Curly Girl Diaries: Here’s How I Grew to Love and Take Care of My Curls

Curly Girl Diaries: Here’s How I Grew to Love and Take Care of My Curls

Rebonded hair? I don’t know her! I’m embracing my curly hair with Cantu Beauty and here’s how you can, too



Being a curly-haired gal in a Southeast Asian country where the beauty norm is long, shiny and straight hair was never easy. If you’re a curly-haired person yourself, you’d empathize with the painful memories of being called all sorts of nasty names growing up or getting bullied into rebonding your hair once a year as a tween. For me, it started at age nine and lasted until my senior year of high school.


Imagine this: You’re sitting in a salon chair while your stylist observes your long, frizzy and buhaghag (loose) hair with no idea how to cut, style or tame it. She suddenly blurts out, “Ma'am, i-rebond na lang natin hair mo, ah (Ma’am, let’s just rebond your hair).” With no knowledge of how to tame your curls yourself, you give in, year by year, until you can’t take the 12-hour-long straightening treatments anymore. Does anyone else relate?


Curly Girl Diaries: Here’s How I Grew to Love and Take Care of My Curls


That was my hair maintenance growing up. However, my curly hair kept growing back, and it didn’t really look cute when my roots started to wave and frizz out at the top of my head. Enter: the Curly Girl Method. I was scrolling through my YouTube recommended videos one day when I discovered a video entitled How To Care For Curly Hair. This opened my mind to a world of curly hair folks and their detailed hair regimen to maintain, style and care for all types of curly hair. 


There weren’t a lot of local resources when it came to curly hair guides and products back then, but that specific video is one of the reasons why I love my curly hair today. Seeing someone else with the same hair type as me in the media was such an important part of my hair journey.


Curly Girl Diaries: Here’s How I Grew to Love and Take Care of My Curls


It made me realize that these semi-permanent straightening treatments weren’t just a toxic salon practice, but it also brainwashed me into believing that I would never feel or look beautiful if I didn’t have straight hair. Turns out, rewiring my brain to go against these outdated beauty standards not only made me feel confident, but it healed so much of my childhood trauma, too. 


Times are so different now, and I’m here for it! I’m so glad to see progress in how we perceive all hair textures. From local curly hair products to curly-haired support groups on social media, there’s so much we can access. Don’t get me wrong, we still have a long way to go. But with this sense of community and media visibility, brands are starting to release inclusive products. Whether you have a wavy, curly, coily or kinky hair pattern, there is space for you in the curly hair community!


Curly hair products in the Philippines? Yes, please!

Curly Girl Diaries: Here’s How I Grew to Love and Take Care of My Curls


What a wonderful time to be a curly gal! This month, Cantu Beauty, the award-winning textured hair care brand finally launched in the Philippines. I was one of the lucky few who got a first glimpse of the brand’s wonderful line of products. As a long-time user of the Cantu Moisturizing Curl Cream, I was so excited!


Curly Girl Diaries: Here’s How I Grew to Love and Take Care of My Curls


Part of the launch was a short masterclass demonstrated by Jasmine Baker, a curly hairstylist and owner of the first-ever exclusive hair salon for curly clientele, Cutz and Curlz by Jazz. Jasmine is well-known in the curly hair community, and many people, including myself, look up to her commitment to empowering people like me. 


Here are techniques to help achieve the perfect curls, from Jasmine herself:


Cleanse or co-wash

Before you think about styling your hair, it’s important to prioritize scalp care. Using a sulfate-free shampoo designed for curly hair two to three times a week is essential to prevent oil buildup or drying of the scalp. On non-shampoo days, you can opt to co-wash—a method of washing your hair with conditioner to maintain moisture without stripping natural oils. 


Squish to condish

Incorporate a deep conditioning treatment once a week to detangle and provide extra moisture and nourishment to your curls. After washing, apply a leave-in conditioner like Cantu’s Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream to keep your hair hydrated and frizz-free. A squeezing motion is encouraged when applying the products so your hair can soak up all the good ingredients from the products. 


Style away 

Now here comes the fun part: styling your hair! There is a Cantu product for everyone. For curly gals with thick and dense hair, apply Cantu’s Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream to activate curls for frizz-free and bouncy curls. For those with thin, wavy or curly hair, a lighter product is the way to go; Jasmine recommends the Cantu Wave Whip Curl Mousse. 


Note: Keep a spray bottle filled with water beside you at all times when styling to make sure your hair is wet. Sopping wet or damp hair is recommended for proper product distribution and activation, enhanced curls and reduced frizz. 


Dry and diffuse

Use a microfiber towel or a cotton t-shirt to gently squeeze out excess water. Avoid vigorous rubbing, as it can cause frizz. Allow your hair to air dry for the gentlest approach. If you're in a hurry, use a diffuser attachment on your hairdryer with low heat and airflow settings. 


Scrunch out the crunch

Once your hair is fully or nearly dry, it's time to SOTC! To do this, gently cup your hands underneath your hair and start scrunching it upward toward your scalp. The “crunch” is the initial stiffness or firmness your hair may have when the product is drying. It's not the final look you're going for, but rather a transitional stage. You’ll know you’ve scrunched out the crunch when your hair reveals the beautifully defined and soft curls that were set in place by the styling product. 


Take what resonates, leave what doesn’t

While the Curly Girl Method is a detailed step-by-step guide to washing, drying and styling one’s hair, the beauty of this routine is that it really differs from person to person. Some particular steps and products work for others, and some don’t. At the end of the day, all it takes to figure out your curly hair routine is to test out what works for you.


Curly Girl Diaries: Here’s How I Grew to Love and Take Care of My Curls


Gone are the days when we curly folks would search high and low for second-party resellers for Cantu’s products sold twice their retail price. Now, their haircare products are readily available online and on retail shelves across Metro Manila. We love to see it!


Starting from the 13th of October, you can finally purchase Cantu Beauty products online through Lazada. Not only that, beginning October 21st, Cantu Beauty products will also be available for in-store purchase at Mitsukoshi Beauty, LOOK SM Aura and LOOK SM MOA.



Words Coleen Dalde

Photos Cantu Beauty 

Art Macky Arquilla


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