Having curly hair

When I was little, my hair was very straight. It only started to curl a little when I was about 7 and then went very curly by the time I was about 11. I think my curls are about a 3A. Here are some reference charts for curls.

And here is my hair

I used to brush my curls out which was the worst thing I could do with it because it ended up looking like this.

I loathed having curls and longed for straight hair like my classmates. In my late twenties though, I learned how to take care of it and started to love it.

Curly hair has its own challenges…

  • colour needs to be lighter on curly hair than straight hair to get the same shade because curly hair does not reflect the light as much as straight
  • if curly hair is cut when wet, it shortens as it dries, so it needs to be left longer to achieve the same length as a shorter cut would achieve on straight hair
  • you tend to use far less shampoo than conditioner which is a problem with brands who have large shampoo and small conditioner in matching sets
  • you cannot brush it when dry or it just poufs out
  • you need to keep the touching of hair to a minimum because moisture from your hands makes it frizzy
  • it is often porous so colour (even temporary colour) ‘grabs’
  • there are many different types of curls, even on the same head.

I tend to wash my hair only once or – at the very most – twice a week. On other days I just use conditioner. Afterwards, when my hair is still wet, I use a wide-toothed comb to comb through Sebastian Potion 9 Wearable Treatment (my holy grail product), flip my hair upside down, scrunch with my fingers, flip my hair back up, and don’t touch my hair again.

My favourite shampoo and conditioner is the Moisture Extreme Range by Philip Kingsley. Moisture Extreme is for porous, frizzy and/or Afro Caribbean hair. It is not too heavy and it makes your hair really easy to comb through. I buy it in the 1000ml bottles. I also sometimes use Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, a pre-shampoo treatment.

I have always wanted to try plopping for my hair instead of a towel, but don’t want to risk a hair disaster just before I have to leave for work. Over weekends I tend to put it up in a bun to give it a rest.




Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

6 thoughts

  1. Oh, I don’t know about the curl type chart. Because I swear to God, my curls change daily according to my hair’s mood, the weather, my hormones, you name it… Very often I have a mixture of several types; I gave up a long time ago trying to figure it out, all I wish is that if the reincarnation theory is true I’ll get straight hair in my next life.

    Two things I’ve figured out after decades of struggling with my mop:
    1. A good hair stylist that really understands how curls behave is a must even if you straighten your hair.
    2. The only conditioner that works on me is the leave-on type.

      1. That happens usually the second day when I wake up, after my hair has been squashed against my pillow all night. I-hate-it.

      2. Me too! I think people with straight hair are lucky because they can probably just brush through it the second day but mine is all flat one one side and fuzzy on the other!

      3. Most of all they can rely on their predictable hair and be sure they will look at least presentable any time. A last minute shower before you go out the door? No problem. A travel between different climates? Nope, not a problem. Change of seasons? Caught in the rain? They’ll know how they’ll look. Meanwhile we play the wheel of fortune with our hair appearance.

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