Meet Lucia from Leicester, UK! Lucia decided to treat her curls right after ditching the harsh colour treatments, keeping up with trims and gaining an understanding about her curls! Now look at Lucia go. Her curls have returned and doesn't she just look amazing?! Way to go girl!
What inspired you to return natural?
Hi, I'm Lucia and I live in Leicester, UK. I'm 24 and I started my curly hair journey properly, back in 2018, when I decided that enough was enough with the scraggly dead ends and cut my hair short to start again. Little did I know, that I would then realise just how curly my hair was!
When I was younger, around 4 or 5, I always had short curly hair. Being half Italian, it seemed that I had gotten my mothers genes of having thick curly locks. As I got older, my mum would often tie my hair up in pigtails, but it was often scraped back against my scalp. My hair was so unruly and frizzy, it was easier for my mum to keep it back as tight as possible, in the hope to keep it in some kind of neat hairstyle (this often failed.)
As I got older, I loved to keep my hair long, but without any layers in my hair, my curls seemed to die away and I was left with limp, slightly wavy locks instead. I didn't really understand that my hair was still curly, it just needed a little helping hand and the right ingredients to help!
As I got older and headed into my teens, something changed. When I was 13 I cut my hair all off (something I later regretted) and had my hair length down to my chin. I had a load of layers cut into my hair which was recommended by my hairdresser, who explained it would help take some of the weight out. Now, although I hated having my hair so short, the process that came next, showed me that my hair was still curly after all. My hair grew longer and longer, but, unfortunately, I still didn't understand how to properly look after my hair.
No parabens? No silicones? Fifteen year old me had absolutely no idea what that even meant! Fast forward to University and I began the "exciting" journey of dying my hair continuously. I didn't trust going anywhere else to have my hair cut, so my hair would just continue to grow until I went back home for the holidays.
No healthy trims, dying my hair and still not using the right shampoos, my hair was hating me and the dead ends were horrendous. I found a few products in Lush that were tailored for curly hair and gave them a go. Although I wasn't getting my hair cut, my curls had come back due to the layers and could have even been down to puberty and hormones.
Enough was enough, I finally wanted to look after my hair and actually see how great they could be. Once I finished University, I decided to cut my hair short again, once and for all. I cut my hair to my shoulders and asked for advice on what products to use from my hairdresser. When I cut my hair, my curls came back to life but it was just the beginning.
Having always scraped my hair back as a child, I love to have my hair as big as possible and with having such thick curls, I have now been able to achieve even better hair. I wanted to look after my hair because I began to realise just how lucky I was to have the hair that I do. Cutting my hair short and seeing the joy it bought back to my locks, really inspired me to embrace them and actually educate myself with what is good for them!
Three years on and I'm still learning, but, I can happily say that I am now growing my hair with the right process. It takes time and patience, but I also found it has helped my mental health massively. Concentrating on something else and giving my hair a bit of TLC, really does give me a boost of confidence.
Social media has been a huge help and along with companies such as Flora and Curl, Noughty Haircare and Umberto Giannini, they really show you how to love and care for your curls.
I even then took it one step further and created an Instagram account called Life with Lucia, where I have been showing my hair journey and the products I use (and continue to discover.)
What were the challenges (if any) along the way of your healthy hair journey?
The main challenge that I have faced during my healthy hair journey, was understanding that everyone's curls are different. I have type 2c and 3a curls throughout my hair and have had to understand that watching curly hair tutorials are great for technique and guidance (for example, to achieve defined curls or volume) but, that everyone's hair is different. Every hair wash day is different and from the products you use, to how you apply your styling products, to how you dry it will always change how your hair looks! It's crazy and sometimes very frustrating when you can't figure out how to achieve the same results.
It also took me a long time to realise that my hair absolutely loves to drink up moisture. I was under the impression for a very long time that too much conditioner would cause my hair to be greasy and limp. Quite the opposite. Using the right products is vital, but for my hair, which can be quite dry, it actually needs more conditioner (on very wet curls) in order to stay looking and feeling healthy.
Patience is a virtue and for anyone's hair journey, it takes time! Results happen quickly, but your hair will actually continue to improve, so keep at it!
What is your number 1 curl tip?
DO NOT touch your curls when you are drying them. Many people let their hair air dry but I use a diffuser to achieve volume and because I actually find it creates less frizz on my hair. Keep your curls wet when you are styling it and putting products into it, even spraying extra water to keep it damp. Get your curls as good as you can BEFORE you start drying. But, whether you are letting your hair air dry or using a diffuser, the second you start to dry them, do not touch your curls.
Use the hood of the dryer to do the work for you. Putting your hands into you hair will only remove part of the cast you have created, it won't show you the best your curls can look and will put any excess oils from your fingertips into your hair, creating frizz.
This has taken me a long time to realise, but honestly, let yourself leave your curls alone and let your hairdryer do the work or the air around you to do it for you.
Only once your curls are completely dry, should you then scrunch out the crunch and finish off your styling.
Discovering Flora & Curl
What made you buy Flora & Curl products? How did you hear about us?
Flora & Curl kept popping up on my Instagram page as I had been looking on social media for new styling products that were both paraben and silicone free and also animal cruelty free.
I found Flora & Curl and decided to do a bit of research. Their website had so much information, not only about the products and what was in them, but how to use them properly to get the best result. This told me that the company knew what they were talking about and clearly had a passion for selling the right products to the right people. I decided to order the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Activating Lotion and the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Defining Gel and they have now become permanent products to my styling process.
How did you see your hair change after using Flora & Curl products?
The second I used the Flora & Curl products, I saw that my hair was looking healthier and also lasted longer. The curls seemed to hold their shape for days rather than hours and I could add more product in to dry or damp curls as the days went on to refresh them, without fear of making my hair greasy or clumped up with too much product.
Which Flora & Curl product is your favourite and why?
My favourite product is probably the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Activating Lotion. This is because I find that it smooths out my curls, allowing them to form individually and enhances them. It is also amazing to use, when it is either humid or moist in the air. This causes my hair to go frizzy, but, when I apply the curl activation lotion to it on dry or damp hair, it seems to get rid of the frizz and put my shiny curls back into place. I love it!
What is your current Flora & Curl haircare routine?
Currently, once I have washed my hair, I use the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Activating Lotion to smooth and rake through my ends with my fingers. I also flip my hair over to make sure I cover my hair underneath. Then, using my denman brush, I section my hair into three and begin to take sections to style. Once I have done each section, I use the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Defining Gel over, I then use the defining gel, halfway through my hair drying to create another cast through my hair. This is because my hair is thick and can be quite heavy and I find that my curls soak up the product to give me curls that last longer!
I also use the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Activating Lotion at the end of the drying process towards my roots (just a pea size) to get rid of any frizz that might of occurred. A little goes a long way for both and I love it!
What sets Flora & Curl apart from other brands/products on the market?
Flora & Curl use ingredients that are natural and good for your hair, to encourage you to be the best version of yourself. They listen to their customers and even bought out a Sweet Hibiscus Curl Volumizing Foam (which I am desperate to try) after customers had requested it for so long.
Their products smell amazing and do a great job WITHOUT the scary price. My styling products have lasted me month and were worth every penny!
I love Flora & Curl and can't recommend them enough. They have been part of the process that has transformed my hair to what it looks like today!
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us, Lucia! We are so super proud of you for sticking through it. We know it can be hard and you can become despondent, but keep up that great work! We know it is 100% worth it! Follow Lucia's curl journey here!
The Team at Flora & Curl