Hair

Why you need to embrace your natural hair

Learn to love the hair you were born with.

By Bronte Chaperon

It's fair to say, women often have a love-hate relationship with their hair.

When our locks are sitting nicely (always days when we don't plan on leaving the house) we can feel sexy and confident, and other times we're reaching for the straightener because 'it's just not behaving!'

I'm Australian/Mauritian. I have brown eyes, tan skin and very wild, frizzy and curly hair - some liken it to an afro when it's left to its own devices.

I like to think of it as similar to Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw à la season one, but with twice the body and permanent frizz.

When I was younger, I was not hair-confident. And why would I be? I convinced myself in my school days that nobody liked curly hair, but really, did anyone care but me?

I'd batter my very bouffy hair with straightening irons and blowdryers in an effort to fit in and feel 'normal'.

I'm done with this now. Rather than rejecting what makes me unique, and in turn hiding my culture, I choose to emphasise and embrace my natural curls.

I encourage all women - no matter their hair texture or shape - to love and embrace their natural hair (looking at you, Meghan Markle).

It can be done, sometimes it just takes the right products to help you treat and manage the quirks (hello cowlick and humidity-induced-frizz).

My hair has twice the body of Carrie's when left to dry naturally. Yes, people like to pat it.
My hair has twice the body of Carrie's when left to dry naturally. Yes, people like to pat it.

Making peace with your hair

I'm not sure what sparked the 'aha' moment where I decided my curls shouldn't be hidden anymore.

Perhaps it was the kind words from my supportive partner ("I love your hair even more when it's curly!") or that I didn't want to waste hours of my week blow-drying and straightening my hair anymore.

But I slowly stopped caring - and nobody gave a rat's behind when I left my hair curly (cue shock).

I'm not going to spend hundreds of dollars on chemically straightening my hair anymore. I'm not going to get up a couple of hours earlier on work days to do my hair. And when I have children, I want them to love the way they look - I need to show them they should.

That's not to say I don't have days when I wish my hair was easy to tame (how do some of you wake up, quickly comb your hair and go?!), but I'm learning to appreciate that my hair has other perks.

This applies to you too. You may not have wildly curly hair, you may have fine, bouffy or no hair! But the point is, you were born with it, and it's special to you.

Go-to guide for curly hair

I've found that looking after my hair and using products that are hair-type appropriate help (kind of a given, but when you're in high school, who has the money?)

Start by washing your hair with a good shampoo and conditioner - sorry ladies, you may need to splurge a little for this - and finish your shower with ice cold water to seal your hair follicles (read: less frizz later).

My hairdresser recommended Matrix products to me years ago and I haven't budged much since then. Try: Matrix So Long Damage Shampoo and Conditioner.

I spray Kérastase Essence d'éclat on towel-dried hair for shine and a bit of nutrition (curly hair needs all the help it can get so it doesn't dry out).

To tame frizz I use L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Huile Radiance and I may use a mousse or leave-in hydrating product (Eleven Australia's Miracle Hair Treatment) - depends how quickly I want to wash my hair again, lots of product can make hair a bit oily.

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