I was born with platinum blonde curly hair. It has darkened over the years, no thanks to my interference with “Sun-In” and lemon juice and lots of harsh dyes. I also went redhead for 2 different seasons, and have had many different colored strands – pink tips, purple and blue strands, teal streaks throughout. These days I am sticking to whatever comes out of my head, which (when clean) these days is a golden dirty blonde.
My mom has beautiful straight blonde hair, my dad had curly dark hair when he was younger, so my sister got this sun kissed wavy perfection and I got this very curly craziness that I have had to wrestle with my whole life. I have not done it well, fighting it at every turn. Until now.
When I was younger, I would usually never have my hair down unless it had been blown out and straightened by my very patient mother. In college, after those two processes had been completed, I might’ve thrown some curling wand action on top of the straightened hair. My whole life, if my hair was in it’s naturally curly state, it was back, it was up and out of the way. I went through a phase around 10 years old of bandanas, and have gone in and out of headband phases. I will even throw in a baseball cap or a felt hat to hide the mystery that my hair has always been to me. I have also spent the vast majority of my life in hot and humid climates, meaning straight hair doesn’t last long, so I have been frustrated and fighting my curly hair for the last 25 years. I have always thought that it looked too unruly, out of sorts, messy, and frankly sloppy. It looked unintentional, like I forgot to do something before leaving the house. So I never really bothered to find out how to do this well – I don’t think I thought that was even an option on the table.
In mid-April, I had the pleasure of going to Israel for the first time with my work D-Group, and I had two fabulous roomies, my boss Tara-Leigh [aka TLC ;)] and Anna! Anna was new to me, but we became fast friends – she is straight up hilarious and I’m glad to know her! She taught me many things on the trip, but one thing in particular literally has changed my life – no big deal. She has beautiful naturally curly blonde hair, and it always looked put together and effortlessly loose and boho, exactly the thing that I had never achieved. So she walked me through it, and I have been copying her exact instructions ever since. GAME. CHANGER.
Over the years, I have been washing my hair with just whatever, and surprise surprise, that hasn’t worked out so well. Recently I’ve made the switch to better products with better ingredients for my hair and scalp. As someone with severe psoriasis, I should’ve been doing this long ago, but my forays into the cleaner shampoo and conditioner game have been inconsistent – until now! (I keep saying until now, but it’s true. This has been a really awesome shift for me!)
If I remember (about 1-2x a week), I will throw one of these on my hair about 10 minutes before I hop in the shower or bath (yes, bath. They are mad relaxing). Love Beauty & Planet’s Hair Oil or REvival’s Mineral Hair Serum. After I get out of the shower, I will give my hair a spritz of this coconut milk leave-in conditioner.
I will occasionally wash with hair with this awesome Revival black mud shampoo from Israel, but it’s running low, so here are my standard “go-to”s. I go back and forth washing and conditioning my hair with two different pairs of shampoo and conditioner. One set is Love Beauty & Planet’s coconut oil & ylang ylang shampoo and their coconut oil & ylang ylang conditioner. Their products boast: no animal testing, vegan, ethically and sustainably sourced extract, 100% recyclable bottles, no dyes, no parabens, no silicones, safe for colored hair, with organic coconut oil, and no guilt!
The other set I have been using is Beauty Counter’s Daily Shampoo and Daily Conditioner! Beauty Counter is on the forefront of the nontoxic movement, from legislature to ban harmful ingredients to redefining luxe products for the beauty industry, which has inspired loyalty from their costumers. “At Beautycounter, we’re committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what’s required by U.S. law: We’ve prohibited the use of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals through “The Never List™” — all while ensuring our products perform and that they’re as indulgent as any other luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil in the market.”
So now that my hair has been shampooed and conditioned, it’s ready for curl! Anna’s expertise coming in hot here: comb out your hair so it’s free of tangles, and part your hair like you normally would. Then lean over to each side of your head, and using the towel, scrunch your hair up toward the scalp to encourage the natural curl. Depending on how much hair you have, use one or two pumps of this Moroccan Oil Curl Defining Cream and mimic the same motion, scrunching your hair from the tips up into the scalp. Then you let your hair air dry or diffuse (using an attachment with a “bowl-like” diffuser will achieve the best results).
Then (again, depending on how much hair you have) use one or two pumps of this ORIBE Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil. It smells amazing and mimic the same lean over and scrunch up into the scalp motion. This breaks the “crystal cast” that has formed around each curl and prevents the end product from being stiff, giving your hair soft curls that hold throughout the day without feeling like you have a hairspray-ed head!
Finally, if it’s later in the day, or even the next morning, use some of this ORIBE Foundation Mist to “fix all the bad things” according to Anna, and give life back to your curls!
I am telling you, this has gotten me so many compliments, it’s so easy, and it feels like I finally know what my own head of hair is meant to look like! It feels like the natural me, and it feels great. Thank you Anna, for showing me!
What has worked for your curly hair? Share in the comments below.
Anna also has a dope dope dope product called stranded, a powder dry shampoo specifically formulated for 3 different hair colors: blondes, brunettes, and redheads! AND GUYS. Guess what. She has done the coolest thing: if you want 20% your entire order, just enter the promo code CALLIE20 at checkout! Do it, do it – how cool is that?!
“Stranded is committed to using only safe and pure ingredients, and our dry shampoo is completely free of dyes, sulfates, parabens, and gluten.” Awesome. Nontoxic beauty, intentionality behind the product and consumer, and here’s the clincher: her co-founder, Lauren Scruggs Kennedy has launched The Lauren Scruggs Kennedy Foundation. They seek to provide funding for girls and women to receive cosmetic silicone coverings for their prostheses, with the hope that they will experience both physical and spiritual restoration and healing. A percentage of every @stranded purchase is given to @thelskfoundation, and we love helping out amazing causes with our purchases.
PS. this is how my whole life feels now: