It was only about a year ago that I started wearing my natural hair on a daily basis. Between April and September of 2018 I didn’t straighten my hair and instead researched the best methods to cater to my texture while also investing in the right products. Growing up I was under the impression (as many women with curly hair are, I’m sure) that straight hair was prettier and more elegant, so I opted to blow dry and straighten it every day without fail. I had convinced myself that curly hair just didn’t suit me, despite it coming out of my head that way, and instead did everything in my power to manipulate it into smooth, straight-ish waves.
It took me a long time and many youtube videos to discover that my natural hair can be pretty if I invest the time and effort into figuring out the routine that works best for me. So, for today’s post I want to talk all about the curly girl method. If you don’t know about this then I’ll link some Youtube videos below that helped me distinguish my hair type and the techniques that would work best with my texture.
Shampoo & Conditioner
I’ve decided that I am somewhere between 2b and 2c waves—not super curly, but also not visibly straight except for at the roots. My hair is also pretty thin while the actual strands are not very porous, meaning they don’t absorb that much water and are prone to being a bit dry. So, basically, I need products that will lock in moisture so that I don’t have dry ends without being too heavy to weigh down my thin hair. This means that mousse and heavy creams are out of the question and my shampoo/conditioner has to be free of silicones and parabens.
I was originally using the Shea Moisture range as my daily summer shampoo and conditioner, but recently decided to switch it up and try out the Maui Moisture range. It’s exactly what I need—free of all the harmful stuff in regular shampoo that completely destroys any sign of a curl—and also smells delicious. Because its so moisturizing it helps to form the curl almost instantly and even more so if I take the time to scrunch the conditioner into my hair rather than just raking it through during my shower routine.
Hair masks are something I always avoided growing up, thinking that they didn’t really do anything, but quickly learned that they are vital in maintaining moisture and making your hair feel soft. Technically, any conditioner can be turned into mask—it all depends on how long you leave it in—but I have been using the Maui Moisture hair mask because of its thickness. It coats my hair easily and I just leave it on while I do the rest of my shower and shaving routine. The longer it’s in your hair, the better. However, for someone with thin hair it’s important to only apply it on the the ends, otherwise it’ll build up at the roots and make the hair feel gunky and oily in the places it shouldn’t be.
I only use the hair oil when I know I’m not going anywhere and really need a deep moisturizing treatment. Usually this is done on Sunday nights when I’m getting ready for bed or spending the night in. I pump a bit of the oil into my palms, warm it up and softly run it over my hair so that every strand is coated. The Umberto Giannini No More Frizz is new to my routine, but has left my hair feeling so incredibly soft the day after, to the point where I only then realized how dry my hair was before.
Scrunching Gel Or Curl Cream
And finally, what really gives curly hair the oomph it deserves—gels and creams. You can stop your routine after conditioning and call it a day, but a good scrunching gel or curl cream will help to form the curl that much more so that the strands are smooth while also defined. Most people with curly hair who don’t use the right styling products just think they have naturally frizzy hair, when in reality, if they applied a cream or gel and let it air dry in the same position would see that they actually have a lot of shape to their hair.
As mentioned above, creams tend to weigh my thin hair down (except for the DevaCurl Coconut Curl Styler), so I usually opt for a good gel that I gently run over my hair and then scrunch. I don’t rake it through because that disturbs the curl and I rarely blow dry because that tends to add frizz. The Boho Beach Jelly is my favourite at the moment and it smells delicious without being overpowering as I find that most gel scents are.