1,5 years on the Curly Girl Method (kind of)

curly hair progress with curly hair method

naturally wavy hair progress

It’s been 1,5 years since I started to embrace my natural hair texture, which is wavy/curly. I’ve been following loosely the Curly Girl Method and I wanted to write down my experience (which is still continuing). I say loosely, and I mean that, because my routine is pretty simple. Treating those curls don’t have to be that complicated!

Healthy, imperfect curls

A lot of people start the method thinking they will achieve beautiful, defined perfect curls. People with wavy hair might think they get tighter, ‘better’ curls. Me included! My hair is mostly wavy, but I also get corkscrews every now and then. It’s a mixture of different kinds of curls and waves. But that’s okay. I love my waves. I’ve learned, that with curly hair it doesn’t necessarily get better, as in, you’ll have perfect curls once you stick with it. In my case, the curl definition varies. My hair and my curls have their own mind. But that’s okay. I let them be that way – some day they are tighter and some day looser. And all in all, my hair looks a million times better now than it did, when I treated it, well, wrong.

Another reason of starting the curly girl method is in hopes to getting healthier softer hair. That I can agree with and that most likely will happen. It’s inevitable. Once you stop heat-styling your hair and use gentle moisturizing products, obviously your hair will benefit from that. And after being on the method for this long, I can honestly say that my hair has never been in this good shape. I’ve actually managed to grow my own natural hair color back!


Photo:  Mia/Beauty Highlights

How I went from straight to curly – my curl progress

I had read a lot about naturally curly hair and at some point I realized that I had always treated my hair wrong. I thought that natural curls were a bad thing, something you need to tame and smooth. So I did just that. With smoothing silicone-based products I could get my hair to become pretty silky straight. But still I wondered – why did my hair always become this awful mess when I brushed it?

Photos of my hair before I started to learn about curly hair:

isadora fall makeup

interesting blogs

As you can see, my hair used to be somewhat straight. And brushed. And that’s why it looked so, well, all over the place. It was straight, there were some waves, it was puffy (thanks to brushing it) and it looked dry (because it was). I always felt like my hair just wasn’t ‘sitting’ right.

My hair in the beginning of trying to treat my curls the right way (AKA The Curly Girl Method):

beauty lifestyle blog
February, 2018.
chiquelle shirt
March, 2018.
lifestyle blog
March, 2018.
shiny hair
April, 2018. Used Evolve Beauty Shine Shampoo & Conditioner.
May, 2018.
the best lipstick
August, 2018.
bobbi brown makeup artist makeup
September, 2018.
naturally curly hair diffuser
October, 2018. Used a diffuser.
January, 2019.
March, 2019.
luonnonkihara curly girl metodi tulokset
May, 2019.

 

My curly hair progress

After buying my first silicone-free products from amazon and starting my journey, I was ecstatic. I could not believe I didn’t need my heat stylers to get curly hair! Now that I think of it, the first weeks and months were the best. I was like a little child in a candy store, so excited to have found this great thing, that I already had, within my hair.

I still feel like that, but now I’m more used to it. My natural waves feel like a natural part of me. Having my hair straight feels foreign – I look like a completely different person. Come to think of it, I’ve always preferred my hair curly rather than straight.

During this 1,5 years I’ve learned some things through trial and error. When I look at the first photos of my hair, I want to cringe a little (but just a little!). In the beginning I wanted my curls to be as defined as possible and I went a bit overboard with a curl styling cream. My hair looked shiny – and a bit wet. And obviously it felt like that as well. If I put a lot of things in my hair, I feel it. My hair becomes dirty easier. But when I put the minimum amount of products – or even nothing at all – my hair looks airy and fresh and lovely.

Nowadays I prefer the airy, voluminous look. I like having definition, but I don’t want my hair to be that shiny. That way my hair feels clean and it stays clean longer.

naturally curly hair towel dry

Curly Girl Method Simplified – following the rules loosely

I’ve been following the method loosely. I’ve done the basics. I feel like there are so many rules and things going into naturally curly hair, it’s kind of a rabbit hole. There were all these things like the ingredients, hair porosity, curl types and techniques. I decided, that I will just do the basics and go through the journey through trial and error.  Once I had the basics down, I also wanted to share them, because I wanted to make the routine as easy and simple as possible for others as well. That’s why I wrote the beginner friendly post: Naturally curly and wavy hair 101 – Naturally curly hair routine.

Here’s what I’ve done right according to CG-method:

  • Not brushing my hair
    Pretty much never. If I do, I do it in the shower. Life without a brush has been refreshing!
    I did a whole post about it: I haven’t brushed my hair in a year.
  • Not using silicones
    Well, I already realized that they make my hair straight.
  • Drying my hair with a microfibre towel by squeezing and scrunching the water out
    Not towel-drying and massaging my hair between the towel like I used to.
  • Applying my leave-in products by scrunching
    Never stroking or brushing through the product – that disrupts my curl definition.
  • Using a mild, moisturizing shampoo
  • Letting my hair air dry
  • Drying my hair with diffuser
    Diffuser gives me great results, but it takes time so I still prefer air-drying.
  • Sleeping with a pineapple (my hair tied in a high loose ponytail to protect the curls)


My curls using Schwarzkopf Mad About Waves products. The curl cream I used contains silicones.

