Curl Manipulation... the #TRUTH

Lately, I have been really having a great time with my curls.  The length is getting longer and I feel like I am coming out of the awkward length stage.  Nonetheless, having the same style of a wash and go, day after day can become boring.  For the most part, when I am looking for style inspirations I will take to Instagram as it is the easiest location to find the Natural Hair Community in all its glory!  After looking at a few different bloggers and their go-to styles, I started noticing a pattern.  Many straighten their hair often or apply color to change things up.  But, nobody ever discusses how these actions can change and manipulate the curl pattern.  Occasionally, I will see a follower/subscriber ask the questions regarding how the curl pattern may have been damaged but it is usually brushed off.  The TRUTH is, straightening your natural hair or applying color WILL manipulate the curl pattern.  For some women, this is a welcomed change as their natural curl pattern may be quite tight, or more course than they desire.  Instead of applying chemicals like a texturizer or a keratin treatment, simply flat ironing your hair can temporarily give you the same results.  This was something I figured out after the very first time I flat ironed my hair.  My curls reverted quickly but I noticed immediately that they were not as tight and were actually quite fluffy and softer than usual.  I enjoyed the time my hair spent in this condition because it produced beautiful results with my products.  Unfortunately, like I said before, this is only a TEMPORARY change.  This is of course, unless you are constantly straightening and dying your hair.  Doing so will change your curl pattern indefinitely.  And, it bothers me when I see bloggers and hair gurus who do this but never address it.  It's almost as if they want to make others believe that their manipulated curl pattern is actually their real curl pattern.  Time and time again I come across many blogs and Instagram accounts where women are commenting with things like "I wish I had curls like you", "How can I get my curls to look like yours?", "What products do you use for your curls to look like that?".  It's like a nasty secret no one in the Natural Hair community talks about and if they do it's always in a negative light.  Such as a person who may have went and had their hair straightened professionally but now their curls are limp or damaged.  This too is curl manipulation from heat that no one wants to happen but please believe there are women who purposely straighten their hair just to achieve this same manipulated curl pattern.  This also goes for the women who color their hair monthly or very frequently... The curl pattern you are seeing is not their natural curl pattern either.  No matter how much protection you provide to your curls, the pattern will be manipulated in some way for a period of time.  And, if you have your hair straightened weekly at a salon for years please do not try to convince me during a YouTube video that the curls I am seeing is your natural hair texture.  Respect my intelligence.

Now, if you are looking to try to manipulate your curl pattern purposely it's obviously a little risky to use these methods.  Your curls can become damaged if pushed too far. But, if you're willing to take that risk then that's your personal decision.  You may find that you end up with those glorious curls you never thought you could have.  Will that make you less natural?  Who cares.  I will say that I do look forward to my changed curl pattern after my hair has been straightened even if it's not a huge visible change that others can see.

Please comment and let me know what are your opinions on this highly controversial topic (within the natural hair community).


  1. I can definitely relate to your experience regarding straightening my hair. To some it looks like my curls are all good, but I can tell that my curls hang loose, way looser especially where the highlights are. Thanks for the tip on washing/protein treatments and in general for all the tips you've provided to me and future ones. LOL! You're a gem. Thanks, Candice!

  2. I really never thought about it, but I color my hair fairly often trying to combat that grey monster (lol).
    I color it jet black and then I lighten it. These are the two I basically go between. I tried red once, and I LOVED it, and it LOVED me so much so that it took weeks to go from red back to my low light/high light brown... I decided no more red for me...but I digress thanks for the exposure.. but I feel like I am as natural as anybody else lol even with my coloring...but like a wise women once said "who cares" as long as my hair looks/feels good I will stay the course!


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