Hallelujah! The first legitimate curly post is finally here! 6 years after I created the blog, 3 years after I started wearing my hair natural it's time to talk about it. Can you tell I'm super excited?!
In this first post, I will be answering all your frequently asked questions.
For the category in general - I will be sharing my favourite tips and tricks I learned along the way, I will tell you more about my hair journey, how I style it, how I straighten it, what products I use and swear by, etc.
This was long overdue!
|Photo: Peter Vulchev for the Ballantine's "Stay true People" project for 12 Magazine|
Is this your real hair?
Yes. This is my natural hair. My natural curly pattern (or also know as hair type) is 3C.
How often do you wash it?
Every 6 to 7 days, but it all depends on the season.
During Winter, I opt for regular co-washes (if I'm in the mood and have the time). If not, I will wash it once a week. I try and do protective styles, but that is not always the case. During Summer, I wash it every 4 to 5 days.
Curly hair and especially mine tend to be very dry and brittle so washing it often dries it out even more and causes breakage and split ends. In general, I try and stay away from aggressive, sulfate shampoos.
If I wear my hair straight I wash it every 4 to 5 days. I do a protein treatment once a month, and I try to exfoliate my scalp just as often.
*Everything I'm mentioning here will be future blog post topics.
How long does it take to dry?
My hair needs about an hour, hour and a half to air dry. When it's about 80% dry I use a blowdryer to speed up the process. If I'm in a hurry I will dry my hair with a T-shirt and then go straight for the blowdryer. It takes me around 30 to 40 minutes to dry it completely, using hot air on a medium setting.
Are you mixed?
I am Bulgarian with a dash of Greek.
Some people have asked whether I have Cuban or Brazilian blood (no idea where that comes from?!). I always try and educate people that curly hair is not all about race and people from different parts of the world can have different hair types.
How do you style your hair?
Curly hair requires a serious regime and a lot of care in order to be healthy and beautiful. This type of hair tends to be very dry, especially at the ends. This is so because the natural oils from the scalp have a thought time travelling all the way down to the ends because of the structure of the hair. That is why straight hair tends to be oily and curly hair tends to be dry. It took me about 2 years to realize all of this and find the best routine for my hair. I now use natural oils, silicone-free and alcohol-free products (or, at least, I do my best to avoid them as much as I can), because of the negative effect they have on the hair.
Regarding the actual styling process: I let my hair air dry, wrapped in a T-shirt or a micro fibre towel. Before that, while it's still wet, I apply a curl enhancement product - most of the time some kind of cream or conditioner. I'm currently using О'right's curly cream - it does wonders defining my locks. After that, I apply coconut or almond oil to seal in the moisture. After it is almost 80% dry I will use a hair dryer. After all that I apply a couple of drops of Marroccanoil for shine and bounce. My hair is prone to frizz so I try not to touch it too much.
*I'm preparing a video tutorial
Who is your hairdresser? What salon do you go to?
Unfortunately, I'm yet to find "the one"... I don't have a hairdresser. I cut and style my hair myself. I learned pretty fast how to cut it the way I like and if I make a mistake I have only myself to blame.
Also, I have trust issues when it comes to my hair, so it's pretty difficult for me to leave it in the hands of another person. And I don't mean to offend anybody!
I have someone in mind but I want to grow out my hair a little bit more and then give it a shot.
I have several.
The Macadamia leave-in conditioner is something I swear by. I discovered the Macadamia line about 2 years ago and I have been using their products ever since. The O'right curly enhancement cream is another product I'm currently loving. It is quite pricey but it's worth it. And of course, my favourite and trusty Marroccanoil oil. From the lower range products, I like the Garnier Fructis and John Freida lines. Also, another thing I swear by is homemade deep conditioning masks with banana, olive oil and avocado.
Do you colour your hair?
I've been experimenting with color since I was 19. These past 4 years I've been rocking the ombre look a lot, especially during Summer. In my opinion, the slightly golden tips add dimension and sassiness to my curls.
How do you straighten your hair?
This is a very long topic that deserves it's own blog post. For now, I will share with you just the main steps I take in order to straighten it.
While it's still damp I will use velcro rollers in order to straighten it from the actual roots and make it more manageable. After my hair is completely dry, which take about 2 hours without using heat, I will remove the rollers. After that, I will straighten it with a flat iron.
Here you can see part of the velcro roller process and what my hair looks like after I have taken them down.
Do you prefer having your hair short?
Not exactly. I actually want to grow it out but it is a very slow process. Patience is a virtue I don't have and when it comes to curly hair you have to baby it - protective styles, satin pillow cases, T-shirt drying, regular deep conditioning treatments... I do sometimes get lazy and skip a step or two and I immediately regret it because I can see my hair is suffering. The key to fast growth is drinking a lot of water and following your routine. There is no magic pill or oil that can make your hair grow overnight, especially if you want long and healthy hair.
Have you always worn you hair curly?
No, I actually started embracing my natural hair 3 years ago.
I used to hate my hair - the way it looked, the way it felt - all dry and damaged. I had no idea what to do with it as well as most of the hairdressers I went to. There was actually a time in my life I was thinking of having it chemically relaxed and just get it over with. Looking back I'm extremely happy I never did that. I was made fun of my hair for a very long time back in school and it took me some years and a healthy relationship to start loving my hair the way it is. Also, YouTube helped me a lot - I found so many fabulous and inspiring women who taught me how to love and take care of my hair. Now, I believe it's my turn to return the favour and pass on the knowledge I have. Curly hair is a movement and people should realise this type of hair is beautiful. You don't see it often in magazines and in commercials or on TV but it does exist, as silly as it may sound to some.