Let me start off by saying something that I don’t know that I need to say, but I will say it anyways. I am not an expert in hair, curly hair, my hair, specifically, or in the Curly Girl Method. I do, however, have to carry around my hair and I know how I like to take care of it, I think. I am, as always, open to suggestion. And I like to share with my people what works for me and what absolutely doesn’t work for me. You are my people, so here we go.
Ever since I was a teenager, when I began to care what my hair looked like, I would try different methods. I’ve been through curling creams, oils, braids, curlers, curling wands and other methods I am sure I am forgetting about or repressing. The only consistency in my routine has been with a curling cream and a detangler. Plus, a hair spray or two and a dry shampoo.
I’ve always struggled with my hair, but decided in the last couple of years of my life to accept her for who she is and learn to love her. Add several months of quarantine into the mix and you will get me trying out different methods of how to take care of my hair.
(This photo features the first method, by the way.)
Over quarantine, I wrote a post about trying different up-dos and that was fun. I then spent a lot of time on TikTok, like the rest of the world, and I saw girls trying out this thing called the Curly Girl Method. They either found out that they had naturally curly hair or learned how to style their naturally curly hair through this process.
I was like “Psshht, I have curly hair. Let’s see what’s up.” Then, I came to a full stop when I realized I was going to have to buy stuff. I kind of wrote the method off until one day when I decided to try out the Curly Girl Method and this technique called plopping, that I also saw on TikTok, in my own way with the products and tools that I already had in my collection. This actually speaks to the Curly Girl Method trend as a whole because this routine has changed so many times and I’m actually not sure who the original source is.
This post is going to be outlining the three different ways that I have “done” my hair from pre-shower to being ready to walk out the door. None of them are textbook, I can assure you. But, I wanted to share my journey with you in case it helps you with your hair routine.
Here’s a little info about my hair before we get started. My hair hits just below my shoulder. She’s naturally brown with some white sprinkled in. The white is concentrated in the front of my head, in the middle. I have a white streak there, like Storm, obviously. From what I can see on the internet, I have either 2B or 2C curly hair. My hair gets real dry and really tangly. I have longer layers that have grown out. I usually wear my hair up, but I like a braid. I never, ever straighten my hair because it takes FOREVER. I ain’t got time for that. I usually shower in the morning because I don’t like to sleep on wet hair and I only wash my hair a couple of times a week or whenever I get real sweaty.
I usually visit my girl, Caitlin, for my haircutting and styling needs. She did my hair for my wedding, which was peak elvish goddess for me. Caitlin, if you are reading this post, I hope it doesn’t make you want to punch me or make you cry.
I tend to be pretty low maintenance with my hair when it comes to products and styling, but I still want to look nice and keep my hair healthy. But, I have also accepted the messy, unkempt look for myself.
Here’s a little info about your hair before we get started. It’s amazing no matter what it looks like.
Method #1: Lazy Girl Method
(The below photos listed from left to right feature still damp hair, dry hair on wash day and my hair several days after wash day.)
This is the method I do when I don’t care, I’m in a hurry or I’m tired. This is the one that requires little to no effort on my part.
Pre-shower, I do nothing except take my hair out of the bun that it is probably in.
In the shower, I use a shampoo and conditioner, which are always cruelty free and as clean and low waste as possible. (Here is a post about why I am cruelty free, how to become cruelty free and my go-to products.) If I am in the mood for trying something new, I will hit up TJ Maxx and see what they have in stock. My current selections are from there, but my ultimate, number one choice is anything from Shea Moisture. My shampoo right now is the Ultra Nourishing Shampoo from Argan Magic and my conditioner is the Hydrate + Repair Conditioner from Shea Moisture.
After I get out of the shower, I put my hair in a towel in order to get most of moisture out of it. Then, within 30 minutes, I brush my hair with a detangler and a Wet Brush. I always use this brush. It is magical and you can get them anywhere. My friends laugh at me for this, but the best of the best in detanglers is the Suave Kids one that smells like apples. It’s not cruelty free, so I don’t get it, but it’s the best.
After my hair is brushed, I twist it up in an old t-shirt, which is lighter and less harsh on my hair, until I need to leave the house. And that’s it!
Pros: It’s quick and easy. I only have to use a few products and my hair doesn’t feel greasy.
Cons: I lose a lot of hair in the shower because I don’t brush it beforehand, my curls tend to get frizzy, dry and don’t stay in tact.
Method #2: Curly Girl/Trying to Plop Method
(The below photos feature my hair fully dry on wash day.)
This is a method that I did that was based off of steps from the Curly Girl Method and from influencers that I follow or that came across my feed. I will continue to do this method when I have the time or maybe am going to an event where I want my hair to feel more stable. I also think this is a good routine for when my hair is feeling dry and like it needs some lovin’.
I start by thoroughly brushing my hair before I get in the shower. This usually requires some detangler.
When I’m in the shower, I use the same products as usual, but I may leave my conditioner on longer and not wash it out all of the way depending on how dry my hair feels.
I dry my hair in a towel for awhile and then brush through my hair when it is almost dry. I then apply curling cream; my holy grail curling cream is the Curl & Style Milk from Shea Moisture. I apply that cream throughout my hair, then I scrunch my hair to set the curls in place. Then, I attempt to plop my hair. I’m not good at this, so it usually ends up twisted in a t-shirt. I try to let my hair dry in the t-shirt for as long as possible when I do this method.
I used to have a diffuser attachment for my hair dryer, which also worked nicely. I don’t have one anymore, but would consider using it when I have the time and purchase a new one.
Pros: My hair looks goooooood, feels healthy and smells real good. I had minimal hair loss in the shower and there is less volume.
Cons: This process takes longer, uses lots of products. My hair can get greasy and there is less volume. (My feelings on volume vary by day, so that’s why it is listed twice.)
Method #3: Hybrid/Manageable Method
(The below photos feature dry hair on wash day.)
This is the method that I do most often because it is a mix of the other two methods.
Before I get in the shower, I brush my hair. Then, I use my shampoo and conditioner, as usual. After my shower, I wrap my hair in a towel to dry, followed by a brush-through with no product, other than detangler, if necessary. I end this routine with my hair drying completely in a t-shirt.
Pros: This is a fairly easy process. It does not require a lot of products. My hair feels and looks healthy; it’s not too greasy or too dry. There is no excessive hair loss and there is more volume.
Cons: My hair can get frizzy with this process and has more volume. (As with the last method, my feeling towards volume can vary.)
My concluding thoughts are that I should always brush my hair before I wash it and I should use curling cream whenever I want to, but not all the time. It may seem stupid, but it took going to the extremes with my routine to figure out what worked best for me. For a long time, I thought that it had to be one way or other. Either I do the full process or no process. But, I think the right process is the one that works best for you, your hair and your lifestyle. I have been trying to figure this out my whole life, so it is nice to feel content in my process.
I hope this gave you some insights, ideas or at least made you laugh. Should I tackle skincare next? Lord, help me.