Embrace your curls with the curly girl methods my Curly Girl Method Quick Start Guide in the UK
Have you ever wanted to have soft healthy hair and maybe even embrace your natural curls or waves?
Have you ever wanted to have soft healthy hair and maybe even embrace your natural curls or waves? I have just recently started out on my curly girl journey. A method of nuturing and protecting your hair to achieve its best potential which then in turn enhances your hairs natural curl. It can be mind boggling to start with so here is my Curly Girl Method Quick Start Guide in the UK
The idea behind the Curly girl method is to get you hair in the best condition possible and then learn how to maintain and manage your curls.
The Curly girl method started out with Lorraine Masseys book The Curly Girl handbook a guide to Curly hair. Lorraine having had curly hair her whole life wanted to embrace her curls and teach others how to as well. There are also plenty of Facebook groups you can join and lots of advise on the internet for starting your curl journey right now.
I have always looked after my hair and clarified my hair often to remove the silicones but the improvement in condition since I have started the CG method has been amazing. In just a few weeks I have achieved bouncy curls that last days and my hair feels in the best condition it ever has.
What is the curly girl method ?
You follow the Curly girl method by doing the following,
-cutting out all harsh chemicals such as Sulphates and drying alcohols.
-Stopping the use of products that contain Silicones and waxes. These coat your hair, weigh it down and prevent moisture from entering your hair.
-Washing your hair by means of co-washing which means wash with only conditioner, or use a Lo-poo ( sulphate and silicone free shampoo )
-No heat, or styling that will dry or damage your hair.
Steps and methods to promoting curls and easy UK products to find
Curls need moisture to retain their curl. The better condition your hair is the better your hair will curl. The way to keep your curls bouncy is to get your hair in to the best condition you can and then lock the moisture in to your hair by various methods.
The very first time start with the final Wash!
Do one last wash with a final wash shampoo such as baby shampoo. You need a silicone free shampoo but a shampoo that contains a sulphate to cleanse any silicone left on the hair. Once you have done your final wash you will start with a routine of Co washing ( washing with conditioner) and Lo poo ( sulphate and silicone free shampoo) washing instead. The final wash is not stated in the Curly Girl Handbook but it will ensure hair is completely on a clean slate removing any access build on the surface just like a clarifying shampoo would do.
Deep Condition and repair
After your final wash you should restore your hair with a silicone free deep conditioner. This should be done once a week on damp hair. Wrap your hair in a plastic bag or cap and then cover by a towel to keep in the warmth. leave for 10 to 30 minutes or even an hour before rinsing. After this you can apply a normal silicone free conditioner as well and comb through to remove to detangle.
You are now ready to start a routine with your hair
Co washing with conditioner, Lo poo and Clarifying.
Your Curly Girl routine will be made up of a mixture of washing with conditioner ( co washing ) using a Lo poo shampoo ( chemical free ) and an occasional clarifying shampoo.
When you are in the shower wash your hair with conditioner as you would a shampoo. Massaging the conditioner in to your hair and scalp to remove residue. Do this a few times to get rid of any dirt particles and cleanse your hair. This is the time to comb through your curls while they are wet and slippery and coated in conditioner.
You may not want to co wash everytime as this does not suit everyone. Too much conditioner can also weigh the hair down and certain ingredients can still build up. Instead use a Lo poo shampoo in-between and be guided by how your hair feels.
-Thick and greasy weighed down? clarify!
-general wash? Lo poo.
-Needs moisture feels dry? Co wash with conditioner.
Clarifying your hair
Clarifying your hair with a non silicone shampoo in-between washes can help make your hair feel light again. If you may find that your hair starts to feel heavy with conditioner or in fact dry you must clarify it. I am using a chelating shampoo which removes hard water build up and build up from natural oils. If you want a curly girl approved Clarifying shampoo you need one with these ingredients;
- sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate or
- sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
Products with these ingredients are not a lo-poo shampoo but more of a gentle cleanser. These are not a sulphate and are used to help get rid of impurities and build up. Do this maybe every 3 to 4 weeks or when your feels it needs it. Noughty do a detox shampoo which does just this.
I am using one from the US right now Kinky Curly Come clean chelating shampoo or you could try this one from Only curls
For clarifying if you wish you can use a shampoo with no silicone but one that still has sodium laurel sulphate, this is not strict curly girl and bear in mind it can dry your hair. This can however work for many wavy hair people making it feel light again. Remember to do a deep condition after though!
You could also Try Cantu Cleansing shampoo which is a great shampoo and available in the UK.
Conditioner and leave in conditioner
After washing you need to leave some moisture in your hair by using a leave in conditioner. This is a very important step and the best way to make your curls spring in to life.
Gently squeeze out access water but not too much, you want your hair to be wet to lock the moisture in . With your head upside down, apply a generous amount of a suitable leave in conditioner so that you can see it and gently brush through.
The idea of brushing through when really wet is to get all of your hair to stick together and then slowly separate in to larger clumps. This achieves a larger curl rather than lots of separate stringy curls. You need to use a brush with close together bristles such as a Wet brush or a Denman brush.
