Natural curly hair can sometimes seem like more of a curse than a blessing. Tangles, untamable volume, and frizz are only some of the challenges women (and men) face every day. Doaa Gawish is here to help. Leaving her corporate job to become an entrepreneur, she is pioneering a movement that embraces curly hair and encourages more businesses to turn to sustainable and natural haircare. Hailing from Egypt she is also promoting self-care and female empowerment along the way.
Part of her plan this year sees Gawish bring The Curly Queen and founder of The Curly Girl Method Lorraine Massey to Dubai for two exclusive workshops at the end of January. The Hair Addict First CurlbyCurl™ Masterclasses are designed for hair experts, offering them training and advice on how to work with curly hair. This will then qualify them to offer specialized curly hair services in their salons. Ahead of the workshops, Gawish talks about all things curly hair and shares her inspiring journey.
What is your hair story?
I have always had curly hair, but when I was younger it just looked like a frizz ball as I didn’t know how to take care of it and style it as it should have been. Having always been ashamed of how my hair looked and the fact that it wasn’t sleek, I started straightening it at least once a week ever since I could go to the hair salon on my own. My calendar was planned around those salon trips and I was always afraid that my hair might accidentally get wet and appear for what it was.
Having been aware of how I was constantly harming my hair, I wanted to counter this damage by using natural remedies (applied to either enhance hair growth or texture) as regularly as I was applying heat. This encouraged me to experiment with whatever natural ingredients I could get my hands on and also to read as many scientific articles on the topic as I could. I realized that the natural solutions could take time to show results, but I also knew that those results would be sustainable and worth the time, the energy and of course the money. I thought I should love myself enough to do that. And then as The Hair Addict started, I was encouraged to go back to my natural hair and show more and more love to myself.
Why did you decide to launch The Hair Addict?
At the beginning of 2016 and after having been a corporate soldier for over 10 years, I realized that one of the few things that gave me joy in life was the time I dedicated to caring for myself and my hair in a natural healthy way. At this time in Egypt, there were so many Facebook communities, whose members were sharing a lot of fashion, skincare and nutrition tips, but there were none for hair. Also, coincidentally, I was a member of a fashion community called The Style Memoir, in which the founder once asked me to answer some hair care questions for several of the members. After I answered, I realized that it wasn’t only the time I dedicated to loving myself via exploring and applying hair care natural remedies that made me happy but also educating people on how to do the same. So, I started The Hair Addict in February 2016.
What was the aim behind The Hair Addict?
With this community, we want all women to love themselves enough to invest the time and the energy to care for their beauty in a sustainable and healthy way. We also want them to love themselves enough to stand their natural ground and embrace their natural hair. That entails using natural hair care remedies, organic or low chemical products, staying away from heat, eating healthily, and working out. Our strategy to promote all of this comes from sharing natural hair tips and also providing a safe environment for ladies to share their natural hair questions and issues on our platforms.
What advice do you offer fellow curly-haired women?
Girl, you look great. Keep going. Each one of your curls shows how unique and different you are and It isn’t just your hair you are investing time and money in – it is your lifestyle.
Why is it important that women embrace their natural curls?
Most women think that their natural hair isn’t enough because they were either told so or because they do not style it or take care of it as it requires. I want to say to every woman life is too short to live by other people’s standards, give your natural hair a chance and it will surprise you. Once you do that, it will be a life-changing experience. It will make you doubt everything you judged before. If you join our community, you will see all the above demonstrated by more than 300,000 women.
What are the main differences when cutting and styling straight and curly hair?
To be honest, I think that all healthy hair care tips and products can be applied to all hair types. All-natural hair should be cut when dry (vs. wet), styled without heat and cared for with natural and/or low chemical products. Once you follow the above, your hair will be shinier, thicker and bouncier.
Why did you decide to start the CurlbyCurl™ workshops?
When we started advocating for natural hair, we noticed that a limitation was that there were no natural hairstylists in the Middle East. The concept of going back to being natural was accepted by the ladies, but one of the means was missing; no one to cut and style their hair when needed. As a result, we asked Lorraine Massey, the world’s most famous natural hair stylist to come and train a group of them. We have had three workshops in Egypt and the fourth one is scheduled for Dubai in January and by the end of this, over 40 stylists in the UAE will be trained by the best on curly hair.
Who are they for?
All sorts of textured hair: wavy, curly, kinky and coily hair types. If your hair has any type of texture, then you can join us as a model.
What’s your top hair secret?
My secret isn’t a secret anymore. My holy grail has turned into our hero product; The Indian Recipe. It’s simply a hair growth remedy that I have been applying on my scalp for years that’s inspired by the Indian culture. Actually, one of the reasons The Hair Addict has become a natural hair care product supplier is that the ladies on our communities asked us to produce The Indian Recipe for them.
The Hair Addict workshops will take place on January 20 and 21 as well as the 23 and 24 January at The Curl Therapy salon in Regent Court, Jumeirah Village Circle. For more information visit Thehairaddict.net