After I whittled down my magazines into what inspired me, I categorised the articles into themes. There was some overlap but at the time I felt the groupings made sense. Now, I have written this blog post beginning with the body of text, rather than the title which I have never done before. I just wasn’t sure how to introduce this collection of cuttings.
In the June 2016 edition of Cosmopolitan there was a full feature on hair, or more specifically, “hairitage”. To my delight it focused on mixed-heritage hair which for the most part was curly. I could identify with the piece and also find it useful for product recommendations that I could use on my hair.
To my dismay, it was introduced with these words “Blonde Afros, coarse curls and untamable waves.” Coarse? It may be technically true but it is really ok to say this? If you have hair that is classed as “coarse”, please let me know how you feel about this. I don’t think I have “coarse” hair but this term still leaves me feeling uneasy. I like “textured”. As for “untamable”, really? My hair is not some wild beast needing to be tamed and I like my hair big and “wild”! Anyway, if this is just some horrible shorthand for suggesting that the flyaways should be smoothed, then just say that. All hair can be smoothed or styled. I have waves amongst my curls. My hair will obey, if I am kind to it. Actually, obey is incorrect and akin to taming; my hair can be persuaded into the style I want but it reserves the right to refuse anyway!
All that aside, the purpose of the article was to help the reader decide which type of hair they have and how they can style it whilst embracing our heritage, rather than hiding it behind straightened locks. I can relate to each and everyone of the beauties:
Estelle Frigenti (Swiss, Zimbabwean, Italian) has textured waves, named “relaxed afro” which would otherwise be called beachy waves. In fact, I think I’ll call them beachy waves too. I like to wear this look on holiday, at the beach and in summer. She uses olive oil in her hair and I have done so in the past. I might even do it again! I can identify with her hair struggle – curly hair will spring up when cut so more length needs to be left if cutting when wet so it’s not too short when dried. I think many curly girls have had that shock at the hairdresser.
“Wild waves” were used to describe Sasha Pereira‘s (Portuguese, Indian, white British) hair. She says her hair is “wavy with a slight frizz” and has in past tried to blow-dry it straight to no avail. Yes, I’ve been there too. Curls are stubborn and who can blame them? They deserve to be seen. I used to have long hair like Pereira but my hair journey has taken me to all lengths. It’s currently mid-length, wavy at the roots into curly at the ends. She, like myself has discovered the magic of a diffuser attachment! She uses argan oil which I have tried but perhaps it was a little to heavy. Smells divine though!
Emma Holmes (Jamaican, white British, Dutch) straightens her naturally curly hair. She was bullied at school because of her hair. Hair seemed to be such an important thing at my school. Looking back, I just can’t see why but clearly this was not unique to my school. Her must-use products are coconut oil which I used to use before it became fashionable, and Bumble and Bumble Repair Blow Dry. Bumble and Bumble have a range for curly hair so they are on my “to try” list.
Catriona Frean (Ivorian, white British) was featured as having a “full-on ‘fro” which is the hair texture I really want. This is where my bafflement and coarse comes in – her hair is big, long and soft-looking, if I can judge by the hair of my family and friends. Anyway, she straightened her hair a few times but realised her afro hair was best for her. It took me a while to realise that straight hair is just not me and I have worn my hair curly ever since. It was when I had my haircut at a Sassoon salon that I fully appreciated my hair and stopped working against it. Sassoon’s philosophy is to work with the person’s natural hair and the hairdresser was so in love with my hair (which seemed odd to me at first) but it made me appreciate it. A good cut on curly hair really makes the beauty of it shine through. Frean uses lots of products, including a coconut oil mask (I really need to get back to coconut oil) and a Tangle Teezer. I don’t need one for my hair but have used it in another’s curly hair and it’s brilliant. Rather than yanking at the curls it gently teases out tangles leaving behind smooth coils. Be kind to your curls and they will be kind to you.
This post wasn’t meant to be all about hair but there is just so much to say. Curly girls, I know you understand me! I think this article would form the basis of a good chat. Facebook Live anyone?