13 October 2015

The Interview: The Curl Care Projects Shelly Line Tells All

I've been blogging for quite some time, and I've reviewed and highlighted many wonderful UK brands, and sometimes I come across something that strikes a cord with me. You may have seen my mentions on Instagram of a great new product line from The Curl Care Project, not only are they wonderful products [stay tuned for my product review] but they also work in tandem with workshops devoted to educating carers of children of colour in the foster care system. This is definitely a project close to my heart, as I was in foster care from the age of 11 months old until I was 16 years old. Growing up in foster care has many ups and downs for carers and children, as a child who was placed with carers from a different cultural background to myself [my foster parents are white] I fully understand the need for projects like The Curl Care Project. I grew up in the 80's before YouTube and the internet, and before the natural hair movement, I was subjected to doo doo plaits, brylcreem and tears [so many tears from myself and my foster mum] which definitely resulted in a tempestuous relationship with my kinks. Things have definitely come a long way since then. Not only do I have a new found love for my hair but brands like The Curl Care Project are here to advise carers to add to the amazing job they already do caring for foster children.

I caught up with Shelly Line one of the founders of The Curl Care Project.....

Tell us a little about yourself?

The Curl Care Project is the brain child of Myself  Shelley Line, Selina Davis and Eugene Davis between us we have spent over 50 years in the hair and beauty industry.  Some of our experiences range from working for the world’s leading product manufacturers, setting industry standards for hairdressing education, to working on the X- Factor as a Celebrity Stylist.

What is the Curl Care Project?

This project has been developed to address the needs of individuals in inter racial families or in the care system.   Presently 22% of the children on the national adoption register have an ethnic background but only 13% of these will be adopted and it will take on average 200 days longer for suitable parents to come forward for them.   Anyone looking after children who are from ethnic minority and mixed heritage backgrounds are continually challenged with maintaining the hair and appearance of the children under their care.  Excessively curly hair needs special handling and if this is not addressed from very early stages the damage can be significant.  In the long term this can have a hugely negative effect on self-esteem. For people looking after children outside of their ethnic background, this can be a daunting process, our aim is to educate and train parents, families & carers to have the skills, understanding and confidence to ensure that the children they look after all have the same experience when it comes to grooming, styling and presentation.

How did the Curl Care Product come about?

Working as educators in the hairdressing industry for many years, we often come across professional hairdressers that are not able to work on all hair types – within the hairdressing industry raising awareness of equality in this respect has been somewhat of a challenge.  This lead to the conversation  “if hairdressers can’t cope how do some parents cope?” which in turn lead us to identify the needs not only of parents in mixed heritage families but foster parents and those wishing to look after children from outside of their ethnic background.  We felt we had the knowledge and ability to a make a difference so we applied for and were awarded funding from the Big Lottery to set up our community project.

Why is the curl care project important for children in the care system?

The project is especially important to children in the care system to ensure that their needs surrounding basic hair and skin care can be taken care of by any carer and that the skin care and hair care of a child is NOT a boundary to being placed with a loving family.   Fundamental every child needs  to feel equal and being able to reinforce positivity and encourage and understanding about the diversity of hair and skin types is vital.  We don’t want kids to believe that there is such a thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ hair..simply  put it doesn’t matter what type of hair you have, we can all look fantastic and we should all be proud of who we are.

How has the project been received by carers?

Our reception from the care industry has been excellent we have had foster parents tell us that the courses that we run have literally “change her life” when it comes to caring for children. The carers learn how to handle the hair and avoid making basic errors which will cause the hair to knot tangle and become more difficult to manage. Also the advice we are able to give about hair care products has been vital as many carers have found themselves spending literally hundreds of pounds on products that are unsuitable or simply don’t work due to the lack of knowledge of how to use them properly.  We have worked with over 250 carers, parents and stylists in the past year alone.

What products are included in the Curl Care Project line?

Within the range of products we have 2 products so far:

 3-in-1 Coil Cleanser – this product is designed to refresh, nourish and detangle even the most rascally coil. This ultra-gentle but effective product is a lightweight foam that  will remove build up, dirt and free-radicals whilst deodorising and cleansing hair. This all natural formulation is the kindest care for all curl types.

Moisturising Shampoo - The lightweight moisturising shampoo will gently cleanse the hair without removing the natural oils, leaving the hair soft, fresh and lightweight.  This product is so gentle it is even baby safe.

What tips can you give carers and parents of mixed heritage children?

Half the battle is to encourage young people to feel proud of how they look from head to toe, children in care can often have problems with conditions of self-worth and to reinforce how great and cool that their curly hair really is can be the first vital step!  Discussions around the function and purpose of hair and what a fascinating material hair really is can be really, really positive.
On a practical level understanding that excessively curly hair can be very fragile so gentle handling is essential is very important.  The dehydration of the scalp and hair is usual and therefore keeping the hair and scalp moisturised is fundamental.  Also with extreme dehydration the hair becomes parched and when water is added during shampooing the hair for example, this can often lead to the hair fibre experiencing a ‘shock’ and with rapid shrinkage the hair becomes extremely tangled, so my TOP tip is ALWAYS apply a small amount of a lightweight hair oil to the hair before brushing, combing or wetting the hair this will really reduce the chances of extreme tangling.  Make sure that hair care is seen as Pampering not Punishment !!

Learn more about The Curl Care Project here The Curl Care Project products are now available to purchase at antidotestreet.com for more on my personal story check out this post


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