My Curly Hair Journey

After over 15 years of constantly straightening my hair, I have recently started my Curly Hair Journey. Everyone’s journey is different, but my Curly Hair Journey means that I am finally accepting, loving, and embracing my natural hair after years of hating it. Everyone I saw in the media growing up had silky, straight hair and so did my class mates in school. People around me made me feel like wearing my hair curly was undone or unprofessional and doing your hair meant straightening it.  These factors wound up taking a huge toll on how I viewed my hair, so I simply straightened it to make life easier. Thankfully, the beauty standards in this country are finally slowly starting to change.  I’ve started to see more and more women embrace their natural hair and I have been admiring how beautiful curly hair really is. Seeing them made me realize how beautiful my hair was as well, and I finally decided to it’s time to embrace it.

My Curly Hair Journey is different from the “Curly Girl Method” which is the latest craze among curly bloggers, where you give up regular shampoo, heat, silicone, sulfates, and more. I have done tons of research and I know using products with silicone and heat can be damaging to curls, but I’m proceeding at my own risk. To be honest curly hair can be difficult, you wake up not knowing if you’ll get silky ringlets or dry, stretched out curls. Which is why a lot of people rather just straighten it sometimes. And that is OKAY! You don’t need to give up heat for the rest of eternity. It is true that the less heat you use, the healthier your curls will be but it may not be realistic for someone to give up heat for years at a time. The most important part is to be patient and figure out what does and what doesn’t work for you. I finally figured out what works for me, so if you are first starting your curly hair journey, this is what I suggest:

Figuring out your curl pattern. I was born with 3b curls, but after years of bleaching, chemical treatments, and heat, they have changed to 2b/ 3a.

So type 1 is obviously straight, type 2 is usually labeled as wavy, type 3 is curly, and type 4 is typically labeled coily. When you go to buy products, it is important to keep your curl type in mind, especially when shopping curly brands. Most curly brands understand our curl types and have different products catered to people with wavy, curly, or coily hair. For example, I wouldn’t buy products labeled “for wavy” or “for coily” hair as most of my hair is 3a, i.e: curly. Since I have curly hair, products for wavy hair may not provide the moisture I need, and products for coily hair may weigh my curls down.

Using products designed for curly hair. My issue was, that I never really understood how to care for my hair so I dyed it and straightened it to make it more manageable. I used LA Looks Gel and Suave mousse from Dollar Tree for years because that is what my family could afford and I thought it would do the job. Those products either weighed down my hair or made it frizzy. After that, I took a slight step up and used “nicer” brands like Pantene and TRESemmé. But these brands were not made for curly hair. Yes, these brands had lines “For Curly Hair”, but as I did more research, I learned the importance of brands DESIGNED for curls by people WITH CURLS. Brands owned by people with curly hair will understand what is needed for your curls. And as an added bonus, I’m all for supporting someone who made a business from their hair while living in a society that told them their natural hair isn’t professional.

Limiting your heat, chemical treatments and bleaching. This will be hard, especially for someone that has spent their whole life with highlights and a blow dryer in their hand, like I did. I first got highlights in kindergarten and was fully blonde (more like orange) several years. I would wake up and blow out my hair EVERY single day for years at a time. Even though it was already straight, I would go over it to make sure there were no waves or frizz. After that, I would use even more heat to curl my ends with a curling iron….oh the irony! Once I started my Curly Hair Journey, I started straightening my hair only one week out of the month, and not going over it each day. After that, it got much easier to go months at a time without having it straight. I also completely stopped dying my hair for over a year and a half and probably won’t go back to bleaching it anytime soon. Bleaching it caused years of damage which I am not willing to go back to.

Getting haircuts every 3 months by a stylist who knows how to work with curly hair. Everyone knows it is recommended to get your hair cut every 3-5 months, but people with curly hair may not realize the importance of going to a curly professional. I have been to many stylists who have almost begged me to get me to do keratin treatments, Brazilian blow outs or Japanese hair straightening to “fix” my hair. My hair is not broken, and straightening it does not mean fixing it. Some stylists use relaxing products or heavy oils to make it easier for them to cut and style your hair. Others have tried to use thinning shears to make hair more “manageable”. None of this is okay. Do you research and find a stylist who is comfortable cutting and styling curly hair.

Be patient! It will be hard in the beginning, some sections may curl, others may not, and the frizz might be too much to deal with etc. After years of damage your hair isn’t going to spring back to spirals over night, they’re gonna make you work for it! But it is important to understand that curly hair is naturally more dry, frizzy, and non-uniformed compared to other hair types. Learn to be comfortable with that and you will grow to really love your curls.

I took those steps and my hair went from this:


To this:

Stay tuned for upcoming posts where I dive into what products do and don’t work for me!


Finding Francesca

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