The three most vital parts of your Curly Girl Journey - Application, Styling and Maintenance.
Whether you’re a strict curly girl who doesn't stray from the rules, not even a little bit, or if you’re following a lazy semi-modified version (hello- it's me!).
Either way, once you’ve got a good grasp on the curly girl method- its time to kick things up a notch.
Understanding application, styling and maintenance for your curls are going to be the next steps in your journey.
From then on, you can absolutely play around with what works for your hair. However correct product application and styling will go a long way in transforming your curls.
How to apply your products the CG way!
Arguably the most challenging part of starting a curly journey is product application.
How do I actually apply the products to my hair!?!
These are ALL questions that most curly girls (and guys!), and wavy’s ask themselves when beginning the CGM. And, in all honesty, some days, three years on, I still find myself reassessing if my curls aren't sitting quite right.
There are a lot of ways to apply products. And your individual hair type will make a big difference to how much products, hydration and drying time you need.
If you’re unsure of your hair type, check out "Your Ultimate Curl Type Guide". Full of helpful tips, information and a guide to managing each individual hair type.
Styling Your Curly Hair - The CGM Way.
For BEST results, your hair needs to be WET. I mean, SOAKING wet. You can do this either in the shower straight after washing your hair or by re-wetting your hair for a refresh.
A general rule of thumb is less is more when it comes to the amount of product- you can always add more if necessary. Start with a 20c piece amount of Curly Girl Approved product in the palm of your hand and distribute evenly through your hair. You can always add more if you need to.
Applying the product can be done using a few different methods-
- Sectioning the hair into a triangular shape and distributing the product evenly through each section, raking or brushing as you go.
- Raking the product through with your hands and fingers.
- Using the technique we call “prayer hands”... Glazing the product over the strands of your hair in a praying motion.
- Once you've coated the hair and provided it is still soaking wet, brush it through using the brush styling method with your Flexi Brush.
Once you’ve applied the product, one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting those curls nice and activated is the squish-to-condish-method.
It sounds silly. But squishing that water + product right up into the base of your curls will help enhance your natural curls and distribute the gel even further. All the cupping and scrunching will encourage major curl and wave formation, creating beautiful voluminous curls.
One of the best things I did when embarking on a CG Journey was watching a tonne of video tutorials and then tried a few different wash day methods.
This did two things
1. It showed me what my hair liked
2. It allowed me to practice my styling techniques.
Remember, everyone's hair is different, and applications will vary depending on your hair’s “personality”.
How to know if a product is CG approved?
If you’re purchasing products online, most curly girl websites have done the hard work for you and have already given the certified CG stamp of approval on their products. LOHY's Products all have the CG stamp of approval.
Buying from salons and supermarkets is a little more complex and thats where knowing what ingredients to avoid can be a handy tool.
The three most common ingredients found in hair products that you want to avoid are -
- Silicones, waxes, non-natural oils
- Drying Alcohols
- ** NOTE: Use caution when approaching proteins. Whilst some curly girls need protein to maintain curl health, too much can send curly hair into what's known as “protein overload”. Paying careful attention to how your hair reacts to protein can help you to avoid your hair becoming frizzy, limp, dry, stressed and difficult to manage.
Apps have fast become something we rely on every day for tasks, and thanks to some higher powers and savvy creators, the people at Curl Scan have created an app that can quickly scan the barcodes of your products to check for any nasties. The website also has a community-built database of Curly Girl Method-approved products.
Maintenance, Sounds Like Hard Work?
Maintaining your curls is easy when you have the right tools, knowledge, products and community. The right products are easy, but knowledge and community come with time, and maintaining your beautiful curls can be a lot of trial and error.
Hot Tips from the experts:
1. Find good blogs to follow, online tutorials to watch and ask lots of questions.
2. Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Tumblr are also full of Curl Communities that love to share tips and tricks, don't be scared to jump in and ask questions.
3. Your Local hairdresser who specialises in textured haircutting is also worth their weight in gold.
How Long Does It Take To Get Results?
Once you learn the basics of the Curly Girl Method, you’ll naturally find your groove and learn to simplify your routine.
One of the biggest questions I get asked is how long did it take for the CGM to work?
In the beginning, I would have said STRAIGHT AWAY!
When I first started on my CG journey, there was a noticeable difference in my hair's health and appearance.
However, and I say this VERY heedfully that the transition phase requires patience... ALOT of Patience! It can be a lot of trial and error and, unfortunately - a few bad hair days. 3 years later I am STILL learning, because my hair changes all the time. Diet, weather and seasons and the length of your hair all affect how your hair will tolerate products and styling.
Was it worth it? - absolutely! My hair is 100% the healthiest and curliest it's ever been, but it wasn't without a lot of “oh dear” moments, and three years on, I’m still learning tricks that work better and simplify the process.
*It’s also good to note that hair with significant heat damage, neglect, colour damage and bleached, and generally speaking, hair full to the brim with chemicals, will take time to heal. Give your hair at least six months of the CGM before making any drastic changes or giving up if you’re not sure it's working.
Take photos and look back at how far you’ve come. My advice is to be patient and consistent with your curls. All good things take time.
Love and Hydration xx
Missed part 1 - Find it here