As is the case with any hair type that requires a little extra TLC, learning to embrace curly hair can be a challenge for some people. And even if you love your hair as is without any struggle whatsoever (go you!), learning to protect your hair in the right way can be an even greater struggle. For Jillian Hervey (half of the kick-ass musical duo Lion Babe), growing to love her now-signature curly hair has been a process. Hervey, the newest face of Pantene, says that her "hair journey" is something that coincides with a lot of other personal realizations she had as she was growing up.
"My hair journey parallels with my life journey. When I was younger, I tried styles that were not healthy for my hair growth, like constantly straightening my hair or relaxing it, mainly because there weren't a lot of curly girls around me and I wanted to fit in," Hervey tells Bustle over email. "...it took time to grow into wanting to wear my curls."
Hervey credits living and attending college in New York City as an important turning point in her hair journey, as well as a trip to South Africa, which was a source of major inspiration for her in more ways than one.
"Living...around people from all over the world with a range of hair styles really helped. Also a few years ago, I went on a safari with my family in South Africa and saw lions with their with gorgeous manes and hair. They reminded me of myself and became a symbol for me. A representation of natural beauty and pride," Hervey says. "Those two experiences made me finally embrace my true texture and curls and my mindset became very much like that of a lioness, confident and natural."
While learning to love her curls was one thing, learning how to properly care for them was another. One thing you might not know about curls that Hervey says changed what products she uses? According to Pantene Principal Scientist Veronica Sanchez, “The humidity isn't what's really causing your curls to frizz; it's actually the strength of your hair that's affecting it (or lack thereof).” Truly taking care of your curls comes down to knowing what products to use and how. Here are some steps and products that Hervey recommends.
1. Strengthen Your Hair ASAP
Hervey notes that now that she knows humidity isn't the culprit of frizzy hair, she is better able to truly take care of her curls. This means no more being afraid of extra moisture.
"Before styling my hair, when it is still damp, I use the Pantene Pro-V Moisture Mist Detangler to detangle curls while adding an additional layer of moisture. When it air dries, I add Pantene Pro-V Smooth Anti-Humidity Airspray. I love that it doesn’t contain alcohol, so I know it won’t dry my hair out," Hervey says. "I always used to worry that my hair was going to get frizzy no matter what I did, but since I started to figure out my curls, I feel better knowing I have products like Pantene that help maintain my natural look in the way I love, strong and moisturized curls."
2. Use A Silk Pillowcase Or A Hairscarf At Night
Worried you're damaging your curls overnight? Hervey says she's learned a few hacks from people like her mom, Vanessa Williams. "I’ve learned a lot of hair tricks from my mom and older sister Melanie, like the importance of sleeping on a silk pillowcase or wrapping your hair in a scarf so your curls stay protected overnight from breakage."
3. Find A Routine That Works For You & Makes You Feel The Most Confident
Hervey credits finding a routine that allows her to embrace, highlight, and nourish her curls as something that makes her feel her best. "I feel most confident when I can rock my natural hair, and knowing that is healthy and voluminous. I love that I’ve found a haircare regimen that works for my curls, and can allow me to continue to embrace my natural texture," says Hervey.
4. Try A Deep Conditioner
"I’m also obsessed with Pantene’s 3-Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner to rejuvenate my curls," Hervey says. "Sometimes I leave it in my hair overnight and rinse it out in the morning when my hair really needs a lot of love and moisture, especially after a show."
5. Love Yourself & Your Curls Wholeheartedly
Like Hervey, learning to love your curls may be a journey. If you're not quite there yet, Hervey has some advice. "To all the curly girls out there in the world: love yourself, embrace your curls, and take care of them. They really are such a strong statement of who you are. You should just love it and let them run wild and free. I promise amazing things will happen to you," Hervey says.
Taking the time to take a little extra care of your hair may seem like a chore, but if it will do amazing things for your curls and your confidence, it's worth a shot, right?