Top 10 tips to begin your natural curl journey from Cornwall Curl Specialist Sarah White at BlewBelle Curl Studio .. read on for all the details
Are you starting to embrace your Natural Curls? Are you struggling to find simple, clear professional advice in amongst all of the internet and social media group noise? Sarah White, Cornwall Curl Specialist based at BlewBelle Curl Studio in Truro Cornwall, has been working solely with natural curls, waves and coils for the last 7 years. Here she shares her tips for frizz free, beautiful, defined curls..consistently.
Everyone’s curl journey begins somewhere. Whether as a child or later in life at some point a decision is made to embrace natural hair, natural curls. Many curl journeys began during the covid lockdown. Unable to visit hairdressers and working from home are two reasons I am frequently told of. However your journey to natural hair began is your story to tell. In the salon when I meet new clients I am frequently told that there is too much ‘noise’ on social media, too many rules, too many steps/processes/products and not only does this cause confusion, but also puts women off from embracing their natural curls. Women tell me that they’ve been removed from groups for using certain products or certain ingredients and that it’s really made them rethink the whole curly hair method.
It really doesn’t need to be like that. Looking after and loving your curls should be simple and straightforward. You should be able to wash and style your hair in an hour. It shouldn’t be a ritual. So, here are my no nonsense, no faff, simple top 10 tips..to help you fall in love with your curls whether you’re just starting out on your curl journey or, whether you’ve lost your way with them and have lost your curly mojo.
1. Accept that that your curls are unique. Every single curl on your head is different. Don’t get caught up in the letters and numbers, your 2b’s your 4c’s because you’ll probably have lots of different shaped curls growing out of your head. Definitely don’t use the numbers and letters as a basis to determine your products. Just because someone’s curls look like yours on a screen doesn’t mean they are like yours. You also need to consider your curl’s texture ( fine, medium or coarse ) the density (dense, average, sparse) and the porosity (low, average, high)
2. Lifestyle plays a massive part of how your curls transition and ‘live’ For example if you’ve straightened your hair every day for 10years and bleached your hair regularly your transition will probably take longer. And to be honest taking off the ends will really help. Similarly if you spend every day, or a large portion of the week, in the sea or in the pool that will determine some changes that you will need to make to your curl routine. For example using a deep conditioner / treatment more often.
3. Water is key. Unless your curls are hydrated they won’t shine and bounce. The water needs to be locked in when you are washing your curls. Really squeeze the water in when you are applying your conditioner. Spend a good few minutes doing so. If your hair is feeling really dry it’s a good sign that it needs a wash and hydrate. And every week / 10 days give your curls and extra treat with a deep conditioning nourishing treatment, apply and leave to work it’s magic for 20-30 mins. More frequently for less time is far more beneficial than less often but leaving on for ages.
4. Genetics is important. Some of us have drier skin, some of us have oilier skin. The same goes for your scalp and hair. So, what works for one may not work for you. You may need to always use a cleanser rather than try to co-wash. And that is fine. There are many cleansers available that do not contain harsh, drying ingredients nowadays. A healthy scalp promotes healthy hair. I am a cleanser advocate.
5. Always add more water No clumps? Hair feels sticky or you have some wet frizz? Try adding more water when applying your products. Water helps to distribute the products evenly too. But always make sure you go to bed with dry hair and never sleep on soaking hair. Hair that remains wet for extended periods of time can become brittle and prone to breakage.
6. The one key product to spend the most money on is a conditioner. Many of the cheaper supermarket conditioners do not contain enough of the expensive ingredients, it makes sense that they wouldn’t. And whilst they work initially, over time they won’t be giving your curls everything they need. You’ll find that you then start looking for additional products to supplement those ingredients that are missing as an example, proteins. Without a solid foundation what ever styler you put on top is just papering over the cracks. Good curls are formed in the shower / bath / basin. Don’t skimp on this product.
7. Don’t let your length hold your curls back. There’s no magic cure for excessively damaged hair except cutting it off and starting afresh. No amount of treatments will work. Often removing the damaged hair will reinvigorate how you feel about your hair. Fine, low density curls always look bouncier, healthier and more beautiful when they are shorter.
8. Buy a diffuser and use it with patience. Use it on the slowest speed setting and with warm air. And try not to touch, fluff or move your curls around too much.
9. Did I mention hydration? Drink water too. Hydrate your curls from the inside out. When you are dehydrated it shows in your hair. Flat, frizzy and fluffy. Aim for 2 litres, this can include herbal tea, flavoured water and sparkling water.
10. Try products for longer to give you enough time to learn the them, how much to apply, how to apply. A good 3 – 4 weeks to establish how the product works for your curls. Try different techniques, with lots of water, with less water, smoothed over or raked through.
Bonus tip.. don’t believe everything you see on social media. Many images have been filtered or photoshopped. The person demonstrating the next wonder product is often being paid or receiving commission on sales.
And finally… there’s never a ‘bad hair day’ because your curls are beautiful however they look..with product or without, with frizz or without. They are yours, and yours alone. Own them.