Last week, I shared my Curly Girl story and top 3 tips for starting the Curly Girl Method. If you missed it, you can read it here. Today, I’m sharing the last 7 of my top 10 tips for starting the Curly Girl Method:
4. Wavies need to clarify with heat.
When you start the Curly Girl Method, the first thing you do is clarify your hair to get all of those silicones and crap out of your hair. The only way to do this is with a sulfate shampoo. The sulfates strip the silicones, which is why when you use sulfate shampoo and silicone conditioner, it’s a vicious cycle for your hair. (Plus, silicones don’t actually moisturize your hair; they just coat your hair and act as a barrier, leaving your hair dry and brittle… but I’ll leave the science-y things to Lorraine Massey.)
The thing is, when I clarified, I didn’t get rid of all my buildup, so my hair started looking greasy after a month (see “before” picture above). I figured my scalp was adjusting to the new routine because greasy hair is actually common when your hair is used to being stripped of its moisture every day. When I met with my hairdresser for the first time, she deep clarified my hair, which means she washed my hair with clarifying shampoo and let it sit on my hair under a plastic cap, and then sat me under a hooded dryer for about 20 minutes. She then suggested I do this about once a month because wavy hair is prone to buildup, unlike curly, kinky, and coily hair, which gets drier and needs that moisture more.
5. Shower caps are your friend. And so is conditioner.
In addition to clarifying my hair, I follow it up with a deep conditioning treatment, just as my hair stylist suggested. After stripping your hair of all that buildup, you need to give it moisture again. I thought I had to purchase special deep conditioners, but my stylist said any conditioner is a deep conditioner if you keep it on your hair long enough. So that’s what I do about once a month now. I grab my plastic shower cap, and spend an afternoon clarifying and deep conditioning my hair. The key is to leave the conditioning treatment on your hair longer than the clarifying treatment. You can also add heat to this process by covering your plastic capped head with a towel or using a blow dryer, which is the only time you should use a blow dryer with heat on curly hair. (Note: You can use a diffuser on the cool setting to dry your hair faster than air drying.) Heat helps open your hair cuticles to let the bad out when clarifying and the good in when deep conditioning.
6. Rinse with cold water.
I’ve done this for years. It doesn’t make it any less unpleasant. Since hot water opens the hair cuticle, cold water seals it (and the moisture with it). This is why, on a humid day, your dry hair will frizz out. Your hair strands are literally trying to soak up as much moisture as it can!
7. Is it CG?
This website has helped me many times while I was standing in the hair care aisle looking at discounted products. Most products are not Curly Girl friendly. This website allows you to paste the ingredients in (which is way easier on a desktop than a phone, FYI) to the web page and it will let you know if it is Curly Girl approved or not.
8. Join the community.
In addition to Massey’s book and a good hairdresser, there are many other resources out there to help you on this journey. On YouTube, I follow BiancaReneeToday, IndiaBatson, Curly Susie, real life+curly girl, and Jadeikens. There are Facebook Groups and many blogs out there. Find people with your hair type and join them. Find people with different curls than yours and tell them how beautiful they are.
9. Ignore the haters.
Just like anything in life, you will receive some hate on your decision to follow the Curly Girl Method. Maybe it’s your mom, your hairdresser, your friends, or your spouse that think it’s stupid. That’s okay. That’s why it’s so important to join a community.
10. Embrace your hair.
I remember straightening my hair as a teen until it literally fried the ends. Over and over again, I’d damage my hair with heat in an effort to look like her. I never did look like her, but I spent years hating my own hair, my own beauty because I was trying to be someone I’m not. What a bunch of wasted time!
Whatever your hair is, embrace it. Whether you’re curly, straight, or bald, rock your beauty. Because God only made one of you. Stop trying to be like her and embrace your hair. Embrace your journey. Embrace your beauty. Because you, my friend, are beautiful.