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The Journey Of A Thousand Curls: Part1.The Reflection

Updated: Feb 17


Last Picture of straight hair before I started CG


Let's start my story in the December of 2002.

I was 22, with years of disliking my frizzy, unmanageable, unsexy hair behind me and a new economically upward lifestyle ahead of me. And I did what every girl who wants a change does. I went and got myself chemically straightened hair which could now be cut in every possible, fashionably-acceptable hairstyle.

I was in Love with my new hair, new me.


My poker straight hair went well with all my outfits, all moods and all social groups.


Yes, this is a thing.

In India it definitely is.

Of course there's a lot more to it than just "fancy".

There's a lot of geographic and physical and water conditions and affordability and all those angles as to why straight shiny hair is considered to be "posh", but the bottom line, unfortunately, is that if you don't look like you've just walked out of the salon, you're not considered "upmarket".

You can shake your head and disagree, but I've been there. And it's true for more people than not.


Anyway, as I was saying, I loved my new look!

Not just to fit in, but honestly speaking I loved it for the freedom to style it with all my evolving fashion.

The hour and a half at the salon was Me Time.

With a small baby boy at home, this was nice for me.

Looking good and getting a break was my new practice of self care over the years.

I don't regret that part of it at all:).


So this was the deal for the next almost 16 years.

It started with permanent straightening for about 13 years and then I moved on to just weekly blow dry because my hair was getting more straw-like with each procedure.

Blow Dry was the middle path at that time.

There were other more expensive procedures I could've done for sure, but I'm a bit of a cheapskate.

How I calculated was that I could spend X amount per month on blow dry and spend the rest on shopping, instead of a lump sum on straightening or keratin smoothening or whatever was the thing at the time.


Of course, when I jumped into the pool (which I hence avoided) or when I was at the beach, my natural hair would make an appearance after just one dip into the water.

My beach wavy/curly hair however was something I liked. The volume and the look was sexy and there was just something bohemian about it that made me happy.


Beach Curls. Can you see the sand and debris? And of course the sun-kissed face:). What's not to love abt the beach!


Then came the pandemic and I was stuck here at Hyderabad, India.

Well, we were all stuck at home away from salons.

So I actually did not wash my hair for the first 15 days or so to prolong my last Bangkok blow dry as far as I could stretch it. (Stop that judgey eye-roll ok :D)

Anyway, once resignation set in, I started washing my hair with the nearest available nice smelling shampoo and conditioner.


Now this led to severely dry, weed-like tangled hair and obviously my immediate reaction was to justify my need for a blow dry.

It was almost like a reminder of why someone with my hair cannot go natural and that I needed the salon treatments to like the girl in the mirror.


Post lockdown, and after a lot of time and precaution measures were definitely put into practice, I started going back to a salon I knew only allowed people in by appointment, sanitisation etc...

But I wasn't happy.

I was begrudging being stuck in India, and the mediocrity of the blow dry compared to my Bangkok ones only added to my resentment.


One fine day, at a carefully planned bubble outing to my GF's house, Manisha (my sister from another mister) brought up with me an old topic that we'd forgotten about / swept under the carpet. The Curly Girl Method.


By this time, she had started CGM for about a month and at my usual protests as to how it wouldn't work for me, she just patiently used a good trick to make me hear her out: she showed me the products!

Now as you know, I'm a sucker for all things pretty and fragrant.

And that's how I fell prey to Manisha and her wonderful suggestion of this hair vagabondage.


Well, I'm going natural for now. And who knows, I might stay like this forever. But I also want to point out that I'm doing this for me. Not for some social trend (refer to rant above).

So on a day that I feel like treating myself to a straight hairstyle, I will.

I might even go back to having straight hair if I feel like then.

And it's ok.

It's alright to let yourself feel beautiful in whatever vibe or season you are in. And whichever avatar helps with that mood:).


Now I didn't want to make this a very long read, so if you're a curly girl, interested in learning more and changing your hair routine too, then read the next part for the practical process and tips for the Curly Girl Method {Tweaked ;)}.


Manisha. The partner in most crimes:)


The Journey Of A Thousand Curls: Part2. The Routine.


































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