Updated: May 13, 2021
If you have made it this far chances are you (or a loved one) have curly, coily, or wavy hair. Perhaps you have been looking after your natural hair forever or maybe, like me, you tortured your hair into your 30's (or beyond) and have absolutely no idea how to even start caring for it. If you are the later then keep reading.
Growing up I never really knew I had curly hair. I would of described it as frizzy, fuzzy, bushy but never, ever, curly. At 15 I got my first hairdryer and straightener and from that day on I would religiously force my hair into some sort of poker straight hairstyle, every morning (and maybe again in the evening) for the next 15 years. I mean what other choice did I have. There was no real help for curlies back then. Every once in a while I would stick a little, or a lot, of mouse in my wet hair and hope for the best, but that rock hard, wet look was never in fashion and so back to the straighteners I went.
Now? Well now I embrace my curls everyday.
One day not too long ago I stumbled across the curly girl method. I spent hours figuring it all out, trying to get my head around all this new information. Ordered some stuff online to get me going. I have never been so happy with hair as I am now. Of course there are so many different ways to care for curly hair but what I am sharing with you, is what worked for me.
So here are some of the basics of the Curly girl method.
At its simplest the CGM is being kind to your hair. Cut out harsh chemicals like silicones, sulfates and parabens. Switch from shampoo to co washing (conditioner washing). Avoid heat and styling tools and brushing your hair.
To start you will need a conditioner to co-wash and to use to condition your hair, one styling product and an old cotton t-shirt or micro fiber towel. Yes that is it. It can be that simple. Choose a conditioner and styling product that does not contain any of the "baddies" mentioned above and lets move on to the how!
Since you are switching to co-washing, you are going to need to work a little harder to get your hair squeaky clean. Grab your conditioner and start scrubbing just like you would with your shampoo before but keep going for 5 minutes or so. Rinse all the conditioner out, then use more conditioner to condition as normal. At this stage ypu can either finger comb to remove tangles or use a wide tooth comb very gently. Finally one more rinse, scrunch out the excess water with your old t-shirt. Now we can move on to styling.
Styling is quiet simple really, you grab your gel add a blob to your hands rub them together to distribute and start scrunching. There are a few other techniques you can try such as raking, roping or praying hands. but scrunching works fine to start with. Now all you need to do is dry it. you can let it dry on its own (air dry) or if you have one pick up your diffuser and hover around your head to speed it up.
Once dry your hair may be hard this is called a cast. give your hair a scrunch to break the cast and reveal the soft curl beneath.
Be patient with your hair, it is going to need time to adjust. It will transition from from your old routine to your new one. It may take anything from a few weeks to a few months, but it will start to improve in time. In the mean time there are a few DIY clarifying methods to try. Take lots of pictures, you might not notice the tiny improvements everyday, but take a look back to a few weeks before and see if you notice the difference.