As part of the launch of our new line of shampoos and conditioners created specifically for textured hair, we wanted to (virtually!) meet people with curly hair that make us envious. Our goal? To understand what a good hair routine is to showcase curls and to learn about the (sometimes) long road to acceptance, in a society that, until recently, valued mostly straight hair.
We obviously immediately thought of Cath Bastien, whose sublime curly hair is one of her trademarks, and whose healthy lifestyle is of course in line with our values. We asked her a few questions to get her tips and tricks for curl maintenance, and we believe that it will be useful to many of us! Grab your pen and paper and take some notes!
How do you feel about your curly hair? Do you like having this hair texture? If so, has this always been the case?
What is now one of the physical aspects that I am most often complimented on has been quite a struggle my whole life.
We saw it clearly at birth, I inherited my father’s genes: I will be blonde and curly, unlike my older sister, who inherited my mother’s straight brunette hair. I could only trust my parents' words because my father had a buzzcut at the time.
As a child, my hair was not too difficult to manage: being a bit of a tomboy, the slick ponytail was pretty much my hairstyle of choice. Until the day my aunt, my hairdresser at the time, introduced my sister and I to the famous flat iron. Even though it took a very long time, I flattened my hair almost every day so that my hair was smooth.
It might sound funny, but my main role model was my sister. For this reason, I would’ve loved to have the same hair as her and I resented my difference, but especially the fact that I could not tame my hair. I also remember a girl in my elementary school being called a sheep by other students because of her hair texture and I especially didn't want to be in the "sheep club." Worse yet, I sometimes straightened my hair ... and then curled it with a curling iron! You can tell I was going out of my way to have a look that ended up looking the exact way it did before I styled it.
On the other hand, in the summer, when camping or on trips where the humidity just couldn't keep my hair smooth, I gave up and accepted my natural texture.
What hair mistakes have you made and what lessons have you learned from them?
My mom, not really knowing how to deal with a curly hair texture, bought me curling foam. When I look at pictures of myself as a teenager with crunchy hair, I have nightmares! I can understand why I wasn't a fan of my curly hair back then.
As a young adult, I experimented with bleach ... it was a disaster! My hair that was once healthy, was now short, damaged, way too bleached and most importantly, my curls were not what they used to be. In 2016, on a backpacking trip, I tried to bring only the essentials. That's when I finally made the decision to leave my hair alone and allow it to regain its original texture.
It took a lot of trial-and-error testing to finally realize that the best for my hair is to:
- Use quality products suitable for my hair type
- Never neglect hydration
- Use as little heat as possible
- Accept imperfections and different types of curls
Can you guide us through your hair care routine for curly hair and give us your styling tips?
I try to wash my hair a maximum of twice a week, but when I swim in the pool or sweat a lot during my workouts it can be more frequent. I have noticed that curly hair constantly needs moisture. The more hydrated my curls are, the shinier, softer and more defined they are. Here is my hair washing and hydration routine:
- I brush the ends of my hair first and then all of it to untangle my hair before taking my shower.
- I wash my hair with curl moisturizing shampoo. I take this opportunity to massage my scalp.
- I then apply the conditioner on my lengths and leave it for 1 or 2 minutes, I take the opportunity to exfoliate my body using a scrub or shave my legs. Letting the conditioner sit helps untangle my curls and hydrates them to prevent frizz.
- I rinse off the conditioner and twist my hair to remove the excess water.
- I dry my hair with a microfiber towel and always let it air dry.
- I use a quarter size of Curl Ultra-Hydrating Conditioner to define my curls in an upward motion. Sometimes I use oil, especially when I come back from the municipal pool or when I feel my hair needs a boost.
- I also do repairing and hydrating masks when I think about it.
- The next morning, after sleeping on my silk pillowcase, I simply refresh my curls with a spray of water.
I love the new ATTITUDE Super leaves ™ line for curly hair. In addition to smelling extremely good (I fell in love with the moringa oil shampoo and the shea butter conditioner) I find that the range hydrates and gives my hair volume without weighing it down. I'm so happy to finally be able to accept and even love my natural texture! It's crazy to think that I hated my natural hair so much and now it's literally part of who I am.
It just goes to show that with the right products and the appropriate routine, you can really make your life easier. I sometimes think about all the hours I spent flattening my hair when I didn't have the knowledge I have now. I invite you to test the line and see for yourself how the use of adapted products makes all the difference.
A whole saga to finally say that I am so proud to be in the “sheep with the golden curls club”!