In the middle of last year I decided that I really had to do something about my hair. It was getting really dry and frizzy and I never bothered to do very much with it. I realised that I had never really learnt about how to look after it. Wash, condition and go was my normal routine. I rarely bothered to blow dry it, and as for styling products – forget it!
So I ended up finding out about the concept of the curly girl method. I had previously heard of the idea of “no-poo”, or not using shampoo. While I liked the concept of going back to your natural balance of oils I knew that transitioning to that would be terrible for me. When my hair gets to dirty I start to have headaches – I’m not entirely sure of how or why. because of this the first thing I do when I feel a migraine coming is to wash my hair, and then lie down in a dark room. Fortunately I don’t get them too frequently. But then I try to keep my hair clean so I don’t!
So when I read about the curly girl method, which in “no-poo” but uses conditioner to wash with instead I was intrigued. And after finding a conditioner which met all the criteria (no silicones, no mineral oils, no drying alcohols etc) I had a go. And I haven’t looked back.
The basics of this method are: wash with conditioner and scrub your scalp well using the pads of your fingers for 5-10 minutes; rinse out thoroughly; re-apply conditioner, finger comb through and leave in for a few minutes; rinse out and then add a bit more conditioner to leave-in, and any other products you want to. Also no brushing, combing or blow drying (on hot) as that can damage the hair. And definitely no straighteners!
You can use the same conditioner for each step, or different ones. I use the same one as I’m not sure why changing it would help. The more you go into the method the more involved it can become, with different methods of applying product (squish to condish or praying hands are my favourites!), investigating the porosity of your hair to better manage it, and cooking up your own concoctions to put on your hair. So I’m still just dipping my toes in this whole process.
I don’t always bother to add more conditioner to refresh my hair every morning, but when I do the curl is so much better. I’m looking alot less hair and it is generally softer and healthier looking all round. My husband laughs when I walk round with a Tshirt tied round my head after washing my hair, but it does help the curls dry curlier. (It’s called plopping if you want to investigate.)
For now I am working on getting my curls more even, as one side tends to be better than the other, and applying product over all of my hair. So I will carry on using only conditioner as I’m loving embracing the curly side of me! And it feels good to be putting effort into looking after me.
As one curly-headed girl to another, I congratulate you on taming “the mess.” Now, if we could only wear hats without the flat-top effect.
I’m not sure taming is quite the right word – respecting, enabling, or embracing might be better! And hats, yup, just don’t go there!
I don’t have curls, but I struggled for a long time with hair care! Including being in absolute tears when I first moved and the water was “hard” making my hair feel like straw. I’ve found baking soda to be a wonderful shampoo substitute, and find my hair actually dries faster without shampoo.
Kudos to you for taking the time for yourself – there’s an important lesson in that in and of itself!
I grew up in an area with hard water, so moving away to softer water was a problem for me ?