The Curl Whisperer on Hair Myths
#1 - There is No Such Thing as "The Holy Grail"
Many curly girls get obsessed with finding what is known among us as "The Holy Grail" for their curls -- that mythical, miraculous, one-of-a-kind, priceless treasure of a product that will give us impeccable, frizz-free, red carpet curls -- the kind that always snap back into perfect ringlets even in the worst rain, hail, humidity, sleet and hurricane-force winds known to mankind.
The good Lord knows, I was on an HG quest myself for eons and there are times I still find myself falling into that trap. Even when I find a product combination that makes me look great 99% of the time, I'll catch myself thinking: Sure, my curls look great ... but what if I stop looking now and that one great product -- that one single elixir of magical fairy tales -- is just over the hill? And what if I never find it because I was happy with "second best" and I stopped looking too soon? It was enough to drive any curly girl to drink.
It was with a mixture of relief and sadness that I finally came to the conclusion -- after doing hundreds and hundreds of curly heads, and studying reams of information on hair type and product ingredients -- that, despite our greatest hopes and wishes, that mythical "Holy Grail"
just. doesn't. exist.
Yes, there are products that are great for our hair and will work wonders the vast majority of the time, sometimes even 99% of the time. There are products with ingredients that love our particular hair type -- our texture, our porosity, our elasticity -- and will make our curls look the absolute best they can possibly be.
For a time.
Hair type changes over time. Texture changes, porosity changes, elasticity changes. Weather changes. The chemical composition of your water changes. Hormones change. Medical conditions change. If there is one thing we can count on in the crazy world of curly hair, it is change. And that means no product is going to work 100% the best 100% of the time.
The same product might work almost as great, but from the bottom of my heart I do not and will never believe one single product can unfailingly give you what I call "red carpet curls"... the perfect, rockin' kind of curls that make any Hollywood A-lister turn around and think jealously, "I want HER hair." Unless you live in an environment and in a body where absolutely nothing changes, the Holy Grail will have to remain the myth it is.
Incidentally, that's why it is all the more important to understand your hair type and your environment and, subsequently, what product ingredients work the best for your particular situation. There might not be a single Holy Grail ... but that doesn't mean there can't be a foundational core of products that act in tandem with each other to give you red carpet curls all the time.
#2 - There is No Such Thing as "Ethnic Hair"
Didn't see that one coming, did you?
I get a lot of questions on whether or not I know how to handle "ethnic hair" or about the special needs of ethnic hair. And I'm here to tell you there is no such thing. Hair is hair is hair. Period.
Your hair is fine, medium or coarse. Your hair is porous, overly porous, or has low porosity. Your hair has normal elasticity or low elasticity. Your hair is thin, medium or thick. It does not matter what your ethnic background is. Fine, porous, elastic, thick hair is fine, porous, elastic, thick hair whether it is on an African-American woman, a Caucasian woman, a Native American woman, an Asian woman, a Latina woman ... you get the picture.
Now, you may have a genetic predisposition to have a certain type of hair based upon your ethnic background. African-American women often have much finer hair and a much tighter wave pattern than women from other ethnic backgrounds. Asian and Native American women can be so coarse and stick-straight, cutting their hair is a huge challenge because every slice of the shears can leave a visible mark. But there is no guarantee your hair will follow a certain pattern just because you belong to a particular ethnic group. I have African-American clients with loose waves and medium texture; I have white clients with coarse hair and extremely tight coils. And that's just the way it is.
That's not to say we shouldn't take pride in ourselves and where we come from, or not seek advice from others who share the same culture as we do! But by realizing that "ethnic hair" truly doesn't exist and knowing that our particular hair type is the key to taking the best care we can of our curls...we will always have those red carpet ringlets, no matter what our ethnic backgrounds.