As long as I can remember, I’ve always considered myself as having straight hair. It was only until two years ago when I had my hair cut by my favourite stylist at my previous workplace, she told me that my hair was wavy. I’ve always had bends and kinks in my hair – it’s not dead straight so I should’ve thought about it more before and researched it. However, all of my family members have straight hair plus I’m Asian and there’s not many of us who are naturally curly girls.
As I’ve been looking after Baby Girl’s hair better and researching the different types of curl types, hair density and porosity, I think I’ve worked out her hair type and mine. The articles on British Curlies and Natural Barnet have helped me out a lot. They are UK sites and feature more products that we can get our hands on. For the US, I love NaturallyCurly.com, Hairstylehub.com and All Things Hair.
I would say that I have ‘swavy’ (straight-wavy) to wavy hair as my curl pattern falls between type 1C and 2A which is great but I really do have to work hard to get my waves to stay defined once dried. My hair density is fine and has low-medium porosity. 🙂
I always a slight wave/bend in my hair which I never really took notice of before. I always thought my hair was just a little thicker than normal and hard to manage because of the frizz. It responds really well to heat but I try to avoid heating tools because of the damage. I colour my hair a lot so I have to try and reduce the damage by cutting certain things out.
So with my new-found waves, I began researching more into the Curly Girl Method. It’s a method of hair maintenance using sulfate-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free products as these ingredients can really damage curly hair types. Silicones can build up in the hair and are known to prevent natural curls from unleashing their full potential. As my hair is fine/medium density, I am choosing to not co-wash but using a low-poo (sulfate-free shampoo) instead.
What is the Curly Girl Method?
If you’ve been looking into the Curly Girl method and not sure where to start, here’s what you should be doing… Do not use conventional hair care products as all hair care products must be free from silicones,sulfates, alcohols and more to be termed “CG-approved or CGM friendly. It all started from Lorraine Massey and her Curly Girl Handbook
Cleansing – choose to either wash your hair with a low-poo (sulfate-free shampoo) or no-poo/co-wash (conditioning cleanser)
Condition – use a conditioner that is right for your hair density and porosity, if your hair is fine-medium use a lightweight conditioner, if your hair is medium-thick/coarse, use a very moisturising and nourishing conditioner
Treatment – use a hair mask once or twice a week to treat the hair to extra moisture. Just like the conditioner, use a product that is ideal for your hair condition (curl type, density, porosity)
Styling – choose your weapon! If you have waves to loose curls, use something lightweight like a gel or mousse to define the waves. If you prefer a softer look, use a lightweight cream, lotion or milk. If you have tight curls or coily hair you will need a more moisturising product to control frizz and manage your curls. A leave-in conditioner or cream would work best on your hair.
Which curl type are you?
Check out the illustrations below to help you identify your curl type. I started off with hair type 1B with odd kinks and now have 1C and 2A hair type with the odd 2B strands.
Product ingredients to avoid…
British Curlies which has become my ingredients list bible. It displays all the product nasties you’ll need to avoid: https://www.curlsbot.com/curly-girl-ingredient-list/ – it also explains the difference between insoluble and soluble silicones and alcohols to avoid.
I really want to purchase some of the US hair care products that are Curly Girl Method approved but (1) I can’t afford it or (2) it’s only available in the US or hard to get a hold of… boo! I managed to track down a few brands available in the UK that specialise in wavy hair to try out and hopefully bring out my new waves/curls. 🙂
Brands that free from sulfates, silicones, parabens and other nasties:
not every product from some of these brands are CG-approved so use CurlsBot to check specific ingredients
- Shea Moisture
- As I Am
My Curly Girl Method routine
*UPDATE: please note, I do not follow CGM strictly so while some products are CG-friendly and approved, some may not be
Right now, this is my Curly Girl Method routine which I do about twice a week. I’m a month into CG and have not looked back! Apparently it’s said to take around 6-8 weeks before my natural curl pattern will start coming through however I can already feel my hair texture is changing. The curls are becoming more visible week by week (I’m now in week 4) and I am loving it!
Here are the products I’m using:
Cleansing/Low-poo – Noughty Wave Hello shampoo
Conditioner – Noughty Wave Hello conditioner (CG approved)
Treatment – I’m not using a deep weekly treatment but I recommend Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Weightless Masque (once weekly) for wavy hair
Styling – Umberto Giannini Scrunching Jelly (CG approved) which I am totally in love with! I also use Giovanni GNV styling mousse which is so lightweight. Both products are fantastic and do not leave a sticky feel.
I took a photo once every week to see how my hair has progressed so far and it’s really come a long way! When my hair is wet it curls much more but the hair underneath the head feels more thicker and heavier so it still doesn’t curl much but there’s a few kinks coming along so hopefully in a few month’s time, that will improve.
UPDATE: 1 year post-CGM
One year on… here’s a before and after photo for you. Now, I have to mention that the after photo was taken post-wash and styled so well as I can NEVER get my hair to look like that daily. It was a combo of using mousse to scrunch and then gentle prayer hands over the top mid-lengths with leave-in conditioner to tame the strays.
Products used in the right photo:
Cleansing/Low-poo – Shea Moisture weightless shampoo
Conditioner – Noughty Wave Hello conditioner (CG approved)
Leave-in conditioner – Shea Moisture JBCO
Styling – Boucleme Curl Defining Gel (CG approved) post-wash and Giovanni GNV styling mousse the next day
You can also see more of my hair journey and related posts below:
- 6 months post-CGM
- My type 2A wavy hair routine
- 18 months progression and regression with photos
- my updated haircare routine (2+ years post-CGM)
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