowdrying or flat ironing. In the long run, you will have healthy, shiny, voluminous, undamaged hair and it can be worn as it is, in all different weathers, with the right products.”
We spoke to five women who shared their story and the efforts they put into maintaining their beautiful curls.
Gijo Jacob, director, eLSz commerce — SASHAPURE Middle East Sashapure is the first cosmetics line to be infused with USDA-certified organic sacha inchi oil, a 3,000-year-old Peruvian superfood that can revolutionise your hair care routine. This exclusive formula promotes softness and volume for miraculous shine and stronger, healthier curls. That means superb hydration, frizz-free styling and ultrasoft curls.
Jacob said: “Sulphate-free products are gaining popularity for their ability to retain natural moisture of hair when it comes to people with curly hair. Sulphate being a synthetic ingredient strips off natural oils, making it more prone to frizz, where curly hair cannot afford any further stripping and scalp dryness. Sulphate-free hair products can add life to curls making them bouncy, well-defined, preserving hair colour.”
It all began with visiting a salon regularly with the hair dresser offering her unsolicited wisdom. She would keep ironing my hair and made me believe that straight hair was ‘beautiful’. My blind trust in her never made me question or think otherwise. For years, I wrestled with short hair, bob cut and the bush of hair became even more difficult to manage. After a point, I was really fed up and considered shaving off the hair on my scalp and going bald. I once even requested the salon to ‘wax’ my hair off my scalp out of frustration. Every time I wanted to look ‘beautiful’, I believed I had to run to the salon for a hair wash and get a blowdry and straightening done. Until one day, I changed the parlour and my hair dresser, learned to invest in my hair with the right products, did research and found a true moment of liberation when I was told I have great curls and people actually pay to get them done artificially. Time to flaunt my curls, I thought to myself.
Bettina Tauro Menon, founder of humansof2020.com and podcast host
Dubai-based Bettina Tauro Menon, founder of humansof2020.com and co- host of NRI Woman Podcast also deals with the curly hair challenges in her family, where her kids and husband have curly hair too. Sharing her interesting experience, she added: “We’re a family of curlies — my children and husband have curly hair too! I don’t know what my hair is going to look like each time I wash it — especially when the humidity kicks in. I’ve figured out the routine that works for me — the general version is shampoo, condition, brush to untangle when wet with conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and gel. Every couple of weeks I oil my hair and deep condition it too. If I’m washing my hair more than once a week, then I skip the shampoo and co-wash with conditioner only. There are many products available now that are specific to curly hair, so I experiment. I am yet to find that holy grail-product that works all year round!”
Elinor Davies-Farn, founder of Olew Hair
Throughout my teens, I hated my curls and would straighten them daily; it was like my own secret, nobody knew I had curly hair until one day, after my 20th birthday I decided to just embrace them. At that moment and ever since, I have realised that they are my biggest asset for so many reasons. The most important one being that they have allowed me to truly be myself and love the unique person that I am. Growing up I used to compare myself to the ideals of beauty that were fed to me (images of straight, glossy haired women) and I would constantly want to be them; something I naturally could never be. Since understanding that curly hair is also just as beautiful, and embracing this, they have become a sign and represent my attitude towards going against societal beauty norms and encouraging other women to embrace their natural beauty with confidence and pride. When I used to straighten my hair, I would constantly have to plan ahead and worry about the weather. Now, no matter what the weather or the activity (the most humid, hot weather of the UAE, pool days, beach days, rainy days) I do not need to worry, and that for me is priceless!
Marwa Mohamed, PR professional
Maintaining my curls was not an easy process to learn! It took me at least a year of researching and trying out different products, tools and techniques that curly girls use to achieve somewhat defined curls. I also watched an endless number of YouTube videos and tutorials to understand the nature of curly hair to learn how to style my type of curls while maintaining their health and strength. Firstly, I only use haircare products that are specifically designed for curly hair, these products are free from harsh chemicals that might dry, strip your hair and contain deeply nourishing ingredients. Moreover, I like to use a deep conditioning treatment or mask on my hair at least once a week, this step gives my hair that extra boost of hydration that it needs, reduces frizz and promotes healthy locks. Styling products is also an inseparable part of my haircare regime. I like applying curling creams or gels on my hair after washing it, these will help set my curls and give them definition for days. Also, the curly hair texture is dry in nature, so exposing it to extreme heat equals more dryness and damage. Thus, I try to let my hair air dry as much as possible, then I di ffuse it with the lowest heat setting in my hair dryer and switch to cold air shots to cool it down.
Top tips to maintain your curls — By Elinor Davies-Farn
Maintaining your curls is super easy once you know how to and have the right products.
1. Firstly, ensure that your curls have plenty of moisture. This is key to maintaining defined, glossy and fresh curls.
2. You can apply humectants like the Olew original hair oil, and Olew curl cream to your hair while it is soaking wet.
3. Take these into the shower to apply them as soon as you have finished washing your hair.
4. Applying the products to soaking wet hair is ideal because when the hair is wet the hair shaft and cuticle are open, allowing for all of the key nutrients to be absorbed.
5. Avoid shampoos and conditioners which contain harsh parabens and sulphates to increase the moisture absorption in your hair.
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