What’s your name and where are you from/where do you live?
My name is Alex, I am originally from Sao Paulo, a big city in Brazil and a very multicultural place, I am living proof of it: my mum is Brazilian and my dad Japanese (born in Brazil), and I’ve inherited the Brazilian hair from my mum, (thanks mum)….
I have been living in Melbourne for the past 8 years, Australia is my home now and I couldn’t be happier.
Have you always worn your hair curly/natural?
I had natural hair while I was a child, I was never happy, my mother used to struggle to wash my hair, then she used to ask the hairdresser to cut it very short, it was quite traumatic, as other kids at school used to make fun saying I was a boy! As a teenager I started to blow dry, then I lived in England for a couple of years and that was the first time I left my hair natural, although I didn’t know how to care for it. It was good times but unfortunately once I was back in Brazil I went with the flow, lots of girlfriends were doing what was fashionable at the time: using relaxers….so I did it for the next 8 years. Until I moved to Australia in December 2006….tried to leave it natural but I felt miserable, my hair was not either curly or straight…then I’ve upgraded to chemically straightening my hair…and that was another 6 years of my life with this addiction. I have stopped with the chemicals two years ago. In December last year I’ve found the book “Curly Girl: The handbook” from Lorraine Massey, which has changed my life and my hair and have been a proud curly since then. In a nutshell, I have been a chemically dependent for 16 years, for the past two years I feel lighter, happier, I really regret having spent so much time of my life caring for my hair with expensive chemical treatments, products that were damaging my hair so much over and over again….when I said “enough of that” it was timely, emotionally and financially liberating!
How would you describe your curl type?
My curl type is between 3C and 3B, according to the Curly Girl book I am a wavy…but my hair is not, it’s full of volume, I’m high porosity, there’s so much frizz…but Devacurl gel has been a good help to avoid the flyways…when I was shampooing a year ago, frizz was my first name!
What’s your hair care routine?
I’ve always had good discipline with my hair routine. Every day before going to work I wet my hair and style, sometimes do a hairdo.
For the past year I have been using Devacurl products only, it became like a religion in my life, then I wash it twice a week with conditioner and at least once a week I do the home recipes from the book, sometimes recipes from the website www.naturalycurl.com . My favourite recipe is the one with avocado, honey and olive oil, my hair gets shinier, curlier and nourished, love it.
When you wash your hair what is your routine and how long does it take?
It takes me 15 minutes to wash and 5 minutes to style, I follow exactly what it says on the video from Lorraine Massey, and no hot water! Last winter I’ve been washing my hair under cold water and created a new habit. I’ve realised that cold water made me more energetic and it’s a good way to wake up in the mornings before going to work, I never thought that a cold shower could be good for my hair and for my soul! While washing I let the water sink in first without touching my hair. When I’m doing the treatments it takes longer, I always do it on weekends, spending at least an hour or two, I’m so used to it, and love the results.
What products couldn’t you live without?
As I have mentioned earlier I can’t live without my Devacurl products: the One Condition, the Ultra Defining Gel, MirrorCurls shine serum, No-Poo quick cleanser and Mister-Right (lavender curl revitaliser, it’s wonderful before a hairdo). Unfortunately since living in Australia I’ve never found products directed to Curly Hair, I’ve used for a few years Frizz Ease from John Frieda, it might work for other types of curls but it was a disaster on my hair, that’s why having found Devacurl for me was like a dream come true for the first time in my life, with proper care you get the hair you want.
How often do you get your hair cut and where do you go?
Until now I’ve never found one, and had too many arguments with hairdressers trying to convince of the curly method. Many professionals say they’re specialised in curly hair but they have no idea what you’re talking about when talking about curls. For the past 8 months I have been trimming my hair at home, as I want to let it grow. Once it’s a bit longer I’ll go to Neel in Fitzroy, I’ve found him through Lou’s blog and can’t wait to meet him.
Any tips/words of wisdom about your curls that you want to share?
First I would like to say to all curlies to embrace and spread the word out there…who doesn’t know a curly who hides themselves under a blow fry? Sometimes when I go to work with very kinky curl, a female colleague comes to me and whisper in secret that their hair is also curly, as if it’s something they want to hide, at the same moment they confide I can feel a sense of shame…I feel sad to see their hair flat ironed urging to be let free, I always put my word out there but they claim to be busy or not having the time to go natural, or they either say “yeah right, will do it one day..”.if they only knew how easy it would be their life, and how beautiful their hair could be…curly women could even be the majority than the norm out there, not the shiny straight hair women we all see in the movies and TV commercials for hair products. Ladies, it’s never too late to come out of shell, we’ll welcome to our world, it’s who you are!
At least I feel proud I’ve manage to convert two girls to be a curly, just a small step, then about 3 months ago I set a group through Meet Up website aimed to all Curly Women in Melbourne, it aims to bring us together, to talk about all the benefits of being natural, share experiences, and we could even try to bring Devacurl to Australia. If you live in Melbourne feel free to join the group: Curly Hair: sharing experiences on keeping beautiful curls!