One of the most popular methods for getting the health of your curls back is ‘The Curly Girl Method’. While this method has some great ideas, it is not without its challenges because it has a few rules that must be followed and that can be overwhelming. Either way, you may have found that this process is no longer working for you and wonder if anyone else is experiencing the same.
Today, we are going to share three Instagrammer’s stories on whether they follow the CG Method or not, their top tips for caring for their hair, what ingredients are non-negotiable and essential.
Megan Linny @wavycurlychronicles
Hi, I’m Megan, mama of 4 curlies. I was inspired by my first daughter to embrace my wavy hair so that I could teach her by example how important it is to love yourself just as you are. Once I stopped straightening my own hair, she stopped asking to straighten hers. And we both learned together how to care for our different textures.
“Unlike many, I am a daily washer. I have a very active lifestyle and have never really had success with multiple day hair, even during my “flat iron” days. That has always been at the forefront of my journey because I’ve focused on finding a routine that is simple and fits into my morning routine without hours of wet hair dangling on my shoulders. What I’ve learned is that I can maintain healthy hair even if I wash (and diffuse) daily as long as I use quality, moisturizing products. I do not strictly follow the Curly Girl Method. I shampoo daily. My favorite is Curlkeeper Treatment shampoo which has a sulfate in it, but it is pH-balanced for curly hair so it leaves my waves clean yet moisturized. However, I strictly avoid silicones. I use the Curlkeeper flexi brush to smooth and detangle my hair after applying my leave-in. My favorite lines for stylers are Curlkeeper and Jessicurl. Over the last year, my hair has become very healthy and doesn’t need much protein, so my stylers are typically protein-free. After applying my products I diffuse my waves, alternating from cool to warm air as I go. The warm air helps activate my waves. I also do nightly scalp massages with Righteous Roots Oil (which I also use to scrunch out my cast once my hair has fully dried). This oil blend helps keep my scalp happy while also promoting hair growth and offering amazing frizz control and shine. My biggest tips for wavies are the following:
- Less is more. Use less product and more water. Water helps the product spread. It will also prevent your waves from getting weighed down with product.
- Do not fear shampoo. Waves need to be kept buildup-free. Even if you can manage multiple day hair, do not underestimate a regular shampoo and clarifying wash.
- Do everything in moderation. If you love your results after a protein treatment or deep conditioning masque, don’t do it repeatedly. Wavy hair can easily suffer protein overload or moisture overload. Space out treatments and do not leave them on for extended periods.
- Learn to read labels. You should learn to identify silicones (non-water soluble vs. water-soluble), drying alcohols and proteins. You cannot simply trust “marketing.” The longer you put off learning the basics of ingredients, the slower your transformation will be.
- Do not expect overnight results. It takes a year, sometimes longer, especially if you dye your hair, to go through different seasons/climates and adjust to your hair’s ever-changing needs. Don’t give up; track your progress and be patient.”
Jennifer Cifuentes @curlycurvypassion
Jennifer is a veteran in the curly hair community and has over 20 years of experience in the salon and beauty industry. She is also known for igniting the curly girl method rule-breaking conversation series including, #ThinCurlThursdays, and #FineCurlFriday as part of her mission to spark conversation and have better representation and support for low-density, thin curls, and those dealing with medically related hair loss. Because she has thin and low-density hair and there has been a lot of confusion between both terms, Jennifer felt this was a great opportunity to create a space where the challenges of both fine and thin waves/curls could be discussed and supported.
“Other than avoiding straightening and harsh ingredients, plus using high-quality, plant-based hair care, I don’t follow CGM strictly, due to the specific needs of my fine and low-density curls. With my experience working in the salon industry, a lot of CGM doesn’t make sense to me. Five practices that have given me the best results are:
- Shampooing often. It keeps my scalp and hair the healthiest. “Co-washing” with conditioner and “refreshing” after workouts are two big NOs for me.
- Finding unique ways to style my hair for definition & volume, even if they aren’t “popular.”
- Less is usually more with my hair. Using excessive water or product during styling causes swelling or frizz in my strands and weighs them down. Constantly having my hands in my hair once dry is also something I avoid.
- Frequent trims keep my curls healthy and bouncy, preserving the shape of my haircut. I don’t hang on to pointless length.
- Being realistic. As someone with a unique curl type and density, most of what I see in the online “curly community” space published by brands and content creators will NOT apply to me. I’m ok with that! I do my own research on what makes sense for MY hair or I come up with my own techniques.
Caring for your hair takes intention, consistency, and patience. But it doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore. Trying things out of desperation because you want what others have, can be counterproductive. By doing what makes sense for your hair, you’ll get results!”
Kyla Dobbins @Chiaricurls
Kyla Dobbins is a 35-year-old mom of two boys who recently graduated with her BA in business. She’s a six-time brain surgery survivor due to a rare, incurable illness called Chiari Malformation, in which she loves to spread awareness.
“You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that my hair and I have been through so much over the years. From shaving it completely off for brain surgery, then to it growing back waist-length, only to later suffer from postpartum shedding. From my family’s point of view, I care for my hair as if caring for a newborn. I can’t totally disagree. I mean why shouldn’t I? With society telling us how to wear our hair, and kids getting expelled for wearing their natural hair…it’s my crown that I am proud to wear daily.
I have a consistent regimen that I do to maintain my hair and keep it healthy. Pre-poo, deep condition weekly (with heat), monthly protein treatments, limit heat to twice a year, trim every 2-3 months religiously, low manipulation styles , and sleep in a satin bonnet. My hair is prone to single strand knots so I stay away from wash and go’s, which allows me to retain length. I mainly do twist outs and braid outs. Once my hair is finished for the week I don’t touch it, unless I’m doing my scalp massages, preferably with Righteous Roots oils and steam.
I don’t exactly follow the curly girl method, as I love my shampoos and actually am not a fan of co-washing. I have low porosity Hair so build up can become a problem. Also, I don’t finger detangle. The Tangle Teezer and Brush with the Best are my faves when it comes to detangling and styling. I just do what works for me and my hair, and I’ve learned a lot through trial and error.
Now I’m sure you’re wondering what ingredients I stray from. Honestly, I typically only use all natural products, my hair just seems to respond to them a lot better, and I am a little health conscious since being diagnosed with a neurological disorder. I prefer products to contain Ayurvedic herbs, which is why Curls and Potions is one of my favorite brands. Their products are full of Ayurvedic herbs that help with retaining moisture and length, while helping strengthen the hair. With styling products, I do prefer using creams and butters over gels since they are more moisturizing. I’ve only found a few gels that actually add moisture to my hair from a small brand Twisted Aloe, which are primarily made of Aloe Vera, hence the name.
There is one thing that will remain true throughout anyone’s journey, not just regarding hair either, what works for someone else may not work for you.”
The journey to healthy hair is different for everyone. There is no magic pill or secret potion; it’s just consistency and dedication to proper care and taking a proactive approach to your journey with whatever method or technique you choose to use. It doesn't matter how technically or logically sound a method is, or even how many people have tried it before, what matters is whether the method works best for your hair and lifestyle.
When it comes to curls, there is no one size fits all formula simply because curly hair is fickle, and all hair types aren’t created equal. You owe it to yourself to find what works best for your own hair. Take the challenges that come as a course for educating yourself and learn to grasp the need to listen to your hair. Always remember to let your hair be your guide.