This week I celebrated my one year curly anniversary, a year since I started following the curly girl method. They say the only time you should look back, is to see how far you’ve come. This is my transformation over the past year, the products I’ve used a long the way, bumps along the road, and what I’ve learned. So if you’re thinking about starting, at the beginning of your curly journey or just need some inspiration and encouragement, this post is for you. Don’t give up!
Growing Up Curly
I’ve had curly hair since I was a toddler. My mum had no clue what to do, or how to manage my curls. I spent most of my child looking like a love child of Macy Gray and Worsel Gommage. Pink Lotion was about the only thing that went near my hair until my mid-teens when someone introduced me to mousse.
My hair didn’t change during puberty, and I had the most gorgeous 3a-3b curls (which I can’t find any pictures of because I was a goth and taking pictures wasn’t cool back then – imagine a time like that again!). I used Pantene Perfect Curls Shampoo, Conditioner and Mousse and had the best curls of my life. But of course I hated them and wanted straight hair like everyone else.
In my late teens, I started ironing my hair – with an actual clothing iron, sat at the ironing board. During my mid twenties, I started colouring my hair and used a variety of GHD’s, curling wands, tongs and InStylers. One day I realised I had damaged my hair so much, my natural curls were completely gone. I’d gone from 3a-3b curls to a 2a-2b wave. (Read this post for more info on curl types).
Even those tiny baby hairs that curl into ringlets around my ears were no longer curling, they were poker straight. That’s when I knew I’d really messed up my curls. I felt like I’d lost my identity. I’d always been known as the girl with the mad curly hair. This picture was taken before I started the curly girl method.
Discovering the Curly Girl Method
In search of products to help get my curls back, I tried L’Óreal, Aveda, Davines and Kerastase products – all targeted at curly hair. Of course, I didn’t get the results I was looking for because they’re all loaded with silicones! I found a post online about the curly girl method, bought the book, read the book, did a tonne of research and bought my first CG-approved products all in the same day.
I started with As I Am Coconut Co-Wash, Shea Moisture Honey & Mafura Oil Mask, Briogeo Rosarco Heat Protectant Creme, DevaCurl One Condition, Wave Maker and Styling Cream (available from Naturalistic Products in the UK). The Shea Moisture mask was way too heavy for my hair. The DevaCurl products were okay/good, they weren’t as amazing as I’d expected from all the DevaCurl hype! However, I’ve purchased numerous tubs of the As I Am Co-Wash over the past year and cannot recommend it highly enough. I haven’t repurchased any of the other products. Here’s my hair two months after starting the curly girl method.
4 Months – Discovery
Over the next couple of months, I discovered my favourite mousse, Pantene Defined Curls No. 5, was CG approved. This was the only styling product I’d used on my hair for years before I started the curly girl method. Although I continued to use the As I Am Co-Wash. I started using Bouclème. You can read my review of their full range of products here. I used their Curl Cleanser, Conditioner and Curl Defining Gel and continue to use them a year later. I also discovered Kinky Curly Curling Custard, available from Naturalistic Products in the UK. I remember around this time, my hair seemed to hit a wall, didn’t seem to be improving and I was so close to giving up. I’m so glad I didn’t.
6 Months – Budget Hair Products
Six months into my curly journey, I was still using the As I Am Co-Wash. In an effort to find less expensive hair products, I’d tried the Vo5 Megahold Gel, Eco Gel and Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly – all of which were too thick and sticky for my hair, weighing it down. I also tried the Tresemmé Botanique and Perfectly Undone conditioners. Although they felt lovely when I applied them, they caused nothing but frizz. I started using the
Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! hair mask, which I really liked, I just haven’t repurchased yet. Please note, since publishing this post I’ve discovered that Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair mask is not curly girl friendly as it contains wax: Isododecane.
Then I started using the Not Your Mother’s Naturals Curl Defining Shampoo and Conditioner (the pink line). I tried Camille Rose Curl Maker (available on Naturalistic Products in the UK) and absolutely hated it. My favourite styling combination was Pantene Mousse and Aussie Instant Freeze Gel. Until I discovered MopTop Curly Hair Custard. Just look at my gorgeous, big, fat, juicy curls and clumps! I’d not had curls like this in years!
