Dear Wavy, Curly, Coiled, and Kinky hair community,
Who remembers being told by friends, teachers, strangers, and even certain family members that your hair was “untidy, frizzy, messy or the ever unpopular opinion, straighten it because you’d look better” ?
The thing is, boy or girl. Man or woman. The sad truth is that many, if not all of us with a head full of curls have heard similar remarks being told based on hurtful and harmful social assumptions about our curly hair regardless of gender and age. Some of us may have even bought into the idea that what they said was true. Who didn’t cave in to the pressure, and straighten their hair when they were a teen? You can’t blame yourself, there just wasn’t enough information at the time on how to keep healthy and manageable curly hair.
Fast forward to the year 2020, -pandemic aside, there’s been some real progress on the curly hair front. In the last year alone there has been a flood of information, tips, and tricks helping individuals on their curly hair journey. Many have fallen back in love with their natural curls during quarantine, and oblivious to others who have recently discovered that they have curly hair through TikTok’s ‘Do I Actually Have Curly Hair?’ videos.
You see the sudden interest in wearing natural curls is due to both social media, and the growth of the market for curly hair specific products. There is now an array of products at every price point. Thus, giving everyone the tools to confidently wear their natural textured hair proudly, as they should. For many, their hair can play an important role in their identity. This is why this new era of embracing your natural hair is an important message that needs to reach people all over the world after all curly hair does not belong to one ethnicity alone. The curly community is diverse, just like curls.
A few months ago, more than 300 members of our CURLrinting community answered a survey on their hair type, their relationship with their hair, and what they use and look for in hair products. The majority of our respondents had textured hair, -yes no surprise there, but each had slightly different relationships and struggles with their hair since some had wavy hair and others curly or coiled. You might be surprised by some of the answers, then again you may not if you too have had a similar experience on your curly hair journey.
A large number of respondents felt proud of their hair and agreed that it does play an important role in their identity. I’m sure many of us would agree to this sentiment, after all the attachment one has to one’s hair can even be an emotional experience. Having any textured hair type allows us to stand out from the crowd and is even a personality trait on its own. It even has a mind of its own, some days the curls just don’t want to corporate.
But here’s the thing, as proud and in-love as many of us are with our curly hair, sadly there are friends and family in our lives that might not feel the same, and that’s okay. What’s most important is how you feel about your curls. Plus, the CURLrinting community is here for a reason, there are hundreds of people just like you. Each sharing what they’ve learned on our own about managing and embracing their natural hair. Some have learned from family members and friends, others from social media, thus becoming somewhat of an expert after having gone through many trials and errors to find what works best for them.
It suffices to say that the majority of respondents to the survey have found their go-to products, having mentioned that styling and hydration-focused products were among their favourites and most used. Putting aside shampoos and conditioners, many mentioned that leave-in conditioners, hair gels, oils, and creams/pomades/hair sculptors were essential to achieve and manage beautiful curls. When asked what were the brands that they use, most mentioned affordable international and local brands. Most admitted to rarely giving the ingredient list a second look. For many, what’s most important is the efficiency of the product and the price.
A universal struggle that most agreed to have, was finding a good hairstylist that knew what they were doing when it came to cutting and styling curly hair. This is understandable when you think about it, in the last couple of years, people have been teaching themselves how to manage their own curly hair, and some have even learned to cut their own! It will surely be a while till cosmetology schools all over the world roll out a curly hair specific curriculum, thus putting a stop to anxiety attacks caused by the idea of getting our hair cut in a salon.
If you take anything away from this, we hope that you see a strong and caring community filled with individuals that are happy to share their own curly and textured hair journeys in hopes that others will be inspired to begin their own. CURLrinting will continue to put forward content, recommendations, and information on methods and products in hopes that they will be useful in making your whole curly hair care routine easier to manage.