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
- Removing excess water with a soft cotton t-shirt in a gentle scrunching motion
- Air-drying, diffusing or hooded dryer drying on a low to 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 methods to make curls look defined and hydrated.
Last 2 pics on the right: All the basics completed, but with the addition of 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!
All hair types are different, and what works perfectly for one may not work for another (I diffuse upside down for example, but another curlie with texture right at the scalp may prefer to dry right side up), or someone with longer hair may also prefer to diffuse right side up.
To learn how to look after your hair texture get a copy of Lorraine Massey's 'Curly Girl: The Handbook'.
This international best-seller is often available in public libraries and online, and has pages dedicated to care and styling methods for each different curl type (botticelli, fractal, swavy, etc).
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.
- Layering styling product can sometimes help if you’re wanting excellent definition and multiple day hold.
- 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 is your choice. 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 low to medium heat.
- Once fully dry, scrunch out the crunch from the cast (SOTC).
And while the basics have been a game changer for curly girls and guys globally, here’s another revelation…
CURL SPECIALISTS, ONLINE COURSES, CURL LESSONS, CURL WORKSHOPS...
Because if you find you’re still needing help, signing up to see a Curl Specialist for a lesson or committing do a course offered by a curl specialist can save you time and money in the long-run. You can read more about these on our Resources page.