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49 Comments

  1. Hey! My hair is pretty similar to yours- curl type, thickness, amount, even color! I have medium porosity- maybe slightly high porosity at times. I have never clarified and am buying the Kinky Curl Come Clean. I want to incorporate deep conditioning into my routine too but don’t know which deep conditioner to use. My hair is pretty healthy and shiny, curls stick around for days, never had split ends but I still get some frizz. I’m guessing I need something pretty balanced on protein? Do you think a deep conditioning masque from Shea Moisture be ok? I like them because their products are clean and affordable. But I know the products can be on the heavier/thick side. Innersense is clean too but pricier (I use them for shampoo conditioner).

    1. I don’t use or recommend Shea Moisture. There are far better products out there, made with much better quality ingredients and formulations. Even if budget is an issue or deciding factor.

  2. Richelle Frankford says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am struggling trying to figure out with the best deep conditioner for my hair would be as well as what I could use as a weekly shampoo and conditioner. I see that you have suggested innersense and bounce curl and I’m just wondering what would be the best way to go with those. Can I use the bounce curl clarifying to wash twice a week and then innersense for conditioner? I typically wash my hair twice a week. Do you use a leave in as well? I appreciate your help!

    1. Hi Richelle, I offer 1:1 Curl Clinics, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues your experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  3. Hi!
    What do you use the days you don’t use claryfying shampoo or Co-wash?:)

    1. I haven’t co washed in 2 years. I use a low lathering cleanser, mostly the Bounce Curl Clarifying Shampoo – which isn’t a clarifying shampoo in the normal sense of the word. It’s gentle enough for regular use and doesn’t get rid of hard water, limescale, metal or mineral deposits like a chelating shampoo.

  4. You said to deep condition to fix protein issues. Deep condition with what?

  5. Hi this is such an informative post and really helps to get through all the minefield of information about the curly girl method (Ive been following it for 2 years now!)
    I recently discovered that glycerin is causing me issues and have just read your blog about this and purchased a few glycerin free products but now Im wondering if Ive ordered the wrong products. Is protein an easily readable ingredient on products or does it come up as another name? I have ordered the asiam cowash, aussie instant freeze gel and about to get the jessiecurl deep conditioning treatment. Do these sound like a good combo to you?
    Thanks so much for this amazing blog, its so helpful! Deb

  6. Susan McGrath says:

    Hi, I’m only transitioning for the last six months and I’ve already gotten close to hygral fatigue at least twice. The first was using far too heavy moisturising deep conditioners and I’m coming out of the second one now after reading this, I thought co-washing was a basic requirement! I’m much better off now.

    Because I seem to tip into over-moisturized hair so easily, I’ve been hesitant about using a heat cap with my deep conditioner – I’m not sure I really want it to work more than it already is. Would you recommend using one with less frequent deep conditioning, or do you think it would be a problem?

    1. Don’t feel you have to use a thermal heat cap for deep conditioning if you don’t think you need it.

  7. Hi Gabriela,

    Just perusing your blog, and I can’t help but think that you should write an encyclopedia on beauty with an emphasis on curls. You have so much useful knowledge.

    Thanks for taking the time to educate and share your experiences. The information you provide is certainly helping me on my new curly journey.

    1. Hi Jennifer, I certainly want to write a book in the future, but an encyclopedia sounds like a lot of work! ha ha.

  8. Kathy Vitali says:

    Hi there, thank you for all this info. I tried to use your code on look fantastic. But it didn’t work. Any idea why?

    1. Hi there, make sure you’re using code CURLYCAILINLF but if the product you’re trying to purchase is already discounted, the code may not work. And although my code is valid for hundreds of products on the site, it’s not a completely site-wide code. Hope that helps.

  9. Hi Gabriela, I love your posts, they are very informative. Do you know anything about an online shop called the house of curls UK?

    1. Hi Tipi, thanks so much. Yes, House of Curls is a new online shop of some of the popular American brands of curly hair care products, run by a Welsh curly girl called Claire. I’ve purchased from them and very much recommend.

  10. Hi Gabriela,
    Your blog is very informative and has helped me a lot on my cg journey. I’m just a rookie – I started this just last week. If you could help me with couple of questions I have:
    – I have fine, low porosity hair (or possibly medium porosity) (gets wet/dries reasonably fast, gets weighted down easily and styling doesn’t hold on very long)
    – I have never dyed my hair but I wash (or used to wash) it everyday and blow dry it and then straighten the hair on top.

    Now to my cg journey:
    – I have SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus shampoo and conditioner, Matrix Biolage Hydrasource conditioner, Boucleme Curl Defining Gel and Pantene Pro-V Defined Curls Mousse
    – I don’t blow dry nor straighten
    – I wash every two days

    The Sheamoisture products seem to weight my hair down. My hair stays very flat even though I wash and air dry my hair upside down.
    – Do you think it is just because of these Sheamoisture products aren’t suitable for low porosity hair?
    – Would you recommend me to by a low poo shampoo or just a co-wash (like As I Am)?

