This January I incorporated a bunch of techniques that I learned from the 2nd edition of Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey. I started using a botanical conditioner which I make myself to wash my hair and as a leave-in, plus stopped using combs and brushes to instead only use my fingers to detangle and style. After about six months of using many of the techniques learned, I’ve come to some of my own conclusions about this curly hair care method for my own hair.
Prior to switching over to the Curly Girl Method, I was doing a no shampoo regimen which contained clay washes to cleanse, herbal hair rinses, apple cider vinegar and green tea rinses, as well as natural oils. Although I was able to maintain the health of my hair during this time and loved using so many herbs in my hair care, my hair wasn’t retaining the maximum amount of moisture that it needed. Reincorporating a conditioner with herbs was crucial.
I decided to make my own conditioner to avoid consuming tons of plastic bottles, eliminate chemical ingredients that I did not want, and save money. I currently am using clay hair washes or the DIY Green Tea Cleansing Hair Rinse to clarify my hair as needed. Although conditioner alone has been enough to keep my hair clean and fresh.
2. Length Retention
I honestly feel that conditioner washing my curls 2-3 times a week along with no longer using combs or brushes has contributed to maintaining hair length as my hair grows. Even using a seamless wide tooth comb was breaking my hair prior to this switch. I am not 100% breakage free, yet I believe I am at least 95% breakage free compared to the days I used to see tiny broken hairs in my comb. Finger detangling and styling did take some time to get used to. (Updated: Why I’ve added a seamless wide tooth comb back into my weekly hair regimen in this article.)
3. Natural Gel Styler
Adding a natural gel has prevented my hair from exploding into a balloon of frizz which is why I switched to doing the Curly Girl Method in the first place. I’m still trying a few natural store bought gels and also experimenting with improving my flaxseed gel formula. Regardless using a natural gel has truly improved my hair’s overall appearance. (See more natural styling gel options here.)
4. Single Strand Knots
Having tightly curly hair is wonderful, yet when doing consistent wash and go hairstyles my hair was forming too many single strand knots to mention. I spent more time during the week cutting out those little knots than I’d like to mention. As soon as I returned to doing more braid-outs styles detangling my hair became easier and single strand knots were almost completely out of sight. I’ll most likely save my wash and go styling for gigs. (My updated solution to SSK’s here!)
6. Henna is not CG, but I still use it.
I’m not using the Curly Girl Method exclusively since I’m still a consistent henna user. The benefits of henna are too amazing to go without. Although I am no longer using henna conditioning treatments weekly, monthly or bi-monthly treatments have proven consistent healthy hair benefits. When I’m not doing a henna deep conditioning/strengthening treatment, using coconut milk and a natural oil is still my favorite deep conditioner. (Here’s how I do my henna treatments.)
Have you tried the Curly Girl Method? What pros and cons have you noticed?
(Image by ioffer.com)