My Experience with the Curly Girl Method

13th July 2019 in Hair, Other - No Comments

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Alice Red. Wavy red hair.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been self-conscious about my hair.

I never really knew how to manage my hair’s natural wave. It’s quite dry and prone to the odd frizz-explosion, so I really struggled to get enough definition to rock a curlier look. Eventually, I gave up and opted for heat-styling instead. I loved the result, but my hair is so thick that would take an hour or more to achieve – not to mention the amount of damage it was probably doing.

Last year I came across Gillian McLean’s video: ‘I Didn’t Know My Hair Was Curly‘. That’s when I learned about the Curly Girl Method, and came up with a new action plan to get the most out of my natural texture and reduce the amount of time I spent trying to dry and style my hair. Ten months later, I’ve pretty much nailed my routine. Here’s my experience:

It’s more expensive.

The first thing I noticed when I was filling up my online shopping cart with new hair products is how much they cost. As much as I love buying new beauty products, I also love finding a bargain or taking advantage of a good offer; and it’s much harder to do that when you have a limited choice of products. I get most of my hair products from Cantu* at Superdrug. They’re affordable, but still on the higher side of drugstore prices, and (unlike other brands on the High Street), rarely on any kind of special offer.

Your hair will look worse in the short term.

After I stopped using shampoo, my hair looked like crap for months. It felt greasy even after I washed it,, and I was pretty tempted to go crawling back to SLS. I watched so many people on YouTube say their transition period lasted for weeks, but for some reason mine lasted considerably longer. (Probably because I only wash my hair once or twice a week, but still.)

Things improved when I discovered Palmers Co-Wash Cleansing Conditioner*, which somehow makes my hair feel clean even though it’s basically a lightweight conditioner. When I have a lot of product build-up and need something more intense, I use the Cantu Sulphate-Free Cleansing Cream Shampoo*.

If you’re using less heat, you need less product.

I still forget that I don’t need to pile on the serums, hair mousse, and curling cream anymore. I can get away with a drop or two of Argan Oil*, and sometimes even that will look like too much product. When I was using more heat to style my hair I needed all the help I could get – but now I don’t. This is a habit I need to shake off.

Find what works for you.

I love the Curly Girl Method… but I only follow it about 80% of the time. After some trial and error, I realised I didn’t need to follow every single step. I still reach for a towel instead of a t-shirt to dry my hair, and I brush it when it’s wet with the help of the Cantu Coil Calm Detangler Spray* and a Wet Brush*.

I do follow the rules when it comes to buying hair products; and typically avoid silicones, sulphates, parabens, and anything with a high alcohol content. Using these products and less heat has done wonders for my hair. Oh, and sleeping with my hair up has been a real life saver – I wish someone had told me to do that years ago. It’s the only thing that stops my hair looking flat and straight in the morning.

It will all be worth it.

It’s been ten months since I discovered the Curly Girl Method; and my routine for washing, styling, and drying my hair is significantly shorter. I used to really dislike my natural curl pattern – but now I’m working with what I have, it’s putting up less of a fight. I’m using significantly less heat, which means my hair is much healthier, and had a chance to grow longer.

Do you follow the Curly Girl Method? Are you thinking of giving it a try? Let me know in the comments.

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Alice Red

29 year old photographer and makeup hoarder from Manchester. Read More

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