Above anything else, I have to stress that it took me years to finally love and accept my curls. I first started straightening my hair when I was in high school. My cousin Pam lived in a cul-de-sac down the street from me, and I would go over to her house regularly. I’d borrow her straightening iron, convincing her when I could, to straighten it for me, because it would always take over 3 hours, and if you’ve ever attempted to do anyone’s hair for over 3 hours, you can bet your sweet ass your arms will be hurting by the end of it! It only took me my first time to become obsessed with straightening my hair. It was liberating! I never knew how to manage my hair, so in typical tomboy fashion, it was always in a tight bun or low ponytail. It was horrific! I had no curl game. So naturally, I became obsessed with straightening my hair. From 16-19 years old, I would straighten my hair every single day. Even though it would take me three hours to blow dry and burn my curly coils into flattened, hay-looking broomstick hair, I didn’t care. I could finally have bangs! I could finally finger brush my hair with my Hot-Cheeto stained fingers and not have to worry about it turning into a giant tangled + frizzy disaster. For the first time in my teenage years, I felt confident and somewhat normal.
Luckily, I finally hit a breaking point. After three years, my hair was dry and dead, and it looked like shit. Well, technically, I guess it always looked like shit, it just took me a really really long time to realize it. Every single day for 3 years, 3 hours a day, I would stand in front of the mirror and burn my hair into a bad bob. I was tired and ready to accept my hair for what it was. So I blindly began my curl journey.
I was really lucky at how resilient my curls
were are, because after about a year or two of letting them breathe and just be, my curls bounced back to life. Let me tell you though, it was hard! My mother had straight hair and my brothers were of no help in this department. I had no other curly-haired friends at that time, so I knew nothing about styling, haircare or hair products. I was so naive, I didn’t even know that bobby pins were made in different sizes; regular (for normal hair) and long grip for thick, curly + unruly hair. I would literally have an entire pack of regular sized bobby pins in my hair trying to hold my curls in place! They would eventually all fall out throughout the day. I was a mess. There was so much I didn’t know, and there was so much money spent on product experimentation, which is why I finally decided to share my daily routine. I get approached daily about my haircare routine and which products I use and I’m SO happy to finally find a routine and formula that works for me. Albeit, there is still so much I need to learn and practice; I love showering + feeling refreshed, and that means having a clean scalp, even though I know washing every day isn’t very healthy. I am still trying to get used to washing every-other day, and finding styles that work for my curls after wash-day, as well as using eco-friendly brands that actually work for my hair.
I do have to stress though, that my biggest weapon is my hairstylist Sirene Society. Before I started going to her, I was going back and forth between different salons, but I soon realized, they did not cater to me or my curls. Just because someone is a professional hairstylist, does not mean they know how to cut, treat or style curly hair. Trust me! I was still transitioning into accepting my curls, so while I was letting them be, I was constantly going to the salon to get my hair thinned out. S T U P I D, I know! If you are thinning out your hair, please stop! If you continue to thin your curls while they’re growing out (like I did), it grows out lopsided + patchy. So I had to start all over with that too, chopping off my precious length for the sake of its health.
I feel most confident in my skin when my hair is big, bouncy and untouched. That means no pins, no ponytails, nothing holding it in place. I’m actually really bad at styling my hair, so it just is. Below is my go-to for styling it everyday.
Pat dried towel hair. You can also use an old t-shirt or a microfiber towel. I don’t get fancy here, and just use a regular towel. Should I switch to microfiber? Convince me! Or better yet, sponsor one for me and send it my way :]!
Straight out of the shower, I use about 3-4 globs (depending on the weather) of Cantu’s Coconut Curling Cream. I S W E A R by this stuff! So far it is the best formula that keeps my curls coiled + intact all day. Plus, like all of Cantu’s products, it smells like a tropical vacation. If you use this, I guarantee you will get compliments on how good your hair smells! I always do!
Lots and lots of hairspray! This can be drying to your hair, but if I don’t use any, my hair frizzes out pretty bad. *Weekly deep-conditioning / moisturizing treatments are good for all that hairspray use!*
I only diffuse my hair with heat when I am going out with friends or know that at some point in the day I will take photos or selfies! I use a diffuser on cold air settings on days when I am doing not so important errands. I also pack a collapsible, silicone diffuser, like this one with me every time I travel, definitely a must for the curly-haired vagabonds!
My favorite part of my routine is flipping my hair over and fluffing out all my curls! The more you comb out, the bigger and softer the curls.
Because I also use more hairspray after I pick my curls out, I like to use Argan or coconut oil in my hair, when it’s dry. It took me forever to realize my hair doesn’t absorb the oil when it’s wet, because oil and water don’t mix! Duh! Because of that, I save my oil sealant for the very end.
This is what my hair looks after a mild picking session, it can definitely get bigger, but I liked the volume I reached this day ☺️. I’m always curious to see what other products people are using! Please let me know which secret weapons ya’ll use for your curls, I’d love to try them out!