My CGM hair journey update: 3 years+ and counting
I started my wavy hair journey using the Curly Girl Method at the end of 2017 (it was Dec 2017 to be exact – you can read it here). If you read some of my later posts you’ll see that my hair went through a transition period of some sorts. I started off with 1B/1C straight-ish hair pre-Curly Girl Method then it got really wavy and ended up 2A with some 2B strands then after that it started going less wavy and regressed to 1C/2A. Since then it’s stuck somewhere between 1B/1C.
I was so upset with how much regression I experienced that I didn’t want to continue with the Curly Girl Method. Just to be clear, I followed a modified version of CGM and didn’t follow it strictly apart from the first couple months. This was because my hair is somewhat fine/medium density and clarifying without a sulfates-based cleanser just wasn’t doing it for me. You can read more about my 2A hair journey and the products I used here. This was when my hair was possibly at its optimum health despite the colour processes it went through.
My hair went from swavy 2A back to straightish 1B within months
The last time I remember still having my waves was back in October/November 2020.
Below is a photo of my November wash day and how my hair looked wet, to 50% dry to fully dry… and this was air dried! Stupid me, I don’t really keep a diary of products I use anymore as it’s generally the same but I wish I had because I have no idea what I used then.
I went from this:
THE WAVES WERE GONE!
My hair pretty much looked like this mess from December 2020 to March 2021. I also re-bleached my ends then a few weeks after dyed it with permanent box dye and I truly believe that’s what killed it. It was never the same after that day and I was ready to give up doing the Curly Girl Method.
I told myself that I was just a “fake-wavy”, that I don’t have any waves hair and never did. It was all just “tricks” with gels and stylers. But then I decided to take one more leap of faith and jumped onto Youtube to watch more wavy girls talk about their hair journey. My all-time favourite Youtuber is Courtney from Swavy Curly Courtney. If you’ve seen her but never clicked to watch her videos… do it! Her videos very informative, helpful and she’d been through similar experiences as me and her waves are AMAZING!
My hair needed to re-balance…
Then a couple months ago Courtney released this video about her beautiful curly waves becoming less wavy and I felt somewhat relieved… I wasn’t the only one going through this! I literally found the video a few weeks ago and decided to try out Courtney’s homemade gelatin hair treatment (video below because it’s that amazing!) and OMG the results really say it all.
March 12 – sad sad hair.. waves were gone and hair was very dry and brittle so I cut out both glycerin- and protein-based products
March 29 – hair started recovering and some waves returned. I can see loose waves but they dropped by the end of the day so I thought it’s time to add back in some protein-based styling products
April 9 – I took this photo after my wash day with a homemade gelatin hair treatment, my hair was about 70% dry and still in its gel cast
Moisture or Protein deficiency?
Funny thing is I thought I knew… but I still really don’t!
My hair was dry and brittle – to me, that was a sign that it was protein overloaded but the more I think of it, I think it was severe moisture deficiency. It would also explain why my waves dropped so quickly during the day. It had also been a very long time since I last clarified my hair so most probably it was a combination of everything – no hair cut, too much glycerin products used, central heating drying it out and no clarifying wash.
The trio of photos for March 29th shows how my waves somewhat returned. This was from sticking to protein-free hair products after adding glycerin products back in. It looks loosely wavy again but there was just no hold. This is when I realised I needed to add protein-based styling products back into my hair routine. I looked through Courtney’s videos and found her homemade gelatin treatment and it worked SO WELL!
Courtney uses powdered gelatin, Shea Moisture’s power protein treatment and apple cider vinegar. I skipped the ACV because it can be harsh on coloured or bleached hair (well, it’s harsh on mine) but apparently it helps the hair saturate the gelatin better although I would say the treatment still works pretty well without it too.
I cleansed my hair with a sulfates-based shampoo then rinsed, applied the gelatin treatment for 10mins then rinsed out, applied hair conditioner then rinsed, and finished off with adding my styling products, scrunched, plopped and then diffused my hair until it was 70% dry.
My hair felt really cleansed, lightweight and how it used to feel. I’m going to try this treatment again but without diffusing to see what the result will be like. I’ll also be making a video of this and add it to my Youtube page. I’ll add it to the bottom of this post so you can bookmark this page and return in a few weeks time to see if it’s up. If not, just give me a few weeks as I’m really slow with making vlogs! Otherwise, you can subscribe to my Youtube page and you’ll get a notification whenever I post up a new video.
20/04 WAVY HAIR UPDATE: my waves are coming back!
So I decided to add a little more protein back into my hair routine and boy did it make a difference! I’ve gone back to using my old cream and gel combo (Cantu curl activator cream and ECO olive styler gel) on my second day after wash day (refresh day 1) and pixie diffused (fancy CGM term for diffusing hair in smaller sections) and I am loving the results. The waves are coming back and they look a little more defined. Still a little stringy in some bits but better than it’s been since October/November.
Products I used on wash day in order of use: As I Am conditioning co-wash (no-poo cleanser), Noughty Tough Cookie conditioner (conditioner), Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana hair mask (deep-conditioning mask left on for 3mins), Noughty Thirst Aid conditioning & detangling spray (leave-in), ECO Styler olive oil gel (gel)
I’m going to try and replicate the results on my next wash day to see what happens and will update this blog post once as soon as I can.
Have you gone through a similar experience with the Curly Girl Method?
Tell me about your wavy hair stories in the comments section below. X
PS. This post does contain affiliate links so if you decide to buy any of the goodies listed above, I will receive a bit of commission on qualifying purchases. This is at no cost to you and would help support me with the running this blog.