Many women, especially South Asian women, have naturally curly or wavy hair. But most of us spend a lot of time and money (on products and straighteners) to get that shiny, straight hair promoted by every major media platform and advertiser. Unfortunately, those examples around us can lead us to believe that straight hair is more beautiful and desirable. Something that I bought into up until my high school years. But as I developed my sense of identity and confidence, I decided to just go with the flow and work with what my momma' gave me.
My curly hair philosophy today: go big or go home!
If you're interested in figuring out ways to work with your naturally beautiful curls for different types of occasions, here are some things that have worked for me which I hope you'll find useful.
GOING OUT CURLS: How do I style my hair normally? Well, it has been a work in progress and I always seem to find new tips and tricks.
Time to style: Max. 15 minutes after getting out of the shower.
1. Wash and condition my hair with volumizing products (any from a local drug store will do)
2. Comb and detangle my hair while still wet in the shower (can do this step while conditioner is still in)
3. Immediately towel dry, scrunching throughout, with head upside down (mainly to squeeze excess water out)
4. Allow hair to air-dry for the next few minutes
5. Wet hands and apply volumizing mousse, scrunching hair while head is upside down
6. Using my best friend, my diffuser, dry curls on low heat with head upside down until hair is significantly dry
7. Hairspray to hold and pin the front strands back if you prefer that look
WEDDING UP-DO: This ended up being my wedding day hair-do after THREE hair trials! I was very happy with the final product - probably because it was closest to my natural look! My very talented hairstylist and Mom both thought the first 2 "looks" did not suit me at all (I agreed). Funny enough, it was because they were straight hair up-do's. So my stylist ended up instructing me to simply style my hair how I normally would when I go out and decided that she would just work with that to style an up-do. And voila!
Time to style: Max. 30 minutes after getting out of the shower.
I followed the steps described under the first picture above and my stylist worked her magic to create the final look.
CASUAL BUN: Ahh, this is my absolute favourite go-to hair-do! Scrunching my hair into a voluminous bun on top of my head for an hour before going out.
Time to style: Max. 5 minutes after getting out of the shower.
1. Pull hair up into a high, LOOSE (this adds volume) ponytail, while looping hair tie around 2x
2. Loop the hair tie around for a 3rd time, but pull the ponytail through only half-way and flip it upside down so the tips of your hair are now sitting on the top of your head
3. Fan and spread out hair that is inside that 3rd loop so it is less bunched together and more voluminous
4. Don't worry about every strand, this look is not meant to be neat and tidy!
Managing the inevitable Frizz: I personally never worry about frizz - I think it adds volume and is more natural! However, I know some people can't wrap their head around this idea, in which case I would recommend using a tiny bit of Biosilk or Moroccan oil and scrunching through the hair as a finish. Also, using a microfiber towel (or a cotton t-shirt) to dry your hair decreases the amount of frizz.
Styling naturally curly hair can be a love-hate relationship, as it comes with both good and bad days. However, in a fast-paced world where we're always being told to be something we're not- why not make life easier on ourselves and choose to be more unique by embracing our curls girls?
-Images courtesy of Ovyian Photography.