Both a blessing and a curse is the girl, who has curly hair! (Though I’m sure this can be said of every hair type) It was many years ago- I think I was either 19 or 20- when I finally accepted that my hair was curly and would never be straight. To be exact my hair would be like my mother’s destined to get curlier, darker and thinner. I was to struggle with dry, frizz prone locks that frankly do whatever they want.
I did a post on my old routine for my curly hair (here) like two almost three years ago. So please note that it is woefully outdated and some of the products I no longer use(Deva and the Sea Salt spray) But the past month or so I have realized that while my old routine was way better for my hair than what I was doing before, it was also far from perfect. My hair would barely last past day two of wash, which for curly hair isn’t good.
I don’t mind my curly hair(now) I really like it when it’s not a frizzy, brittle mess. Here are a few things my Mom taught me and that she reminded me about curly hair care.
The Do’s+Don’ts of Curly Hair
- Set aside your shampoo– Not for always, but since my hair was so dry my Mom suggested only co-washing my hair for a awhile. What is co-wash you ask? It’s basically washing your hair with just conditioner. In fact that’s exactly what it is. Below is my hair after I co-washed it for the first time. The only down side to co-washing is that unless you vigorously massage it into your scalp you can fail to get the dirt out of your hair. Thus using a shampoo for curly hair is required. But if you check out my old routine(linked above) you’ll see that’s what I was doing and it wasn’t working.
- Coconut Oil Mask- Basically I melted two to three tablespoons of coconut oil and then massaged and scrunched it into my hair, pulled it up and slept with it for a night, rinsing it out the next morning. (I did this last week instead of washing my hair. I will probably do a mask of some kind once a month) Below is the result- I don’t have a before picture which I apologize for.
- Wash Your Hair Once a Week- Or even better every two weeks!(If possible) I knew this but I didn’t follow it like dogma… Now I do. Once a week wash with a mask of some kind every month.
After getting the starting tips from my Mom she told me to look into the curly girl method. As I started researching it I immediately felt overwhelmed: curly hair types, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, low-poo- What the what?!? Thankfully there have been girls before me, who have been on the curly girl method for a few years and are willing to pass on their knowledge. (Though I did order the book by Lorraine Massey to read through it myself and I will pass on what I learn) I have mainly been watching different YouTubers, though my favorite so far has been Hanz Curls. And here’s what I’ve learned so far, definitely taking baby steps…
- Ditch the Cotton Pillowcases- This came as a total surprise to me, but cotton pillowcases dry out your hair!! No wonder my wash wouldn’t last till the next day. I slept with my hair up, but I’d still end with a dry, knotted patch of hair right at the back of my head. Everything I read and watched was telling me to get a silk or satin pillowcase. But silk pillowcases are pricey. So I opted to tie my silk scarf around my head instead.
- Applying Water-downed Gel In the Shower- This I got from Hanz Curls and her wash routine video. After doing a low-poo(still trying to figure that out) and applying her conditioner, she applied a lot of gel that she watered down. Then she dried it off with a t-shirt(another thing my Mom told me to start doing since towels dry curly hair out too much) and applied more gel as well as her other leave in products. I gave this a try last wash day(another curly girl term) and that’s when my hair was so freaking soft!!(see pic above of co-wash results)
- Doing a Curl Refresh In Between Washes- Another thing I didn’t know one could do. But it’s totally acceptable for a curly girl to rinse out her hair with water on day three or so after her wash. Not so it’s soaking wet necessarily, and without using any conditioner or shampoo; but just so your curls get a reset so to speak. This has been a lifesaver for me and has allowed me to stick to the once a week big wash rule.
I obviously I’m just starting this journey into my curly hair and I’m told it takes months to years to get the curly girl method to work wonders on your hair, but I’m willing to do it. Ya know since I’m stuck with curly hair. To all my curly girls out there- please pass on your wisdom to this newbie! I’d really appreciate it.
Lots of love,