Fashionista: Tell us your curly story.
Raakhee Mirchandani: Curly hair is a tough hand to play when you’re in middle in school in suburban New Jersey in the ’90s. Growing up, all I ever wanted was to look like DJ Tanner. Those perfect poufed bangs, the soft lion’s mane. I’m from a family of women blessed with glossy, luscious, Indian hair. The kind you can run your fingers through, that hangs down to their waists. This head was torture. My hair stuck straight out and for a while I had a weird ‘fro, the result of a bad haircut and lack of styling products. All that changed once I discovered Ouidad, the patron saint of curly girls.
Describe your specific texture and your routine.
This mane is high maintenance. And expensive! I’ve got loose gorgeous curls that tend to be dry so I deep condition every single day. (I only shampoo once a week, but I alternate between Oribe’s Moisture Masque and Ouidad’s 12 Minute Deep Treatment daily.) After my hair is moisturized, I use a tiny dollop of Ouidad’s Moisture Lock leave-in conditioner, followed by a generous helping of Ouidad’s Heat & Humidity gel. I scrunch the whole thing, flip my head over and start diffusing like a maniac. I love my FHI blow dryer with its extra-large diffuser, it’s my absolute favorite tool and when I travel I make sure to put in in my purse, so if my luggage gets lost, I will never be without it. Once my ‘do is 80 percent dry, I give it a shake and spray it with Morrocanoil’s Luminous hairspray. What? I’m from New Jersey, I never leave the house with hairspray.
And don’t underestimate the power of the perfect cut. I swear by the Ouidad system: “rake and shake” styling and their patented “carving and slicing” cutting technique. It’s all kinds of genius.
Got any advice for women still struggling with their curls?
If it really bums you out, go ahead and straighten it. Your hair should make you feel pretty, I get it. But curls are powerful, sassy and badass. And I love the statement a head of curls makes in a room full of women walking the straight and narrow.