How I fixed my curl pattern😌
My hair type
As mentioned above, I have naturally wavy, Type 2A-2B hair. The texture will depend on the season (living in Canada, we get a dose of all four). I have noticed that in more humid environments, like tropical locations, my hair naturally transforms into more of a Type 2C (curlier) pattern, which I love. If you’re wondering, I got it from my mama.
For full context, my hair density is thick, and the diameter of my hair is medium. I tried the hair porosity test and found that my hair is of normal or healthy porosity (yay!). Another new test I tried was the elasticity test. I found that my hair strands are stretchy, meaning my hair is of high elasticity. Finally, my scalp is also in the normal range most of the time. However, I do suffer from eczema and occasionally experience breakouts on my scalp which can create dry, itchy patches.
I highly recommend learning your full hair type to help you deal with your hair-specific issues. Trust me, you will see how this helped as you read on.
The loss of my curl pattern was gradual, it took some time for me to notice the changing texture of my hair. Looking back at photos, it seems the change took place over the last 11 months during COVID-related lockdown and restrictions. As I spent most of my time at home over the past year, a few things about the environmental influences on my hair also changed. For instance, my home air is mostly dry, and my hair wasn’t getting its regular humidity fix to bring out my natural waves.
How I lost my curl pattern
Additionally, I had tried out a new shampoo and conditioner, which was unusual for me. I consider myself a hair product monogamist; when I find products I like, I stick to them. I also hate wasting product, so when I try a new product, I commit to finishing it before switching, if necessary. However, during the lockdown and restrictions, my go-to shampoo and conditioner were no longer accessible, and I tried a new brand. I was using the Phillip Adam Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner. It claimed to have all the good stuff you’d want in a hair product and none of the bad stuff (sulfates). The reviews were also quite good and so I tried it.
Remember, I am a serious hair product monogamist, so trying something new was a big leap for me and unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped.
My eczema was becoming more problematic, which is probably what I noticed first. I was getting more flare ups and my scalp often felt dry and itchy. My hair itself was air drying practically straight without any bend or wave. It was staticky and felt flat and dry.
Other than spending almost every moment indoors for the past year and trying a new shampoo and conditioner there were no other lifestyle or diet changes. I consider my diet to be quite clean: I am conscious of eating whole foods and limiting sugar, alcohol, and processed ingredients.
Eliminating health factors and considering the environmental factors I had a strong feeling it was my products that were causing damage to my scalp and hair, flattening my natural waves.
How I fixed my curl pattern
When I noticed my wave pattern was more flat than flowing, I tried targeting the issue with texturizer spray and styling cream (Oribe and Verb, respectively). While the products did help to create and hold the waves, I was not a fan of having to use so much product just to try and get my current hair to resemble my old hair texture. The added styling product may have also created build-up as my eczema continued to flare up. In addition to the texturizing spray and cream, I was also still using the Phillip Adam Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Conditioner which essentially created a recipe for hair disaster.
While being a hair product monogamist worked for me in the past, it wasn’t the solution for fixing my curl pattern or treating my scalp. It is so important to know your hair type, elasticity, and porosity and to use products specifically designed for your hair needs. Something I wasn’t doing before.
After doing the necessary hair tests, and extensive research (thanks, Redditors!) I switched to Living Proof Curl Shampoo and Conditioner, as well as the Living Proof Curl enhancer cream. The reviews were great – especially from other wavy and curly hair girls – and I have to admit, I loved the packaging too. The Living Proof combo not only looked good but worked. This was the first time I picked and used products specific to my wavy Type 2 hair type, something I should have done a long time ago.
Apart from making the big product switch my hair routine stayed pretty consistent.
Moral of the story...
Just because you’ve used the same product or the same routine for a long time, does not mean they have to stay in your vanity or shower forever. Hair changes and is impacted by health, environment and so much more. I couldn’t expect to maintain my hair type and hair health with the same products when my environment had changed so much.
First, I had to re-educate myself on my own hair. Then, knowing exactly what I was working with, I did the research to find the products that would work for me. Will everything be a success after two washes? Definitely not. Especially with wavy or curly hair, nailing your hair routine and product line up may take some trial and error. While I failed with my first product choices, I was able to find products that worked for my hair.
If you’ve noticed a change in your hair, assess your environment, diet or health changes. Take our hair type quizzes then start your product research. A little leg work now, a big glow up later.