Here’s what I’ve done wrong according to the CG-method:

  • Using sulfate-containing shampoos
    This one is tricky. I didn’t realize that I was doing this, because my shampoos were natural and the sulfate was coconut-based. Still, it can be too drying. However, recently I learned that sulfate-containing shampoos might be good to my curl type, actually.
  • Using silicones
    I know I just said that I didn’t use silicones. But I also tried using them. I wanted to see if they really, truly, are bad for curls.  I actually got amazing results with a curl cream that contained silicones. But there is still the aspect of having to wash those silicones out of the hair too. Which then can be too harsh on the hair. I don’t know. I think everyone can make their own opinion on this.
    The post: Mad about waves – perfect products for wavy curls
  • Not knowing everything about the ingredients
    As I said, I started my journey with the basics. Now I’m ready to learn more. Apparently I should only use ingredients that are water-soluble, so that would mean avoiding ingredients like waxes. I remember using a curl cream in the beginning, that contained some wax.
  • Not using anything except shampoo
    I actually do this pretty often. I just wash my hair with either shampoo or water. I get great volume and nice curls this way, without adding conditioner or curl gels. Believe it or not! I think this works for me personally, because my hair is prone to build up and usually there is still some product leftovers even after washing my hair.
  • Not taking it that seriously
    I tend to stress about things, so I’ve tried to not stress about my hair. Sometimes I don’t feel like doing all the steps to achieve the perfect curls. Sometimes I sleep with my hair open (it feels so liberating!). And I also haven’t bought that many hair products. You can spend a lot of money towards this project, but I’ve taken it one product at a time. After I’m done with the products I’ve already bought, I can move on to another product and try something new.
makeup blog
Can’t remember the products here, but I could bet it was, well, nothing. This looks like my hair when I don’t put anything in.

 

wavy curls type 2B 2C

Learning about hair porosity – The problem with low-porosity hair

Right now I’m interested to learn more about hair porosity. And that’s because of this revelation: apparently my hair is low porosity. That basically means it’s very prone to buildup and that watery, light products are best for me. It makes sense. It also explains why I get great results when I use aloe vera gel as my curl definer. It also explains why I could use the sulfate-containing shampoos for so long and still get good results. Low-porosity hair needs good shampoos (that really wash the hair properly), because products can build up. Another thing is that low-porosity hair doesn’t really absorb moisturizing products or oils (even though it need moisture). And that’s exactly my hair! If I put oils in my hair, it just kind of sits on top of my hair and looks oily. And hair dyes don’t really stay in my hair.

That’s a huge revelation, because a lot of the guides for curly hair suggest using low-poo products or co-washing (washing your hair with a conditioner). I think for low-porosity hair, it’s a no go. And I actually went all the way with this – I tried both the co-wash, but also no-poo. Meaning no shampoo. For a whole month I tried to wash my hair only with water,  but with my curl type prone to build up, it didn’t work out. But I learned some things – and my scalp appreciated the break from shampoo, so it wasn’t all for nothing.

In the beginning my hair needed lots of moisture, but now I feel like I need less of it. Lightweight products are the key. I think in the future I also need to start washing my hair with a deep cleansing shampoo every now and then. And definitely not skipping shampoo.

Even though I’m interested in learning to treat my wavy curls the best way possible, I’ll probably break the rules in the future as well.

naturally wavy hair charlotta eve blog
Today’s curls: Noughty Wave Hello Shampoo, diluted Briogeo Volume Conditioner & a little bit of Aloe Vera Gel as my curl gel. I used a microfiber towel & let it air dry.

Today’s curls

Today I tried washing my scalp with a CG-friendly non-sulfate-containing shampoo – and washing my hair (the lengths) with a sulfate-containing deep cleansing shampoo. And you know what? My hair could take it. It didn’t feel dry. I also tried diluting my conditioner with water and that worked amazingly. I think next time I’ll dilute it even more. I used my Briogeo Volume Conditioner. Diluting my conditioners is actually genius – that way they will last even longer in my use. My hair nowadays is in such good shape, it doesn’t really need a lot of conditioning. And right now I’m back in love with aloe vera gel as my curl styler, because it doesn’t weigh my curls down and it’s so lightweight.

Shop my curly hair favorites from amazon (*adlinks):
*Aloe vera gel
*Noughty Wave Hello Shampoo
*Briogeo Volume Conditioner
*Briogeo Curl Charisma products
*Diffuser
*Microfiber towel

On my buying list:
*Silk pillow case
*Silk scrunchies

 

So – here’s where I’m at right now. Still figuring it out. Ready to learn more. And most importantly, embracing the imperfect hair that I have. I think natural hair is beautiful. It doesn’t ‘need’ to be anything. I think the most important thing is to have fun with it and enjoy yourself and your curls. And definitely not stress about using all the right products all the right way.

