16/02/2021

My Curly Hair Journey

As a child my ginger curls gained me the nickname 'Annie' but at some point during my life the curls just disappeared. Or so I thought. Turns out, I just had no idea how to manage my curly hair and I'd been brushing it furiously in an attempt to tame the frizz and thickness, which had only made matters worse. It took the curly girl method, a set of steps to achieve your best curls, going viral on TikTok for me to wonder, could I get back to those ginger ringlets? 

Each time I've posted about my curly hair journey I've received so many questions from others who are interested in trying to revive their curls too so I wanted to share my experience so far for those who want to get started as well. 

My hair pre-CGM | After the 1st wash | After 2 weeks | After 3 months

The curly girl method is a set of guidelines for how to manage curly hair including things like using products without any silicones or sulphates, only brushing your hair when it's wet and washing less and conditioning more. It seems like a lot to get your head around at first but I'm almost 4 months in now and it's already second nature. I haven't followed the method to the letter, more using it as a guide than a bible, and there's certain elements that I want to try in the future, but I'm taking things slow. For example, I would like to try and stop using shampoo eventually, trialling a co-wash instead, to see if this improves my curl definition.

For years I complained about my thick, untameable hair, but I quickly realised just a few weeks into doing the curly girl method that in fact my hair was only acting that way because I was constantly brushing it when it was dry. I was brushing out my curls everyday creating frizz and leaving me with only two options: tie it up or spend an hour straightening it. In fact, I used to frequently spend an hour straightening and then curling my hair to create the curls that I now know I can achieve naturally. Sigh. 

My hair as a child

One of the first things I did was switch out my shampoo and conditioner for CGM approved ones, and immediately I noticed a difference. I truly had no idea how dry my hair was until I switched. Right now I'm using the OGX Damage Remedy+ Coconut Oil Miracle shampoo and conditioner, but as I said previously I would like to transition to a co-wash and leave the days of shampoo behind. For now though I find these give my hair the moisture it needs whilst keeping my curls soft and smooth. 

When washing my hair I'll brush through it when I have the conditioner in with a wide toothed comb. When my hair is dry I'll run my fingers through it to break up any knots, but I never brush my hair dry now, it's really not a good look if I do! 

Once I'm out the shower I'll scrunch my hair to remove any excess water with a t-shirt, rather than a towel, to avoid frizz and then apply the Umberto Giannini Creme de Curl Control Cream, which again I find helps with the frizz. I'll then 'plop' my hair, a technique where you use a t-shirt to wrap your hair up to keep your curls defined, whilst I do my skincare. After that it's time for the hair gel!

Right now I'm using the Eco Style Olive Oil Hair Gel and I'm loving it! I section off my hair and use a Denman brush to get any last tangles out and then apply the gel, scrunching as I go. Now, this next step really depends on my energy and pain levels but sometimes I'll give my curls a little help by using the Denman brush to twirl them into ringlets. Most of the time however, just using the gel is enough to help them hold their shape. My hair goes back into the t-shirt after this for as long as I can tolerate it, often the weight on top of my head gets too much for my neck to handle after a while. 

I did buy a diffuser for my hair dryer at the start of the curly hair journey, but I rarely use it if I'm honest! It can take a long time to dry my whole head of hair and I really struggle with how long you need to hold the hair dryer in one position for, so I tend to just let my hair air dry. I get more frizz this way but it saves me a lot of pain and energy! To combat that frizz and refresh my curls in the days after I've washed my hair I use the Cantu Coconut Oil Shine & Hold Mist which gives me moisture and shine. 

I only wash my hair once or twice a week right now, often wearing my curls down for around 2/3 days after washing and then I'll wear it in a ponytail until I wash it again. At night I sleep with it in a really high ponytail, I should probably invest in a silk pillow case to combat frizz but right now this is working for me. I also try and use a hair mask once a week, right now I'm loving the Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food in coconut, it was recommended by so many people and I can strongly recommend it too!

At first the curly girl method seemed like a lot of extra work, but my hair is so much easier to manage now. I am so glad that the days of needing to straighten my hair for an hour to wear it down are gone. I can wake up, refresh my curls in a couple of minutes and go. I can't remember the last time in my life when wearing my hair down took such little time. I feel like I'm finally falling in love with my hair now.

I'm only 4 months into this process so I know I still have a long way to go, but I'm excited to see how much more curl definition I can get! 

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your journey, your hair looks amazing :) After straightening my hair at least once a day between the ages of 12 and 23, the switch period was really hard for me (wish it had been during lockdown!). However I am now proud that I have not reached for the straighteners in 18 months, and despite good and bad hair days, I am so happy with healthier hair and feel more myself now.
    My favourite cowash is the As I Am cowash, and I also really like the eco gels.

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    Replies
    1. I think doing it during lockdown definitely has been the best time! I'll take a look at that co-wash, thanks!

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