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My Experiment With "Curly Girl" Hair Care Method
I've recently discovered the "Curly Girl" method of caring for and enhancing natural curls, and decided to give it a try. This is my progress diary.
The "Curly Girl" system of embracing your curls is very different from a mainstream hair care routine.
According to CG, you're not supposed to use shampoo, terry-cloth towels or comb your hair ever! Instead, you wash your hair with conditioner-only and take great care to keep it moisturized.
I haven't fully formed my opinion, yet, but it wouldn't hurt to try, yeah?
I'm Conducting This Experiment According To:
This is the book I'm using as a blueprint for my new hair care routine! It's full of pretty curly haired girls, helpful advice and accounts of curly experiences by women from all walks of life.
Never Combing Your Hair? How Do You Feel About That?
Never Combing Your Hair? How Do You Feel About That?
Curly Girl Diary, Day One
I've washed my hair with conditioner, then scrunched some more conditioner into it and left it to air dry. Not using any hair gel as I don't have the right kind of gel around... maybe next week.
* Doing that first wash at 8 PM was a colossal mistake! It's now half past midnight and the hair is not even getting close to dry... I don't want to ruin my hair by sleeping on it wet.
* Just after the one co-wash I'm developing these crazy, ropy corkscrew strands, especially on the right side... I knew there were some curls hiding behind my combed waves... but the corkscrews are unexpected.
Curly Girl Day Two vs Before
You can see in the "Before" picture that my hair started out wavy and overcombed, forming this triangle I'm not too fond of. Now I'm really happy with how the hair looks from the back.
One thing I find very difficult is not to mess with the hair or run fingers through it. Doing that will guarantee frizz galore!
I Am Using This Silicone-Free Conditioner
Nice smelling and moderately moisturizing conditioner. Doesn't grease up my hair even when I use a good portion of this as a leave-in.
Basics of the Curly Girl Method
Wash your hair with sulfate-free, silicone free shampoo or conditioner.
Condition your hair well while wet. This is the only time you're allowed to finger comb the hair.
Remove extra moisture by scrunching the hair with an old t-shirt or a paper towel. I used the latter.
Scrunch in some gel. The gel should be silicone free and alcohol free. I didn't follow this step!
Let your hair air-dry
Entering the Second Week of Curly Girl Experiment
Throughout the week I've kept with the routine of wetting the hair and scrunching it, sometimes adding more conditioner. I'm not quite yet at the point where I'm ready to walk out the door with the hair I wake up with!
In the picture you can see my hair after its second co-wash & air dry. Yes, I'm fully washing only once a week, and the hair seems mostly ok with it. Maybe next week I'll post a pic of 6 day hair to compare!
You can see there's even more curl than last week, but a but of frizz too. That's from messing with the hair after it dried.
Curly Girl Routine Week 3
This is week 3, and as promised you can see my 6 day hair from the last wash, compared to freshly washed and dried hair.
As you can see, it looks almost identical, no greasiness or grossness of any sort. You can see a bit of a frizzy halo on top of my 6 day hair, though. Mind, this is conditioner-only. I still don't use any gel!
Greasy Disaster at Week 4 of (Modified) Curly Girl Routine
This week I've decided to do a hot oil treatment before weekly my co-wash, as many curlies rave about them!
I've used Weleda Rosemary hair oil, heated it, scrunched it into my hair and held for tow hours. Then co-washed. Result? Greasy disaster!
Yeah, I guess hot oil treatment is not what my hair needs. It looks nice enough on the bottom with defined and hydrated curls, but the top of my hair is a flat greaseball.
Lesson learned - use oil sparingly and never on top!
Rosemary Hair Oil - Not So Great as Hot Oil Treatment!
Aside from its failure as a treatment, putting a bit of this oil as a styling product worked rather nicely for me to soften the hair and add curl definition.
Has a strong herby scent that I rather enjoy!
One year later - still doing curly girl
It's been a little more than a year since I've first wrote this page, and guess what? I'm still on my modified version of the curly girl routine. It works for me.
Washing: I've settled into the routine of washing my hair once a week with a sulfate-free shampoo, loading the hair with conditioner and combing it out, then I wash out most of the conditioner and plop the hair into a t-shirt.
Drying: I let my hair sit in the plop for about 20 minutes and then either let it down to air dry, or blowdry it on the cold setting. After the hair is dry I scrunch in a bit of coconut oil for the shine. I never go to sleep with wet hair, either loose or in a plop, because it makes my hair crazily stick out in all directions!
Sleeping: With shorter curly hair, sleeping is not a problem - pineapple it and you're good to go! My hair is longer now, so I braid it for the night. In the picture above you can see my hair just after I let it loose from a braid.
Turbie Twist is a huge time saver!
Wrapping my hair in a Turbie Twist after washing, and keeping it up for 30 minutes or so, drastically reduces my hair's the air-drying time. It also allows me to easily remove extra conditioner from my back. Curly hair needs lots of conditioner, the back does not!
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