    Also, I’ve used apple cider vinegar (1tbs in 250ml of distilled water) to clarify my hair. I’ve done it once and thought to clarify once a month.
    – Do you think acv is good for my hair and for this purpose?

    1. Hi Therese, there are a lot of questions here. I offer 1:1 Curl Clinics, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  11. Love this! I am just starting my journey and am unsure of chelating/clarifying. The area I live in is not a high-water area, nor do I swim in the ocean or sea regularly (almost never!) so does that mean I should go with a clarifying shampoo? I was thinking the Bounce Curl Clarifying Shampoo since it’s easiest to get a hold of here in Sweden (though it’s almost $40 here..!). However, since I have never chelated my hair, would you recommend Bumble and Bumble as a first chelating step on my journey? My budget isn’t too high and if I can get away with only a clarifying one I would, but at the same time I want to give my curls a fighting chance from the get go. Btw, my hair is highly porous, frizzy, and I have 2c/3a curls.

    1. Hi Sharon, sure. From what you’re describing, you don’t need a chelating shampoo, a clarifying one will be fine to get rid of general product build up such as the Bounce Curl Clarifying Shampoo. That’s actually gentle enough to use as your regular cleanser 2/3 times a week, but it’s not strong enough to remove silicones, metal or mineral deposits or hard water. It’s my favourite cleanser of all time. Hope that helps x

  12. Hi Gabriella,
    thanks so much for all the information you provide (and your very funny Instagram stories :))!
    I recently moved from an area with extremely hard water, where I had my whole routine figured out. Now, I live in an area with soft water (and medium / low humidity) and my curls won’t stay longer than a couple of hours on washdays. I barely get any clumping. Do you have any tips for switching from hard to soft water? I have cut back on chelating shampoos (which I had to use regularly before), but other than that I don’t know what to change.
    I have noticed similar changes before while traveling, but I am going to be stuck with soft water for the time being and I miss my curls!
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Helena, from what you’re describing, your hair sounds over moisturised. Clarifying is not JUST for hard water and limescale, it’s beneficial for other reasons too. However, it sounds like your hair needs protein, so check out my blog post, YouTube video and IGTV on Protein Moisture Balance. Alternatively, I offer 1:1 Curl Clinics, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  13. Hi there, I have curly hair (prob 2c/3a as I know realise!) and have only just heard of this website from friends. Up to now, I just shampoo/moisturise every 2/3 days with non curl-specific stuff. I always air-dry and am constantly trying to find a good product to style, so vary between mousse/cream/oil depending what catches my eye. How nice my curls are seems to vary constantly but lately are mostly undefined and a bit dry/frizzy. I swim in the ocean in the summer, our water is not that hard and I think my hair is low-medium porosity.
    I was wondering where would be a good place to start – I’ve tried to read through as many posts here as possible I was thinking of starting with:
    Clarifying – bumble and bumble Sunday shampoo x 1 a month
    Cleanser – bounce curl moisturizing shampoo 2/3 a week
    Conditioner – matrix biolage hydro source conditioner 2/3 a week
    Styling – Pantene defined curls no 5 mousse, Aussie instant freeze gel

    Would this make sense? I’ve never done a clarify or deep condition or any of that stuff before so trying to keep it simple enough to start with! Thanks

    1. Hi Elaine, if you swim a lot regardless of whether it’s in the ocean or a pool, you will need to clarify with the Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo more often than once a month, during the Summer/when you’re swimming. I don’t use oils on my hair, and don’t recommend it. The proposed routine you’ve given is all moisture and hardly any protein, which is what gives the hair the strength and the structure to curl. I suggest booking in for a 1:1 Curl Clinic, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  14. Hi Gabriella,
    I really like your blog, It is very well laid out, informative and useful. This is one of the best blogs amongst so many curly girl pages. Love your Instagram page too, your personality and sense of humour in it 🙂

    I’m new to CGM started it during lockdown after straightening my hair for years. To be honest I completely forgot I am that curly… 😉
    I’m still trying to figure things out especially in terms of my hair porosity and protein/moisture balance.
    I hope you can help me figure out one thing if you don’t mind ?
    I have tried rice water rince but results were quite disappointing, I felt it almost stretched my curls and made them dryer and stiff…
    I also didn’t have a luck with Bounce Curl light cream gel which again I found after few times of using my curls seemed less defined and dry.

    Would that mean my hair are protein sensitive? I’ve used protein products (mostly keratin based) for years.

    I’m currently using Noughty Hello Wave shampoo, conditioner and a tiny bit of cream under the gel.
    Thanks a lot !

    1. Hi Justyna, I recommend booking in for a 1:1 Curl Clinic, as there’s a lot of questions that are specific to your hair, and everyone’s hair is different. They’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  15. What do you know about the briogeo deep conditioning mask ? I ordered it online. Hasn’t arrived yet but wondering if I should return it ?

    I have been using the innersense line for a week now. They recommended the color shampoo and conditioner because I highlight and color my hair. Is it balanced for moisture and protein like the other innersense you recommended ? I noticed they have glycerin in the ingredients and hoping that won’t be an issue w frizz come hotter weather in NY

    1. Hi. Thank you so much for this blog. Your posts have given me so much information in my curly hair journey.
      I’m trying to organize a schedule but I’m a bit confused with the co-wash.
      I’m aiming on shampooing once a week. If so, how often should I co-wash? On co-wash days, should I do the same styling process that on shampoo days?
      Lastly, I’ve been doing Olaplex on shampoo days (once a week). Should I deep condition that same day?
      Thanks again for your guidance.

