women with hair

For Curly Hair, YouTube Is the Greatest Teacher

Ramya Velury.
Ramya Velury. Photo: Mindy Byrd

This week’s Women With Hair features Ramya Velury, a 24-year-old New Yorker who works in the music industry. Ramya was born with straight hair and then poof! it became curly seemingly overnight. What do you do when you’re thrust into a life of curly hair and no one in your family can relate? You turn to YouTube, of course, which is where Ramya learned how to treat — and appreciate — her curls.

If I could name my hair, I’d call it: The Shake and Go.

In my shower you’ll find: I really like Clear shampoo. It smells good, it washes my hair, and I feel like it treats it too. I have a deep conditioner from Pantene. It’s really simple but it does the job. I have the DevaCurl “No Poo” on days that I don’t shampoo. When I was younger I had really straight hair, and as I got older it started getting really curly. Indian people don’t know how to deal with curly hair, so I had an interesting relationship with my hair growing up. My entire family has stick-straight hair and then there’s me. I had to do a lot of research. YouTube was my best friend. I love the “It’s a 10” line. Their products are really moisturizing.

I wash my hair every: week. Any more than that and it gets dry.

Photo: Mindy Byrd

A rundown of my hair regimen looks like: I don’t wash my hair every day. I’m not skilled enough to use a blow-dryer so I just use a flat iron and run it through my hair. It’ll last for a couple of hours and then it will naturally start curling in this wavy formation. So I’m like, Well, at least it lasted a couple of hours. Unless I get it blown out, it does not stay.

The worst thing I ever did to my hair: dye it blonde. This was two or three years ago and I don’t know what I was thinking. I looked like Mufasa. At first I tried doing it on my own. I was like, YouTube got me here. I can do this. I did it in my friend’s bathtub in college. I ended up booking the next salon appointment I could find and they fixed it into a dirty blonde. It was okay, but now I’m going to stay keeping it black.

The best thing I ever did to my hair: went to DevaCurl. I’m still learning how to deal with my curly hair and they know how to treat it. I got a lot more moisture into my hair and it looks healthier now.

Photo: Mindy Byrd

I trim my hair every: every six months.

My hairstylist is: I don’t have one person that I go to all the time. I used to go to this salon in Gaithersburg [Maryland] called Afsoon. I love the Aveda salon, but I bounce around a lot. I just get trims — I never do anything super-crazy.

Check all that apply — my hair is dyed, is chemically straightened, is permed, has extensions, is braided/in locs: none of the above!

What I love most about my hair: how curly it is. When I was little I wanted curly hair, and now I have it.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Makeup by Samantha Lau; hair by Cynthia Alvarez; beauty editor: Ashley Weatherford; photo editor: Raydene Salinas.

For Curly Hair, YouTube Is the Greatest Teacher