Chosen to embrace your natural curls, waves, kinks and coils?
Ditched sulfates and silicones that are found in most regular hair product brands (even the ones purported to be for curly hair), in favour of ingredients that nourish, hydrate & protect your hair?
You’re already a champ! You’ve prioritised hair health and your hair is on the way to being restored.
But products are only one part of the equation to maximising your curl potential.
As the title of this page suggests, Method Matters too!
Curl experts all agree that the methods you use are just as important as the products you use (or don’t use!).
That’s because how you cleanse, style and dry your hair can either promote hair health, or it can contribute to hair damage.
Your methods can also make even healthy hair appear pouffy, dry, fuzzy and blown apart, but it's important to remember this is purely an aesthetic issue - and we'll get to those methods in a moment.
BUT FIRST, LET'S LOOK AT METHODS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO HAIR HEALTH
In a nutshell the following methods contribute to hair damage...
- Excessive heat to style and dry
- Using straighteners or curling tongs
- Chemical straightening or colouring
- Rubbing with a traditional bath towel
- Mechanical stretching into tight hairstyles
- Using rubber bands and elastic hair ties
- Brushing & combing
And in a nutshell these methods promote hair health...
- Gentle cleansing (with a sulphate free cleanser) and / or co-washing
- Gentle finger detangling with conditioner to aid the process
- If removing excess water, doing so with a soft cotton t-shirt in a gentle scrunching or blotting motion
- Air-drying, diffusing or hooded dryer drying on a medium heat
- Gentle, low tension styles using clips for up-do’s
NOW LET'S LOOK AT METHODS THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO CURLS' APPEARANCE
First 2 pics on the left: All the basic methods for hair health completed, but no additional styling methods to make curls look defined and hydrated.
Last 2 pics on the right: All the basics completed, but with the addition of styling methods that maximise the appearance of the curls to look defined and hydrated.
On this day I used two different methods for styling and drying my hair (yes, I did wash my hair twice in one day ;). Both methods were completely Curly Girl Method.
Your methods can make your hair look very different, but this also gives you options! Fluffy and soft, or defined and hydrated. Which is your favourite?
HAVING NATURALLY CURLY HAIR DOESN'T MEAN A LIFE-SENTENCE OF FRIZZ IF THAT'S NOT YOUR VIBE!
Frizz may be a result of certain mechanical habits, chemical processes, or unhelpful products. It can also be the result of styling techniques. But, whatever the natural texture you do have, you can expect some frizz. It's normal and natural. For a tonne more information, specific to your hair, be sure to see The Curl Next Door and download the resources there.
AND HERE ARE SOME BASICS THAT EVERY TRUE CURL AFICIONADO HAS IN THEIR TOOLBOX OF TRICKS
These will help you play around with the level of definition in your curls' appearance:
- Apply product while hair is soaking wet or remove excess water before applying product for a more dispersed yet still defined look.
- Bring curly hair into curl clumps with the addition of more water if you wish to have bigger clumps, or no added water for smaller clumps (Water + product = definition).
- ‘As it looks wet so it will look dry’ - if it is webbed wet, it will be webbed dry - if the clumps are small wet, the clumps will be small dry - if the ends of the curls are split apart while wet, they be split apart when dry.
- Water brings strands together - don’t underestimate the power of water during your styling process, whether it is a little or a lot, it is your preference, but water is the key.
- You are aiming to create a ‘cast’ around the curls with your styling product, usually a gel, or base styling product and topper styling product.
- Layering styling product can sometimes help if you’re wanting excellent definition and multiple day hold, but this result is also very dependent on your texture structure and strength of your texture.
- If your hair is easily weighed down with weight from water you can encourage your curl formation again by gentle scrunching and add clips at the scalp to get some root lift and height.
- Touch your curls to break the clumps up while it is drying if you choose. For a greater dispersed look, go ahead and touch them earlier than fully dry. If you wish for a truly defined look, hold off touching until 100% dry. Remember, ‘as it looks wet, so it will look dry’.
- Air-dry, diffuse or use a hooded dryer on medium heat.
- Once fully dry, scrunch out the crunch from the cast (SOTC), to the level that you wish to begin breaking the hold of the product. Or let life over the next few hours to days break that cast for you.