Your natural curls are beautiful – just the way they are.

How is your curly hair journey going?

The Curly Girl Method - Hair Progress

Wavy & curly hair products: Briogeo Curl Charisma

briogeo curl charisma products for curly wavy hair

Finding good hair products for naturally curly hair, that is more on the wavy side, is hard. Especially conditioners. And curl creams or gels as well, actually. I also feel like it’s a bit hard to find products here in Finland. We have lots of naturally curly haired beauties here, but it’s not really a thing. Usually people want to smooth out their curls and the products are advertised to do just that. Usually with silicones. There aren’t that many “for naturally curly hair” products and lines that are meant to enhance the curls and actually make the best out of them. Or maybe there are, but I have missed them.

I am interested in products made especially for naturally curly hair. On top of that, I prefer products that are mostly made with natural ingredients and definitely without silicones. A good conditioner needs to be very smoothing and slick so that I can untangle my hair with it, but it can’t make my hair too sleek – otherwise my curls won’t get as defined.

And since you already saw the title, you know that I have good news. I have found great new products for naturally curly and wavy hair. These are actually so far the best that I have tried. And best of all, they are available not only internationally, but in my own country as well.

Hallelujah.

briogeo curl charisma products for wavy curly hair

Briogeo Curl Charisma products for naturally curly and wavy hair

Briogeo’s ideology seems perfect for me. Briogeo’s products are 6-free, meaning that they don’t contain sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, DEA and synthetic color. Now I’m not an expert on ingredients, but I do like to avoid ingredients, that are questionable and possibly toxic (like like phtahalates and DEA). I also feel like some of the ingredients are just unnecessary – like silicones and synthetic colors. These are some of the reasons I prefer using more natural cosmetics. Their ingredients rarely come up negatively in a google search. And as I’ve been using conditioners without silicones, I can definitely say you don’t need silicones to make your hair smooth.

Briogeo’s products are also cruelty-free and mostly vegan.

curly wavy hair

In these photos I have used the Briogeo conditioner and the gel on my hair and let my hair air dry.

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Shea Curl Defining Conditioner

The Curl Charisma Conditioner is wonderful. It’s made for type 2A to 3C curls. Basically what that means is that it’s for those that get loose waves, to those that get spiral curls. Here’s a good photo to check your curl type.

This conditioner makes untangling my hair easy and leaves me with soft hair. At first I thought it was gonna be too heavy for my curls, because it felt so sleek, but it’s actually perfect. Turns out, my hair does need a lot of moisture (shocker for a curly girl, I know).

It contains ingredients like rice amino acids, shea butter, quinoa extract, tomato fruit ferment and almond oil that moisturize, protect, create definition and prevent frizz. What I like about the ingredients, is that there’s not too much oils (they are are quite in the middle of the INCI list) and that there’s not coconut oil. I feel like coconut oil in my hair just doesn’t work.

All in all, this conditioner is great. I’m so happy I found it!

Briogeo Curl Charisma Conditioner*

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Quinoa Frizz Control Gel

This product, as well, is recommended for type 2A-3C curls.

This gel is so nice, because while it gives me some hold, it also seems to give me some shine and moisture. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t really dry down to a stiff cast, as gels tend to do. I would say this is definitely beginner friendly as well, since you can’t accidentally end up with crazy stiff curls. It looks and feels very natural on the hair. It’s very hard to overdo it.

I also like that this product doesn’t really have a scent. It doesn’t smell like anything in my hair.

How I use it: After shower, I scrunch it on either wet or towel dry hair in upward motions.

Briogeo Curl Charisma Frizz Control Gel*

 

Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-in Defining Creme

I also recently bought the Curl Charisma Leave-In Defining Creme and it’s been great as well.

If you need even more hold, you could try Curl Charisma Leave-In Defining Creme. That gives nice texture and hold. It’s a bit thicker than the gel, but it still doesn’t leave a cast. It’s a creme, but a bit gel-like. It’s also recommended to use together with the Frizz Control Gel to get the best results. I usually just use one of those though, because I’m scared of using too much of product.

Curl Charisma Leave-In Defining Creme*

 

Briogeo conditioners for curly hair

Besides these I bought the Blossom and Bloom Conditioner*, because I was curious to see if the other Briogeo conditioners would work as well. And the conditioner is nice! It’s more lightweight than the Curl Charisma one, but it untangles my hair well and leaves it nourished. If your hair is dry and curly, I would still choose the Curl Charisma one. But if your hair is not that dry and gets weighed down easily, you could try this one instead. But all in all, all Briogeo conditioners would suit curly hair, since they are all for example silicone free.

briogeo curl charisma products for curly wavy hair

What are your favorite products for naturally curly hair? I’m on a mission to find lots of great products.

 

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