Is this really natural?

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I have been wondering to myself lately if being natural is really all that natural. I feel like I spend so much time forcing my hair to be curly with all the products, no heat, no brushing, no touching etc. The more I work the system the curlier my hair gets. I think it looks really healthy. But, I don't really think the style looks that great. I'm not sure what type of curl I have (maybe 2C) but they are kind of big curls which I think make me look kind of childish. There have been times in my life where I would get so many compliments on my hair from random strangers it would start to freak me out. I feel like that hasn't happened in ages.

Before I went curly girl I brushed my hair, I did't try to force the curl and I usually would blow it dry (with no diffuser) especially in the winter. I didn't try to force it straight either. I never used straighteners. I usually had really nice full waves. Because my curls were so big frizz was never really much of an issue. I am starting to wonder what the point is of not drying it and having great curls when half the day I have to go around with wet hair that makes me look unprofessional and like I just got out of the shower. (I have tried everything under the sun to help with drying time.) I think I would always continue to use sulfate free, paraben free etc. because it is so much healthier. But, I am seriously starting to wonder about all of the other things I do that feel like I am forcing my hair. Does anyone else ever feel this way or have thoughts on the subject? Thanks!
curlytwirlykate likes this.
2C, low porosity, high density, coarse, shoulder length No sulfates, no parabens, no silicones
Shampoo- Shea Moisture Coconut Hibiscus, Giovanni Smooth As Silk, Deva No Poo, Nature's Gate Aloe Vera, Yes To Carrots
Conditioner- Shea Moisture Curl & Style Milk, Giovanni Smooth As Silk, Deva One Condition, Nature's Gate Aloe Vera, Yes To Carrots
Styler- Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Shea Moisture Shine & Hold Mist, Yes to Carrots Leave In and Yes To Carrots Anti-Frizz Serum
I think about these same things too. I am more interested in understanding what the real nature of my hair is and working with it rather than fighting it, rather than necessarily boosting curl or achieving any particular kind of curl "look." So many people on this board have gotten their curls to do amazing and beautiful things, but I'm not sure those things are in any way normal for my hair, which like yours is just wavy.

For me, the CG thing is getting away from that vicious cycle of silicones, sulfates, and straight-ironing, which really was terrible for my hair and was starting to not even work anymore because of damage and because it was just so antithetical to what my hair naturally IS. So even though I go against some of the common wisdom on this board (I dry comb and have my hands in my hair all day long) I still feel like I'm doing the basic CG method.

It sounds like your experience differs somewhat from mine--and from many others on the board--in that you had beautiful, natural-textured hair you were happy with even before you started CG. And that's amazing, and you are so lucky. You should go back to that if that's what you like best--just go back without without sulfates and silicones. In my mind, that would still be CG.
pianogirl likes this.
Jessica
Type 2c: coarse, high-density, low porosity (so it would seem)
Avoiding protein and glycerin; going for soft, non-crunchy, frizz-free waves
CO & RO: Tresemme Naturals Moisture
Sealer: Olive oil
Leave-in/Styler: Kinky Curly Knot Today
DT: olive oil and honey
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 939
I tend to think the over styling of wavy hair isn't "natural". There is nothing wrong with it, but it's not something I'd do every day. Especially if you have to do it everyday. A lot of 4 types take the time to manipulate their curl pattern, but that's usually for styles that last five days. I redo my hair every other day and there is no way I'd finger curl my hair everyday. I wear my 3c hair the way it falls after a quick raking of product.

Loose waves are loose waves, and there is a beauty in that. I love Giselle's hair and it's kind of messy most of the time.





I enjoyed reading this....I let out a big sigh because I was becoming obsessed and stressed with my hair, products and results.

I need to just go with the flow...or "fro" as my daughter would say.
pianogirl likes this.
But, I am seriously starting to wonder about all of the other things I do that feel like I am forcing my hair. Does anyone else ever feel this way or have thoughts on the subject? Thanks!
Originally Posted by pianogirl
YES!

I wonder about this all the time... but I also know that for me, CG is a method I've done most of my life (without knowing what CG is/was), and I love my hair when it's in those ringlets -- the childish, cherub curls. It's what suits me, so I'll keep up with CG.

