Wondering who's the clown who has been taking over @beautyundercoversg Tiktok account these days?
Wonder no more. It's me, Agent C, the newest agent 🤡 to join the Beauty Undercover team.
And as you might have guessed, I have Curly Hair.
Hold up. Before your "wassup with you curly hair girls 🙄" rant, give me just a few moments to explain our side of the story.
We want to love our hair... we really do.
On good days (and this is considered good), my hair is truly POPPIN!
The curls fall nicely, it doesn't get frizzy, and its really just a 10/10, date-ready hair.
But on bad days, my curls just seem to lose its sense of direction and decides to go places.
Unruly places... It just doesn't fall in place nicely, and looks more like a hot mess but the "hot" is silent. When I say bad days, I really mean most days. I guess my hair has pretty bad mood swings and loves to say NOPE on the days I need it to look its best.
It appears I'm not the only one. Enter "why does curly hair" and wait for Google to feed you with suggestions on what other curly haired ladies search for.
First one on the list: why does curly hair get frizzy?
The second one cracked me up though: why does curly hair exist? Seems like I'm not the only one wondering why genes for curly hair have survived all these years of evolution.
Unlike straight hair which tends to follow a linear course as it emerges from the scalp, curly hair can spiral up and down and even back on itself. The physics of it all makes it easier for hair cuticle (outer layer) to open and for excess moisture to enter, causing our hair to frizz up. It isn't so bad when I go overseas to countries with lower humidity but as we all know, staying in Singapore often means that we wake up with a ball of fuzzy poofy hair.
So yes, I haven't yet found a soulmate, an anam cara, but it seems like frizz has already found and chose me to be his.
What's the big deal about curly hair? Why don't you "just comb it"?
We know it's hard for straight haired girls to imagine but just to let you guys understand a little of what we curly haired girls face everyday, I'm borrowing a quick gif from Agent SK.
When you've got curly hair, it's hard even for our hands to run through them. Do you think it is possible for us comb through this mess?
Even if it is, the more we comb, the more our hair frizz as it puffs up into a hot mess.
Everyone is always envious of my natural curls. I get where they're coming from. I mean, others are literally paying hundreds to perm their hair to get these killer curls. But they don't know it kills me to try and make it work. My curly hair is a war zone of its own. Don't even get me started on how many products I've tried just to find something that's suitable. It doesn't help that I also have THICC hair, and in the 365 hot summer days that we have in Singapore, there isn't anything that holds up the curls for me.
Did I mention that the search for it is still on?
Don't get me wrong, I love my curls and I'm all for owning who I am, but not gonna lie, it can be a real pain to manage on daily basis.
Consequently, it takes forever for me to style. I NEVER EVER wake up with hair I can hashtag #iwokeuplikethis.
It's either I show up late, or on time, but with a bird's nest on top of their head that no one asked for. Never a "omg I'm running late! Nevermind just comb my hair with my fingers as I go" option.
So yes, I'm one of those who have to wake up at 5.30am in the morning to get to school on time at 7.30am.
Rainy days are the worst. The humidity in the air will make my hair cuticle swell and curls all poofy. So you can imagine all the hard work put into styling my hair literally getting washed away before I even get to leave the house.
Singing rain rain go away won't undo all of that too.
And guess what the style is?
Yep, my curly hair all tied up and hidden in a ponytail.
Whether I'm heading for a date, a drive or heading out to school, I'm always looking like I'm heading out for a run with that ponytail.
And that's just me. For Agent SK, she makes sure she spends an hour each time straightening her hair before heading out of the house - a major reason leading her to stay home when she can help it.
Surely, there are quite a number of us with curly, wavy hair but growing up, I struggled to find hairstylists who knew how to handle curly hair. Most would suggest rebonding my hair, with many giving it an unflattering onigiri haircut (triangular hair).
