I was going to title this blog ‘my curly girl journey’, but my hair definitely leans to the wavy end of the spectrum rather than tight curls. If you want to get technical, my wave pattern varies between 2b and 2c. I also have very fine hair and frizz is a constant friend of mine.
A bit of a background story
My hair was always dead straight. The kind of hair that bobby pins used to slip out of. My Mum is full Pasifika, but through her genetics had straight thick hair – the only one out of six siblings. My Dad was a Kiwi with Irish roots and his hair was straight and very fine. No surprise that I ended up with fine straight hair. It was hair that never needed a straightener.
Then I had kids.
I don’t want to frighten those that haven’t had kids yet, but they change your body!
After the first child, I got a kink in my hair. Kind of like a cowlick in the front. Also I seemed to be more susceptible to humidity and my hair would become frizzy. I bought my first set of GHDs and never looked back. I had two more kids and was keenly aware each time that when I lost my hair post partum, little changes were obvious, like I needed a lot of oil to keep it smooth, and my hairline seemed different.
I never knew that my hair had become wavy. Why would I when dead straight hair had always been part of my identity? Instead I thought it had become unruly and kept beating it into straightened submission.
I work in healthcare and over COVID lockdowns, I had to wear scrubs each day. When I got home, I stripped in the garage, went straight to shower, and couldn’t hug or kiss anyone. A hot shower, scrubbing all over and washing my hair was almost therapeutic – as well as a kind of insurance that I wasn’t bringing any germs into my protected family home. Each night I would sleep in semi-wet hair, wake up in the morning, straighten it and head back to work. I noticed a visible improvement in the condition of my hair. Skipping the hair dryer was so good for my hair! But I was still using the GHDs.
Quick note, my three children have very different hair from each other, my oldest has tight curls, my middle has long wavy hair, and my youngest has dead straight hair.
Just before Christmas – this is what a newbie I am – my son asked for some hair product to manage his curly hair. He had talked to a girl at school who had recommended some products for him. I knew nothing about curly hair so I appreciated another sistah helping me out here. And I wanted my son to feel proud of his hair – hair that he had always disliked when he was young because it was different to his parents. In the fully spirit of overcompensating I said that we would get him whatever he wanted. To my surprise he asked to go to Chemist Warehouse and that everything he needed was there. Once we got the products home, and they were in our bathroom, I tried them on a whim and from the first day I was hooked.
OGX Coconut Curls Shampoo & Conditioner
The first product set was from OGX, the Coconut Curls Shampoo. With the most delicious coconut fragrance, this set is super creamy and feels incredibly nourishing. The combo of both is lovely on the hair. With the shampoo I massage my scalp with a massage brush, and let the shampoo drip down and coat the ends of my hair.
The conditioner is delicious. Note, you use twice as much conditioner as you do shampoo, so it may pay to but 2:1.
He said he needed a hair cream too.
While were there there I spied a hair mask that had just been discussed by someone on the Fat Mascara podcast. The woman was an avid surfer and she said she had tubs of it around her house and even in her car.
OGX Argan Oil of Morocco Tame & Shine Cream
This shine cream doesn’t specifically say this is for curls or waves, but that girl at my son’s school knew what she was talking about. Putting this in wet hair holds the curl in and the frizz back. Combined with the shampoo and conditioner, this power trio has changed my game game. You can leave in if you want to keep a bit of a wet look, or just scrunch out with a microfibre cloth. Then I let it air dry.
Garnier Fructis Nourishing Banana Hair Food
Okay so this product, as I said, I bought because of a podcast. This is a three in one product and I use it all three ways – plus an extra way!
Critically I use this for my SECOND DAY HAIR. No matter what I do, when I sleep my hair turns into a big tumbleweed. But now, on second day hair, I wake up with said tumbleweed and grab a wad of this and apply it to my hair from roots to tip. It coats the hair in smooth rich goodness and an amazing fragrance. When it dries, my hair forms more ringlet style curls – even more ringlet-y than day 1!
As well as using it as a standard conditioner, I use it as an intensive hair mask. After a shampoo and conditioner, I put this in my hair for at least 5 minutes to work it’s goodness – making sure to keep my waves intact while rinsing out. Sometimes I’ll apply to dry hair, tie it up and about 15 minutes later go and wash my hair as usual.
The fourth way I use this is my mixing it with water and putting it into a spritzer bottle. It’s your own curl refresher spray. Easy to apply, it refreshes the curls and brings them back to life.
Below is a pic of my hair brushed out and before I washed it. On the right is after I’ve washed it, applied my product and air dried.
It’s hard to see on dark hair, but hopefully you can see how the waves have formed and starting to ringlet slightly.
In the pics below you’ll see my straightened hair vs a couple of styles of my hair when it’s wavy. Some successful and some not, but not too bad for a newbie.
I can tell you it’s truly liberating to not have to dry my hair. Instead I wash my hair, apply my product and then go to work. It’s nearly dry by the time I get there. Just in case my hair gets frizzy at work, I keep a bottle of the Argan Oil Cream in my drawer.
Lots of people I’ve met with think I’ve permed my hair. When I say it’s my natural hair it sounds like I’ve not embraced my natural hair for my whole life, when I truly didn’t know that it had changed.
The very best thing to come out of this is that my curly haired son loves it.