Lately, to keep up with our bustling schedules, a more spontaneous way of living is what women want. That means that this summer we didn’t want to have to worry about spending all morning straightening our hair with the knowledge that water or sweat will ruin it anyway. However, in a society that expects us to look pristine at all times, abandoning the exhausting hair routines can be difficult, especially if your natural hair doesn’t abide by the supposed beauty standards, in particular, if you have naturally curly hair.
A rising Instagram page, @thehairaddictofficial, has launched to push women towards more natural looks, paving their way to adopting healthier heat-free routines. Embracing their natural beauty is a challenge that gradually more and more curly-haired women are taking on, learning to fall in love with their hair regardless of what society may say. We talked to some of these women who have shared their transformation looks with us.
I was born as a curly head which was always a huge problem for my dad. Each time we’d get dressed to go out, he would pull my hair up in a ponytail because he thought curly hair gave people the impression of a lack of care.
I grew up knowing that heat was the answer until it wasn’t anymore. Each time I’d wash my hair I’d have to decide what I want to do with it. Hair issues consumed a lot of my thinking and it constrained me from going out or feeling comfortable on bad hair days. That is when I decided to go heat free and let my hair be!
In Egypt people view curly hair as messy, especially older generations using phrases such as “eh el manzar dah?” (What is that look?). They can accept it as a beach look but not an everyday life style.
When I found out I had genetic alopecia, I worried that I would turn completely bald so started seeking out solutions. I did some digging until I became heat and chemical free. My main challenge was the transformation phase, because when you decide to quit heat you don’t wake up the next day with fresh curls. It takes some time, and in that time your hair might look terrible and weak. The real challenge is to accept yourself during that phase regardless of people’s comments or opinions.
I am currently based in Germany, here when people see a curly head they obsess on how beautiful, natural and unique she is, which is ironic compared to us Arabs and how we feel about our natural hair. There is public demand for hair straightening because curly hair is forever linked to negative connotations. We watch actresses with straight hair and full makeup and so we want to look like them. Any girl that doesn’t abide by that is considered careless about her looks.
The first time I started letting my hair be was last summer in Sahel. The struggle was that my hair wasn’t stable, each day brought a whole different state that I had to learn to deal with. My good hair days were much less frequent than my bad hair days.
My family always expects me to look “bent nas” and neat. Here in Egypt we are always threatened that any change will make us not feminine enough. A lot of families don’t have enough knowledge of how to deal with curly hair for kids so they perceive it as a burden or a curse. My mother has always tried to tame my hair.
Growing up I have always loved curls but I was discouraged by society with comments such as, “Darba sha3raha fl khalat”. I used to expose my hair to so much heat that every time I’d let my hair grow I’d experience weak split-ends. So eventually I’d end up chopping it short every few months. It started to bother me how many hours I spent trying to style it to no avail.
I’ve always regarded big haired women as confident and fun. We are Africans and should be very proud of our genes. After a short while of going natural, the growth rate became crazy and I started gaining back my curls already. Now my boss makes fun of my hair sometimes but I guess it grew on him, he now calls it “funky”!
I used to be a teaching assistant at a university, they’d tell me, “try wearing your hair up” and praise me when I’d straighten it. Now I rarely use heat on my hair. My family hates it when I do my hair for occasions. The challenges I face are mainly during work, it isn’t presentable at all. They called me “mankousha” and assume that I don’t comb my hair.
I can handle this criticism, but kids shouldn’t have to. I see parents who always feel the need to pull their kids’ hair up, straighten it or braid it because for them curly hair is a big no. I think it is racist of them to think like that. I have a 3-year-old girl and I would never use heat on her hair. Kids should definitely not have to worry about things like that, they should be able to trust their normal look.
In the not so distant past, I used to constantly heat my hair because at the time it felt like the most convenient method to tame it. However, when I started losing my natural curls that was my cue to go heat free and revert to natural hair products. Of course, constantly being in the spot light puts even more societal pressure on one’s looks. Going natural is a lot of work, you have to stay up-to-date with the experts and vloggers on how to take care of your hair but the outcome is usually great healthy hair that shows your true identity and uniqueness. With time you even learn how to manage bad hair days. My major tip on such days would be to braid your hair (especially French braids) all through the night and undo them before you leave the house.
Here are some of the Hair Addict Facebook group’s beauty tips and routines:
Routine 1: To regain your curls
– Use sulphate and silicone free hair products
– Weekly oil treatments with castor, argan, coconut, and shea butter oils.
– Secret of nature hair mask
Routine 2: To improve the regained curls and add volume
– Take Sugarbear vitamins
– Use kish, mustard and parachute gold oils (indian oils) for the weekly oil treatments
– Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex hair mask
Routine 3: To have soft, shiny, loosely defined curls
– Once or twice per week oil treatment of:
-Mix them all together and rub them onto hair and scalp and leave for 3-4 hours then wash with conditioner only.
-Post-washing it could be placed into a braid to get the perfect curls.
Routine 4: For the perfect protein mask
-Mix 2 teaspoons of gelatin to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 teaspoons of honey.
-Apply to your hair overnight then wash and deep condition in the morning.
Routine 5: For Natural Curls
-Wash your hair with diluted apple cider vinegar or diluted rosewater and leave it.
-Although some immediate results may be noticeable the real results come after a proper period of application. So be patient ladies, your hair deserves it.
Follow @thehairaddictofficial on Instagram and join their group on Facebook here.