A Lifestyle Piece: What a Lucky Curl!

This past Saturday morning, as I sat down to a cup of Chamomile/Wild Orange herbal tea, I realized that I was still radiating from the previous evening’s “You Lucky curl” event at the Carol’s Daughter flagship store here in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn.

We arrived around 6:30 pm and Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter, was already engaged in a deep curl conversation with her audience. Having curly hair herself, Lisa is no stranger to the challenges that we curly heads face with day-to-day styling and maintenance of our phenomenal locks. She talked briefly about her “Oil Infusion”, which is a combination of two products: Lisa’s Hair Elixir and the Hair Smoothie. Both products can be combined and placed on the hair for 20 minutes before shampooing to lock in moisture, detangle, protect the hair, boost your natural curl pattern, strengthen hair and minimize split ends. I strongly recommend visiting the Carol’s Daughter store and speaking with one of their helpful and knowledgeable staff members.

Lisa also revealed a treasure trove of helpful curly hair tips:

Don’t go to bed with your hair wet because the wet stage is the best stage to set curly hair.

– When drying your hair, instead of using a towel (which dries your hair out, cause frizz and breakage) use a cotton t-shirt. (Lisa demonstrated this technique and it made so much sense)

 Pulling your hair back into a ponytail trains the curl out of your hair which makes curly hair straight and can also cause breakage.

My daughter asked Lisa about her nightly routine and what she does before she goes to bed to take care of her curly hair. Turns out, Lisa has little routine when it comes to her hair before going to bed. Like many of today’s women, Lisa is extremely busy and doesn’t have time for a big nightly hair routine. She doesn’t sleep with a silk scarf or special pillow case as they too train your curly hair to be straight and promotes frizz.

Not only am I lucky to have curly hair, but I was also lucky to get an impromptu interview with Lisa. My daughter, (a fellow curly head) was the videographer for the evening and was gracious enough to video tape the interview so that I could share it with you today.

NI: Curly hair hasn’t always been cool and now it seems like curly hair is the latest and greatest style to wear. Is curly hair a fad? And if so, what role will curly hair play in the hair industry moving forward?

LP: No, I don’t believe curly hair is a fad. It’s a term describing a particular hair type that crosses ethnic boundaries. People may not always know “whose hair does what” or “what hair needs what” but, they can understand curls. There are many types of women with different types of curls and it’s something that unifies everyone and something everyone can understand.  With regards to the hair care industry, it gives you a way to speak to a consumer who is generally neglected because people don’t really talk about curls – they talk about smooth, they talk about shine, they talk about split ends, they talk about roots, color, but not really curls. There’s so many of us who want to wear our hair curly or would like to know how to do it.

NI: Curly, Kinky hair (whatever label you want to put on it) has always been looked upon as being not attractive, not sexy. What would you say to a young girl or woman who isn’t comfortable in their curls, what advice would you give in terms of accepting and embracing their hair?

LP: I always want people to be comfortable with the way that they look and how they feel. But if someone doesn’t feel that their curl isn’t quite the way they want it to be then they should fine what they want and become comfortable with it. I just have a problem with feeling inferior if you don’t do X, Y, and Z because there is nothing to feel inferior about.

What Lisa said, got me thinking immediately about women and our image of ourselves. I started thinking that as women; we often allow others to place unrealistic expectations upon us. We carry those expectations like cargo ships with huge loads. As a result, when we can’t live up to those expectations we convince ourselves that we have failed in some way – that we are less than or not worthy of.

NI: I thought it was interesting when you were speaking earlier about the shampoo commercials and how they always show a woman with a particular hair type and that is what looks good. They don’t show woman with our hair type and-

LP: -and how we need to wash our hair because (Lisa simulates shampooing her hair like the herbal essence commercial) that technique doesn’t really work for us. (She laughs) It’s just not going to work.

NI: Right!

LP: There has to be an acceptance. I feel like with my hair, just going through the journey with it, braiding it and twisting it, corn-rowing it, and I even locked it at one point – I just accepted that sometimes it wasn’t going to be perfect and that’s ok. And I think that’s hard for some people to do, to just accept that it isn’t going to be perfect or realize that they might have to spend about 6 months – a little weird, a little uncomfortable but, eventually you will get there! You can get to the place where you are comfortable. But if you don’t take the time to feel a little uncomfortable and just embrace what your hair is and discover what your hair looks like – cause a lot of people don’t even know what their hair even looks like – then you won’t get to a place of comfort. I had to braid my hair because I didn’t know what to do with it. But I don’t have to anymore. Is my hair long? No, but it doesn’t really work with the style.  Am I comfortable, am I happy, and am I free? Yes! Am I sitting in someone’s chair with them pulling on my hair for hours? No! (She laughs)

NI: How important are natural hair care products?

LP: It’s not so much natural hair care products I think it’s just hair care products that take care of the hair that are important. I’ve become an advocate of natural hair and not relaxed hair, kind of by default. I never actually said to someone that you should never relax your hair but I have that reputation [“which is fine”]. But if someone feels that they need to relax their hair because that is what works for them, I am fine with that. But take care of it – condition it properly, don’t expose it to too much heat. Don’t run to get touch ups because you can’t have a hint of kink – you will go bald. If you are going to relax it, be smart about it. And if you really want your hair straight, investigate how you can achieve that with the right conditioners and heat products. Some people’s hair can tolerate a relaxer and some can’t and you’re just going to make yourself bald if you don’t know how to take care of your hair.

NI: My final question, I’ve been using Carol’s Daughter products for a really long time – as a company continues to grow sometimes products lose their original essence – though you seem to maintain that how will you continue to do it moving forward?

LP: I guess doing what we’ve done so far. We are really particular about the ingredients that we use. If I have to sacrifice something because it’s too expensive or I have to sacrifice something for safety; then I will make that sacrifice. For example, our older bath oils had flowers in them. Our new bath oils don’t. The flowers were getting ridiculously expensive; if a crop doesn’t grow for that year, then they have to put it through a process to make sure that there are no bugs in them – that process is one of those things that as you learn is not a particularly safe process; so then let’s not put this in our product. We took the flowers out. Do I miss them being there – I do. But do I want the product to be better? Yes, I do. Someone might say “she’s cutting cost” and all that stuff but I actually took out the pesticides and all of those things that have to go in to keep the bugs from getting to the flowers. You make the sacrifices that you have to make and the one’s you don’t have to make – you don’t make.

The event was so informative and Lisa was so engaging that I forgot to actually take a photo with her. 😦 In any case, I want to say “thank you”, to Lisa and Carol’s Daughter for maintaining their commitment to curly hair; as well as their commitment to natural hair care products that work. Carol’s Daughter products do not have Parebens, Petroleum, Mineral Oil or artificial colors. I’ve used the new Hair Milk curl products and I have absolutely fallen in love them!

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