Get 10% off MopTop here using code CURLMAVEN.
7 Months – Hygral Fatigue
Just a few weeks after that picture (above) was taken, I got hygral fatigue. My hair was incredibly soft, to the point that it felt mushy – wet or dry. So much so, it felt like it would disintegrate in my hands. It was so limp and lifeless it couldn’t hold a curl, at all! As a newbie to the curly girl method, I had thought it was all about moisture, and assumed I should stay away from protein, especially as I had low porosity hair. WRONG! A combination of the NYM shampoo and conditioner, which has polyquats and butters in it; and sleeping overnight with the Briogeo mask on, caused severely over moisturised hair. Look at the state of my hair! *See note above about Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! – it’s not CG friendly!
8 Months – Bouncing Back
One thing I had never done throughout my curly journey until this point, was clarify my hair. My latest post is all about this. 20 signs you need to clarify your hair, what it means, when you should do it, and the difference between clarifying and chelating shampoos. It took a few clarifying washes, using Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo, and lots of DIY protein treatments to get my curls to bounce back. In between clarifying washes, I co-washed with As I Am, conditioned with Matrix Biolage Hydra Source Conditioner (GVP Conditioning Balm if you’re from the States), styled with Pantene Defined Curls Mousse and either Aussie Instant Freeze Gel or Giovanni LA Natural Gel, or MopTop Curling Custard. I also discovered lube! You would not believe how good this is for taming frizz! I like to use it with Boucléme Gel or Aussie Instant Freeze as the perfect refresh between wash days.
10 Months – Protein & Rice Water
As I educated myself more on the importance of protein, I started using Hairfinity Balanced Moisture Conditioner and discovered, and then developed, my modified rice water treatment method. Combining thick, gloopy rice water with the Hairfinity Strengthening Amino Mask has been the biggest game changer in my curly journey so far. If you haven’t tried this yet, read the post here. I continued to use As I Am Co-Wash, Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo, Pantene Mousse, Boucléme Gel, KY Jelly (lube) and MopTop Custard.
Get 10% off MopTop here using code CURLMAVEN.
11 Months – The Big Chop!
I still can’t believe I did this! 10 months into my curly girl journey, I cut my own hair, taking some length off the ends and adding layers and shape. I saw such a dramatic improvement in my curl pattern! I began asking some of my curl crushes what they thought made the biggest difference in their curly hair transformation.
Two things kept coming up, and one of them was the big chop. So I took the plunge, and for my birthday I went to a (non curly-specialist) hairdresser and got the big chop! Read all about it here, and what to ask your non-curly specialist hairdresser when getting your hair cut. I instantly had clumps and ringlets on the layers underneath my hair and everything sprung up – just as I’d hoped!
I miss my long hair, especially when I look back through pictures. But in grand scheme of things, and for the health of my hair and curl formation, I’m glad I did it. During this time I completely switched up my products and used some old Bouclème favourites, and the entire Bounce Curl line.
Get 10% off Bounce Curl using code CURLMAVEN at all of the following distributors/online retailers:
- USA: Bounce Curl
- IRELAND: The Clean Beauty Edit – ships worldwide
- UK: Kiyo Beauty – ships worldwide
- Canada: Curl Warehouse
1 Year – Finger Coiling
The other thing my curl crushes said made a huge difference to their curl transformation, was finger coiling. I wasn’t sure at first, it didn’t seem to be a true form of embracing my natural curls. And the truth is, it isn’t. As you’ll see from the pictures in this post, this is not what my hair naturally looks like.
Looking back, I don’t feel it gives a true representation of my curly hair transformation or journey. Because it’s altered and changed my natural curl pattern so much. I’ve traded volume for definition and I’m feeling a little like I’ve lost my identity again. Like I don’t look like my true self.
But, I’m determined to see it through. All the people I spoke to about finger coiling, said they only did it for a few months to train their curls. So I’m going to try and keep it up for the summer, although I really want to do a “normal” wash and style routine to see if it’s made a lasting difference from just a few weeks. Big news, I’ve got a YouTube tutorial on how to finger coil coming in the next few days!
