NaturallyCurly: Please introduce yourself!

Petra Lovric:  Hi, my name is Petra. I’m Croatian and in my final year as a Marketing and International Business student. I feel like I was born to travel—I can never get enough of seeing new places and meeting new people. I play the violin and the piano, and I’ve been a diehard fan of music for as long as I can remember. I’m also eager to learn new languages, I adore Mexican food, and I love visiting old antique shops. Last but not least, I’m very into hairdressing...and I have had a lot of practice!

NC: How and when did you start embracing your curls

PL: I was born with frizzy hair. It was so thick that I couldn’t even put it in a ponytail! My mom took me to the hairdresser to thin out my hair a little...I still kind of regret it, but we didn’t know the first thing about taking care of my hair! 

My mom has big, heavy curls that were bigger and looser than mine are today—I inherited my dad and my grandparents’ different curl types too, so I have a mix. I’ve always loved my curly hair...I never wanted it to be straight. The only thing that I’ve never loved is frizz and occasional tangling. All the women in my family have taught me to be proud of and to cherish my curly hair as something beautiful and unique! All of us were teased in school for having it, told that curly hair was a physical “disorder.” That made us hold on to wearing it natural and curly even more, in spite of those evil, jealous, straight-haired people who secretly keep curling products hidden in their closets!

NC: What is your current routine?

PL:  I tend to use products which don’t contain harmful ingredients, although it’s hard to find them as I don’t do much online shopping. I use shampoo mostly on the top of my head—the curls and ends are the conditioner area. You don’t want to fill your already dehydrated hair with too much soap! The conditioner goes first, because it helps me to detangle some parts of my curls. I only use a brush if it is impossible to detangle using my fingers. After rinsing, I use shampoo and then condition again. After I wash everything out, I gently squeeze excess water out of my hair and then hold my head down and scrunch my curls. Next, I put the whole bunch of my curls in a microfiber towel and wrap it tightly, like a turban. When it soaks the rest of the water out of my hair, I remove it, hold my head down, put in leave-in conditioner, and then dry my curls with a diffuser. After a minute of drying, I put in hair cream or some mousse, but not too much of it! I don’t want my curls to be too shiny or sticky! Finally, I finish the drying process, still holding my head down while scrunching the curls with my hands. 

NC: So from start to finish, on a curly day, what's your process?

PL:   I never use brushes or combs. I don’t use anything other than a big hair clip during the day—I usually wear my curls in a side ponytail held with a big plastic hair clip. And at night, I put it in a snood so it doesn’t get tangled.

MORE: Giulia's Real Texture Talk 

NC: What are your must-have products and tools?

PL: These are the products which keep my hair looking defined and healthy...without them my hair would look frizzy and dry. I need a good leave-in conditioner, hair cream and oil for maintaining the ends. When it comes to tools, my must-haves are a diffuser and a hair snood to keep the frizz away. 

NC: What are your favorite hairstyles to wear with your curls

PL:  The classic: “simply let your hair down.” Sometimes I put my curls in a side ponytail.

NC: What do you do at nighttime for your hair?

PL:  Put it in a “pineapple” and a hair snood to keep the frizz away!

NC: What about your hairstylist?

PL: I stopped visiting hair salons years ago! It was really hard to find someone who understood the fact that curly hair needs more attention and special routines that are different from those meant to be used for straight hair. Everything that I do with my hair, I do it myself. I know my hair really well and for now, I think I’ll keep our relationship intimate, without meeting anyone new on Saturdays.

NC: What reaction did you get when you went natural?

PL: I’ve always been a natural, but when I wanted a slight change, I flat ironed my hair and cut it into a bob. Some people liked it better straight, but most of them liked it curly. One of my cousins said that curly is more me. And I felt better when my hair was bigger and bouncy! I got bored of flat ironing my hair and quickly went back to being natural. 

MORE: Angela Delyani’s Real Texture Talk

NC: What is the best thing about being curly?

PL: Having so much hair you can do anything you want with it. And the fact that women in ancient Greece used curlers on their hair to show off their “royal” image. Curly hair was considered to be a symbol of a high social status—take a look at the queen hairstyles throughout history! Not to mention all those curly wigs.

NC: How has having curly hair impacted your life? 

PL: I feel good while I’m standing in a crowd. I think all of us have something physical that visually defines us. Curly hair is a brand! It gives the impression of youth, no matter your real age, and it imposes a level of self-confidence. It’s like, “Hey, what do you think you’re doing with that on your head? That atmosphere is not all yours!” 

NC: What would you tell others to encourage them to embrace their curls?

PL: Don’t listen to anyone that tries to involve you in a trend or a social custom about “bad hair.” I’ve heard that the term is used a lot and it’s quite shocking! Every individual can have beautiful hair if they discover how to maintain and treat it well. Curls are special and interesting, you can always flat iron your hair, but it’s not that easy to make a naturally sleek strand look (or for that matter, stay) curly! Respect the fact that what you’ve been given is a work of art made by nature. 

NC: Tell us about your current and upcoming projects.

PL: I’m about to graduate so I’m thinking about improving my work experience, travelling some more and doing more music. And I expect my curls to get even longer!

You can find Petra on Facebook.

MORE: Scarlett's Curly Hair Journey