curly girl method

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I am so intrigued by this Curly Girl Method and I am only about 10 days in. I wanted to share my results/process so far with anyone who is feeling the way I was feeling about my hair.

Here’s my hair story.

What? You don’t have a hair story?! Just go along with me for a moment.

As a toddler I had curly hair like a lot of toddlers do. It had ringlets and my mom, who has straight hair, said people would often ask if she had curled it. Like anyone in the history of ever has had time to curl a 2 year old’s hair on the regular…

Anyway, the curls faded into waves and often got brushed out because we didn’t know what to do with them so I had a sort of fluffy look for a while.

some wild curls
sassy curls
the fluffy look

As a preteen, it started getting curlier and I learned about scrunching. However, the flat iron was all the rage at this point. Many times I even had friends iron my hair…with a clothing iron on an ironing board. I would wear it natural sometimes….though I considered it a more casual look compared to “fixing it” and wearing it straight. I felt like curly hair went with hoodies or yoga pants and straight hair was for formal dances, senior pictures etc.

In college and my early twenties I really embraced my natural hair. During this time my flat iron bit the dust, Taylor Swift hair was a thing, and my boyfriend (now husband) mentioned he liked it curly best. In this stage I only wore it natural and to fancy it up I would sometimes curl over it with a curling iron for definition.

No curling iron here, my curls had better definition back then – circa 2011

2014 ish in the August humidity and still less frizzy than it became in recent years

I feel like I had good hair days during this stage! I wasn’t following any curly girl method, but getting it wet and scrunching with a gel was enough.
Somewhere over the last few years (around the time I had kids) it started becoming more wavy than curly. And it began to look frizzier.

hair starts getting unmanagable–here I have a 15 month old am 5 months pregnant so I blamed hormones
Thanksgiving 2018 – this picture is what motivated me to look into a better routine for my hair

Both my boys have curls and people constantly ask me where they get their curls. I usually tell them… “oh I have kind of curly hair.”  At which point people say ahhhh you straighten it.

This happens weekly ! I looked back at pictures and realized my curls were barely there anymore..not even noticeable. I had waves and frizz. Not only that but it was so unhealthy and tangled all the time.

I would end up with such “rat’s nests” while showering that I’d often be in there until the water ran cold trying to sort through it. On occasion even crying from frustration and having to rip out knots.

I tried deep conditioners, detanglers, more expensive mouse and gel. My hair stayed the same.

What had gone wrong? Too many years of sulfates in shampoo? My brushing to detangle? Could it really have been the pregnancies? Was it heat damage from diffusing?

I started doing a little research on nursing my curly hair back to life and I found the Curly Girl Method. Full disclosure, I haven’t even read the book yet. What I did read were dozens of really amazing curl transformation stories with pictures that did not seem real. So I decided to give it a go.

Here is a basic idea of the method:

  • Wash your hair one last time with shampoo, and then get rid of it.
  • Get rid of the brush! (As a curly headed person I knew not to brush when wet or risk confusing curl pattern/frizzing the curls, but I will admit to often times brushing it out with spray detangler when it was dry before the shower—not any more.)
  • Buy a silicone free conditioner and use it to “wash” instead of shampoo. Just massage into scape with fingertips and rinse.
  • Use a generous amount of the conditioner all throughout hair and detangle with fingers or wide tooth comb while in the shower. (I bought this and it is a GAME CHANGER coming from someone who has been reduced to tears over my mess of hair.)
  • Rinse out most of the conditioner but leave some in. Do not wring hair. Scrunch water out with a t shirt, do NOT touch hair with a towel.
  • Apply product to wet hair, not damp hair.
  • Now stop touching it. Let it air dry, diffuse it, plop it (more on plopping below). Just leave it alone as much as you can. Touching equals frizz.
  • Trim hair regularly and/or see a stylist who specializes in curly hair.

So that is the curly girl method. Now here is what I do, what I use, and how it has worked so far.

  • I am washing hair every other day. I “wash” with this silicon-free conditioner
  • I add more conditioner and slowly comb my hair with my wide tooth in-shower comb. I part my hair at this time so I don’t have to touch it as
    much after shower.
  • Once it’s completely detangled I do the “squish to condish” method. This means I sort of squish and scrunch in the conditioner to make sure it’s all over and to get curl clumps to start.
  • Once shower is over, I flip my head over, still in shower but water off, and still with slightly conditioner-y hands, and I scrunch out as much water as I can. 
  • I grab a t-shirt that I have hanging by my towel and then use it to scrunch out a bit more water so it isn’t dripping.
  • It should still be pretty wet, and with head flipped over, I add in my product (Miss Jessie’s Jelly Soft Curls) all over with a scrunching technique.
  • I move on to a new dry t-shirt and plop. I wish I was savvy enough to provide you directions on plopping. You essentially flip your head over, gather hair as if you were doing a super high pony at the crown of your head (but don’t actually secure with a hair tie) and let it all plop down onto the t shirt, hair all piled on top of itself. Then wrap the t-shirt up and tie it so the curls are laying coiled up and secured to dry that way.
  • I sleep in this no problem and wake up to still damp curls that I briefly diffuse. Some people plop their hair for only 20 minutes and see results. The idea is–it helps your curls dry without having to fight gravity.
  • Second day I do not wash it but when ready to style, I spray it with a mixture of water and conditioner and then scrunch and let air dry.

I am not very far into this process and I do think the hair near my roots looks a bit off without shampoo. But not shampooing hasn’t been as bad as it sounds. They say it takes a few weeks for the hair to fully adjust to ditching all those sulfates in shampoo anyway.

For now, here is a little glimpse at my hair trying to be curly again. It’s not some crazy transformation but I do think my hair is better off with this method. I want to be a curly girl again!

This is actually the first day I didn’t shampoo…but I didn’t have my new gel in yet. Compared to the last year it’s decent.
Actually impressed with better curls after “plopping” the first time.
Day 5, second wash, still thinking this is better than the before!
Day 7 – did not plop overnight, instead washed hair in the AM and had to diffuse for forever
Day 9 – plopped overnight again..maybe too much product but happy with the curls still.
still day 9 – roots a little bogged down with product, it’s work in progress!

And that’s where I’m at now. I will post again at the 1 month mark.

Please let me know your experience with this method if you have tried it! Or join me in the process if your curly (or once-curly) hair feels like it could use some TLC.

And bless you if you have straight hair and took the time to read 🙂

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