Throughout this month I’ve been using all Jessicurl products, available from Naturalistic Products in the UK, or here for the US. They do FREE samples too! Let me say, the Jessicurl hype is real! This is the best brand of products I’ve tried so far in my curly journey! Since using their products, combined with finger coiling, I’ve not had to refresh once! And their products give the most incredible softness and shine. I’d love to know, what do you prefer? My natural curls, or this more defined, finger coiling method? Let me know in the comments below.
I can’t believe how much my hair has grown, changed and transformed so much over the past year! It’s the healthiest it’s ever been and by following the curly girl method, I’ve been able to reverse and repair over a decade of hair damage and get my curls back! Which I honestly didn’t think was possible because of how damaged it was. I’ve become obsessed with curly hair – hey, I even write a blog about it! I’ve made new friends, found an incredibly supportive community and learned so much! I can’t wait to see where this curly journey takes me over the next year, and years to come.
I hope you’ve found this post, and my transformation, helpful and it has inspired or encouraged you to start the curly girl method. Or stick with it when you want to give up and reach for those straighteners! If you’ve been following me for any of my curly over the past year, thank you so much! Gabriella x
If you’re interested in the Curly Girl Method but don’t know where to start, read this post.
If you’ve been following the CG method for a while but your curls aren’t looking the best lately, read this post on why, how and when you should clarify your hair.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the tips, advice and product recommendations. Click here for more information on my Curl Clinics™. A completely bespoke curl consultation service tailored to suit you and your hair. Designed to help get your waves and curls back and achieve your healthy hair goals. Or book in here!
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Gratitude & Support
If you found this post or any of my content helpful, and would like to show your Gratitude & Support, you. can click here to make a donation. I’m so incredibly thankful and grateful to everyone who supports me, my content and my platform. Your support enables me to continue providing FREE, organic content, and keep my blog FREE from Google Ads. And build Curl Maven as a brand and all I’ve got planned. Thank you so much! Gabriella x
*This post may contain some gifted items and affiliate links. Which means I get paid commission on any products you purchase through my links or codes. This in no way affects you, the price you pay or the way in which I write about products featured on this site. My content and opinion is not influenced by advertisers, sponsorships, affiliate partnerships, brands or PRs.
I love this post—it’s so helpful! I highlight my hair blonde (I’m 48) and sometimes wonder how much this is affecting my curls. Any suggestions for me?
Jeri A Hartzell says
I’ve over bleached my hair for years. It wasn’t until I stopped that I realized I had curly hair. My hair is now closer to my real hair color but still not natural virgin hair. I’m afraid to see how much gray is really in there. I’ve just started learning how to style my hair and how to stop abusing it so much. After 2 weeks I’m amazed how curly it is. I think bleaching it to death really makes my hair go completely limp.
Yes, that’s because it strips the hair of all it’s protein and elasticity, which curls desperately need.x
My hair is curly in the front and wavy/straight at the back I tried curly hair product but just won’t work I’ve cut my hair shoulder length thinking it would help but hasn’t my hair was heat damaged and bleached I finally have my curls back but only in the front not the back I don’t know what to do !?!!
Hi Angie, hair patterns can be different in different sections and areas of the hair. To me, what is most likely, is you’re washing your hair standing up in the shower, most likely with hot and/or high pressured water, and this is pulling the hair pattern out and damaging the curl pattern every time you wash your hair. Try turning the temperature down, the pressure down and also turning your head upside down too. All this should help the curl pattern and definition at the back of your hair.
I like natural best, coiling looks like little house on the prairie done with a curling iron
Yes, you’re right. But it’s only to train the curls, and certainly not a style or look I’m trying to achieve! ha ha. I did it for a month, and it really helped my curls. I no longer do it now, but would do it again if my curl pattern needs it.
Mariam Hussain says
If your skin tone can pull off a being a red head, use henna. Excellent for hair health and a completely natural dye.
Amy BM says
Thanks so much for all of the advice. I’m 42, and have only just gained the confidence to cope with my natural curl, thanks “a bheag nó a mhór” to your REALLY GREAT ADVICE. THANK YOU SINCERELY from a wannabe curly cailín, who feels empowered by your work.
Angela (Browneydcurlie) says
Thank you so much for this post. It was so informative and helpful!
