The Curly Girl Method has been an internet sensation for a while, but I’d never seen it. Mostly because it appeared in the form of clickbait-y “I didn’t know my hair was curly” YouTube videos, which I don’t watch or click on, on principle. It’s a weird grudge of mine – don’t ask.
However, I’ve recently seen some random blog on Pinterest or something and it mentioned “The Curly Girl Method.” The name sounded interesting, so I gave it a quick google and oh boy was I bamboozled by all the information. I couldn’t even find a simple definition, apart from that it’s some sort of “method” as its own name suggested. Fortunately, Curly Susie’s “Easy Curly Girl Method” was there to save me, and I started following her advice.
Ok girl, but I bet it’s expensive.
What drew me the most to this method, and let me trust it more than other social media “hacks”, was that it was CHEAP if you wanted to make it that way. It obviously wasn’t just one brand’s viral marketing stunt, but actual home grown advice, seeing as no particular brand was advertised, although some brands have benefited from it.
I say it’s cheap, but price can be relative. It took me about a 15 min google search to find the cheapest products I could use, and my total “shop” for completely new products, split between Superdrug and Boots (no waiting around for delivery) cost me £12. You heard right- TWELVE POUNDS. (Although I have since expanded my hair care routine by a few products, and none were ever more than £15 per one item anyway, even what I would consider the “fancy” stuff.) Your girl is working class you know.
What is the Curly Girl Method?
The Curly Girl Method is basically a set of rules and suggestions for your hair, that come from Curly Girl the Handbook by Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender . Some people swear by the exact rules set out in the book while others, like me, prefer to adjust it.
Here’s the gist of it:
- Don’t use sulfates
- Don’t use silicones, wax or anything else causing build-up
- Don’t use heat (straighteners etc.)
- Use a cotton shirt or microfiber towel to dry
- Avoid tight hairstyles
- Apply styling products onto soaking wet hair
Why? Basically, curls need moisture and silicone doesn’t let that moisture through, because they coat the hair. Also, they’re heavy and can build up in you hair causing it to get greasy quickly and not absorb water.
Sulfates are chemicals that are strong enough to take that silicone off your hair. Which is good if your hair is pretty “normal” but if you have curly hair, especially dry curly hair, it’s going to damage it.
A similar thing goes to heat, especially for Curlies who straightened their hair most of their lives, and hence have a lot of damage and sometimes loose a lot of their curl pattern.
Towels are a big no-no because they dehydrate hair and cause strands to leave curl strands and create frizz. The same goes to creating tight hairstyles with hair bands- they’ll can cause your hair to break and create that dreaded halo of frizz that just happens to be the most prominent where you tie your hair.
Finally, a big one that I had no idea about, is using styling products on wet hair. This locks in moisture. It’s good to rake your fingers through and really spread the product evenly, rather than just slapping it on randomly. Also, I had no idea gel was used for curly hair, but here I am – using hair gel.
Before and After
So, before I tell you anything about how the actual method works, here’s some photos showing you my personal results. To be honest, I’m still shook and feel like my hair is getting better with every wash. My bad hair days now, three days from wash day or longer, are what my hair would be at it’s best just three months ago.
Here’s what my hair looked like, before I started the method:
Bleaching my hair caused it a lot of damage. As you can see, it’s trying to curl as best as it can, and I did give it some help using mouse, salt spray and finger coiling. This was the most it could do, especially after being bleached, and then bleach-washed twice again and corrected to get rid of colour residue (do NOT do this at home, I have very thick hair that can handle it, waited plenty of time before application and consulted a professional hairdresser.) After the whole bleaching fiasco I realised that I did loose some protein bonds and my hair became wavy; however, I didn’t mind because it was easier to up-keep.
The first wash
So the first wash consists of stripping your hair off all the left over silicone (and seeing as my hair would feel like absolute straw after shampooing- there was A LOT of silicone that I had to take off). I followed this by conditioning. Fortunately for me, I had some silicone three deep-conditioner that I could use, but I would have been just fine with putting the £1.99 Superdrug Extracts conditioner under a shower cap and keeping it warm. I follwed by styling with the £1.99 Boots Curl Cream and 99p Boots Hair Gel. This is what I looked like.
I was so happy to see my hair spinning again, although the curls didn’t last me long at all after I got out of the shower. The first few weeks were ups and downs for me, my scalp was definitely re-adjusting and that meant I had to wash my hair every two days (my hair is dry, I usually wash it every three to four days.)
The Journey isn’t over yet.
I’m so happy that I stuck at it and continued with the Curly Girl Method. It’s a journey that I’m going to continue. This was an important part of self-care for me, as I neglected and abused my hair as my mental health deteriorated. I began this method a day after starting my medication. This is my form of an Ode to Healing. I forgot that looking after myself doesn’t have to take long and be expensive. Now I take care of my hair in a way that suits me and my curls, and gives me pamper time for myself – it can take minutes, but it can take an hour if I want it to.
What are your thoughts?
Have you ever heard of the Curly Girl Method and if so, do you use it? If not, would you like me to write another post detailing my hair wash day routine, listing all the products?