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  • the.curlfriend

How Is Your Environment Impacting Your Curls?

Updated: Jan 25, 2022


There's so much that goes into having healthy hair, let alone curly hair. You can have a million textures in one fro and as we know, that requires a lot of care to maintain.

SO, @darlynnophelia (also known as @hustlehealthyco —check out her blog!), and I went LIVE on IG to discuss some experiences we had when it comes to length retention, how color-treated hair can affect curls, seasonal haircare, DIYs, and the benefits of vegan/ vegetarian diets on hair.

We got really into this discussion and so did our followers! So the LIVE ended up being about 45 minutes long!

With that, I left y'all times in the video to go to, so you can easily listen to us talk about your topic of choice.

The IGTV LIVE times are under each section title (and then there are additional ones under the 'Key Takeaways section of this post, which is at the end)!

Anddd, *drum roll* let us start off with what we all want to know more about—LENGTH RETENTION!

Give Me That Length!

(41:48 - 36:18)

As a curlfriend that had really super short curls and has successfully managed to retain length, you'd think I would be satisfied...

But retaining length comes with a lot of sacrifices, like knowing when to give the straightener a break, how to not get frustrated and pull on that knot when detangling...knowing that you'll need more one-on-one time with your curls after color treating it...even though without color-treated hair, wash day takes...the whole day.

Knowing all of this is sometimes, still not enough to take actionable steps toward retaining hair length.

Sometimes, you just want the ombre I right?... But after Darlynn speaks about her color treatment hair experience. I think my desire for coloring my hair is *poof* fading away!

Darlynn and I had talked privately about coloring curly hair and she mentioned how it affected her length retention and growth.

In the LIVE, she expresses how she got her hair color-treated for the first time in high school.

After having it bleached twice because the blonde color wasn't talking, she noticed a difference in texture in comparison to her color-treated hair and new growth.

"I didn't want to damage the roots again. I could feel how soft my roots were and how, like fried the rest felt."- Darlynn

Color-treatments (especially when done improperly or if you have a sensitive scalp) can not only affect hair growth but the health of your scalp!

She's not alone! Darlynn and I both experienced issues with length retention due to damaged scalps!

In college, I fell victim to thinking "straight hair was better hair." Not only did I get relaxers but I straightened my hair ALL the time. (Pictured: I graduated high school in 2013, and in 2017 I was in my 3rd year of college).

I had relaxer scalp damage and damage from using a hot flat iron so close to my roots. (This is something I didn’t even realize until recently, after gaining more knowledge on a healthy scalp, hair follicles, curls, etc.)

You can see more pictures of my hair heat damage, by taking a look at my Hair Habits blog post on heat damage. My hair is unrecognizable!

But Darlynn and I just don't leave you there, worrying about damaged hair. We give you some tips on how to help those damaged curls!

Seasonal Hair Care and Curl Types

(Seasonal Hair Care 36:19 - 34:24), (Curly Type 33:25 - 28:25)

So, we know there’s so much that goes into retaining length, but one thing we didn't mention that Darlynn and I feel is SO important is a curlfriend's environment!

Darlynn speaks on her experience taking the Prose personalized hair formula quiz and one of the questions in the quiz, mentions the environment.

From different seasons to overall temperature changes due to locale (living in the tropics, a desert, frigid areas with very low temperatures), can affect hair growth, retaining moisture, maintaining a healthy scalp...the list goes on.

First, understanding the difference between dandruff and a dry scalp is crucial! Sometimes the weather can dry out your hair, creating small skin flakes and itchiness, due to lack of hydration (dry scalp).

Or, you can use too thick of products for your hair type, or maybe they are too thick for the very toasty environment you live in, causing flaky clumps and itchiness, due to product build-up (dandruff).

This is why Darlynn and I stress that each curly FIND WHAT WORKS FOR THEM. You have your hair type, hair porosity, genetics, history all playing a part in how your hair reacts to products, and on top of all that, your environment!

Like, for example, Shea Moisture is a curly fave for many, but I honestly didn't have the best experience with their products.

Their products were too thick for my hair and weighed it down. However, someone with the same hair type may have a totally different experience!

By the way, not only Prose allows you to take a quiz to get a customized formula for your hair! There are others such as ICI CARE's personalized hair mask, and OrganiGrow's hair porosity-based product recommendations.

Vegetarian/Vegan Effects On Hair & Skin

(26:02 - 9:09)

The Hair Care, Y'all...

Darlynn is a vegan (10 years) and I am a vegetarian (for 4 years), and our diets play a part in hair care because of the hair products we choose to use.

Thankfully, these past few years, more and more companies are becoming aware of the benefits of plant-based, natural ingredients for the body.

So, it is a lot easier to find affordable hair care that is vegan!

Using natural products was the best decision I could have made!

