An open letter from a curly girl.
Dear supermarket buyer, hair product inventor and curly girls,
I have curly hair. It took me about 15 years but I now love it. Not everyday, but I generally embrace my curls, I look after my curls, others like my curls and comment that they wish they had my hair (even if I think it looks like a birds nest that day). One thing I do not like about having curly hair is the utterly crap choice of hair products I have to choose from.
Apparently around 60% of the worlds population actually has curly hair, and, despite what you would assume, curly hair is the dominant gene in Caucasians. Yes all these curls are different, yes, the same product will not necessarily work for those with afro hair and those with a slight wave, however, looking at the beauty aisles of my local supermarket today you would really think that no one had curly hair or ever wanted it. Every high street brand of shampoo and conditioner was there and most styling products were also available but when trying to find something that was specifically for curly hair I came up empty.
The Phil Smith range, exclusive to Sainsburys used to have a whole range for curls called ‘Curly Locks’ but it was no longer on my shelves. I had used these products for over eighteen months and thought I’d finally found something that did the job and at a price I could afford but it would seem there wasn’t enough demand. I then went to look for previous curly products I’d had. Pantene – no sign of their curl shampoo and conditioner and after checking their website they no longer even make it. Herbal Essences – no sign despite taking up loads of space on the shelves and the fact they even they have a ‘Totally Twisted’ line. Elvive – I don’t think they’ve ever done one. The same with Tresseme although they also do have a ‘Flawless Curls’ line. The only products available to me were Frizz Ease which has a much higher price point than any other brand.
At this point I would also like to say that curls do not necessarily equal frizz. Yes, if you put me in a humid environment I will start to look like Monica from THAT episode of friends and yes, the French word we’re taught at school for curly is ‘frise’ but there is also ‘boucle’ which we’re not taught which also translates to ‘loop’. I do not necessarily need de-frizzing. I need moisturising, yes but I do not need slippery silicone to make my curls fall out the minute my hair is dry. I don’t want ‘lightweight’ hair, I definitely don’t want ‘sleek’. I not even really need ‘sparkling shine’ I just need a product that is designed for my type of hair like everyone else seem to have available.
Curly girls this is also a plea…pretty please, love your hair. Love your waves, love your tight ringlets and all those kinks and twists in between. Stop trying to iron out your natural beauty. Look at all the famous artists and who they were painting as the epitome of beauty? The curly girls! (They also usually had curves in other places – shock horror!) Now put down the GHDs and start asking your supermarket for affordable products to help you work with your gorgeous curls not against them. You never know hairdressers might start knowing how to cut curly hair as well! Now that would be a miracle!
Thank you for listening from a very frustrated 3a/b type curl girl.