Aideen K says
Great post,all the information there in the one post! I’m growing out an over coloured pixie cut since December. Using boucleme products plus umbertto curling jelly on refresh days. Every single day is different and I don’t have money to buy new products before the old ones are done,however tempted I am! Do you think Johnson’s baby shampoo would work as a clarifying shampoo? Just ordered Denman Brush as my hair looks so much better on refresh days when I rake it completely with my hands! Love your posts and Hoestlizhere too. The best for info
Hi Aideen, yes Johnson Baby Shampoo can be used to clarify. I know what you mean about being determined to finish products before buying new ones, that’s how I got into hygral fatigue mess with the NYM, I should have stopped using them when I knew they weren’t working for my hair.
Hi love your posts,wondering if you can help me.doing the curly routine with nearly twelve months, and still I trying to learn how to get it right,I am low porosity and protein sensitive,I am now trying to get protein free products it hard,but when I co wash I get like cradle cap on my scalp so I changed from as I am and tried another co wash and same thing happened and I am saddened by this, I did clarify but same thing,any thing else I can do,I use moisture shampoos,hope you can help me with this, and was wondering how often should I do a protein treatment,should I do once a mounth,asi not sure how often,thanks for takein time to read this,
Hi Teresa, What co-wash are you using? The only one I like is the As I Am Coconut Co-Wash, which is a cleansing conditioner, rather than just using conditioner to cleanse your hair, does that make sense? But you really have to spend time scrubbing your scalp to get rid of product build up and natural oils on your scalp. Protein: it’s about finding a balance for your hair. My modified rice water treatment will help with both protein and you scalp issues. You can do it once a week, every other week or once a month. Read the post on my modified rice water method for more details. I hope that helps.
Thanks Gabriella,the product I use is, as I am co wash and thought it might be that was causing my build up.then changed to Carol,s daughter cleansing milk and the same thing happened.i thought if you’re protein sensitive you could not do protein treatments often only like every two or three months is that right you see I not sure.or should I use products with protein in them weekly,love your YouTube channel,it so good you doing it as we can see how you do things,I wish you the best of luck with it,and hope too see a lot more you’re fantastic,and I hope that you will give me the knowledge I need to get my hair to look as good as yours,best wishes,
Hi Teresa, if you are protein sensitive, then yes, you need to take it easy on the protein treatments. Either do them less often, or use products with small amounts of protein in them. As for co-washing, you need to get a cleansing co-wash, and really use the pads of your fingertips to work it in and scrub and massage the scalp to loosen all that dirt, oils and build up on your hair. My hair feels incredibly clean without feeling stripped or dry when I use the As I Am Co-wash. Hope that helps!
What jessicurl products are you using now?
Hi, all products used and how I use them are in my YouTube video here> https://youtu.be/L2RinLH7Dfk
Can I ask what products by Jessicurl you use. Have you ever used Deva Curl. Comments. TIA.
Hi Kathy, I have pretty much all the Jessicurl products! Which you can see which ones and how I use them in my YouTube video here> https://youtu.be/L2RinLH7Dfk I have used some DevaCurl before, I had One Condition, Wave Maker and their Styling Cream. I liked them, but haven’t repurchased them since. But want to soon.
Love the finger coil look. Looking forward to the video. Don’t want to miss it.
Hi Megan, the video is now live! You can check it out here> https://youtu.be/L2RinLH7Dfk
Hi, Gabriella! Can you elaborate on how you use lube in your hair? I’m really interested in using non traditional products (LOVE rice water and aloe vera rinses) but I just can’t imagine how it’d be used. Thanks!
Hey Ella, So after spraying my hair down with a little warm water, I mix lube and either Aussie Instant Freeze Gel or Boucleme Gel with it, and then scrunch it into my hair. Then I either air dry or diffuse it. It tames frizz and gives a great cast. Hope that helps.
Hi Gabriella! Super informative blog and super informative posts. I think you are super pretty and I LOVE your hair.
Your post on how you began and what you went through is exactly what I have been through. It’s been a few months into the whole CG method. Initially the whole process showed promise. Right now I am in the quit it all stage. 😉 not done anything with my hair for the last few days. I too have low porosity hair, shea moisture and devacurl products don’t work with my hair type, however Boucecurl gel works well with my hair. Boucléme sounds very interesting, unfortunately I don’t get them here in Dubai. Still figuring out what suits my hair.