But every time I slather the fourth layer of product into my hair, I have to remind myself that what I'm doing isn't a *natural* process. It's easy to get caught up in the no heat/no cones/no sulfates = "natural" myth, but part of the CG journey is an exploration into new hair techniques, multiple products, and longer morning routines. But it makes sense that all of the learning and exploration will eventually need to settle into something that works for you, and it seems you're ready to find that. It sounds like you're trying to settle into a happy medium between pre-CG and post-CG. I say GO FOR IT! Remember that your hair is your own, and you need to do whatever makes you happy Just use what you've learned here to make your style even more awesome!
3A/2C | fine | high-po length, low-po roots | medium density | shoulder-length

Shower Time!
Treat: EVCO
Co-Wash: DE Unscented Condish with added lavender and tea tree EOs
Condish: DE Coconut Condish with added local honey

Styling
After Shower: Homemade FSG with added gelatine

+ bi-weekly protein DIY treatments (gelatin and egg yolk)
+ mindful nutrition
When I started I was confused about my curl pattern and thought all the scrunching and plopping my hair was "forcing" it to be "more curly." After a while I realized that no, it is more curly/wavy because if I drip dry and don't scrunch or plop or touch I actually have ringlets around my face and nape so I'm a mostly 2b/2c mixture. It's just that before, I was actually stretching my hair without realizing it and hence getting frizzy 2a results consistently. No doubt scrunching etc. over time is making my pattern stronger, but it's not working against my pattern.

But this differs from person to person... I don't think there's as much wavy support (it is nc not nw) so a lot of the looser wavies are doing the curly techniques, which may not be the most suitable to their pattern.

At the end of the day, it's your hair, do what you like. If your CG routine is overwhelming, and you can't get good results streamlining just go back to whatever you were doing before, but I bet there's some lessons you can keep from being CG.


Re: how natural CG is depends on the individual. If you wash your hair and scrunch in some leave-in and go... I think that's pretty natural, definitely easy. I know what you mean about very complicated routines though.
mustangbunny likes this.
fine - normal porosity*?- medium density - normal elasticity. Hard water. SoCal.
*Used to be low-porosity, but I lightened my hair 1-2 shades, so I may be normal-porosity now.

New climate! Current favorites:
Low-poo: CJ Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Giovanni SaS
RO: V05 Kiwi Lime
Styler: UFD CM (old formula), FSG + CNPF
PT: CJ Repair Me, IAgirl's gelatine

Experimenting with: JC Confident Coils, JC Rockin Ringlets, CJ CIAB, gelatin gel

iherb discount code: CFN646
I don't think CG is meant to force your hair into anything--that is, if you have to force it, then you're probably trying to push your hair beyond its actual curl pattern. What I see it as is mostly not messing up what's there naturally. Most of what I focus on is moisturizing, scrunching as part of the drying process (and here scrunching is meant to hold the curls rather than straightening the hair while squeezing water out), and then diffusing in such a way as to not wreck the curls, but the curls themselves exist naturally. In the same way, gel is meant to hold the curls in their natural pattern, so external forces (wind, in my case) don't make a mess of them.

I think wavies may be able to forgo some of the curly techniques if that works for them--especially the use of gel, if you don't develop a lot of frizz. I could see conditioner styling working really well with waves, with maybe a bit of gel for hold.
3a/b, fine, normal porosity, high density

Wash: CJ Daily Fix, As I Am, TJs TTT
RO: YTB
LI: Suave TC + CJ CCCC, brushed through with Denman
Styling: Smooth in LAL Wet Look gel, scrunch, and plop 10 minutes, then add a little more gel, cover with silk cap, and sleep on it
Refresh: 3:1 water/Suave mix as needed
I think CG is natural. Using products or even a diffuser to enhance natural curl isn't unnatural. I do feel, though, there is pressure on wavies to force their hair to be curly, which isn't natural.

Sent from my HTCEVOV4G using CurlTalk App
3b/c, medium-coarse, low porosity, high density
HG: Jessicurl Too Shea and Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Shampoo: nonsulfate shampoo and Suave Naturals sulfate shampoo when needed
I don't think you have to be no heat to be natural. To me, being natural is just working with your natural hair texture without using chemical straighteners or using so much heat that you've damaged your curl pattern. A blow dryer is super helpful to dry with. I personally can't blow dry my hair without a diffuser, because it gets really frizzy. But if you can, there's no point in not doing that. Also, you can mix it up and wear it in different styles however you want. Like, sometimes loosely wavy and other times very wavy. It's just hair.

