I grew up extremely frustrated with my curly hair.
I hated the frizz (lovingly called Jhaadu by some bullies) & was hell bent on getting them straightened.
My hair used to originally look like this.
Table of Contents
- 1 I Got A Smoothening Treatment
- 2 Damage After Chemical Straightening
- 3 Transitioning Back Into Naturally Curly Hair
- 4 My Hair Transformation After Transitioning
- 5 How to Get Back Your Curls After Chemical Treatments
- 6 Hungry For More Tips?
I Got A Smoothening Treatment
One day, just before my 12 std college farewell, I got my curls ‘smoothened’ which is basically a keratin treatment that doesn’t last as long as straightening. It adds spaces between the curls in our hair and makes it smooth.
I was SO HAPPY. People around me were happy.
Soon enough, my curls drew up in rebellion and came back damaged, more frizzy and rough. They also started falling at a crazy rate.
Damage After Chemical Straightening
It was terrifying. I was SO scared to comb my hair just because I didn’t want to see that amount of hair break and fall on the ground.
One day, in my first year of college (around 1.5 years after I got this treatment), I went to get a hair cut. The hair stylist obviously couldn’t stop himself from recommending ANOTHER treatment.
Thank god I was broke & couldn’t afford it. I was also quite traumatised by how it looked then.
But, unknown to me, this hair cut was a blessing in disguise. The man had cut a lot of damaged hair off. And at that point my hair had grown quite long, leading to rough curls from my crown to the middle and the ends were these wavy messy damaged strands. You can see the two textures in my hair below.
Transitioning Back Into Naturally Curly Hair
This cut was my initiation into ‘Transitioning’. Which in the natural hair universe means – Going back to your roots, literally! Or growing your natural wavy and curly hair & slowly chopping off the damaged part.
But Pallavi, why is chopping off the straightened part so important? Can’t I just follow your Curly Hair Rules For Beginners & get them back?
This is not easy to hear or accept, but chemically altered hair is NOT going to go back to your natural curls.
In chemical treatments , the products used (also called relaxers) alter the chemical bonds of your hair permanently, making it straight. It can’t go back now. That is why it is called permanent straightening (even though for us curly girls, it hardly lasts more than a couple of months)!
Within a few months, the silky-straight quality goes & your hair becomes a mixture of textures- wavy & straight with lots of frizz, like you saw with my pictures.
This chemically and heat fried hair needs to go. You don’t need that kinda negativity in your life!
Some girls are brave enough to chop off ALL the damaged hair completely! But you DON’T have to do that if you’re not comfortable. Do it slowly as your new hair grows but remember that this will take a few months or even a year.
BUT you CAN & WILL get back your curly hair if you’re willing to put in the effort.
My Hair Transformation After Transitioning
Right after I found out about curly girl techniques and the CG method, I slowly understood WHY my hair was always rough and frizzy. This post should help YOU understand.
After a few months – I was SO HAPPY at the change! My curls were shiny, more soft and bouncy.
I applied all the tips & techniques I learnt to my hair and watched it grow healthier everyday.
If you want to get your gorgeous wavy and curly hair back too, remember my tips below.
How to Get Back Your Curls After Chemical Treatments
Slowly chop off my chemically damaged hair & keep my new curls growing healthy.
Products You’ll Need:
- Gentle Shampoo (Ideally, try switching to a non sulphate shampoo).
- Moisturising Conditioner (If your shampoo is non sulphate, make sure your conditioner doesn’t have silicones.)
- Deep Conditioner (You can also make deep treatments at home)
- Leave-in Conditioner (No this is NOT a serum.)
Find out why leave in’s are SO important in this post: What is a Leave in Conditioner
- Alcohol Free Gel (You can make DIY Flaxseed Gel as well.)
- Wide-toothed Comb
- Plain T- shirt
You can choose them from this handy list I made for all budgets! : Curly Hair Products in India
Do’s & Don’ts of Transitioning
1. Don’t apply any heat on your hair. This means no straightening, blow drying, even if it’s ‘just the bangs’.
2. Don’t brush/comb your hair dry. Or this will happen.
3. Do oil your scalp and use a gentle shampoo (preferably sulphate free).
4. Do apply conditioner on your hair generously from mid length to ends. And I mean GENEROUSLY!
5. Do finger-detangle & use a wide-toothed comb after conditioning.
6. After rinsing it off, on wet hair do remember to apply your leave in conditioner/ Curl Cream & gel. Want to watch how I do it? Check out my routine below. Don’t forget to subscribe once you do!
7. Do trim your damaged length every 2-3 months. You can also chop off all the damaged hair in one go. It’s completely your call.
8. Do deep treatments/hair masks every week– This will help your curls to remain moisturised & reduce breakage. Super hydration is the key! You can check out 3 ways I deep condition my curls in my video below or try these 5 DIY Hair Masks!
9. Do put your hair in protective hairstyles
A big issue girls with transitioning hair have is that they can’t stand how ‘weird’ their hair looks- straight at the bottom, curly at the top. In order to avoid that & until you have only curly/wavy hair on your head, you can put your hair into a plait, a loose bun or any other protective hairstyle. You can find plenty of suggestions on Youtube on this.
10. Don’t Lose Hope
This is the most important rule! This will take time – hair grows only a couple of inches naturally every month. You can take hair vitamins and oil your hair regularly to speed it up but you can’t do this without trusting the process & having patience.
If you want to see more of reader’s transformations, head on to my Instagram profile and check out the highlight called Testimonials.
To stay motivated, especially on the days you are sick & tired of trying so hard, visualise how awesome your curls will look in some time. Do not compare your hair with other curly girls right now, as tempting as that is because this process is to find out about your curly hair pattern, not to match to anyone elses.
Hungry For More Tips?
Check out my post for beginners – Curly Hair Tips For Beginners
You can also watch more helpful tutorials on my Youtube channel.
Lastly, start researching now on your own! Check out ‘Transitioning to natural hair’ & you’ll find many curly haired girls talking about their journey on the web & Youtube.
You can see their struggles & recommendations & arm yourself with enough tips to stay determined.
All the best & stay positive! See you on my Instagram @thecuriousjalebi for more post updates & tips on hair care.