The most natural products—and by that, I mean products where you can read the label and understand what you’re putting into your body—can provide plant-based benefits, reduce skin irritations, restore hair, and prevent damage while still achieving all the hair goals from definition, to shine, and more!

Some of the companies we talk about are natural-based and ones where we've had a positive experience with :)

(^use code THE CURLFRIEND for $$ off your Yellow Bird order)

But, there are also some at-home recipes you can create to keep them curls poppin'...

Step into my office...

DIYs for Hair

You can peep at some DIYs on this page for hair, but some that we discuss on the LIVE include...

Castor Oil Treatment which can seal your hair, provides moisture, and hair growth.

You can massage the oil on your hair and leave a shower cap on for about 10 or so minutes.

If you have an at-home salon, you can sit under the hairdryer (with a cap) for about 5 minutes and then rinse. OR, you can keep the castor oil in until your next wash day.

Flaxseed Gel Treatments can promote hair growth, provide moisture, shine, and have their own source of protein! To learn how to make flaxseed gel, you can peep my "Let's Flax" blog post!

Basically, you can do the same process as you would with the castor oil treatment above. (And, you can leave the flaxseed gel in your hair too because it is a great styler!)

The Skin, Baby!

As lucky ducklings, Darlynn and I have had clear skin, even throughout high school. As of recently, however, my skin experience is on a decline (maybe you can totally see it via Insta but I can irl lol) because of using the masks to protect against COVID.

But generally, vegan skincare is a great way to go, because as you know, natural products are not chemcial-based and you can even create masks, treatments, and routines to minimize pimples, tone skin, balance your pH, and more, right from home!

DIYs for Skin

Tumeric Masks can reduce inflammation, brighten skin/blackheads.

Darlynn makes a tumeric mask by mixing lemon juice, oatmeal, and water (you can also add honey). When mixing, make sure you keep the consistency so it's thick enough to create a paste! (And keep it on for a few minutes.)

Aloe Vera Treatments which can soothe skin, reduces inflammation (pimples), brightens skin.

*not mentioned in the LIVE* I've tried this by cutting an aloe vera plant and putting the gel into an ice tray.

After the gel hardens you can use a cube to rub on your skin at night before bed and either keep it on and wash your face in the morning or, wash your face after keeping it on for 10 minutes!

Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment which can soothe skin, balance pH, and kill bacteria, also naturally tones.

I started using this because of my breakouts on my cheeks due to the COVID masks.

You can put 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water in a bottle and use a cotton ball or cotton cloth and dab the solution on your skin and leave it on for about 10 minutes. Then wash your face as usual!

I've been doing this for a month now maybe about 3-4 times a week and I already see a difference in my skin.

Key Takeaways

1. Color-treated Curls

If you do color your hair, you have to learn how to manage color-treated curls! This means deep-conditioning more, using moisturizing, hydrating, and restoring hair care products.

Even if you can have professionally color-treated hair, without giving it extra love, it can leave you with dry unhealthy, breaking curls, and possibly a damaged texture change!

2. Seasonal Changes on Curls

Finding the best product for your curls includes knowing your hair type, porosity, (knowing that genetics, history, general health), and environment all play a part in the health of your curls!

Seasons and home environments (even stress!) can affect your hair.

3. Vegan Products

These are a great alternative to the chemically based products out here! You can even create your own recipes to enhance the life of your curls and make the skin glow!

4. Trimming Hair (8:40)

When your hair gets knotted, you have a lot of breakage, or you can see how thin your hair is thinner at the ends compared to the rest of your hair, then it's probably time for a trim!

Personally, I like trimming my hair after I put it in twists, or after a wash, because I can see how thin the ends are. But NOTE that if you trim when your hair is soaking wet, then there will be shrinkage and your hair may be shorter than intended.

5. Hair Growth Advice (7:09)

I LOVED using castor oil when I first went natural (now I just put it in my flaxgel). This was a great oil for me, when transitioning because it moisturized my hair and promoted a lot of steady growth.

Peppermint is also a great stimulating agent for hair growth. This is why I love using The Yellow Bird's Peppermint Shampoo bar (you can use code 'thecurlfriend' for $$ off your order)! It's all-natural and the peppermint is so refreshing on the scalp (and I've seen an exponential amount of growth due to using this bar for the last year).

And, generally...

  • The more natural the product, the better.

  • Stay away from harsh dyes to prevent damaging curls.

  • Always go to a professional when getting your hair color-treated and learn the proper ways to restore and maintain color-treated curls.

  • Understand your hair, get to know it! Everyone is different, it's okay if one product works for you, and doesn't for another curly.

  • Be patient with yourself! No matter if you've been natural for a second, a year, or ten, it's a constant journey of getting to know yourself and finding new ways to take care of your curly babes!

Well curlies, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this information overload.

Until next time,

— Zee, The Curlfriend


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