Once you have done this with your head still up side down gently scrunch the leave-in conditioner in. You will notice your curls start to clump together again. Then plop in a towel for 10 minutes.
See some of my recommended leave in conditioners here.
What is plopping you hair?
Plopping is a method used to promote a natural curl pattern and remove some dampness.
Using a micro fibre towel or a t-shirt, postition your hair wet upside down and gently wrap. Let your curls sit in the towel gently and wrap the towel around before putting your head upright again. Let this sit on top of your head for about 5 minutes before drying. Do not use a harsh fluffy towel that will disturb your curl or cause frizz.
Do not plop your hair for too long 5 to 10 minutes in generally enough. Alternatively Plopping may not work for you so you can also gently scrunch out access water with an old t-shirt or microfibre towel.
Remove your hair from the towel and get ready to add styling product still with you head upside down. You can use Mousse, gel, or curling custard to add definition to your hair. There are even hair sprays on the market now which are curly girl friendly.
You can apply the gel with either your head upside down or upright to arrange where your parting is first. I have found applying my gel upright leaves the top section and parting with a better curl formation, again this is trial and error and everyone will be different.
Remove the towel and gently swipe gel or curling custard over your hair using praying hands. Praying hands means keeping your palms flat and gently going over the surface of the hair to distribute product. Scrunch this in and get ready to diffuse.
If you are not keen on a cast alternatively you could try a cream such as the Noughty Wave Hello taming cream.
Drying your hair.
One of the best ways to dry your curls is to let them dry naturally, this is healthy and non drying. This is however not practical for everyone and for some with hair that is not as curly may not work as well.
You need to try both and see what works for you. For wavy girls diffusing can help create a bigger curl with more volume.
Diffusing works better for me also, I use a diffuser to dry my hair promoting its natural wave and lift it from the root. Thick wavy hair can need some support whilst drying and diffusing on a low speed and low heat can help.
Keep the diffuser close to your head and do not touch the hair. Let your hair sit in the diffuser cup and slowly dry. This can be a long process and my hair and can take up to an hour to dry. In fact I am typing this while I am in the drying process. It is worth taking the time to slowly dry as my hair can stay perfectly curled for days.
For extra root lift you can clip up your roots with small metal hair clips while it dries.
You can dry your curly hair until at least 80% dry then leave it to air dry.
Creating a cast
Crunchy is good! After your hair is 100% dry it should appear crunchy. This means you have held your curl and locked in some moisture. This is called a cast and I have found this is the most important component of creating a frizz free curl.
When your hair is 100% dry you can scrunch out this crunch with your hands by gently squeezing the hair and scrunching out the crunch. You can also use a t-shirt to scrunch with to stop any fries. Gently take your hands through the roots of your hair and shake to soften the look. You will be left with soft curls or waves.
Trial and error with maintaining your routine and transitioning.
Everybody’s hair is different, Wavy hair with get greasier quicker and may find product heavy. Very curly hair will need more moisture to tame it. If you hair has a low porosity (shiny, greasy, smooth ) with closed cuticles it may need less conditioner and therefore high porosity hair ( coloured, damaged or dry) may need more to absorb into the cuticle.
It can take a long time for your hair to adjust and transition. Your hair overtime has become used to silicone and sulphates drying the hair, so your scalp had been producing more sebum to make up for this. Now you are not drying your hair out with harsh products your scalp will need time to adjust. Hence why you may find your hair slightly greasy when you first start. Combat this by using a lo-poo shampoo more than a co-wash conditioner whilst it transitions.
Where to buy products curly girl method products in the UK?
Where can I buy curly girl products in the UK?
As part of my Curly Girl Method Quick Start Guide in the UK I have listed in above photos products that can be found in UK supermarket and drugstores like Boots and Superdrug. There are also some websites and new brands that are cropping up in the UK. I am always excited to try new products as I go along. Take a look at these products and websites for more help.
Here is some of my favourite products that I purchase from Amazon, always check as prices can fluctuate. You can sometimes buy some of these in Superdrug or Boots
Co wash conditioner
My favourite deep treatment.
For more Curly girl approved leave in conditioners see here.
Try the Noughty range of curly girl products which are 97% natural.
Take a look at my Cantu Review here these products are all available in the UK.
Take a look at Only Curls a London based company whose mission is to ditch the chemicals and help people have healthy hair and embrace their curls.
Take a look at the UK The Curl company here
Naturalistic products stock a wide range of Curly girl approved methods not available in the UK.
Beauty by Zara are another website in the Uk ( funny enough just down the road to me ) they ship in the Uk.
An easy way to check your curl product ingredients!
Always check your ingredients are chemical free first! you can check by popping your ingredients in to this handy tool on the Curlsbot website.
Take a look at what my friend Sarahs favourite Curly girl products are in the UK here.
Your hair will love you even if you are curly or not!
I hope this curly Girl Method Quick Start Guide in the UK has helped you. Stick with it and take pictures as your hair will change over time and improve.
Please note these may not be all strictly the original curly girl methods (i.e. i use a hairdryer) but they work for my thick wavy hair.
All reviews and opinions are my own. This page does contain some Amazon affiliate links but these are at no extra cost to yourself unless of course you can find them cheaper elsewhere.