I had a huge crush on hair brushes while growing up and whenever I visited some family friend’s house, I secretly grabbed their brush and tried combing my hair with it. However, to my embarrassment, this habit of mine never remained a secret though as the friends had to cut their brush out of my hair.
Interestingly, every time I go for a haircut, the salon guys suggest me to get my hair straightened. And every single time I duck my head down and ignore their suggestions or tell them that I am falling short of time and will come back for all the fancy treatments in a few days’ time.
Yes, I have a curly mane on my head and like the rest of 68% of Indians I did not grew up to like them much. Least bothered about how they looked, I thankfully did not convert them into straight hair. “Convert!” Did I just make it sound like a religion? I think I did and why not after all that I learned about them recently, these curls definitely can become a ‘religion’.
This religion like others has a holy grail written by a hairstylist named Lorraine Massey and it has its own rituals, language and a huge following community. It calls for devotion to all the hard work it will take through the path. And the staunch belief in what has been given to us since birth by our creator, in order to liberate the inner beauty of those soft, lustrous perfect spirals.
So, if you think this new religion allures you and you have what it takes to be a part of this endearing community then here, I share with you the basic rituals that might change the course of your curls and thereby the course of your perception of beauty.
Also Read: Are You Going Through Hair Split-Ends Havoc?
Know Your Curl Type
According to the natural curl formations they have been categorized from grades 2 – 4 and A-C depending on the tightness of your curls and you can find your curl type here. This will keep your expectations in check.
Know Your Hair Porosity
Our hair strands have cuticles that can be tightly or loosely closed making them differ in the way they react to moisture. Low porosity hair is the kind that have tight cuticles making absorption and evaporation of moisture difficult whereas high porosity hair being the kind with open cuticles making the same process easy. The same test can tell you your porosity or you can check it out here. This will help you choose your products.
Cleansing and Conditioning Hair
Washing hair daily rips off the natural oils present in it and so does the harmful chemicals in the shampoos and conditioners. So, wash your hair just twice or thrice a week and find good products free of sulphate, paraben, alcohol, sls, silicone, minerals and fragrance. (There are websites like honestproducts.in and naturallyyoume.com run by curly hair enthusiasts who sell genuine products in India). Curly hair also needs timely deep conditioning treatments where thick conditioners specifically designed for the job are applied for a given period of time to ensure the hair gets what it has lost to the dryness of the environment.
Detangling Your Hair
You know how electrified they look after brushing them dry, right. This is the reason why most of us instinctively never brush them and get scolded by our mothers who have been equally ignorant about their maintenance! Brush and detangle them only when they are wet and slathered with conditioner. This will make sure that it won’t break and there is even distribution of the moisture from your conditioner.
Providing and Holding Moisture
We completely do injustice to our hair over our skin. We moisturize the skin every day after a bath then why not the hair! After all, moisture is what curly hair lacks the most. A good leave-in conditioner and hair cream are to be added to every curly hair regime to moisturize them and a gel and light oil to hold onto that moisture.
Most of the frizz magically appears in the morning as we wake up, right. The reason is the cotton pillow we rest our heads on which gives more friction to the hair and creates the broken wires look the next morning. Use satin or silk pillow covers instead. It won’t eliminate the friction completely but reduce it many folds. Carry a satin bonnet if you are a frequent traveller and change your regular scrunchies with those of silk ones. This won’t kill the frizz completely but reduce them visibly.
Terms and Techniques
I would say this as the most important point as everything discussed above won’t make sense if they are not done with the proper technique:
- Praying hand method – part your hair in equal sections on either side of your head. Rub the product in your palms; run them over each section in the praying hand form. This technique can be used for every product and it will not disturb the clump formation of your curls.
- Raking – running your fingers through your sectioned hair to evenly distribute your products. It is mostly used for conditioners and never for the gels.
- Scrunching – with products in your hair, tilt your head to the side you want to scrunch and then cup your hair with both your hands gently till you near the roots and scrunch. Repeating this method for a few minutes on each side enhances the curl formation and can be done after every product application or at the end of all.
- Pineappling – this is a way to tie your hair at top of your head, loosely with a silk scrunchie while sleeping in order to minimize frizz and flattening of the curls.
Like every other religion, this one too calls for regularity and purity in actions but unlike other religions, this one pays you with not metaphysical but physical and more visible results. Love your curls.