|by Alyssa Barrie Weiss
I have always had thick, curly hair. Growing up in New York City in the '90s when stick straight hair was en vogue, I always felt like the odd woman out.
Many women of the curly persuasion seem to feel societal pressure to straighten their hair. Or even worse, pull it back in an effort to hide it. We feel a definite message has been communicated that straight hair is preferable.
On the precipice of turning 40, I have learned to appreciate my curly situation. I Each day is a little frizzy adventure, even with the best products on hand. That said, there is very little maintenance involved. I never have to blow out my hair; just wash, scrunch and go. Make no mistake, when dealing with thick, curly hair, curating the right product selection is a process and finding a hair care expert that is intimately familiar with cutting curls is imperative.
Let your hair be
The best way to care for any type of hair is to let it do what it does naturally. If you are forever straightening your hair, it will never look as good straight as it would if you let it just do its thing. Commit to who you are naturally and let your hair be. As soon as you start accepting your hair texture, working with it instead of against it, your hair will look superb. Finding the right products is a huge piece of the puzzle, especially as we move into summer.
It's all about the products
Finding the right products for curls can be akin to a science experiment. You have to be patient and willing to try different combinations of products to see how they work together with your hair. I have tried so many different products in so many different categories. To some extent, I tweak my regimen depending on the weather or season and recently due to some new product finds, which I wanted to share. Believe it or not, this is the pared-down version ...
I have not changed any part of my hair regimen in 7 years – so this is a monumental occasion. I leave this in for at least 15 minutes before I get into the shower and use it as a shampoo. Once in the shower, apply a little bit of water and mush it around your scalp and hair. Carry on with your shower routine and then add a little more water to the hair, scrub it around and rinse. This product leaves hair silky and smooth, which any curly cue will tell you is an oxymoron.
Use a leave-in conditioner or leave your conditioner in
This particular step is one that many hair care professionals will not advise. But if I am wrong, I don't want to be right. My favorite absolutely-can't-live-without hair product is Caretrico Privy Treatment Slim Through.
If your hair is on the medium to finer side, try Caretrico Treatment Moist Sleek. Ishi introduced this line to me. It is meant to be used as a conditioner or 10-20 minute hair treatment.
Since there is not enough moisture for my hair, I leave it in, and once applied, run a Du-Boa Scalp Massager through my hair to distribute the product and rid my scalp of any excess product residue that may have built up.
Another Christophe Robin must-have for thick and/or curly hair is the Intense Regenerating Balm with with Rare Prickly Pear Oil. It's magic! It is almost the texture of a thick facial cleansing balm with a little more of a pomade feel yet not so vaseliney. It is all natural and is meant to be used as a hair, body, cuticle, feet and lip balm. I use it as a styling and moisturizing product.
Take a quarter size dollop (use less if if your hair is medium thick), warm it up between your hands and scrunch it in your hair while standing upright. Repeat with your head flipped. I follow this with a nickel size of Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Drops. Just scrunch that on right on top.