I have the most curly, dry, frizzy hair…its a nightmare! Well it was until I learned how to care for it properly. I grew up in a house of straight haired people so no one had any idea how to deal with my hair. Brushes being dragged through it while I thought I was going to get decapitated. Seriously, if you don’t have curly hair you have no idea.
It was only recently that I learned how to actually care for my hair, I’d like to point out I am 30 years old and have a kid and I had no idea how to enjoy my curly hair. I hated it, and that’s putting it mildly. Id go to the hair dresser for a trim and leave crying because my hair was a disaster, not a disaster if I wore it straight but being honest I don’t have the time or patience to straighten my hair every single day. I always lusted after the beautiful curly hair that was on tv, think Grace from Will and Grace. I was at the point where I just shoved it up in a pony or a bun and now I can enjoy my curls.
It was my daughter that actually told me she loved my hair when I took time over helping it curl and wanted me to wear it like that every day. Now, I have to point out, for me to get beautiful curly hair it took me about an hour or at least it felt that way. I only did it if I had a big thing to go to, party or some such. I would have put every product I owned in it then defused it and slapped gloss of some sort on. Oh boy my arms would have hurt, I didn’t know how to use a defuser properly but I got the results.
I discovered the Curly Girl method by searching the net and learned about the no-poo method of washing, this is where you don’t use shampoo as apparently it is too drying for us curly girls so instead you wash with only conditioner. My scalp doesn’t let me away with this so I use a sulfate free shampoo only on my scalp/roots and then use conditioner on the rest of my hair (conditioner is also sulfate free). After washing do not use a towel to dry your hair, scrunch dry it preferably with a microfiber cloth. A regular towel will over dry your hair out and that extra bit of moisture is needed. NO HEAT. Let your hair air dry. This one wasn’t new to me, I took a year off from heat on my hair because it was really badly damaged from bleaching and I wanted it to get all better.
Next thing we should do is ditch silicones, pretty much any of the product ingredients that end in cone are silicone. This one I found hard but there are water soluble silicones out there which we can use – any cone which has PEG before the name indicates that it is water soluble. In discovering that silicones are a no no I also found out something no one ever told me and has pretty much saved my curl….use gel. Seriously, why didn’t I know this?! Oh yes, no curly friends or family. No one to teach me. I have had the internet from I was 18 years old and never in my wildest dreams would have thought to look up how to look after curly hair. I thought that the frizzy mop I had was what I was destined to put up with. In primary school there was a song to the tune of ‘The Teddy Bears Picnic’ about how if you went round to my house you’d see me turned upside down mopping the kitchen floor. Anyways, back to the hair gel. You put it in your hair when its wet, a massive big blob of it. All you have to do is scrunch it into your hair then leave your hair to air dry. Don’t touch while its drying. Not even to see if its dry! HANDS OFF!!! You can crunch the gel cast once you know for sure the hair is dry to soften the curls if you dont like that wet look that gel leaves but make sure only to scrunch your hair to do this. Don’t rake your fingers though it, scrunch it towards the scalp very gently.
You don’t need to wash your hair every day, this was new to me also. I always had in my head that I’d used a product in my hair one day so needed to wash it out the next, not aware that curly hair doesn’t like to be washed every day. This has also helped me alot. Now, when I wake, I spritz my hair with water then scrunch it up and leave it to dry. The gel reactivates, ITS MAGIC!!
Last thing for me is NEVER EVER EVER brush your hair. This was the most amazing thing I learned from all of this. We are programmed to brush/comb our hair every day, not if you are curly. The only time to run anything though your hair is when its wet and all that should be used is your fingers or a wide tooth comb, never brush your hair when its dry. Curly hair is fragile.
I now have a wonderful relationship with my hair and it doesn’t give me anywhere near the heartache it used to. I actually cut my own hair now using the ponytail method which, although isn’t Curly Girl approved, works for me brilliantly.
I wanted to share this with everyone of you girls out there that have struggled like I have. 30 years it took me to finally be able to embrace my curls but here I am, proud to be a Curly Girl!!!
P.P.S. I also use leave in conditioner after every wash. Sometimes instead of gel I use mousse but it doesn’t have as strong a hold and other times I use a curl milk, I think its called, which I use on its own or mix with the gel or mousse. I use these 3 different products depending on how I want my curls to sit. Its all personal preference what products you use and don’t be afraid to experiment to see what is right for you!!