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Guide to Managing Curly Hair
Beauty
Published Thursday Oct 31, 2019 by Sara Lesher

Taming the Mane: My Guide to Managing Curly Hair

Beauty
Personal Growth
Motivation

If you have curly or wavy hair, you understand the struggles of battling weather, frizz, product overload, and unpredictability of your look. For years, I have tried tons of different methods, products, and tools for controlling my mane. I always looked at my straight-haired friends with envy as they effortlessly tossed up a beautifully sleek pony or walked in the rain without fear of the frizz

Wasn’t there an easier way I could embrace my natural curls instead of trying to flatten them? That’s when I began my research and discovered the Curly Girl Method, a list of dos and don’ts that help restore your natural curl pattern to its healthiest form. Sounds simple, right? Not really.

 

"Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen."

- Lorraine Massey

 

I learned that if I were to fully embrace this method, I would have to give up heat, shampoo, and color. I was ready to embrace my natural curls, but I still wanted to use styling tools on special occasions and couldn’t fathom cutting out shampoo in my active, sweaty lifestyle. So I decided to start small, with all of the things that seemed doable for me.

 

Here's what I did...

Swapped my pillowcase

I have always used a traditional cotton pillowcase. I never realized that when I move around in my sleep, I’m rubbing my head against it and causing frizz and breakage. Switching to a silk pillowcase is much more gentle on my hair. When I toss and turn, my hair glides over the material rather than breaking into small strands. Plus, it makes me feel like royalty

1
Swapped my pillowcase

I have always used a traditional cotton pillowcase. I never realized that when I move around in my sleep, I’m rubbing my head against it and causing frizz and breakage. Switching to a silk pillowcase is much more gentle on my hair. When I toss and turn, my hair glides over the material rather than breaking into small strands. Plus, it makes me feel like royalty

Tossed my hairbrush

If you have curly hair, you know brushing turns your locks into one giant poof that engulfs your entire face. However, I did brush it while it was wet. I gave up brushing outside the shower and purchased a Vitagoods scalp massager/shampoo brush, and let me tell you, I love this thing. This vibrating tool fits in the palm of your hand and makes for an amazing scalp massage, stimulating hair growth and removing any dryness or dead skin from your scalp (gross).

2
Tossed my hairbrush

If you have curly hair, you know brushing turns your locks into one giant poof that engulfs your entire face. However, I did brush it while it was wet. I gave up brushing outside the shower and purchased a Vitagoods scalp massager/shampoo brush, and let me tell you, I love this thing. This vibrating tool fits in the palm of your hand and makes for an amazing scalp massage, stimulating hair growth and removing any dryness or dead skin from your scalp (gross).

Quit towel drying

I used to wrap my hair up in a bath towel to dry it, as many people do. But just like the pillowcase, the material of towels leads to breakage and frizz, especially if you wrap it tightly on top of your head. I stopped towel drying altogether and begun scrunching my hair dry with a cotton T-shirt—or you can use a microfiber hair towel. I immediately noticed a difference in the way my hair looked! It was smooth and shiny with much less frizz than before. 

3
Quit towel drying

I used to wrap my hair up in a bath towel to dry it, as many people do. But just like the pillowcase, the material of towels leads to breakage and frizz, especially if you wrap it tightly on top of your head. I stopped towel drying altogether and begun scrunching my hair dry with a cotton T-shirt—or you can use a microfiber hair towel. I immediately noticed a difference in the way my hair looked! It was smooth and shiny with much less frizz than before. 

Said goodbye to chemicals

When I began to read about sulfates, silicones, and parabens, I was mortified by what I had been putting in my hair! Obviously, my hair will look damaged if I consistently cover it in toxic chemicals. It is so easy to read the ingredients of products before you buy them to check for those three things. Many shampoos and conditioners will say right on the bottle if they are free of these chemicals, so be sure to read before you buy (plus, it’s better for the environment!).

4
Said goodbye to chemicals

When I began to read about sulfates, silicones, and parabens, I was mortified by what I had been putting in my hair! Obviously, my hair will look damaged if I consistently cover it in toxic chemicals. It is so easy to read the ingredients of products before you buy them to check for those three things. Many shampoos and conditioners will say right on the bottle if they are free of these chemicals, so be sure to read before you buy (plus, it’s better for the environment!).

Cut down on washing

Although I wasn’t ready to quit washing completely, I knew I should cut back. Hair is not supposed to be cleaned every day, and doing so makes it look dry and lifeless. I thought I had to wash my hair every time I worked out! Wrong!  I cut back on shampoo and started using As I Am’s Coconut Cowash. This, combined with my daily scalp massage, left my hair feeling clean—even after sweating. Although I noticed a little extra grease at first, my hair quickly adjusted to the new routine, and now it looks better than ever.

5
Cut down on washing

Although I wasn’t ready to quit washing completely, I knew I should cut back. Hair is not supposed to be cleaned every day, and doing so makes it look dry and lifeless. I thought I had to wash my hair every time I worked out! Wrong!  I cut back on shampoo and started using As I Am’s Coconut Cowash. This, combined with my daily scalp massage, left my hair feeling clean—even after sweating. Although I noticed a little extra grease at first, my hair quickly adjusted to the new routine, and now it looks better than ever.

Stopped comparing

My biggest mistake during the beginning of this journey was comparing my hair to other types. I wondered why my methods didn’t give me the same results as the girls I saw on YouTube. I took this quiz to determine my hair’s pattern, type, porosity, density, and width, which allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation of my hair’s unique qualities. After just a few months, I'm now straightening less and loving my curls!

6
Stopped comparing

My biggest mistake during the beginning of this journey was comparing my hair to other types. I wondered why my methods didn’t give me the same results as the girls I saw on YouTube. I took this quiz to determine my hair’s pattern, type, porosity, density, and width, which allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation of my hair’s unique qualities. After just a few months, I'm now straightening less and loving my curls!

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As Mindbody’s marketing content associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).
shanila sattar
Wellness
Published Wednesday Mar 17, 2021 by Shanila Sattar

Foundational Steps to Cultivating a Daily Self-love Practice

Self-care
Expert Advice
Personal Growth
Wellness

When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do. 

How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?

As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.

 

Step 1: Learn to set boundaries

Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.

When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel without having boundaries?
  • What would I like to have boundaries around?
  • Are my boundaries actual boundaries or am I creating walls in my life?
  • How do I plan to uphold my boundaries?
Step 2: Cultivate self-compassion

In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect. 

Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.

When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:

  • How do I respond to stressful situations?
  • How hard am I on myself?
  • How do I celebrate myself?
  • How do I show myself kindness?
Step 3: Nourish yourself

In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.

Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion. 

When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:

  • How do I nourish my emotional well-being?
  • How do I nourish my mental well-being?
  • How do I nourish my physical well-being?
  • How do I nourish my spiritual well-being?
  • How do I nourish my social well-being?
  • How do I nourish my financial well-being?

That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain. 

If you’d like to try breathwork, mindfulness, or play classes with me, check out these workshops and training sessions that work with your schedule. For other breathwork classes, browse Mindbody.

 

About the author
Shanila is a 4th generation sound healer, breathwork coach, mentor, women’s researcher, and speaker. She is the Founder of AlwaysPlayStudios where she trains breathwork facilitators and sound healers. Her background is in tech, having co-founded an award-winning web agency, and in women’s research, specifically in mindsets, implicit bias, perfectionism, women's health, and societal experiences supported through the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health, and several universities. She has implemented several health and wellbeing programs in underserved populations throughout the US. Shanila mentors healers on their healing and intuitive wellness journeys. Connect: @shanila.sattar