Meet curly girl Ellie from Berlin, Germany! Ellie found it hard finding the right products to help with her transition, but now she has her go-to's at the ready and is learning more about her natural curls! Her goal? Healthy curls (a goal we can't argue with!)
What inspired you to return natural?
Hello! Originally from Wales, I began my curly hair journey in Liverpool, the UK in 2020 and now one year on I'm living in Berlin, Germany! I struggled with frizzy, triangular hair throughout my childhood and teenage years. As soon as I could, I got my hands on a pair of decent straighteners. Whilst it certainly looked smoother and healthier, my fine hair became more and more damaged.
In my late teens and early twenties, I struggled with a sore, itchy, flaky scalp. I tried gentle shampoos, medicated shampoos, even no shampoo but nothing fixed the problem. After deciding enough was enough in 2019, I decided to try committing fully to the 'no poo' method - no products at all. My hair went through an extreme 'transition' but I wasn't happy with the feeling of uncleanliness that remained. During this time I tried washing with all sorts of things, a tea rinse, baking powder, apple cider vinegar, rosemary water and tea tree! Unfortunately, my scalp problems remained and my hair looked worse than ever!
Fortunately, someone casually mentioned the curly girl method to me in conversation. Around the beginning of 2020, I started researching the curly girl method. I found @welshiecurlgirl fantastic for tips and @curlymalteaser amazing for product recommendations and reviews. From this, I purchased a co-wash and some cheap products to give it a try. I noticed results immediately, and for months I achieved short lasting (1-2 days), inconsistently good results. After around six months my results were more consistent, but I still felt they had a long way to go to look anything like the results I was seeing on Instagram!
I had discovered that my fine hair craves protein-containing products, I decided this was what was missing. The game changers for me came with the Flora & Curl Sweet Hibiscus Curl Defining Gel and a Denman brush. Before using this gel, I wasn't getting a cast and my curls were not lasting well. Fast forward to a year full curly girl method and I am completely addicted to buying products and trying new styling techniques!
What were the challenges (if any) along the way of your healthy hair journey?
The biggest challenge has been getting my curls to look good for more than a day. This was and to some extent still is a battle on frizz and exploding or stretched out curls. Finding a protein/moisture balance with products has been a learning journey. Another factor in this was finding sleep protection that is easy, comfortable and works! For me, a satin pillowcase is a must, and a buff provides extra (less sexy looking!) protection. Moving from an area of extremely soft water to hard water also threw a spanner in the works! However, a shower head filter and a very diluted rinse of apple cider vinegar at the end of my wash keep build-up away.
What is your number 1 curl tip?
Put a curl activating cream/leave-in in your hair and brush it from underneath, away from your scalp. Curls will have more volume and be so much smoother!
Discovering Flora & Curl
What made you buy Flora & Curl products? How did you hear about us?
I first came across F&C on Instagram, recommended in product review posts. I would never have tried the products myself if it wasn't for the travel size options. This enabled me to try the products in a way that was affordable to me, in order to know that I wouldn't be wasting my money if I purchased the full size ones.
How did you see your hair change after using Flora & Curl products?
My curls were dull, exploded and didn't last very long before using F&C products!
Which Flora & Curl product is your favourite and why?
Absolutely the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Defining Gel! The gel gives me an amazing cast, that scrunches out easily to reveal very soft, shiny, bouncy curls that last for days!
What is your current Flora & Curl haircare routine?
I currently use the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Activating Lotion followed by the Sweet Hibiscus Curl Defining Gel and topped up with a spritz of the Jasmine Oasis Hydrating Hair Mist to keep it moisturized and looking good!
What sets Flora & Curl apart from other brands/products on the market?
Excellent packaging (pump nozzles all the way), branding is beautiful, ethos is on point and the products really work!
Are you considering returning natural? Click here to read more Curl Journeys and get inspired! Or, maybe you feel like making a difference and sharing your curl story? We would love to hear all about it, click here to submit your story!
The Team at Flora & Curl