With so many stylists suggesting rebonding, I made a foolish decision a long time ago to try it. And yep, it was bad. OK, it was nice and straight for just a couple of weeks but months after, the curly hair at the top and straight hair at the bottom just made me look plain weird. Kind of lame but after weeks of embarrassment, I decided to perm my hair back to its natural state so the difference won't be so obvious.
Seriously, what can I do?
There're many articles written on managing curly hair for sure but many are written by people who are not staying in the hot and humid Singapore. I'm sure there is some truth in the no-poo method or the hair advice of not washing your hair every day but I just can't imagine skipping a hair wash for a day here in sunny Singapore. Pretty sure my scalp wouldn't be able to stand the itch after 24 hours.
Just when I was fretting over what to do, I met Agent G.
I swear, every time she sees me, she coos about how gorgeous my curls are. We sort of made a pact to switch our hair textures if we ever got a chance to relive this life but as the fairy godmother she is, Agent G gave me the answer I needed to manage curly hair in this life: Annie.
A peranakan Singaporean hairstylist, Annie was born with gorgeous 2C curls which are even tighter than mine. Facing the same problems I did, Annie entered hairdressing hoping to subdue her own curls, eventually learning from top hairdressers in Singapore and later even going to the UK to learn from the very best.
Now that she's back, Annie created a cozy boutique of her own in Adelphi called Ann's Studio .
Hearing her story, I knew I had to give her a go. I'm not about to do anything crazy on my first visit, so I booked for a haircut on a weekday after school. Just to let you know how my hair looked like:
Don't you love how much it looked like an onigiri?
I loved Annie the first time I took a look at her.
Her curly hair was indeed gorgeous and I wondered to myself if I could ever have hair like hers!
Why not? Your hair can look even better than mine once we're done with the cut... and learned how to use some styling lotion! ~ Annie
No talk of straightening, rebonding or upselling of services.. I love that!
After the hair wash, Annie went straight into the cut.
Annie shared that she uses a combination of wet and dry cuts for best results. While the hair is wet, she made sure to trim off all my damaged ends so that my hair would look much healthier. No point in keeping the bad vibes (and memories of bad decisions) there!
So after the wet cut is complete, she dried my hair with a diffuser before embarking on the dry cut. Dyson to be exact. Very fancy, very bougee~
You don't have to use a Dyson but according to Annie, using a diffuser instead of a normal hairdryer is a great way to make sure that heat is more evenly diffused instead of focusing on one spot all the time, reducing the hair frizz.
In less than 40 minutes, my hair was transformed.
Is this really my hair?
I was wondering why my curls looked looser and looser over the years, which looked kind of bad coz it's not even symmetrical.
In one haircut, Annie was able to revive my curl definition and give it a beautiful rounded silhouette that I like so much!
Hairstyle before Annie's Haircut
Annie revealed that the secret was not just in the cut but also in the styling.
Application of styling cream is essential for ladies with curly hair (whether natural or permed) as it seals the hair cuticles and keeps the hair from absorbing excess moisture that would frizz up the hair. The styling cream she recommends is therefore this:
Remember I ranted earlier about not being able to find a styling product that works? Well, on hindsight, that might partially be my fault. According to Annie, styling products should be applied on WET hair (that's right, NOT SOAKING wet, and not DAMP too).
Don't ask me where I got my intel, but I've been applying products on slightly damp hair pretty much my entire life. You won't catch me making the same mistake again though, this clown LEARNS.
Thank you Annie!
I don't know if you know, but you've changed my life :) look at us twinsies above ^
Before I came to you, I used to tie my hair up and straighten the sides to hide my curly hair but after the haircut with you, I came to love and embrace it. I now walk with the confidence of a curly haired girl and have been wearing my hair down since.
But hey, I'm not done with Annie yet.
There's still one unfulfilled wish I had for my curly hair: highlights. I've only coloured my hair once my whole life and it wasn't even that visible.
Could Annie help me pull it off?
Stay tuned for my second installment of hair colour at Ann's Studio.