Curly hair can be a lot to handle! From different patterns to unique textures, it can take some time to figure out what works. Many products will react differently to your hair than someone else’s, so there are even more variables to consider when you have an unpredictable hair type.
So, let’s begin by understanding what it means to care for curly (or wavy) hair types.
The Curly Girl Method (CGM), or Wavy Girl Method (WGM), are specific methods of caring for patterned hair, focusing on how you cleanse, condition, and style. The Curly Girl Method also aims to use gentle products with nourishing ingredients.
Right before you begin the CGM, you’ll want to make sure that you wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo, followed by a lightweight conditioner. You want to make sure that your hair gets a fresh start and that you no longer have any remaining buildup of product and oils. Curly hair types thrive in their natural state, so leaving excess buildup on your hair will only limit your hair pattern’s potential.
Once immersed within the CGM, be sure only to use sulfate-free shampoos or “low-poos.” They contain very mild surfactants, the cleansing agents found in shampoos, soaps, etc. Also, while we’re on the topic of things that can further dry out curly hair types, try not to use super hot water while rinsing your hair!
For curls to bounce and shine, you need to ensure that they’re receiving an optimal amount of moisture and hydration. After cleansing your hair, apply your favorite sulfate-free conditioner section-by-section. Make sure that you’re evenly coating all of your strands to avoid random spots of frizz later on.
Fun Fact: Curly and wavy hair types are the one exception to the rule that states you should never brush your hair wet. Due to how much these hair types are prone to dry and tangled strands, allow the conditioner to sit on your hair for about 5-10 minutes prior to detangling with either your fingers or a comb.
Now, this is where the CGM really takes effect! When you’re done in the shower, don’t go right into drying your hair. The more saturated your hair is when you apply curl products, the bigger the curls, or “clumps” will be. If the hair is rung out, you’ll get a lot more but much tighter curls.
You’ll want to begin by applying a moisturing product, such as a leave-in conditioner or curl cream, before your “lock it in place” products like gels and mousses. Rake the conditioning product into your hair. Then, with what many experts call the “praying hands motion,” apply your second styler with hold. Finally, scrunch your hair in upward motions to create the desired look to your curls.
Once you’ve applied your product, you can either let it air dry or diffuse with a blow dryer for maximum volume. Pro Tip: Diffusing your hair while it’s upside down will create even more volume.
Additional Styling Tips
- When you do decide to wrap your hair up in a towel, opt for a microfiber one. By making this switch, you’ll significantly reduce the opportunity for breakage.
- If you want to multitask save some time while getting ready after a shower, try out the “plopping” method. It’s way to properly wrap your hair up that’ll enhance your curl pattern rather than crush it. Learn how to properly form the technique HERE.
- Use a silk pillowcase - it’d be even better if you can sleep wearing a silk bonnet too! Curly hair types are super fragile and prone to breakage, so you want to avoid all of the friction against your sheets. Click HERE to read all about the hair care essential.
- Say goodbye to hot tools! The damage caused by curling irons and straighteners can set your hair back when it wasn’t as healthy. The CGM takes time to see noticeable results, so the use of damaging tools will only delay your results.
As we always say, every head of hair is different. So, some people may see positive results from the CGM after 6-8 weeks, while others may see results after 6 months to a year. Just remember that everyone’s hair journey is unique - just trust the process!