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Let’s Talk about Texture: A Curly Hair Experience

by Catherine Lagoa

If you are frustrated and at wits end with your curly hair, you are not alone. Dedicated to the coiled community, here’s a curly journey that restored my hair and outlook.

Every morning was an ordeal in my early childhood. Three girls, all getting ready for school with big, unruly and tangled curly hair of all different textures. Mom being the one in charge of hair duties, would tear through the knotted masses on top of our heads with the mortal enemy of the curly hair world-a plastic bristle brush. I spent a good portion of my mornings crying hysterically. Matter of fact, just thinking about it makes me want to cry again. There was a lot of  unnecessary pain involved.

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The thing is, curly hair is literally the struggle. It can be intimidating as it takes time and patience to understand the way it works and dealing with a head full of curls is a daunting task. I found that a lot of times I was left in the dust. I didn’t know what to do with it and neither did the stylists I went to.

Fast forward to current day, there is so much more knowledge about curly hair available and the market for curly hair popularity and products have surged in growth. The movement for embracing natural hair has gained momentum too.

Based on market research, the natural hair care market – which includes shampoo, conditioner, styling products and perms – is projected to reach $1.4 billion by 2020.

As more and more curly haired folks (like myself) submit to the spiraled do’s, market researchers are expecting that value will continue to increase in the next decade. So it looks like the curly trend is here to stay.

If there’s anything that curly haired people understand is that there are massive amounts of products on the market to go through. I feel like I’ve practically run through them all. Each one claiming to be the best, the one product that will give you your dream curls.

Social media influencers were also persuasive in my product choices. I’m not knocking them. Actually I followed as many as I could and If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have learned the ever-popular “Curly Girl Method”. This involves a lengthy routine of wash, co-wash and masking days just to maintain a neatly coiled pile of curls.

At some point I gave up. It all became time consuming and expensive. Out of frustration I kept straightening it (which is counter-intuitive) as this is equally as difficult to maintain.

In all honesty, I think I just hated my hair. I certainly didn’t like the way society looked at it and I loathed the amount of time it takes to figure out how to tackle it. On the other hand, some people loved my curly hair and think they want it-until it’s time to do curly things I tell you.

Somewhere along the way I’ve uncovered a new concept: Beauty starts from within. In order to preserve the health of my hair, I had to start with my mind. Acceptance, love and embracing what you have is paramount to a transformation of any kind. Secondly, understanding on a fundamental level that what goes in your body is just as important is what you put on it.

Despite my reservations and many previous failed attempts, my desperation for better hair days won over and I decided to give it one more go. I soon found out that a good hair experience doesn’t need to be complicated.

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Curl Conversation: The Challenges

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One of the major hair difficulties that I faced was a dramatic amount of hair loss. Because of life, stress and perhaps a bit of over heat styling, my hair was falling out in clumps. It was so bad that the shower drain had to be cleaned out at a life-disrupting frequency.

To remedy this issue, I used the Oway Micro-Stimulating Hair Bath. I loved the tingly sensation from the Peppermint because I have a dry and itchy scalp. Overall it really helped to strengthen and restore my hair. Next I had to work on nurturing my curls back to health.

The Oway Curly Hair Line fit into my routine along with some of the traditional Curly Hair Method tricks I’ve learned.  This simple collection consists of three items:

It’s simple enough for me to work with, especially having such a hectic schedule. It wasn’t an exact science. I washed my hair roughly every 3-4 days or when in dire need. It’s also important to note that I’ve been doing this routine consistently for 1 month.

For me, it had to be the right balance based on my specific needs. I have a dry and itchy scalp that flakes easily but I didn’t want to over-do it, since curly hair needs as much moisture as possible. I also have fine, curly hair which frizzes easily.

My Curly Girl Routine

  • WEEK O
  • WEEK 1
  • WEEK 2
  • WEEK 3

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Tips & Takeaways

Doing this routine, I learned three important things:

1. It’s very important not to straighten or dye the hair while nursing the hair back to health. You don’t want to do anything to compromise the health of your curls any further.

2. Use a diffuser on a medium to low heat, but try not to do this too often. You can use cool air too to dry the hair  if you are pressed for time. I personally love the “plopping method”. You can do this with a cotton t-shirt or I suggest the Oway Telo Towel. Cotton is the best choice for curly hair as it won’t absorb too much moisture.

3. Keeping up with regular cuts is super important. Curly hair needs to be trimmed frequently because the oil from the root of the hair has a hard time travelling to the ends based on the pattern of the hair.

I also found that this time around,  I was starting to enjoy the process because I was seeing results. I had constant support from my colleagues and family who were loving and enjoying the results of my hair and confidence in it.

For experimental purposes,  I tracked my hair fall over time and the result is just short of amazing. My hair follicles have re-densified and there was minimal hair loss at this point to boot. 

I’ve never experienced any products like these before. Not only does the outcome of my hair look aesthetically pleasing, but because of natural and biodynamic ingredients in the products, my hair has never felt better.  This journey has taught me that there’s a difference between looking good and restoring the health of the hair and inadvertently, my confidence. To all my curly and textured-haired queens, take care of your crown and enjoy the journey, it will take care of you back!

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