I have been battling my curly hair for probably about 15 years. As a kid, I absolutely hated what were actually perfect little cork screws (and 100x better than what I have now.) In elementary school I decided to chop it all off and besides looking like a boy, it also looked awful for years while it was growing back. And when it did finally grow back, it was never as nice as those cork screws. Some parts are really curly, some parts are mostly frizz and it’s got the texture of basically wire.
Over the years, I have paid hundreds on relaxers, chemical straighteners, haircuts, products, etc. Unfortunately, no chemical stood a chance against these curly locks and I repeatedly found myself back at square one. And when it comes to haircuts, I had my fair share of awful ones. Most hairdressers just can’t handle my hair but they never want to admit it. They see me as a white, Italian girl and think ‘Oh, no big deal’ but once they get their hands on this thick mane, it’s nothing like they expected. Because of that, I have been subjected to the triangle haircut for way too long.
In order to try and feel somewhat pretty, I would dedicate hours to flat ironing and further killing my hair. Because of that, my hair has been the same length for at least 5 years. And when you have thick, huge, curly hair any length above chest level is really just too short. So in an effort to finally fix the mop laying on my head, I did some research on what products, styles, and hairdressers would be the best. Here is what I’ve come up with:
1. Deva Curl
Shampoo (aka “no poo”) & conditioner – Their products are designed specifically for curly hair. They take the idea of “sulfate free” and step it up ten notches. I was skeptical at first, but the “no poo” does a good job actually cleaning your scalp while also moisturizing and then the conditioner really softens it up. A normal size bottle is about $10 at a beauty supply store but if you buy them online they can range from $8 all the way to $39 for a 32 oz bottle. That’s crazy, I know, but try and find someone with a beauty license who will go to a supplier for you. It will save you a fortune.
The haircut – You do not need to go to the official DevaChan salon in Manhattan to get the benefits of the haircut. I really considered it but the prices are outrageous. If you go on their website, you can search for trained Deva Curl stylists in your area. I found one near my school and ended up paying $75 instead of hundreds. (I read a review where someone paid $180 to get their hair cut by a jr. stylist!!!) The Deva Curl cut is done on dry hair and each curl is cut individually. This helps take away that triangle look because very curly hair should never ever be one length and being cut dry takes away the risk of it being much shorter than you anticipated.
I never tie my hair up in a towel anymore, instead I scrunch it dry with the Deva Towel, but a t-shirt will do the job just as well. I’ve found that this alone really helps the shape and minimizes frizz.
After years of searching, I think I have finally found the holy grail of hair gels. Miss Jessie’s is made for naturally curly, hard to handle hair. If I could meet Miss Jessie I would kiss her right on the mouth.
I apply the ‘Multicultural Curls’ lotion first (on damp hair) and then the ‘Jelly Soft Curls’ gel. These products are usually found in the “ethnic hair” section of the grocery store because for some reason, other products are targeted at the idea that all white people have baby soft hair. I am living proof that that is a big fat lie. So venture into the ethnic section and rejoice at real curly hair products. Miss Jessie’s is on the expensive side but for me it’s been worth it. The gel is $14 and the lotion is $16 but the bottles can stretch for about a month or so and if you want to give the products a trial run first, you can buy $2 packets on their website.
My hair is still a work in progress. I’ve been trying to not use a straightener on it so that it will hopefully finally grow (fingers crossed) and I do a coconut oil hair mask a few times a month. I basically wake up every morning and have no idea what my hair will look like that day – as I’m sure anyone with crazy curly hair understands – but I’m learning to finally embrace the lion’s mane I was born with.