I believe I came across your insta page and blog at the right time. You have given me hope to continue the process. Wish me luck! 🙂
Aww thank you for your kind words Shilpa! Enormous luck, but patience and persistence is what you need more. Gabriella xoxo
Do you only use the jessicurl products when you finger coil? I also use as I am, that’s one thing I do know I love! My hair doesn’t seem to like gel as it tends to go frizzy. I like mousse, but I feel I still haven’t found my styling products 🙁
Hi Sheryl, yes I only use Jessicurl products when I finger coil. If your hair goes frizzy when you use gel, try applying it when your hair is absolutely soaking wet, and make sure your gel doesn’t contain glycerin. The Jessicurl Spiralicious Gel doesn’t contain glycerin, neither does Aussie Instant Freeze, or Giovanni LA Natural Gel. Hope that helps! xoxo
AMY EATON says
I’m confused about the Aussie Instant Freeze. It contains BENZYL ALCOHOL. Is that OK?
Pesonally I don’t have a problem with it. Some site say it’s problematic, but only mildly, other say it’s fine. See how the product works for you and make your decision then. x
Such an encouraging post!! I have been on the CG Method Journey for a year; as I read your post, I kept thinking “Oh my, that’s exactly what I went through!” Thank you for sharing your own journey with us all and giving us all curlies hope that it gets better! 🙂
Aww thank you! xoxo
I have been using Cantu products, have you ever tried any of these? If the conditioner is a cleansing one will it say that somewhere?
I haven’t tried any of the Cantu products as they are heavy, build up on the hair and are made with poor quality ingredients so I can’t offer any advice etc, sorry.
OH MY GOD.
I LITERALLY FOUND YOUR BLOG LAST WEEK while searching for low porosity products. I’m so glad I came across it! You saved me from swiping my card on devacurl products. They smell so good!! I finally understand why my hair isn’t curling properly and it’s because I’m in the overly moisturized phase. Definitely will be clarifying for awhile.
I also have the same problems with butters, they overly moisturize my hair and my causes my hair to weigh down. I’ll be trying some products you mentioned and see where my hair goes! I just bought the Aussie Instant Freeze and it didn’t hold up, but smeelllsss sooo good. How much do you recommend I should be putting?
Hi Chandi, clarifying will help, but most of all you need to get the protein levels back up in your hair. After trying lots of bought and DIY protein treatments, I found my modified rice water treatment method was the best and gave the most consistent and noticeable results, check out that post here> https://curlmaven.ie/my-rice-water-rinse-routine-results/ As for the hair products you mentioned, a lot of that can be due to your hair porosity, so finding out what you have and avoiding/embracing certain products will help, check out this post> https://curlmaven.ie/hair-porosity/ And finally, Aussie Instant Freeze is my all time favourite budget-friendly, glycerin-free gel! If you pair it with a mousse before you apply the gel, that’s my favourite styling combo and should give you the hold you need. I use a couple of dime sized amounts of that gel for my hair, and it’s quite thick! Hope that helps my love, Gabriella xoxo
Teresa Rutherford says
I was reading your post and my 3.5 year old grand daughter with curly brown hair crawled into my lap and asked me to go back to the “other picture”. She looked at your photo in the red dress and said ” I want to be that when I grow up” I thought you might enjoy that little bit toddler joy.
Oh my goodness, Teresa! That is the cutest, sweetest, loveliest thing! Bless your precious little grand daughter! Please tell her I said thank you and hello! Aww, my heart is melted! xoxo
My daughter has tight corkscrew curls. She 3 years old and her hair sits on her shoulders but when I pull a curl straight they reach her bum. I have wavy hair (it’s my husband who has the curly hair – kept very short) so needless to say we haven’t a clue where to start. I do be afraid in case some of the curly products/conditioners aren’t suitable for a child. Though her hair is so knotty all the time. I use a Loreal Low Shampoo and then Tresume curly hair conditioner that I leave in. Have you any tips on how to look after a child’s curly hair?
