Today, I’m thrilled to bring you a guest post from my lovely friend Brenda who blogs over at Brenda Shares. As mentioned last Saturday, I’ve been trying to find some inspiration when it comes to my hair; one of the ways I’ve been doing that is trying to encourage the natural curl in my hair. Brenda has the most wonderful curly hair and was generous enough to share her tips and tricks with us here today! This one’s for the curly girls (or wavy girls, like me).
Here’s Brenda and her adorable family. Photo by Emily Knowlton
Curly hair needs moisture. When you use harsh shampoos with sulfates, you’re stripping your hair of the moisture it so desperately needs. Dry curls lead to lots of frizz. The silicones found in most conditioners are used to tame the frizz but the problem is that silicones cannot be absorbed so they’re really just a temporary fix to a bigger problem. Silicones are also not water soluble so you need a sulfate shampoo to wash them out but sulfates are too drying. See the vicious cycle?
Basically, it’s time to drop the shampoo and just use silicone-free conditioners to wash AND condition your hair. Enter the Curly Girl (CG) method. Curly Girl is a termed coined by Lorraine Massey who literally wrote the book the curly hair.
Conditioners contain mild surfactants that will get your scalp and hair nice and clean without the harsh effects of shampoo. The conditioner you used to wash your hair is referred to as your cowash in the CG world. This conditioner should be light and inexpensive as you’ll be using a lot of it. My favorite brand is Suave Naturals Coconut – other popular cowashes include V05, Trader Joes Spa and Nourish, and Tresseme Naturals. Your conditioning conditioner should be much thicker than your co-wash. A popular, inexpensive brand is Garnier Fructise Tripple Nutrition – my favorite is Giovanni 50:50.
The most basic styling products you’ll need are a leave-in conditioner and a silicone free gel. When just starting out, I suggest using a little of your co-wash or regular conditioner as a leave-in. A good beginner gel is Herbal Essence Tousle Me Softly or for more hold, try Herbal Essence Set Me Up. Check the ingredient labels when buying products – the big ingredients to avoid are Dimethicone and Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
There are also silicone and sulfate free products out there specifically designed for Curly Girls.Deva is probably the most popular brand that I know of. I would start with the inexpensive products and expand from there. Be sure to check out the product reviews onNaturallyCurly.com.
So you have your products, now you need to know how to use them. First things first, you’ll need to do a last sulfate wash to get rid of any silicones in your hair. Next, take your co-wash and squeeze a large puddle in your hands. You may need to do this a couple of times if you have long hair. I like to completely saturate my hair with conditioner so it has a nice slip while I’m washing. This ensures I’m not being unnecessarily rough on my hair. Once, you have a decent amount of conditioner in, start scrubbing your scalp with your fingertips. Conditioner doesn’t clean as easily as harsh shampoos so you’ll really have to scrub. When you’re done with yous scalp, move on to the length of your hair. I cup my hair in my hands rub my hands together to clean the length. As you rinse your conditioner out, continue to scrub your scalp. Next, put in a generous amount of your heavier conditioner. When you rinse out this conditioner, make sure to leave your hair soaking wet.
Do not towel dry your hair, do not run a brush through it. When you get out of the shower, flip your hair upside down and scrunch in some leave-in conditioner. You may wish to finger comb your hair at this point to separate out your curls. Next, scrunch in your gel. Don’t be afraid to scrunch in a lot of gel – I like my hair to feel slippery. If it feels slimy, I know I’ve put too much in. Last, using a t-shirt or microfiber towel, squeeze out the excess water. Check out your hair in the mirror and reposition any curls now before your hair starts to dry. Too much touching can lead to frizz.
Last, let your hair dry COMPLETELY. You want to gel to dry to form a cast around your curls – think of the gel as a mold. You can speed up the process using a difusser but do not touch your hair until it’s dry. Once it’s dry, scrunch out the crunch and should have nice, plump, well-defined curls.
The Curly Girl technique has really helped me to embrace my curls. Of course, I still have bad hair days with lots of a frizz but most days, I’m really happy with my hair. Some diehards may tell you to NEVER straighten your hair but I still do from time-to-time. What can I say? I like having options. If you try this technique and really like it, I suggest finding a curly hair stylist to give you a haircut that enhances your curls.
Isn’t she the cutest?! Thanks, Brenda, for all this great info.
I know I’m looking forward to giving this method a try.
***The results are in from the Keurig Platinum Brewer giveaway! The winner is….
Congratulations, Jessica! Email me at ohshedabbles at gmail dot com so we can work out the details!***
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