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Here it is in its dragged-backwards-through-a-hedge glory. It holds any style very well, but I have less than zero time to be messing with hairdryer, curlers or straighteners (don't own any of the above anyway). I have to have it pulled right back for work, and wearing it loose drives me a bit bonkers, partly as I have two very small DC who need to pull on it constantly if it's loose. I've had shorter hair in the past which makes me look like a dandelion.
I've just taken this photo - I washed and conditioned last night then scrunched through a curling mousse as approximations of curls seem to be its natural tendency. This morning I didn't brush - just loosely ran fingers through to get out the worst tangles then clipped back.
The general consensus I've got from threads from people with similar hair is that I shouldn't brush (it does tend to just go completely frizzy/static if I do) and use paraben/silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. It's almost impossible to find silicone-free conditioner under £10...should I just not use conditioner? Or something?
Have you considered not using shampoo, just conditioner? I have straight hair & only use conditioner most of the time, I only was it with a natural shampoo bar occasionally, apparently this is even more helpful for natural curly types. You do need to stick with the silicone & SLS/SLES free stuff though. Which costs more, but it's better for curly hair. It's called the no poo method or the curly girl method.
My local health food shop stocks a selection of shampoo & conditioner without silicones, parabens or sulfates, and also animal friendly! AFAI can remember, JASON, and Suma were two of the brands that had a number of products with no nasties in. I've also read good things about Aubrey Organics but it's a bit pricey. Body Shop banana conditioner is also silicone free, no parabens.
The idea being your hair will care for itself. But it takes approx 8 weeks to start working. A friend tried it but gave up after 4 Weeks due to the smell and feeling of horrendously oily hair. I don't know anyone who's made it to the end......the smell is bad, like bad feel crossed with fish........
I think it very much depends on your hair. there is a Mexican girl that I work who I've just spoken to who had amazing hair and hasn't "washed" it in over 2 years. She uses a balm cleanser when she needs it (every 2/3 weeks) But I know more people who have struggled without shampoo