Vrushali Patil: My name is Vrushali. I am 23 years old and a pilot by profession. I completed my flight training in Sydney, Australia and did my schooling in India, Mumbai. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation. My hobbies are painting and craft work.
NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls?
VP: I had a chemical relaxing treatment done in the year 2008, which permanently straightened my hair. Because of the harmful chemicals that were used, I started facing problems like hair loss, scalp itching, and dandruff. I decided that it was the first and last time I would try the treatment on my hair. One and a half year later, I got my beautiful curls back and I haven't straightened them since. I love my curls, I feel confident, and I appreciate this natural gift more than I ever did before.
NC: What's your current routine?
VP: I don’t have any specific preference of product for my hair. I keep switching between Dove, L’Oreal and Garnier. My hair care routine consist of mostly natural products. I oil my hair after every 2 days and I consume 5-6 almonds, 4-5 dates, sometimes beetroot, and fruits like oranges, all of which are good for skin and hair quality.
NC: From start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?
VP: I oil my hair every 2nd or 3rd day in the morning two hours before washing my hair. I have started using olive oil, sweet almond oil and castor oil and I can definitely feel the difference (you can also add coconut oil to reduce the viscosity). I take 2 teaspoons of each oil, mix them well and gently apply the mixture to my scalp. Then I apply the oil from my roots the ends of my hair. Two hours later, I shampoo and condition my hair. I squeeze the excess water from my hair after rinsing and while my hair is still damp, I apply Kerastase Nutritive Oleo Curl, a curl definition cream for thick and curly hair. It give my curls a nice bouncy look and leaves my hair soft for the rest of the day. I let my hair air dry.
VP: I love to put all my hair on one side to give a more voluminous and bouncy look. And if I am traveling or attending formal meetings, I simply tie my curls back with a banana clip.
NC: What are your must-have products and tools?
VP: As I mentioned before, I don’t use any specific brand of shampoo or other products. There are many products available in the market to help us keep our curls intact throughout the day, so that is not an issue anymore. The most important issue for us naturally curly girls is the tangling of our hair, which leads to breakage, frizziness, hair loss, etc. I believe that this can be brought under control by oil massage, natural hair spa therapies, consuming good diet and minerals. You’d be surprised to see how things fall into place for your beautiful curly hair.
VP: Everyone around me loved my hair. My friends and colleagues would come and touch my hair and play with the curls. I am often asked one common question: "Have you permed your hair?!” And I would proudly say 'NO.' It is hard for people to believe that someone can have such perfect curls naturally! I am sure the answer to this question is only known by naturally curly girls like us.
NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?
VP: Before going to bed, I comb my hair gently and get rid of all the tangles. Then I tie a plait. This prevents my hair tangling while I am sleeping.
NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?
VP: Naturally curly hair is a unique gift from God that few of us are blessed with and we must cherish it. It makes us stand out in the crowd, so go out there and flaunt them, girls!