December 7, 2022
It’s time to own your curls and bask in their glorious volume and swish. Asha Barrak, Founder of ash:ba Botanics, tells us how to keep your curls in top shape.

Curly hair conundrum

Asha Barrak, Founder, ash:ba Botanics Tells Us How To Solve It


Asha Barrak, Founder, ash:ba Botanics

If you thought that, only way your hair can look chic and on trend, is if you have it blow died straight and sleeked with gel; then you have another thought coming your way. This is, especially if you are the possessor of lovely ringlets and corkscrew curls. It’s time to own your curls and bask in their glorious volume and swish. We got Asha Barrak, Founder of ash:ba Botanics, the hair care brand that focuses on making your curly hair healthy, strong and shiny, dish out the secret to keeping curls in top shape.

The issues you faced as the girl with impossibly curly hair. Did you ever feel like opting for hair straightening or other chemical treatments? 

I had gone through the same difficulties that everyone faces with curly hair and in maintaining it. People would call many names for the poofy hair, chidiya ka ghosla etc. People would stick things in your hair for fun. For around 25 year I always had one hair style – tied hair in a ponytail and never kept my hair open. It really impacts your confidence if you feel that something is out of your control. In India then, I wouldn’t know how to wear curly hair, salons weren’t of much help, all I heard everywhere was “Madam, we can’t do much with your hair” and they would sell the straightening treatments. I also wanted to give in, but I always knew this is not a permanent solution for my hair. So, I never got it done. I found a new confidence once I knew how to maintain curly hair and I wanted to share that feeling with everyone and wanted them to realize the hair they have hidden and tied for years is rather their USP. 

The problems of having very curly hair.

Curly hair is prone to dryness and frizz. Since this type of hair is very dry, so breakage and split ends are major issues need special focus. Lack of moisture in the strands also means lack of shine and this type of hair can be hard to manage as it gets tangled easily. So, some extra love needs to be shown to this type of hair.  

The structure of curly hair and how it is different from wavy hair.

Wavy hair has a loose curl pattern like ‘S’ and curly hair has more tighter curls. Wavy hair tends to weigh down easily and tends to lose the definition easily, so it needs styling products with more hold. Wavy hair is more flattened at the root and has less texture. It is not as dry as curly hair as natural sebum can travel through the hair shaft. 

Embrace the natural you. One hair type is not better or worse than the other. Love what you have naturally, and this is what makes you unique.

The difference between regular hair care and curly hair care.

For curly hair, a hair care routine cannot be the same as straight hair. You cannot follow the routine of just shampooing, conditioning and brushing with curly hair. Curly hair is naturally dry and drier than straight hair and it tends to frizz a lot. It needs extra moisture and care. We need to use styling products to control frizz and to keep the curl definition. If you want to control the frizz, then styling products is a must in your routine. 

Step by step care for curly hair and products that one should keep handy.

Basic products that you should always have include shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner or cream and hair gel. 

Step1: Shampoo your scalp and hair with a gentle non-drying, sulfate-free shampoo. Be gentle when washing your strands.

Step 2: Condition your hair. It is a must. After shampoo, use a conditioner and gently detangle hair from ends to root using your fingers.

Step 3: Styling is important if you want to give definition to your curls. Use a leave-in conditioner or a cream if hair is dry and thick, and then finish with a gel to control frizz and retain curl definition for longer. For fine hair, you can skip the leave-in/cream and only use gel for styling. 

Step 4: Deep treatment helps to keep curls healthy and strong. Use a hair mask, for extra treatment. This is important if hair is coloured and damaged and lose moisture easily. Do it once a week or reduce frequency depending on the condition of your hair.

The things that hurt curly hair

Do not use a comb/brush when hair is dry. It is best to use your fingers to comb your curls and not mess them up. Avoid harsh shampoo to prevent dryness and breakage. Say no to heavy, silicone loaded products which build up over time and do not let hair curl naturally over time. Do not co-wash (using only conditioner to wash without any shampoo) hair all the time. Include a shampoo at least once a week to prevent build-up and keep scalp healthy. Also avoid styling products with drying alcohols like SD alcohol, Alcohol Denat etc.

Your hair care routine

I wash my hair every 3rd or 4th day following the steps that I mentioned earlier. As I have healthy hair and I don’t colour my hair, so I don’t have to use the hair mask weekly. I always keep my routine simple and use only ash:ba products. During most washes I have to test new products (future launches) in the ash:ba range. This is so that we can offer the most effective products to our curl community. 

Your message to the curl community

Embrace the natural you. One hair type is not better or worse than the other. Love what you have naturally, and this is what makes you unique. Opt for a healthier and a sustainable option by working towards maintaining your natural texture. 

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