I have curly hair and it’s seen many forms throughout the years. From blonde, frizzy and unkempt as a young child, to constantly in a ponytail throughout primary school, to straightened when I entered high school, then left as curly as I went to Uni. However, it’s only been recently that I have started my natural hair journey. In 2018 I decided to ditch the harsh sulphate cleansers and silicone conditioners and venture into the realm of natural hair.
I discovered that it was difficult to care for my curly hair in Korea as almost all Koreans want their hair to be straight or manipulated into a perm. Therefore in Korea a lot of hair services and products cater to this ‘desirable norm’. The lack of products and people knowledgeable about curly hair frustrated me, so I decided to look to the internet and boy did I find information. Too much information actually. I was incredibly overwhelmed but I took the plunge and buried my head deep into research.
I scoured fellow curly girls’ and boys’ Instagram pages, blog posts and YouTube videos learning all about my curl type (Type 3), my hair porosity (Low) and how to cater for my specific hair needs. I went all in and bought a shampoo, rinse out conditioner, deep conditioner, curl cream and curling custard. I used these products for a while, whilst continuing to develop my knowledge of what ingredients and techniques would work for my specific hair type.
So, as of April 2019, I know about several different styling techniques, what different products do for my hair (leave-ins, creams, custards, soufflés etc…) what the best way to dry my hair is, how to refresh my hair and who knows what else is crammed into this brain. However, I think the most difficult thing that I do need to learn is how to love my curls for what they are and stop comparing myself to other curly girls and boys who have been on their natural hair journey for years.
That being said, I am really grateful to all the people out there showing love for naturally curly hair. Too long has straight hair been the only ‘desirable norm’. There are so many more textures out there that also deserve to be loved for what they are: straight, wavy, curly, kinky-curly and thanks to people like Honest Liz, Penny Tovar, BiancaReneeToday, Laura Smith, Jannelle O’Shaughnessy-Engels, Boss Curl Samantha and countless others, I am able to find relevant information that allows me to love my natural hair for everything that it is. Frizz and all.
So let’s chat about products.
I’m only going to show my current product line up to keep things relatively short because I know we’re all busy and time is money, as they say.
To soften my hair and prep it for washing, I use a combination of products. For my scalp I use Yves Rosher Hair Repair Oil which is silicone, paraben and colourant free. It contains jojoba oil, babassu oil and macadamia oil. I take six drops of this oil and massage it in to my scalp for 5 minutes.
For the body of my hair I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil Premium Natural Hair Oil. It is silicone free and contains a mix of oils such as olive oil, castor oil and sweet almond oil. I take about 4-5 drops and using praying hands, I distribute it all over the body of my hair.
For my cleanser I use Baobab and Tea Tree Oils Low Porosity Protein Free Shampoo from SheaMoisture. I use a shampoo for my cleanser because here in Korea there is a lot of pollution in the atmosphere which can damage my hair. Therefore on wash day, I want to make sure I’m getting rid of everything that has built up on my hair throughout the week.
On wet hair, I distribute a 2p size dollop of shampoo into my hand and cleanse my scalp using my fingertips NOT my nails. I also use a shampoo brush to really get into my scalp. Then I rinse out using warm water.
Rinse out Conditioner
I, surprisingly, found a silicone free rinse out conditioner here in the shops in Korea. It’s from Innisfree and is called My Hair Recipe Calming Treatment for Dry Scalp. Unfortunately it doesn’t have many natural ingredients but I was desperate and this doesn’t have silicones in it. What can I say? You gotta what you gotta do sometimes.
I apply an appropriate amount to freshly cleansed hair and I work it in using my fingers. Then I comb through with a wide tooth comb. The slip is good and my comb only gets stuck once or twice. Next I scrunch the conditioner into my hair, leave it in for three minutes and rinse out whilst scrunching my hair up to my head to press as much moisture into my hair as I can.
My current deep conditioner is Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Masque from SheaMoisture. It does contain some protein in it which a lot of people out there would say is not good for my low po hair but I think the key to healthy hair is a BALANCE of moisture and protein. Not no protein at all. Sometimes I get this balance right, sometimes I don’t but I’m continuing to learn about how my hair reacts to different products through lots of trial and error.
I apply the deep conditioner to my hair, rake it in with my fingers and then with a comb. Then I make large twists with my hair to encourage the curl and curl clumping. I scrunch and stuff it into a shower cap with a self-heating hair cap over the top to seal everything in. I leave this for 30 mins and wash it out with warm water using the ‘squish to condish’ method again.
So that is my current wash routine for my type three low porosity hair. If you want to know how I style, click my styling post to learn about what styling products and techniques I use.
Like I said on my skin care routine, I like experimenting with different products and the same goes for my hair. However, I have to make more calculated decisions with regards to what hair products I buy because I’m still learning how my hair responds to natural products. I already have another rinse out conditioner lined up for when my current one runs out. I bought Aloeba Daily Conditioner by JessiCurl which contains many more beneficial ingredients for my hair compared to my current Innisfree conditioner, so I’m excited to start using that.
But, as for my current hair wash routine, that’s all for now folks. Comment below if you too are a natural curly, with what products you are currently using. Thanks for taking the time to read through what I have to say, and have a fantastic day.