Have you ever heard of that foolish Filipino saying that associates curly-haired people as cursed? Kulot salot is a catchy phrase that usually connotes a negative impact on people who have natural curls. It leads to them being bullied and teased. Then, some would say “Joke lang!” However, it doesn’t feel like a joke. Aside from its negative connotations, society seems to always prefer straight and shiny hair – just like commercials on television always implied.
Those who experienced being called salot are also the people who worked hard to embrace and accept their natural curls. We can only thank online support groups that empower and teach individuals of all ages how to take care of their curls. CGM or also known as the Curly Girl/Guy Method refers to the process of taking care of wavy, curly, kinky, and coily hair. These include the use of products free from silicone, sulfates, mineral oils, and drying alcohols.
Free Your Curls: Don’t let anyone curse your curly hair
What’s with Curly Pilipinas- Modified CGM?
Curly Pilipinas: Modified CGM is an online support group on Facebook and one of its admins Isiah Beltrano explains who they are, what they do, and what they continue to represent. Aside from being an admin, he also became an ambassador to several CGM products. He also shared that the group treats everyone like a family.
“Curly Pilipinas – Modified CGM on Facebook is an online support group open to all genders, ages, races, color, or social status. It’s open to everyone. And we help them through guides on how-to’s, answering all FAQs, providing solid support for people who don’t feel as confident rocking their natural hair, and just being there for each other; it’s like a family.”
They promote a culture of diversity and acceptance for different hair types. Aside from that, they also cultivate a less rigid and more lenient practice of CGM – hence the term ‘modified.’ They cater more options to focus on scalp care, too. Nevertheless, the group lets every Filipino realize that straight hair is not the only hair type found in this country. Curly Pilipinas – Modified CGM encourages people to take pride in feeling blessed with their natural waves, curls, or coils. As of this writing, the group has a growing community of 6-thousand members.
Struggles of having curly hair
In an interview, Isiah shared that having curly hair lead him to want to go bald and just hope for the best. Persuaded that his hair type was considered to be ugly, he tried to make fun of it by bleaching it numerous times and dyeing it with different colors. Since then he believes that he has nothing to lose with his hair.
Isiah’s co-founder Dianne Baliang also shared her struggles of coping with her natural curls. She shared that she constantly rebonded her hair for ten years. And, she had gone exhausted of searching for a credible salon that remains budget-friendly. She also expressed her journey of struggling to tame her hair and make it look prim and proper.
“My hair is always fried. Always chemically damaged, it has always been a source of insecurity to me. I would rebond it, flat iron, or color it, and sometimes perm it.”
Additionally, Dianne shared that she used to believe that a costly Brazilian treatment will be the cure for her hair. It made her feel poor and “pinagkaitan” because she couldn’t always afford it. On the other hand, Isiah enumerated some struggles of their fellow members. He shared that they would usually have their hair in a bun and would apply different (and harmful) oils to make it look shiny.
Getting rid of the saying “kulot salot”
Generation after generation, the annoying “kulot salot” phrase had lurked on people with naturally curly hair. We, then, asked them about the humiliation this brings and how they cope up with it. Isiah expressed his encounter of those moments, recounting how he would always fight back.
“I fight back and defend myself because this is something I can’t control. This is something given to me, and it’s never my choice to have textured hair. But, I don’t let it affect me because that just reflects how I look. It does not reflect who I am as a human being.”
Indeed, people who make fun of having curly hair don’t understand the struggle and emotional damage it can cause to a person. We always see ads and commercials on television with girls having that smooth and silky hair. But, do we also see some curly hair ads? I bet none! Society has built a standard that only those with flawless and fair skin, skinny bodies, and straight hair are considered beautiful. How about those people who have curly, wavy, kinky, and coil hair? It’s time to embrace and promote the curly hair method to everyone.
Embrace your curly hair!
Despite the struggles of having natural curls and the roller coaster rides of finding the right products. These two beautiful individuals shared their journey of embracing their hair types. When asked about the reason for embracing their curls, they didn’t hesitate to provide a glimpse of inspiration.
Isiah shared his admiration for the Money Heist character Stockholm, Monica Gaztambide.
“After watching Money Heist and seeing Esther Acebo or Monica Gaztambide also known as Stockholm, I realized that you can have curly hair and still rock. So, that’s one of the biggest factors that has inspired me to embrace my natural curls.”
Meanwhile, Dianne shared that Liza Soberano’s hair in Forevermore and Make It With You, inspired her to accept her curls.
“Thanks to Liza Soberano and the curl or wavy hair they gave her character [in Forevermore and Make It With You], I got hyped to grow my natural hair back and wish it would look as good as curl-ironed hair.”
By embracing that curls, the proper way to take care of it and knowing the right products can help to achieve that bouncy and healthy curls. But, what available products can Filipinos try and where to purchase? Worry no more!
Isiah, who practice Curly Girl/Guy Method for a year has a lot to recommend. Take a look at these various brands with curly hair products to try out:
- Curls By Zenutrients, the first curly haircare brand in the local market which opened last June 2020.
- Curlico. Need some tools and accessories for curly hair? This brand has various products such as scrunchies, satin bonnets (which preserve curls when sleeping), and even hair detanglers. It also promotes a campaign #KwentongKulot x #MyCurlStory as it ventures to show stories of people with all ages who have curly hair.
- Zikonaturals. This brand produces natural, food, and plant-based products sourced through local communities.
- Let Loose, is perfect if you prefer online shopping. This brand can be purchase at Shopee that imports curly hair products from the United States and sell locally at a very low price.
Regardless if you have straight, wavy, curly, coil, or kinky hair, you are beautiful. Don’t be afraid to go natural. It’s a process, a never-ending learning experience. It’s gonna be the best decision you will make. Always be kind and always love diversity. Because beauty comes in an array of different things. The curly hair movement is not an anti straight hair movement instead it aims to unite people together.
Whatever hair type you want to wear as long as you’re genuinely happy. Go ahead and flaunt it, beautiful!
Maedelyn is a journalism student from Cavite State University. She is a passionate girl whose dream is to travel the world and write stories about it. She likes photography and is interested in fashion. She also likes to watch classic movies.