I finally (cheap/free shipping took almost a week!) got my Curly Girl book and $18 micro-fiber towel. And I read, read, READ that book like it was a cheap romance novel. Again and again and again.
The Curly Girl method is pretty simple.
- Don't wash your hair.
- Don't EVER brush your hair.
- If you must comb your hair, use a W I D E-toothed comb.
- Don't blow dry your hair, it DRIES your hair as it...well, dries. If you must dry, use a diffuser.
- DON'T TOUCH YOUR HAIR for at least one hour after you style it.
- Your hair is a fiber - just like that $200 sweater you obsess over with its care and maintenance - treat your hair like you would that sweater.
Don't wash your hair with shampoo as it is mostly composed from sulfates which is very drying to the hair. Curly hair is DRY and needs moisture. You "wash" your hair with conditioner: apply at the ends first, then rub around your scalp with more conditioner to get the crusties off your scalp. This is not as gross as it sounds. Before CG, I usually only washed (put soap on) my hair once, maybe twice a week. And I do wet/condition it every day so it's not a huge deal. For me.
Don't brush your hair because brushing causes your hairs to separate and balloon into a BIG HEAD FRIZZ FEST. I actually haven't brushed my hair in years so I knew this one.
I usually use a wide-toothed comb in the shower to distribute my conditioner. Then I'd use it again to distribute my silicone or dimethicone glosser/de-frizzer gels/serums. So basically, I was separating a lot of my curls making my hair big and globbing all those -icone products into it. Fun fact from the book: don't use -icone products on your hair because it builds up over time and dulls your hair. Thank you book, I'd been using that crap in my hair for at least 10 years. Now I know why I would get mad at those products for LYING TO ME and STEALING ALL MY DAMNED MONEY. -icone bitches!! You are a LIAR John Frieda!!
I usually did not dry my hair because it takes too dang long. I did dry/diffuse it when I was trying out that plopping method from my last post. My hair looked ok but still frizzy. And still a bit on the large side. Anything was an improvement from it's BEFORE CG state. (too bad I did not think to take photos)
The Don't Touch Your Hair rule is kicking my ass. I find myself chanting "donttouchyourhair, donttouchyourhair" on a regular basis. I still touch it to move a curl or separate a mega-curl (three or 4 of those suckers will twist together) but you still have to watch it. When you separate the curls, the hair grows. It grows bigger on the sides - not the top so you end up with a lovely Roseanne Roseannadanna hair do. NOT attractive.
The sweater analogy is spot on and I appreciate that lesson. For all of the time I spent bitching about my hair, in retrospect, I was just not very nice to my hair to begin with. I did do conditioning treatments from time to time but not a whole lot else that was GOOD for my hair. I spent more time (and money and energy) letting false claims on the front of a package sway me instead of knowing what to look for in the ingredients. NOW I KNOW.
I had the rare chance to get the hell out of boyland - ALONE - so I took it and RAN to the H&B section in Walmart. I read every freakin' label of moisturizing conditioners on the isle and most of them contained things CG's should not use. That's when I went full-on press to the ethnic hair care products. Trust me, that's where all the GOOD STUFF is hiding. I settled on an olive oil deep conditioner treatment pack and a bottle of their regular conditioner.
For my clear gel needs (colored gels build up over time and make hair look dull) I went with the Aussie brand because the other two clear gels with appropriate ingredients were in smaller containers with higher prices. I like it, it doesn't "crunch."
I also purchased some lavender oil to make the lavender mist spray from the book. I'm still not really sure what to do with this according to the CG method. I do use it before bedtime to tame the bush into my sleepy-time pineapple hair do (a ponytail on the top of your head). The lavender smells wonderful and comforting. Very nice at the end of the day.
My new CG hair routine is pretty simple. When I get out of the shower and dry my hair now, I blot it instead of wringing out the water. I think that's helping to keep my hairs from separating. I use an "accordion" motion, hanging my head to the side and push the towel into the length of my hair until it touches my head. When that's mostly dry, I use the same motion to put on my gel. My hair kind of falls into its "this is where I'm gonna lay dammit" areas and then I just carefully move curls around, smooth or re-curl with the finger twirl and PRESTO! Hair is done!
I do use some small hair clips to lift the curls around my crown so I don't have flat head. The clips are cute so I don't worry about wearing them around while running morning errands and usually take them out when I get to the office.
I have found that my hair does still have some frizz to it but I'm not going to freak out about it just yet. I've only deep conditioned once (you would not believe how HOT I look with my hair all wrapped up with plastic wrap) and my hair's been pretty dry for a while. The CG book says that the method is not a miracle and should take about three weeks to get your hair where you want it. After 4 days - I'm pretty damned pleased so I'm stoked to see what three weeks will look like.
The most expensive thing I bought for this was that damned $18 towel. The towel part works just fine, but the smaller size does not allow for plopping action (read: I can't quite figure out how to wrap a rectangle on my head - squares are no problem). After blotting with the towel for a few days I doubt I would go back to plopping. (Not until my hair was very long anyways.)
Visit this website for tons of info on curly hair: http://www.naturallycurly.com/
Most importantly - embrace your curls, 'cause those things ain't goin' anywhere anytime soon.