After 26 Years, I Finally Love My Hair – This Is Why

'It was obvious to me that life as a mixed girl with 3C hair wouldn’t be easy,' says Dayna


by Dayna Southall |
Published on

For as long as I can remember, my hair has always been a problem. From when my mother despaired over my hair every Sunday night, attempting to slick and style it with every product she could find at arms length and heavily sighing with each stroke of a curl bouncing right back at her - it was obvious to me that life as a mixed girl with 3C hair wouldn’t be easy. Every wash day I was faced with the same problem, the products were either too heavy and oliy, weighing down my bouncy curls and leaving them greasy and wet or too drying making my hair brittle and prone to breakage quicker, and I couldn’t understand why.

Granted this was before the time of TikTok solutions and inclusion within the beauty community - adding in society’s love for long blonde hair, I was at a loss. For a young and impressionable teenage girl this is dangerous combination and the out come was me running to the straighteners at every opportunity to tame my natural hair.

At first instance, this solved all my problems. Not only was I able tomanage my hair on a daily basis with ease, I finally felt ‘pretty’ and ‘normal’ and not the odd looking girl in class whose hair blocked the view of those behind her. For a time, I’d never felt more happier, people would compliment me and say how much it suited it and how ‘natural’ it looked. But there was nothing natural about it. For just under a decade I burnt, fried, and destroyed my once lively hair, reducing it to an abundance of split ends and broken strands. And just like that, I was back to square one, only this time there was no going back.

I spent hours scouring the internet searching for the best repair products for damaged hair, but the results and options were all the same: the big chop. Now, for someone whose whole personality was revolved around her hair for the past decade, this was a daunting prospect, and something I postponed as long as possible. Instead hair extensions became my new obsession. Whether is was knotless braids or 28’ inch straight weave, I did everything possible to hide my broken hair. But as many hair dressers will tell you, nothing about these hairstyles are protective or healthy for you hair, and after a certain amount of time they leave lasting damage. In my case, it was the thinning of my hair at the roots, which prevented me from growing out my heat damage.

Finally, I’d hit a wall. I was at a complete loss with my hair and didn’t even recognise myself. I’d linked the idea of being accepted and pretty with my hair for so long, that I ended up destroying it. I knew I need to take that leap of faith and detach that ideology, but I couldn’t do it alone. That’s when I stubbled across The Curl Bar London on Instagram, priding itself in allowing people to embrace their natural curls and coils, the salon run by Nia focuses on self-acceptance and education - not just blow-dry and styling. Now, as someone who has had the same hairdresser all my life, I was beyond anxious, but I booked myself in for a Curl Cut - whereby they dry cut your natural curls before washing and styling.

During my appointment with the owner Nia, she debunked many of my theories about curly hair and treatment, you don’t have to have your hair straightened in order for it to be trimmed, washing your hair week isn’t going to dry it out, and oiling your hair does more harm than good. For the first time in 26 years, someone had finally educated me on how to treat and take care of my hair, and not just blasting it with heat. After a hour and an half, I was completely transformed. Yes my hair was shorter and now sitting just above my shoulders, but the health and the potential was finally seen. Every kink and curly that I had thought I had lost made a long-awaited appearance, and every broken strand cut from existence. Walking out the salon, I had a new found confidence that I never knew I had finally developed a love for my hair that was 26 years in the making.


Dayna's Hero Hair Buys

If you're looking for a shampoo that doesn't strip your hair or leaving it feeling brittle, this is the one for you and I've tried many shampoos over the years and nothing comes as close to this! Known for treating damaged hair this shampoo glides through coils and curls leaving them feeling clean yet mosturized.

I've used this for a few weeks now and in conjunction with the shampoo it's a holy grail. Sometimes conditioner can cause more damage than good with parabens and sulphates, but this locks in moisture and leaves your hair silky smooth even after drying.

If I could tell you one product that I implore you to add into your beauty routine it's the Pattern Treatment Mask. Both refreshing and nourishing for the hair, the treatment mask is an at home spa treatment for your curls leaving them both bouncy and healthy.

Now I know what you're thinking, volume equals blowdrying your hair, but with this product there is no need. Lightweight and smooth, the Innersense Volume Lotion is what you to add post-wash and coat through the hair. Applying section by section, the lotion leaves your hair smelling divine and looking full, without that crispy mask feeling that can sometimes occur with products.

As mentioned above, sometimes curly hair products can leave a 'mask' on your curls and when you're nearing wash day, it can be an uncomfortable feeling. Enter the Innersense Create Definition. Holding curls together whatever the pattern, the lotion is a dream to apply and doesn't leave your hands feeling sticky after application. Team this in combination with a diffuser on a cold blast, and you're set for the week

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