Today, in our “Curly Hair Men Talk” series, we are featuring Michel, a cool curly French-Senegalese dude who is here to tell us about what is his life like as a curly dude, including how he rocks those curls of his! Enjoy!
Stylish kinky-coiled long curls from Paris
Michel, but my friends call me Mish.
Type-V curly hair, also known as kinky curly hair.
Bonjour! My name is Michel, I was born in Paris and I’m a black French national. My parents are originally from Senegal and I have very curly hair, type V curls. I’m 19 years old and I’m studying in my university to become a doctor with a specialty in emergency/trauma surgery. Right now my hair is styled with a shake and go hairstyle and some henna highlights but I fear that I will have to cut my curls when I have to do my medical residency. I hope that I don’t have to cut my curls!!
My hobbies include learning new languages – I’m learning Spanish and Mandarin, and I speak English because my parents speak English too so it came natural to me when I was a kid. I also like to go to the gym and go out for dinner whenever I can. Most of my time I will spend it studying – that is the life of most medical students LOL – and sometimes I am too tired to do anything when I come back to my apartment!!
How do you look after your hair?
Okay, so there are two phases to my life and my hair before I say anything. My life before reading Rogelio’s book called “The Curly Hair Book” and after reading his book.
I have hated my hair for so long that I cannot even remember when I first started hating it, but I was very young. For me the haircut that I would always get was a short fade haircut, or like Rogelio calls it as a joke in the book: the “buzz cut”. I never changed my hair routine or my haircut. I would go to the barbershop every two weeks to four weeks and get the same fade haircut on the sides and on the back, and the top was trimmed very short or also buzzed with a hair clipper.
One year ago I bought Rogelio’s book and decided to apply all the advice in the book. I wanted to have longer hair and the advice in the book was extremely helpful for me to grow my curls. I was lost when it came to hair care before getting this book, but, as soon as I stated reading his book, everything connected and I was able to grow the perfect curly mane for me. So now I am proud of my kinky curls and love my hairstyle. Like I said before I hope I don’t have to do a big chop when I start my residency!
I follow Rogelio’s no-shampoo routine by only shampooing my hair twice per week. I use a conditioner five times per week though. Also I use a tiny amount of coconut butter when my hair is damp. It doesn’t matter that I have shampooed my hair or that I have rinsed out the conditioner, I will always use some coconut butter melted in my hands to coat my damp curls and then shake my curls. That’s my hairstyle right there!
The only hair products that I use are a moisturizing shampoo (for when I shampoo my hair), a conditioner, coconut butter and a hair pick. The hair pick is great for detangling my curls in the shower and so is the conditioner. I have used in the past some deep conditioners too and they have helped and especially when I got my henna highlights. And to think how much money and time I wasted in the past with products that were useless! At least now with this book I am doing what I should have done years ago.
Weirdest hair moment?
When I was growing my hair after 3 months and I asked my barber to cut the hair on the sides and on the back a little. When he finished the haircut, my hair looked like an awkward mushroom LOL Then I learned from Rogelio that men with my hair type should not attempt to do this type of haircut when they’re growing their curls, as this type of haircut will give a mushroom-hair effect. Thankfully, the hair on the sides and on the back grew fast after a month.
Favorite hairstyle or haircut?
The shake and go! I’m rocking this hairstyle and I love it. However I am very curious to grow my curly hair to shoulder length as now that I’ve followed the advice in the book, my curls are way better and have a nice coiled shape. I am also adding a picture of how my coils and kinks looked before I started following the advice in the book (editor’s note: the picture is below). A big problem that I used to have in the past when I tried to grow my hair more than five centimeters (two inches) was that my curls would hook to each other. Then I discovered everything about conditioners, the no-shampoo method, wide tooth combs and more, and this problem is now history.
My barber also has “The Curly Hair Book” and I asked my barber for his opinion on me growing my hair long. He agreed that it would look good but that it would take a couple of years with my current length. I’m referring to visible length when I mention growing my curly hair to shoulder length (by the way).
One tip for a better lifestyle
Improve your nutrition and start exercising if you aren’t doing this. I also started going to the gym seriously and improved my nutrition with the advice in the book and my body shape improved a lot in one year. It wasn’t just my hair that improved so much!
Favorite place you have been too
I haven’t traveled much but I plan to do some traveling in Europe before my residency. I would say that Dakar is my favorite city that I have been too, but this is mainly because I have so much family there that the two times that I have been there, I’ve had such a great time. There are some beautiful coastal spots and little beaches that only the local people know about and it’s like you arrived at some kind of magic paradise.
You have just built a time machine, what time period in history are you visiting?
I would say the eighties. I am told by people older than me that the eighties in Paris and in most European cities was a wild time. I’m a big fan of the pop music from the eighties too.
Casual or formal wear?
Casual. All the time. Even when I become a doctor I plan to remain as casual with the dress code as the hospital allows.
For your shaving, razors or clippers?
Razors. One of my brothers has a beard clipper and I never get a perfect shave with that thing. So it’s razors for me.
One celebrity with a mane you are inspired by
Troy Polamalu. I didn’t know who this guy was until I read about him in this blog. I think that having long hair while playing American football must be too risky so keeping his curly hair long says a lot about how dedicated he is to having long hair. I once saw an NFL player with dreadlocks having some of his locks ripped out from his scalp and it looked painful!!
I’m also inspired by you Rogelio and your dedication to us curly guys. Your books and your blog have been so useful for me and for many others. Thanks man!
One celebrity you’d go dining with
Lenny Kravitz first, then the next day I’d go dining with his daughter Zoë.
One celebrity you’d punch in the face
Chuck Norris vs Batman. Who wins?
Chuck Norris. I think that even questioning Chuck Norris’ ability to kick the heck out of Batman would be considered a sin LOL
Gym or outdoors exercising?
Gym so far. But this summer I have jogged around the city and I also tried some Crossfit classes in a park here in Paris. I liked it but I can’t see myself doing this in winter when it’s freezing cold here.
One song for an enjoyable evening
“Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.
Manly Curls is…
True inspiration and knowledge by a man who thankfully pioneered this movement!
Rogelio, you’re an inspiration for so many of us. If it wasn’t for you, I would still be getting those “buzz cuts”. I’ve now embraced my curls which has given me a new perspective on what I want in life. Thank you brother!
Editor’s note: big thanks to you for the kind words, Mish, and I too hope that you don’t have to cut those cool-looking curls of yours in the future! Keep in touch, buddy.