A few months into the pandemic, I stumbled upon a CG hair care routine on TikTok and recognised my actual curl pattern. I have extremely dry, curly hair, and learnt that the key to taking care of it is following the proper routine with the right products. Thus began my curl journey, and after trying many products, I finally found one that was both effective and easy on the wallet. True Frog’s Shampoo For Curls and Everyday conditioner has been my curl saviour for the past couple of months. And speaking with the people behind it only solidifies its status as a faithful CG ally.
For Sarika Gawande, a member of the founding team of True Frog, curl care is an integral part of her coming-of-age story. “Growing up in a small town, I wasn’t exposed to a wide selection of products like how it is now. We had no access to it. I had wild curly hair, and my mother used to have a lot of trouble trying to manage it. I was only allowed to use shikakai for my hair. Still, I remember wanting those shiny shampoo sachets my friends had so badly. Twenty years–and a serendipitous choice to study cosmetology– later, I’m here making the best that science and age-old wisdom has to offer!”
The Story Behind True Frog
“I owe the conception of True frog to the curly girl movement. It helped me understand that curly hair is gorgeous and needs love. It does not have to be forcefully transformed to truly shine. When I started looking for products to start my clean-beauty journey, I hardly had any choices. As a formulator, my eyes scan labels compulsively! And I was quite shocked that the formulations out there were neither clean nor curly-girl friendly. That was what got me started. I set out to make something that will be sophisticated, world-class, safe and gentle that even children can use without hesitation,” revealed Sarika.
Taking cues from her my own hair, Sarika saw clearly that curls need moisture. Not heavy oils or butters that would weigh the hair down, but lightweight moisture boosting ingredients. “I also am sensitive to fragrances, so I avoided anything that would cause a headache,” she revealed. Sarika further stated, “I wanted to make a shampoo like no other in the market for curly hair – something that defines curls while making hair incredibly soft and bouncy. And since I work out a lot, I need something that won’t dry my hair out even if I wash it every day. I think I’ve accomplished that.”
True Frog’s vegan formula is sulphate, parabens, silicone, and GMO-free. The range is enriched with quality ingredients like quinoa protein, linseed, flax seed, chia seed, beetroot and cornstarch extract. It effectively cleanses your curls without overly stripping them. It even works with hard water!
The State Of The Curl Care Category In India
Sarika confessed, “The curl care category is just warming up here in India. There are very few brands with a strong proposition. Most consumers look at international brands due to a lack of high-quality homegrown products, even at a huge cost. There’s great potential for small brands to tap into, as awareness around these topics continues to grow.”
As for what makes True Frog such an outlier in the market right now, Sarika also has a brave claim for that. “There aren’t too many options out there to compare, but I can say with confidence that we are the cleanest formulation out in the market right now. I am also the first curly girl, founder and formulator of a brand. We have not compromised quality for cost, and most importantly, they have gone through years of research and trials,” she stated.
Another reason for the brand’s claim to fame is its comparative affordability. “Most of us can’t spend Rs.2000 on a product that may or may not work. Natural hair care should be the way of life, and for that, we need products that we can afford. Great quality doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg,” claimed Sarika, and we totally agree!
Curl Care Insights From A Woman Who Owns A Curl Care Brand
Sarika confessed, “Curly hair is never easily accepted by society. That’s only because of a lack of proper knowledge around the science of it. Salon technicians frequently tell you to change the way it is through some chemical treatment or the other. Caring for curly hair is surprisingly is easy if we work with it instead of fighting it. And the healthier, the easier it is.”
Another keyword to touch upon with curls? Clean! “Clean is the way of the future, whether it’s beauty, energy, travel and or our day to day life. It is the only way to mitigate the damage done so far. As a mother, I want my children to grow up in a safe and clean environment. Mindful consumerism is the future of retail, or at least how it should be. A few good products in your arsenal can help achieve your beauty goals. I’m looking forward to creating unique products to address the changing trends,” she elaborated further.
What’s Next For True Frog
“Skincare is an exciting category, and we wanted to enter it, bringing in the same ethos that is part of our haircare range. ‘Health’ is our guiding star. The skin absorbs what is put on it. So we need something safe, effective, and does not negatively impact your health over the long term. Anything we launch will be safe to the best of our knowledge,” revealed Sarika.
“The sky is the limit! We are very quick and nimble with our product formulation cycle, so we’ll keep surprising you with what’s coming next,” promised Sarika. I am personally super stoked for whatever comes next!
Photos: Instagram, Pexels