This week I’m telling you about a change I decided to start about 4 1/2 weeks ago. And it’s to do with my hair. Now, I’ve done a post about my hair journey before, and you can read that here! But recently I found something called ‘The Curly Girl Method’, and it’s said to be the best way to embrace your natural kinks, curls and waves, and apparently makes your hair healthy and teaches you how to properly manage your hair.
Before I get into what the curly girl method is and what’s involved, I’ll tell you a little about my relationship with my hair. For years and years and years I knew I had curly hair, and I know now that my natural hair is beautiful, but for the longest time I felt like having slightly messy curly hair with a bit of frizz wasn’t very attractive (except when someone else had it… typical!) and that straight and sleek is the only way my hair should be.
I guess it was something that I unfortunately learnt from lack of representation of people with natural hair! I mean, it wasn’t until Disney’s Brave that there was a princess with natural curly (and a bit unruly.. but fab) hair! And how long did that take? YEARS.
So what did I do for years? Well, yes you guessed it! I straightened the living daylights out of it. EVERY SINGLE DAY. And when I say every day, I mean for at least an hour, every day; whether I was going out or not! And then I realised my hair looked nice when I straightened and then curled it.. so that’s what I did. Sounds silly straightening your naturally curly hair to then curl it again doesn’t it?
Yeah, I thought it was ridiculous too. And then I luckily came across the Curly Girl method and I’m so so glad I did!
So.. What is the Curly Girl method exactly?
Well the basis of it is as follows:
- Products are free from sulfates
- Products are free from silicones
- Products are free from damaging alcohols
- No heat to be used on your hair
- Use a micro-fibre towel or t-shirt to dry your hair
- Dry hair on the lowest settings with a diffuser if not airdrying hair
That’s the general jist of it I think! I’m sure I do some things that aren’t entirely Curly Girl friendly but I’m still working on my routine with this new hair care adjustment.
My hair care routine used to be:
Washing my hair every other day with whatever shampoo and conditioner was on offer – and they always had sulfates, silicones and bad alcohols in (partly because I didn’t realise how bad they were!) and then dry it on the hottest heat on my hair dryer, then brush and straighten the hell out of it. To be honest it’s a miracle I still have hair on my head!!
My routine now goes like this: (And I now only wash my hair 1-2 times per week!)
1 . Wash with Curly Girl approved products – I’m currently washing once a week with a clarifying shampoo (to get rid of any build up from styling products) and then with the Noughty Wave Hello Curl Defining Shampoo on my second wash day.
2 . I then do what they call co-washing, which is basically washing your hair with conditioner, the one I’m currently using is the As I Am Coconut Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner and I use this in the same way I use shampoo, and then after rinsing it out with cool water I apply more to the ends and lengths of my hair.
3 . I then scrunch out excess water.
4 . And then after all of that, I then apply my Cantu Shea Butter Curl Activator Cream to my hair and scrunch it in.
5 . Then wrap my hair in a ‘plop’ with a simple t shirt and leave my hair in that for about 5-10 minutes before I take my hair down.
6 . I then sort of organise my hair I guess? Haha my hair doesn’t necessarily part the same way everyday so I create my parting and then scrunch my curls with my t-shirt to remove more water.
7 . Then comes the mousse! I squirt a dollop of mousse into my hands, rub them together a little and scrunch that into my hair and curls.
8 . If my hair needs more volume at the roots (which it normally does since I have thin hair anyway..) I’ll add in some root clips around my hair part and hairline for about 30 minutes to an hour.
9 . When time’s short, I’ll then diffuse my hair upside down on the lowest settings; and if I’ve got time, I let my hair air dry!
10 . Once my hair’s dry, it then has what the curly haired community call a crunch or cast, which I then crunch out. If I want more volume at my roots I’ll fluff my hair out a bit and use my hair pick to lift my hair up and shake out, and voila! My hair is good to go!
And I know it sounds like way too much work, but in all honesty, applying all of these things actually takes less time than it did when I was straightening my hair! It’s only the air drying that takes a little longer.
And with my results I’m getting, that’s all the motivation I need to keep going! Oh, and the fact that when I’ve done all of this, my curls usually last about 3-4 days, which means waking up, shaking my hair out from my ‘pineapple’ (that’s how I sleep with my curls – scrunchie, silk or satin pillow case and pineapple hair) and about 5 minutes later, I’m usually good to go!
And if my curls are having a bad hair day, I just refresh them using a spray bottle with water and a small amount of conditioner in it and scrunch in some mousse! Simple as that!
I am still going through what they call the transition phase with my hair, in the sense that it’s going to be a while until my hair is really healthy again along with my curls remembering what to do after being washed!
Here’s before I started the curly girl method, when I straightened and then curled the life out of my hair:
Here’s my hair on my first wash day doing the curly girl method:
I know this just looks like a big mess, but I knew that going in to this, I would have to be prepared for my hair looking pretty bad for the first few washes, especially because I am still working out the best methods for washing, styling and drying my hair! Before it’d be a blitz with anything and then a load of heat damage.
Here’s my what my hair looked like for next few weeks:
And here’s my hair as of last week (fluffed out, day 3 hair and trying out new products):
There’s loads of different products out there for curly hair, and it just takes some time working out which ones work for you and your curl type, hair thickness and porosity! If you’re wondering about any of the more complicated stuff like hair porosity, hair protein etc, I highly suggest checking out Jannelle O’Shaughnessy Engels, Curly Susie and Alissa Evelyn‘s YouTubes! They are all curly girls themselves and have great channels devoted to curly hair!
So, what have I learn’t from going completely curly girl friendly?
For a start, I only wish I’d embraced my curls sooner! And I never would’ve thought it’d be this easy to completely stop using straighteners on my hair! I don’t miss them at all! Part of me still can’t quite believe I’ve managed to go all natural, and my hair has never felt so good!
If you’re wondering whether or not to try out the curly girl method of hair-care, I would totally recommend it! I will say, it will take a few months/years to get your hair to a good place where your curls don’t need as much help with products etc, depending on the current condition of your hair, but my hair has only just begun it’s curly journey and I can’t wait to continue my curly journey!
I heard a quote (can’t remember where from) which sums it up pretty perfectly:
“Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen.”
I’ll do a follow up post in a few months so you can see how much my hair has changed! Oh and if you’re wanting to start this hair transformation and aren’t sure what products are curly girl friendly, here’s an article I found helpful!
How do you like to have your hair? Have you gone natural before? Did you like it?
I know I do! haha. I might do a styling post in a few weeks, because I know that on day 3 and 4 hair (before it’s being washed) it can look a little crazy, and sometimes I just want my hair up and out of my face! Is that something you’d like? Let me know in the comments!!
Have a great week lovelies!