Hi Gina, I have 2 curly children. My son, who keeps his hair really short and tight, and my daughter who has all sorts of curls from corkscrew underneath, to waves on top. Her hair used to be tight corkscrew curls all over her hair, but after I cut it for the first time (aged 5) and as she’s got older, the curls have fallen and dropped out, despite almost 2 years following the CGM. I wouldn’t be afraid of using CG products on your daughter’s hair, I’d be far more concerned about the ingredients in NON-CG products! However, there’s a brand of CG friendly products specifically designed for children called Curly Ellie, check them out online. MopTop and Curls in the US also do kiddie-specific lines. I have some content on my Instagram highlights and feed of how I look after my daughters curls, if you want to check me out there. http://www.instagram.com/curlycailin.ie Hope that helps!
Jan Allen says
This has been one of the most helpful posts I’ve read about starting the cgm! Thank you so much for such a detailed documentation of your journey. It is very encouraging to someone in the transition phase. I’ve been following several curlies on Instagram who post very informative posts and reviews but it’s hard to remember that my hair will not look like that after just one month of cg. It takes time, trial and research. Thank God so many places like Ulta, target, etc. have a great return policy. I’m pinning this post and clicking all the links. Can’t wait to try your motified rice treatment! Thank you again for sharing! Your curls are beautiful! Oh one question, do you color your hair or is that all natural? I have mine colored to cover gray so wondering if I need to motified anything bc or that?
Hi Jan, thank you so, so much for your kind, sweet message! That’s exactly why I write these blog posts! I’m so glad you’ve found my content helpful, and I’m honoured to be a part of your curly journey. To answer your question, I don’t colour my hair, that is my natural colour. Colouring hair isn’t ideal, but if you do, to cover up greys, or for whatever reason, then try to use a more natural dye, or visit a well-trained colour specialist hair dresser. And make sure you use colour-safe clarifying shampoos, such as the one from Bounce Curl. Which I have a discount code for, use CURLYCAILIN10 at checkout. Hope that helps xoxo
Like you I was born with ringlet hair but after I got older for what ever reason my family never encouraged my curly hair. As a teen I hated my frizzy strands and used a flat iron every day. As a young adult I was told by a hair dresser I had curly hair… mind blown! Why didn’t I connect this before? I wore it curly for a while but I never liked it. It was long and stringy and I hated having gooey sticky hair. I just didn’t know what to do so I gave up my curls for a styling wand and more heat abuse. Now many years later I’m growing tired of the damage. My hair breaks easily and I can feel how dry it is. I’d guess at best I can get a 2b curl; curlier underneath, wavier in top. My hair, when curled, looks like a bad 80’s perm. Stringy and thin. This was such a wonderful read. Thank you so much for sharing. It is a lot of info and a lot of changing products. As someone who wants to breathe life into their lost curls, what would you recommend product wise to get me started?
Hi Heather, wow, that was like reading my own curl journey as a child and young adult! We’ve had very similar experiences. My hair at the peak of it’s damage before I discovered the CG method was a 2a-2b at BEST! Now it’s a 3a-3b, so this method can and does absolutely work, you just need time, patience, persistence, research, trial and error. And lots of water and conditioner! I’m due to write a post on the key “starter pack” of what you need to get started with this method. Have you checked out my post on my favourite curly girl products? https://curlmaven.ie/favourite-curly-girl-products-2018/ or How to build a curly girl routine? https://curlmaven.ie/how-to-build-a-curly-girl-hair-routine/ Both of those posts will help you get started and plenty of product suggestions. But a quick start would be the As I Am Coconut Co Wash, a good conditioner (from brands such as Boucleme, MopTop, Matrix Biolage (Hydrasource Conditioner), DevaCurl, Bounce Curl) and then a gel. I also love Pantene Defined Curls Mousse No. 5. I’ve used it for almost 20 years now and it’s amazing paired with a gel. Hopefully that’s enough to get you started. But stay tuned for more posts which you should find helpful. xoxo
Jeri A Hartzell says
Cailin your hair is beautiful. This post is so informative. I do like the finger coiling. Keep up the good styling!
Thank you. My name is Gabriella btw….x
Hi Gabriella, I was wondering how finger coiling is going for you? Did you find that it enhanced your natural curls? Are you still doing it? I’m wondering if I should give it a try as well.
