How Our COO Came To Love Her Curls
Curls can be the bane of my existence or the love of my life, (as hair is important to us all) and I hear similar words from so many curly girls as the hair type no doubt can pose a challenge.
People often ask me what I use in my hair, why my curls look so beautiful, why my hair is so shiny – I do work in hair which gives me a slight advantage as I’ve had some education over the past several years, but my hair woes go way back to childhood – and I thought, why not share my story, my love for clean beauty, and how I’ve come to love my natural curls, in the hopes that you too can rock your hair world!
A bit about me...I’m a mom, wife, and the extremely busy COO of EVOLVh, who cannot always find time for herself, and that includes time for my hair. Seven years ago I was fortunate enough to partner with Boris Oak in a grand adventure to build a brand and spread clean haircare love to the world. Unbeknownst to me, the start of my clean beauty journey would hold life-defining moments not only for my career, but for my hair.
My Curly Girl Issues Throughout Life
My curly girl journey is not unique, and some of you may very well relate to my early hair woes.
Let me list them – frizz (lots of), dryness, unruly styling, pyramid shaped hair due to infrequent cuts, crunchy hair due to my product choices (silicone I’m sure), chemically fried hair due to straightening, and in desperation, even going for styles so short that I could eliminate curls. And yes, there’s also wearing hats, the hide-my-hair approach for when I was feeling particularly down on my hair.
My Clean Haircare Journey
One of my first “aha” moments was during a curls class with Wendy Rae Johnson, curls expert and owner of EVOLVh partner salon Love is in the Hair, where I learned:
- Hydration is key, as curly hair constantly seeks moisture in the air due to a missing hydrogen bond – and constantly seeking moisture usually results in frizz.
- The basic nature of curls having a raised cuticle at the bend of each curl, means that it requires particular care (pH balance) to achieve a smooth and shiny texture.
- Tools I could be using to keep moisture in and protect my curls from damage - most importantly, that starting with hair products that work from within, rather than using products that coat the hair, will have long lasting impact on how my curls look and feel.
Curlies often get their hair cut less frequently than others (for me it’s due to trauma from previous nightmare haircuts), but in fact, we should be getting regular trims to maintain good shape.
I have learned from this mistake repeatedly. Finding the right stylist and getting the right cut can make you and your curls feel like a million bucks. Shout out to my stylist JP Strand in San Francisco, my stylist for the last 7 years. I now embrace my hair uniqueness, and this education, and putting it to use, has changed my life.
My Extremely Easy EVOLVh Routine (My 3E) For Curly Hair Success
My hair is proof that clean ingredient products work for curly hair.
I take more of a wash and go approach – I love great hair, but I balance my time with a bit of makeup and fun shoes and accessories, all while multitasking, usually a conference call or two and responding to emails in the morning. I love it all, but there are not enough hours in the day for me, so simplified routines and my amazing morning coffee (thanks for the Graffeo's, honey), are what set my day (and hair) up for success.
I, like most, want my hair to be the best it can be every day. I want to solve my curly girl angst. I want it to be easy. I want flexibility in style. And I want it to be smooth, hydrated, shiny, and most of all, frizz-free and fabulous. Touchable is a bonus!
My mom used conditioner on her hair daily in the shower, many times without using shampoo. While as a teenager I may have thought that this was a bit unsanitary, I now understand the method to her madness as my hair texture is identical to hers. It’s coarse, yet fine, a bit kinky curly, porous, and downright unruly without attention. It craves moisture, hydration, and yet more moisture. I win the game when I pay attention to what it needs.
I use conditioner each and every day and comb through with a wide tooth comb. I alternate between SmartCurl Hydrating Conditioner and our new SmartColor Conditioner, both have the hydration level that my hair requires (I have color treated hair). When I do shampoo, I use SmartColor as it really does cleanse gently so that I can maintain the moisture content.
For additional hydration, yes my hair is both curly and coarse, I use our UltraRepair Masque every second or third day in place of conditioner – I comb it through and leave-in without rinsing. This is my little secret elixir – silky soft texture with reconstructing, perfect for my hair type.
I wrap my hair in a Hubalou hair towel (they’re in every bathroom, my gym bag, and my suitcase) they gently hold my curls and take as little moisture away as possible, and the tiny bit of stretch gives me a pretty hair wrap. A tee shirt works just as well, but if at all possible, try to avoid most regular towels as they literally act like a sponge and soak up moisture that you may need to have a successful curly hair routine.
A leave-in conditioner is a lesser known step in hair regimens that is a must for me. Every bend in a curl equals a raised cuticle for our hair type, and I look for elements that close the cuticle to give me smoothness and shine. You can look at it as laying the foundation for great hair styling and protection.
I spray liberally with SmartStart Leave-In Conditioner, and pick it through to make sure it reaches every strand. EVOLVh’s in particular provides added moisture and UV and heat protection for those that continue on with heat styling.
I’ve had bathrooms and bathrooms full of products throughout my lifetime, I’m sure you all can relate, but have finally found one product, yes, one product(!) that actually works for me. One word: WonderBalm. Like its name suggests, it is pure magic. This non-silicone miracle-worker brings my fantastic hair day to life with one single pump.
I disperse throughout hair from roots to ends with my fingers and twirl. At that moment, my curls may literally be singing to each other “Come Together,” and that, they do. Smooth, frizz-free, shiny curls, that are soft and touchable = my happy hair place.
I actually have no more steps, I keep it simple. My wash and go routine is 3 steps. However, if I have extra time and want to change it up a bit with flexibility in styling, I use a round brush to blow out my bangs, and if I need extra control to shape parts of my hair for a new do, I add in some TotalControl which has the holding power to counteract where my curls want to go, and holds for days.
Next Level Curls
Like most entrepreneurs, I love to learn, improve, and disrupt. As I’m personally vested in all that is curly, I’m so fortunate to be able to have my hands in developing innovative products that will improve the health of hair and specifically rock the world of my fellow curly girls. Stay tuned my friends, as we have something in the works to take your curl life to the next level, and I’m looking forward to sharing more soon!
Live your best life, achieve your best hair.