      1. Hi Erika, I’d ask why are you aiming on shampooing once a week? Is the goal to wash your hair less often, or to embrace and enhance your natural waves and curl pattern? For most people, washing their hair once a week is not enough. You need to wash your hair twice, using either a low lathering, sulfate free shampoo, or a co wash. You always need to condition and style as usual. If you have bleached, highlighted or chemically treated hair, then yes I advise doing an Olaplex treatment, max once a week, min once a month. I offer 1:1 Curl Clinics, they’re a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the products you’re using and the issues you’re experiencing. I then put together a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. If that’s something you’re interested in, please fill out this form, and I’ll get back to you via email with all of the details. http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact

  16. I hadn’t diffused my hair in ages…. I wet it and diffused it upside down for 5 min and bingo… Curls in the top layer. Thanks!!

  17. when you deep condition with something like biolage hydra source balm, do you mean this is when you leave it in with one of your heat cap? and how long? or do you mean you just use it as the conditioner for a few minutes in the shower? thanks?

  18. Hey.. I’m a year in now and Im definitely benefitting from low poo now instead of cowash. I’m getting lovely corkscrew curls in my inner layers now up to the back of my ears and looser curls from the top of my head. How long did it take for you to get wringlets all over or should I give up and accept its my curl pattern?

    1. Hi Roisin, that’s most likely due to the way you’re washing your hair. See these posts for more info and details: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/how-to-beat-halo-frizz/ and https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/get-root-volume-curly-hair/ but basically you want to turn your head upside down, turn the temperature down and turn the pressure down. All these things are beating down on the crown of your head during your shower, damaging the hair, causing frizz, breakage and pulling the natural curl pattern out. x

  19. Thanks for the post. I live in the Caribbean where the humidity is almost always high. I read your post on glycerine where you recommend using styling products without glycerine. Would the bounce curl and inner sense shampoo and conditioners still work well for me in this humidity?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Tracy, the humidity is high in Ireland too. I still recommend the Bounce Curl cleansers, Innersense Conditioners and Stylers – their gel is glycerin free too.

      1. Mariafranca says:

        Hi Gabriella, thanks for the post. I would like to ask further regarding Glycerin. Does Glycerin have an impact on the moisture of the hair? I mean, if I think I have over-moisturized hair, should I prefer products without glycerin in it or it doesn’t matter? Thank you very much! Mariafranca

        1. Hi Mariafranca, Yes! If you have over moisturised hair, then you want to avoid products that are high in glycerin, especially if the dew points or humidity is high. As glycerin is a humectant and will continually attract moisture to from the environment into the hair. Hope that helps.

          1. Kennedy Bennett says:

            So.. I’m totally new to this and was researching and found this!!! My question is.. Do you use a conditioner when you co-wash? and also when you Low-poo? Or do you just recommend a deep condition

          2. Hiya, I’ve got a post more on the basics which will explain all of those things here: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/what-is-the-curly-girl-method/ and here: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/how-to-build-a-curly-girl-hair-routine/ but I don’t recommend using a conditioner to co wash. You need something to cleanse your hair, a conditioner will not do that. Cowashing is only great at the start of the curly girl method – I believe – and then it suits and works better to switch to a low poo – a low lathering cleanser. I deep condition at least every month, but it differs for each person. I don’t recommend it more than once a week though.

      2. Cailin- have you tried briogio products? If so, thoughts?

  20. Yes! Thank you, I needed this so much. I am in Las Vegas with the hardest water so I ordered the Bumble and Bumble.

    1. Dawn Smith says:

      Hiya – What about if you have hard water but your hair is colour treated – mine is highlighted- as Bumble and Bumble say its not suitable

      1. All hard water shampoos that get rid of limescale and mineral deposits from the hair are listed as not colour safe. However, that’s for regular use. It’s actually recommended that you use one of these chelating clarifying shampoos BEFORE you get your hair coloured, so there’s no build up on the hair of limescale, mineral deposits and product build up so that the colour will take better to the hair, be more vibrant and last longer. So it’s actually advisable to use the Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo before you colour your hair and then deep condition afterwards.

  21. Kelsey Finnigan says:

    Thanks for this! Would you recommend rotating weekly deep conditioning treatments? One week moisture one week protein to get a better balance? Or could I combine the treatments into one? For example: combining a scoop of Matrix and a scoop of Hairfinity once a week? I recently dyed my hair blonde and I that that’s what’s off.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Kelsey, you can do that. However the Hairfinity masque is already formulated to have both protein and moisture in it, so if you were to deep condition with that weekly you’d be fine.

      1. isn’t the balanced protein and moisture that one you write above the photo one, and the hairfinity is the one you wrote as the more protein heavy one? thanks!

        1. phyto one, not photo one…* idk why it auto corrected to that!