BENGALURU: What curl type is your hair? 2C, 3A, 3B?’ ‘What is your pre-poo routine?’ ‘Should I try a dry cut?’ If these statements went right over your head, you’re probably someone with a straight mane, or possibly a curly-haired person who hasn’t yet come across the famous curly girl (or CG) method, or what some refer to as a ‘blessing’ when it comes to hair care. Sunday morning at The Bohemian House saw answers to many such questions at Curl Liberation, an event that celebrates natural hair in all its curly forms, be it spirals, ringlets or waves.
Different from a curl meetup (where people get together informally to share their experiences and exchange stories), this programme had curated sessions and panel discussions on scalp and hair health, debunking curly and wavy hair myths, and a live haircut and styling demonstration as well. “Society constantly tells us that straight is beautiful. Even the products sell just that. So this is a revolution India needs. We wanted to bring together and showcase the curl community, which is currently at a nascent stage in India,” said Pavithra Rajkumar, a holistic wellness coach, who organised the event with Chitra Chaudhuri, with support from online haircare store Naturally You & Me.
Both Rajkumar and Chaudhuri call themselves curly and wavy hair evangelists, respectively. “The point is to spread word about it being okay to have the hair that one has and also to help people understand that managing such tresses need not be difficult,” explained Chaudhuri.
That was also the idea behind Curl Liberation, which was attended by CG newbies as well as seasoned practitioners. For Anagha S, the programme provided a chance to connect with the social media influencers she follows for guidance. “I know only one other person with hair like mine. So it was great to see so many curly-haired women together,” said the medical student.
The thought was echoed by other participants, including entrepreneurs Mithun Chakkaravarthy and Ahalya Kosal Ram, who recently launched a range of curly haircare products. Chakkaravarthy was one of the three men present in the audience. “It feels great to be a part of this minority, you do get to be in the spotlight a lot,” he said, with a laugh.
Having worked in the US, the couple believes the international market is “lightyears ahead”. But though in the early days of this change, the Indian mindset seems to be coming around as well, they said. “My mother didn’t know my curly hair could look this good. But now, my son has curly hair too, and I know how to manage it better,” said Ram.
According to Rohit, a hairstylist who conducted a live demo at the event, there are three categories of curly-haired people – wearers, enthusiasts and evangelists – and it’s the third kind that are contributing to this change in mindset. The only bit missing here, however, is that the bulk of information comes from overseas. “Which is why forums like this help, since they share relatable information,” he said.