I’m about 5 months into the curly girl method and I feel like I’ve hit a wall. My curls seem stringy and lackluster & I think they’re in the hygral fatigue stage (I messed up – I’m low porosity, so I cut protein out of my routine 100%. Just recently learned I need a balance). I’m honestly so frustrated I feel like quitting. I love your curls and wish mine were as beautiful and bouncy, but mine are all over the place.
Aww Salma, sorry to hear you’re feeling that way about your hair and giving up right now. We’ve all been there. I almost gave up after 3/4 months, but I’m so glad I didn’t! I only finger coiled for one month, every wash day. And that seemed to work wonders for my curls. That was about 10 months ago, and my hair is a little over moisturised at the back and I think I might start finger coiling again for another little while to help my curl pattern again. I would definitely say to give it a go. I’ve got a YouTube video on how I finger coil my curly hair. As for low porosity hair not liking protein, that’s a complete, misinformed myth and absolutely not true! Hope that helps lovey xoxo
Sooo nice finding a curly hair blog to relate to, which are definitely lacking! I’ve definitely shared some of those insecurities and damaged my curls a lot through straightening and highlighting. Thanks so much for doing this and sharing your experiences. Are there any main products and tips you’ve taken away from this to sum up for a daily/weekly routine?
Hi Carrie, thank you so so much for those kind, sweet words! It’s why I decided to start this blog! I’ve got a few posts which will answer those questions for you, My Favourite Products: https://curlmaven.ie/favourite-curly-girl-products-2018/ How to build a curly girl product routine: https://curlmaven.ie/how-to-build-a-curly-girl-hair-routine/ and as for tips, I’ve got a post on different curly girl techniques, but the tips that have changed the game for me the most, are my posts on Glycerin 101: https://curlmaven.ie/glycerin-101-for-curly-hair/ and Protein Moisture Balance: https://curlmaven.ie/protein-moisture-balance/ Hope that helps, lots of info there xoxo
Hi! I don’t know where to start. Have been straightening my hair for years. Going to be 40 soon and feel like my hair is a dry, frizzy mess with lots of shedding and breakage. My hair has definitely gotten thinner and seems so fragile. What should I start doing?
Hi Tiffany, reading this post on What is the Curly Girl Method? is a great place to start, and then the posts in my CG Basics tab will all help you get started. https://curlmaven.ie/what-is-the-curly-girl-method/
Hi Gabriella! I’ve been CGM for about two months now and your blog has been the Rosetta Stone of embracing my curls! We have very similar hair types so it’s really nice to see examples of where my hair could be in a year or more! I’ve been having some trouble lately with the top layer of my hair going kind of frizzy and ratty whilst lovely curls develop underneath. If I use too heavy a hand on the conditioner, my hair goes greasy (low porosity, 2c/3a on the best of days). I think my hair is over conditioned, so I’m working on adding protein per your protein/moisture balance post, but is there anything i can do to fix this gross top layer of flat/frizzy/stringy hair? I’ve tried washing my hair upside down, not touching the top layer, clipping my hair, air drying, gel, diffusing and more. Thanks so much for your help and for all the effort you put into this website!!
Hi Olivia, Thanks so much for your kind, sweet words, I’m so glad you’ve found my blog helpful! I’ve literally just replied to a very similar comment to someone else on the blog about this very same thing. Have you read this post?: https://curlmaven.ie/get-root-volume-curly-hair/ You need to turn the temperature down, and the pressure down on your shower head, as well as turning your head upside down. All of those things can damage and loosen the natural curl pattern. You need to keep doing that consistently for every wash day for a few weeks before you’ll start to see improvements and results. Combined with regular deep conditioning with protein treatments, which will also help. However, not everyone’s curl pattern is the same and consistent the whole way around their head. I hope that helps xoxo
I have recently started using Curly Girl method routine, its been 2 weeks.is it ok to shampoo hair once in 2 weeks with ogx moroccon shampoo (blue bottle) followed by deep conditioning with sheaMoisturer Leave in conditioner and then vO5 gel for styling and scrunching.
Not using any creme in between, but wet my hair everyday with leave in conditioner??
is it ok?
Please suggest any other tips needed, because i wont see much good results yet.
