Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
My Hair History
I have been a slave to my hair straighteners for over half of my life.
I remember spending hours every night washing, drying and straightening my unruly and frizzy hair into submission. I was about 11 when I first started using my sisters’ hand me down straightening iron that took about 30 minutes to heat up and I’ve been fighting with my hair ever since.
I absolutely hated my curly hair growing up. No one in my family had hair like mine and all of my friends had beautiful, smooth hair – making me feel out of place and ugly in comparison.
For years, the only time I ever tried to embrace my natural hair was when I was on holiday. However, that was mainly because using a hot hairdryer and straighteners for 40 mins is the last thing you want to do on sweaty, sticky summer evenings. Even if I wanted to put myself through that, I would have to pray that my straighteners would even work with the different voltage.
It seems trivial but growing up, my curly hair stopped me from taking part in things like swimming at school or water fights in the summer. I was always embarrassed when people saw my natural hair so avoided it as much as I could.
Embrace Who You Are
Now, at the grand old age of 25 I have decided enough is enough and a few months ago I started researching into the best products for curly hair. I even followed some curly-haired influencers on Instagram for inspiration. It is finally time to appreciate what I have!
I started my hair transformation by just washing it as I usually would with the same products as I would use pre-straightening, and leaving it to dry naturally. I liked it but it just wasn’t right, my hair was now just hanging there; not straight, not curly, but definitely frizzy. I didn’t really know what to do with it, I just assumed that as I had naturally curly hair all I had to do for it to be curly was to wash it. Oh how wrong I was.
I soon learned that there’s a particular science to caring for curly hair and I may not be an expert yet, but I’m definitely a lot further on in my hair journey than I was 6 months ago.
The Curly Girl Method
The Curly Girl Method was created and founded by Lorraine Massey, who is the author of best-selling book Curly Girl: The Handbook*. She attests her beautiful curls to avoiding heat, banishing shampoo and embracing natural ingredients. This is just a bit of history about the method, I admit I have not read the book but, I can tell you that thousands of curly girls across the world have implemented some, if not all, of Lorraine’s tips and are now frizz-free curly queens!
My Curly Girl Routine
The main advice I have adopted for my hair journey is pretty basic but has definitely transformed my hair so far! Please note, this routine has helped me as I have dry hair that rarely gets greasy; my hair is thick but not dense, as in my strands of hair are thick but I don’t have A LOT of hair. If your hair is different, or even if it’s not, this might not help you but HOPEFULLY, I can give you some ideas of products to use and incorporate into your curly regime.
Step by step:
- DITCH all of your shampoos. I wash my hair with conditioner only. I make sure that the conditioners (AND all other products) I use have no Sulphates, Silicones or Drying Alcohols. You can check your product ingredients here: https://www.curlsbot.com/
- I brush my hair ONLY in the shower when it is soaking wet. This avoids any trauma to your hair, us curly gals are sensitive and dry-brushing your hair can lead to added breakages and frizz.
- After my shower, when my hair is still soaking wet, I apply a few spritzs of salt spray throughout the lengths of my hair. This adds texture to your hair and helps your hair to hold your curls in place.
- Following on from the salt spray, I then take a generous squeeze of styling gel and SCRUNCH it into my hair. Scrunching is important as this will activate the curl. The gel will hold to the natural shape of your curl and avoid it going frizzy and out of shape.
- Next up, it’s time to PLOP. Yep, you read that right. Plop your hair. This is the technique of compressing your wet curls tightly in a cotton t-shirt or microfibre towel (not a normal hair towel or wrap). Plopping your hair means that your curls are held tightly to your scalp. This helps your curls to stay as curly and spirally as they naturally can be. Plopping is easy once you get the hang of it. Start by laying your cotton t-shirt out flat on your bed and flip your hair over so that it all gathers in the centre of the shirt. Then position the bottom of the shirt at your neck and use the sleeves to tie and secure the shirt around your head. (find more tips from NaturallyCurly – the birthplace of plopping)
- Once you’ve plopped for 10-20 minutes remove the t-shirt or towel and diffuse or air dry your curls.
- Once dry, scrunch your hair again (just with your hands, no more gel) to release any “crispiness” left over by the gel
- Your curls should be beautiful, shiny and well-defined after this process!
My Curly Girl Products
As I said before, the most important rule for following the Curly Girl Method is to avoid all haircare products containing Sulphates, Silicones or Drying Alcohols.
Presently, I only use 3 products in my curly girl regime but honestly, as long as you have these three products you can begin your curly girl hair journey and start seeing results!
- Literally ANY conditioner with no Sulphates, Silicones or Drying Alcohols.
Presently, I use Garnier Ultimate Blends Conditioner: The Colour Illuminator with Argan Oil and Cranberry.* This was not my first choice but at the time of purchasing (Covid-19) it was the only Curly Girl friendly conditioner I could get my hands on. Despite this, I am so impressed by this product. It leaves my hair feeling so smooth and it also smells AMAZING.
Some other Curly Girl Approved conditioners include:
- Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Conditioner*
- Sainsbury’s own brand Apple Conditioner
- Faith in Nature Aloe Vera Conditioner*
- Salt Spray
I am currently using Schwarzkopf Got2B Beach Matt Texturizing Salt Spray for Mermaid Styles.* My hair is far from mermaid length unfortunately, but this stuff is so good! Fab at adding texture to my wet hair and it is really helpful for sprucing up your second and third day curls.
Another highly recommended product in lieu of this is:
- Styling Gel
My current go-to gel is one that came highly recommended during my curly girl product search. I use the Wella Shockwaves Tuff Stuff Heat and Sweat Proof Ultra Strong Hold Gel.* I LOVE this stuff; it smells amazing and it doesn’t make my hair crispy like so many other gels!
Other Curly Girl approved gels include:
So far, these are all of the products I have tried and loved during my hair transformation! I am aiming to try the others I have mentioned as all have come very highly recommended. However, at the present moment, I don’t want to bombard my hair with too much product! For now, my curls are loving the products used above and I hope, if you try them, you love them too!
I hope any other curly girls out there have enjoyed reading about my hair journey and hopefully I’ve inspired someone to ditch the heat and embrace their natural hair!
If you try any of the products I’ve recommended please let me know how they are and if you have any other products you and your curls swear by drop it in the comments and I can add it into my curly hair regime!!
Disclosure: * marks an affiliate link. An affiliate link means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.