Shari Harbinger

Shari Harbinger

Q: I have naturally curly hair — nicely defined curls. But after a couple of day my hair turns frizzy and the curls begin to become undefined. I don't like to wash my hair too often. Do you have any advice on how I can maintain my curls on a daily basis? Any products or techniques in mind?

Shari: The cause of frizz is friction and dehydration. What's happening is on the days you're not washing, the motion of life is agitating your curls. On those days, spray a combination of Devacurl AnGell and DevaCurl Mist-er Right onto your curls. You should be able to defrizz it and get some curl definition back. Another option is to mix a conditioner like One Condition with water in a spritzer and spray that on your hair between cleansers. This will add moisture. The final option is to sleep with on a satin pillowcase with your hair in a loose scrunchie pulled into a ponytail on on top of your hair — "the unicorn."

Q: So I'm just starting CG and realizing I have no products that don't have cones them it for styling. Suggestions? Are all cones bad?

Shari: DevaConcepts is removing all the cones from our products. The quantity and type of cones affects the level of dehyration in the hair. It can also dull the hair. It's like a topical band-aid, giving you a quick fix but not a long-term remedy. The best remedy for shine is moisture from the inside out. And they can get that by using more botanically drenched products that better match the fabric of natural hair.

Q: Is hairspray a no-no for CG?

Shari: Anything where there is the presence of alcohol, plastic or sticky resins is a no-no for curly hair as it dehydrates and leaves a crunchy visual result. Most hairsprays contain these ingredients.

Q: I've been following the CG routine for about three weeks and I'm getting some great ringlets so far. However, my hair is short and I feel like it's clinging to my head. It's a really bad haircut, a Carol Brady-esque curly mullet from hell. How do I prevent shrinkage?

Shari: Always have your hair cut dry. What we see is what it is. And we can't see what it is when it's wet. In the meantime, you can anchor some pincurl clips at the bottom of the ringlets when they're wet so that when they're drying, the curls are being weighed down, producing a more wavy than curly result. That should significantly retard shrinkage.

Q: I have 3a/b hair and only recently happened upon CG, but I'm wondering how often I should co-wash for the routine to be successful; every day, every other day, once a week?

Shari: My assumption is that it's not about the curl type. It's about the dehydration level. As a new Curly Girl, you should wet your hair every day. If not cleansing the scalp, condition the ends for one to three months until hydration is accomplished. As far as cleansing the scalp, it's a personal preference. If your scalp needs circulation, use No-Poo. Feel free to cleanse with No-Poo everyday. Because it is free of sulfates, it doesn't damage the moisture level of the scalp.

Q: This is day 18 of being shampoo free for me. I have very coarse and thick wavy hair. So far, my shampoo free routine has been going great. It was pretty greasy for the first week, as to be expected. Then, right around day 12 (I've been keeping notes!), the greasiness went away and I had great hair. My waves were more defined and everything. Well, yesterday I started noticing some flaking when I parted my hair. Today when I woke up, it was BAD. I usually wear my hair half up/half down to work, but pulling it back revealed some serious snow flakes! I did a vinegar rinse and a co-wash, to no avail. Any ideas? Am I just one of those wavies who needs to poo every once in a while?

Shari: When we say sulfate free, we don't mean don't cleanse. We simply mean, don't use detergents on the scalp. Use Devacurl No-Poo in place of shampoo. To go 18 days is questionable and objectionable, in my opinion. Curly girls must circulate the scalp regularly — at least once a week!