Ekta Bhardwaj: Hi! My name is Ekta. I am twenty-six and newly married. I am not currently working, but I hope to join a media firm soon. NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls? EB: I sported a crew cut until high school. Eleventh grade was my moment with my hair—I decided to grow out my curls. Everyone was surprised by my beautiful, tight, springy curls. I was taken by surprise one day when my school principal slapped me for wearing my hair curly. Indian schools are very strict about uniforms and they prohibit the use of makeup and any kind of hair accessories…I guess the slap came as naturally to her as my curly hair came to me. At that point, I was not embarrassed. I prayed that my curls grow out sooner so she would realize her mistake. And she did! NC: What's your current routine? EB: There is no specific routine that I follow, but I do make sure that I treat my hair to a warm olive oil mask, once a week. Sadly, there is a dearth of curly hair shampoos in India, and because I keep experimenting with products in the hope of finding one that will perfectly suit my curls, oiling my curls is a necessity. NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process? EB: I start by detangling my dripping wet hair and follow with shampoo. After lathering it and massaging my ends, I rinse the shampoo out and apply conditioner. My most recent purchase, L’Oreal Smoothing Shampoo and Smoothing Conditioner has done a good job, thanks to the Argan Oil in it. I leave the conditioner in for a couple of minutes and then rinse it out. One last sweep of a wide tooth comb and I am done. I usually scrunch my hair up in a bun using a clutcher and let my curls air dry. After a few hours, I let my hair fall in perfect, springy curls and let any remaining moisture dry out, au natural!