Saturday, 4 January 2020

Curly Girl Method 101

So you've stumbled across the Curly Girl Method and now you are wondering what it is? It can be overwhelming to begin with and twenty months ago when I first discovered this method I felt lost in a sea of information. I spent days scouring the internet, watching You Tube videos and stalking other curly girls Instagram accounts. It's a lot simpler when you break it down into smaller steps.

  • No sulphates.
  • No silicones. 
  • No drying alcohols. 
  • No heat tools. 

The Curly Girl Method was created by the curl Queen Lorraine Massey. She also created the Deva Cut after she went for a haircut one day and the hairdresser cut her hair wet, as is standard practice for most hairdressers. When her hair dried it was uneven. She stated this to the hair dresser who replied, "When it's wet it's even," she replied that she didn't wear her hair wet, and so the Deva Cut, the art of having your hair cut dry, curl by curl, was born. We all know that curly hair springs up when it is dry so by cutting it in it's natural state you can see where it sits and avoid an uneven finish! 

So back to the steps. 

Sulphates - Think of these as harsh detergents. You normally find them in shampoos and although they will get your scalp squeaky clean, they will also strip all of the oils in your hair therefore making it very dry. Most curly girls already deal with dry hair so the act of using a normal shampoo only adds to the dryness. You can either use a "low poo," a shampoo that doesn't contain any sulphates or co-wash. 

What is co-washing? It is short for conditioner washing. When you co wash you use a conditioner to clean your scalp. Because you don't have the sulphates to remove all the dirt and sweat you have to use your finger tips and a bit of elbow grease but it gets the job done. You would then follow up with a conditioner to detangle. More and more brands are adding a co-wash to their ranges. 

Silicones - These are normally found in conditioners and some styling products, although I've also seen them in some shampoos. Imagine silicone as a plastic that coats your hair. It appears to make it smooth and you may even find you have less frizz but whilst it is coating your hair no moisture can penetrate your hair shaft, leading to dryness. So even though your hair may look healthy, it's the silicones! The only way to remove silicones from your hair is to use a shampoo with sulphates so it ends up as a vicious cycle! There are lots of silicone free conditioners on the market and they don't have to be expensive. My favourite conditioner cost just 95p! They've recently discontinued it and I'm down to my last two bottles! 

Alcohols - There are good alcohols which can add moisture to you hair and bad alcohols. The bad ones are drying and therefore not good for curls! Some example of these are Ethanol, Isopropyl & Propanol. Look for ones like Cetyl alcohol, Lauryl alcohol & Stearyl alcohol. 

Heat tools - I spent well over a decade straightening my hair. It was at the stage where people that had known me my entire adult life didn't know I had curly hair. As a kid I had the tightest curls and it wasn't until I stopped straightening nearly two years ago that I realised I was left with barely a wave. I was distraught. As much as I hated my hair growing up, I didn't realise the damage I was doing with heat tools until it was too late. It took nearly 15 months of doing the Curly Girl Method before my curls bounced back and looked healthy again. Even now my hair is nowhere near as curly as it was. I don't know if I will ever get those curls back again but now my hair is healthy and that's what the aim of this method is. It doesn't matter if your hair is wavy, curly or the tightest of coils, they're all beautiful and if you look after them correctly, they will thank you!  

And that's it! The basic "rules" of the Curly Girl Method. It can take a lot of trail and error trying different products but if you keep it simple it doesn't have to be overwhelming. I wish I had told myself that many months ago!


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