I feel like my routine isn't super intense, and you can find a happy medium between all the CG rules and having an easy routine. Like, I scrunch with a towel at the end, and that reduces my drying time by a lot without adding frizz to my hair. I can use the occasional silicone product without it being some major issue for me (I sometimes use a shampoo to remove buildup). I don't try to set my hair by finger curling it or clipping. Those CG rules aren't that important for my hair, so I don't follow them. What I feel like works for my hair are not using silicones, using a leave-in conditioner, sealing with an oily product, and plopping. So, if I were you I would experiment to find out which techniques are important and which you can do without.
rapunzel4ever likes this.
Fine Texture, Normal Porosity, Normal Elasticity. Dyed to brown a few months ago.
Lowpoo:
Trader Joe's TTT Shampoo
Rinse Out:
Yes to Carrots, AOHR, Aubrey Organics Rosemary Peppermint
LI: Yes to Carrots
Stylers: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, LA Looks Sports, Suave Professionals Captivating Curls Whipped Mousse
I cut my hair to be an inch long all over. Then I gently washed my scalp with a sulfate-free shampoo and generously conditioned it with silicone-free conditioners. Next I took a good palmful of gel and I made sure to apply it evenly to all of my hair. Using my fingers, I formed my hair into straight spikes which radiated outwards from my head. Once dry, I scrunched out the crunch. I had at long last unleashed the true nature of my hair and I named it The Spiky Girl Method, or SG for short. To think that all my life I had actually been a Spiky and just hadn't realized it. I had this epiphany and spread the word about being SG far and wide. Before long, a myriad of books, products, companies and YouTube channels sprang up to cater for an entirely new and immensely profitable market of keen SGers.

Okay, so that didn't really happen. It was more of a gedankenexperiment. The bottom line is, you could say that hair has potential to 'naturally' do a lot of things, given handling and styling and cut and weather and timescale. If what you are doing right now is not lying easily with you - and CG styling didn't with me - explore the many different choices available to you. As Dr Seuss says: You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose.

This was an interesting thread that I often think about: "The Curlier the Better" A message about acceptance.
curlytwirlykate likes this.
I have thought about this, too. I think wavies have it tough because we don't have hair that is curly OR straight. It really is in between. For my hair, it does share some properties with curly hair but I have to low poo. Co-washing doesn't work for me.

For me it's all about accepting the way I really am. I have only been CG since late May. I will continue to be be sulfate and silicone free for the most part, but I do occasionally have to use heat to straighten. Accepting my waves is hard. They are real "beach style" waves naturally and so to make them look professional takes a lot of work.

I am going to keep working at it. Just try to do things to keep your hair healthy and do the best you can. No one will be there standing over your shoulder to enforce the CG rules!
mustangbunny likes this.
I do think true wavies can have a hard time because they're kind of in-between. But I also think that you can think you're a wavy and actually have much curlier hair, but because of how you've been handling it you've never unleashed the curl (lol). I honestly thought I was wavy for most of my life--I always thought the frizz was because I wasn't using the right products, or because I had "bad" hair. I finally caught a clue and realized that maybe my hair was more than just wavy, and CG showed me that it was true. I know I can't push my curls past what they are. I can't turn 3a into 3c. But I could turn 2b into 3a, because they really are 3a. So if you're experimenting, and really don't know how wavy/curly you are, pushing a little probably isn't a bad thing. But if you really have to work at it, then you're likely trying to make your hair into something it isn't.
rapunzel4ever likes this.
3a/b, fine, normal porosity, high density

Wash: CJ Daily Fix, As I Am, TJs TTT
RO: YTB
LI: Suave TC + CJ CCCC, brushed through with Denman
Styling: Smooth in LAL Wet Look gel, scrunch, and plop 10 minutes, then add a little more gel, cover with silk cap, and sleep on it
Refresh: 3:1 water/Suave mix as needed

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