Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What Works for Me: Curly Girl!

So as I mentioned before, I have been trying to figure out my hair for the last 10 years or so. My hair was never perfectly straight, and I noticed as I got older that it started to bend more and more. I never considered myself "curly", though, because as soon as I brushed it out the curl turned into bends so I assumed, well, must not be curly hair! Plus neither of my parents have curl in their hair.
As you can see, I should've caught on sooner.
In college, I had a roommate with curly hair who clued me in; she let me try some of her products and told me not to comb it out, and VOILA! Curls! Or at least definite waves. I started using products and working the curls, but they still seemed awfully unpredictable.

In the last few years, I managed to get my waves to a point where they looked ok and were fairly consistent, but I still wished they looked better and it still felt like guessing as to how to make them look good. I did some internet research, like the "no poo" method, but all the methods depend on the person, and frankly I still wasn't sure if I could count my hair as CURLY when they aren't tight curls. I got some help from, but not as much as I wanted.

LUCKILY, my girlfriend J has legitimately curly hair. She also struggled for years trying to get it manageable (not that you'd know as she's so naturally lovely ;D), and finally found a resource that helped her out, and passed it on to me - the book Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey. And thank GOD, because it was SO HELPFUL.

I've only been doing her methods for the last two weeks, and I'm still figuring things out, but it has been a crazy change (for the better). I even have photo evidence:


I don't know what is wrong with my face in the last picture, but look at those CURLS! That's after just one week!

Here's what I do differently, based on Curly Girl's advice:
  • I've only washed my hair with shampoo three times in the last 2 weeks. Seriously. If it's looking a little greasy, I rub it gently under the shower's running water. 
  • I condition every day, about a teaspoon's worth, and wash it out. 
  • I no longer do the towel turban to dry my hair; I scrunch it gently with the towel and squeeze a little. I will confess I kind of hate it, because I hate that feeling of water dripping down my back, but I can't argue with the results. ;p
  • Clear dollar-store gel is all I use to style it. Scrunch it in, and done. It air-dries in about an hour.
  • I was using Garnier's Curl Calm Down cream (which I still highly recommend if you're not in my situation), but the conditioner I just started using (Trader Joe's NOURISH brand) is REALLY rich - seriously, the second ingredient is rosemary oil (yeah, it smells delish too). That + more moisturizing cream = flat curls again. They were soft as heck still, but it's too much for my hair, I think. I used just gel today and they're back to their glorious springy selves!
Even The Hubs has noticed a huge difference, and he loves how soft the curls are. I'm just happy because my dream has finally come true - low-maintenance hair that makes me feel gorgeous! It's a little more work, but it's still maybe 10 minutes total of my morning routine, and that's including the part that takes place in the shower.

This post isn't paid in any way (Pfft, I WISH I had enough readers to merit paid opinion posts). I wanted to post about it because while it's vain as hell, it's also exciting to finally have my hair look so good and I have to share it SOMEWHERE (The Hubs can only tolerate so much). Plus if I felt so much confusion, I figured it can't hurt to spread the word around about this great resource.
  I'm linked up at Tatertots & Jello!


  1. I tweeted at thee a photo of what my curls look like today.

    I think I'm using an adapted version of CG. I don't have the book, mine is all internet research. I'm using GVP (Sally's brand) Conditioning Balm as a conditioner wash and GVP Detangler as a leave-in, and some old gel I had from ages ago that amazingly still works. I'm really happy with the day one results, but we'll see.

    I also did wash my hair THOROUGHLY with sulfate shampoo to get all the sulfate/silicone gunk out of my hairs. :(

    1. Your internet research is probably pretty right-on, it sounds like you're following the same practices I read about in the book. My only issue with internet resources was figuring out WHAT type of hair I had - the book helped me out by providing photo examples and then hair-type-specific tips.

      If you do wash your hair with shampoo (I do it once a week with an all-natural shampoo from Trader Joe's), put about a tablespoon of conditioner on the ends first, then wash with shampoo only on the roots and rinse both shampoo/conditioner out and follow up with the regular conditioning wash.

      Don't freak if the curls aren't perfect right away - like I'm sure you saw, it takes time for your hair to completely reset itself, usually a week or two. (Also, if you straighten your hair, it has to reset itself over a couple of days again.) Yay for curly girls!

  2. I haven't done any research on it or anything. But whenever I want the curls to stand out. I just wash and condition my hair the night before and wrap it in a thin towel and sleep in it without brushing or anything. By the morning, the towel is usually in the floor, but my hair seems to have more volume and curls. I may have to look into it more in depth.

    1. I've switched to a satin pillowcase for sleeping on, and so far my curls are holding up fairly decently - not enough where I don't have to "reset" them for the day, but I think with a "refreshing spray" that the Curly Girl book gives the recipe for they COULD be. They really do retain their shape with the pillowcase, just need some smoothing too.

      Thanks for the tip, though! If the satin pillow/refreshing spray doesn't work, I'll try your idea!



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