Hi Hemmu, I’m not sure that OGX shampoo is curly girl friendly, and I don’t recommend Shea Moisture (or Cantu). I’ve used that V05 gel before and I’m not a fan of that either. I’ve got a few posts on my favourite product and how to build a curly girl product routine, you should maybe check those out. x
Cathryn A Malich says
I’ve enjoyed reading your blog/site. I love your curls. I wild hair looks like month 7 pic #2. But I am so overwhelmed by the number of products and when to use them. I’m so frozen in choices at the moment.
Clair Henderson says
what a great find your blog is, felt I’ve learned loads, thank you.
Clair Henderson says
P.S. I prefer your natural curls 🙂
Hi Cailin. I am completely new to CG, and am right now trying to figure out what the my first products should be.. I am considering both the As I Am Coconut Co-wash and Boucleme cleanser and conditioner – but not sure whether I would use either or, or both? Do you switch between the products when you wash?
Besides these, I think I need a leave-in conditioner, mousse, gel and clarifying shampoo. Anything I have missed that’s a must for a newbie? Thanks for your helpful blog!
Hi, (it’s Gabriella, not Cailín). Anyhusan, you don’t need the co wash and the Boucleme cleanser, as they are both co-washes. I’ve got a few posts on my favourite products in the What To Buy tab if you want to check those blog posts for what I use most and recommend. I also have this post which will really help, on how to build a curly girl routine: https://curlmaven.ie/how-to-build-a-curly-girl-hair-routine/
Thank you so much for this blog! I have straightened my curly hair for 26 years n started CG method 7 months ago, I’ve been following lots of curlies on Instagram but you are the first I have found with the same porosity and curl type and I’ve learned so much from you!!! Been having a massive blip lately with lots of frizz but your post on moisture / protein balance has helped me massively x
Aww thank you so much! Remember it’s always the hardest for the first few weeks and months, but it gets better the longer you stick with it x
I have a question. I wanna do a haircut. What did you tell you hair dresser what type of haircut you want?
See this post: https://curlmaven.ie/i-got-my-hair-cut/
This is super inspiring, I am just embarking on my CG journey but read conflicting posts about the ‘final wash’ – is this necessary or can you just jump into using the As I am cowash as the original CG handbook doesn’t mention a final wash? My old shampoo had dimethicone and read that nothing but a shampoo with sulphates would remove it from my hair, so I’m worried that if I go into co-washing, it won’t ever remove the strong dimethicone.
Also would this shampoo work as a clarifying one? I have some bottles I’d occasionally use. It has Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate in it but no silicone.
You must do a final wash with a sulfate shampoo that’s free from silicones. A co wash is not a final wash
Hi Gabriella, you are amazing for all of the loving advice and wealth of knowledge you share with us! I have recently started finger coiling, as there are a few sections that have just not been behaving, but I’ve noticed that when I do, the curls only tighten up starting from the middle down to the ends. The roots to the middle are completely curl-less. Ordinarily, I have 2c-3b curls that start about an inch from the roots. I have tried coiling tighter/looser, using more/less product, coiling in multiple directions, but nothing seems to be working. I just did 3 weekly treatments of your modified rice water, so my balance seems to be in check. Any ideas on why this is happening, or what I might be doing wrong? THANK YOU!!
Hi Tish, thank you so much for your kind words. What you’re describing is really common when finger coiling. It takes a while to train the curl all the way up the hair. And is why it’s recommended that if you finger coil you need to do it every single washday for at LEAST a month, if not three months. So stick with it, if you want to train your curls and check out this video I did on finger coiling, as I do it a little differently to other people, as I couldn’t get any other way to work. https://youtu.be/L2RinLH7Dfk – hope that helps!
That makes so much sense! I will continue to stick with it a while longer – good things take time
You mentioned that Davines products are full of silicones. I’ve just started on the CG path and bought the Davines love curl shampoo to start with and was planning to build from there. I thought it wasCG approved and that it doesn’t have silicone in it.
I’m not sure now anymore. Could you help?
I do like the shampoo, because it’s really soft, leaving my hair fresh, smells lovely and I can postpone my washday by 1 day
hey, I had this question just the other day, and I checked the ingredients – maybe it was the conditioner, but it definitely still has silicones. But there are websites like isitcg.com and curslbot.com where you can copy and paste the ingredients list and they’ll tell you if they’re CG or not x