I’ve just stumbled across this Mumsnet post about the Curly Girl method and how it didn’t work for her…
I find it really frustrating when people don’t actually follow the correct method or use the right products then post negative stuff saying the method didn’t work!!
I’m now over 3 years into my curly journey… Here’s a quick reminder of my first few months (I haven’t taken any recent hair pictures!)
Sure, the The Curly Girl method isn’t going to work for everyone but the original post made some pretty obvious mistakes – so she never gave it a chance to succeed:
Mistake #1 The wrong products: the lady had removed the sulphates from her routine (which is good) but was using Frizz Ease. Frizz Ease contains silicones which coats the hair but it can’t be removed effectively without sulphates (found in shampoo). So her washing method wasn’t able to cleanse her hair and remove the silicone. She was doomed before she even got started!
Mistake #2 More wrong products: the lady was using a Boots curl cream that isn’t curly girl approved as it contains drying alcohols which could actually make her hair more frizzy! Some non-purist curly girls use this curl cream occasionally (the drying alcohol content is low) but it’s not recommended and shouldn’t really be part of a day to day routine. With the Curly Girl method, less is more – finding just 1 conditioner you can use as a co-wash and for styling (and watered down to refresh) is the simplest way to start. Then you can add other curly girl approved products later.
Mistake #3 Expecting an overnight miracle: the original post says she tried the method for 2 weeks. That’s just not long enough to give the method time to work! When you stop using sulphate shampoo your hair stops being stripped of its natural oils after every wash. It can take a few weeks (for some it’s 6+ weeks) for the oils to settle down. During this period you’ve really just got to persevere. I co-washed more frequently during this time and wore my hair up for work. Find a good time to transition!
Mistake #4 Preparation: the original post doesn’t mention whether she did a final (sulphate) wash to remove all of the silicone built up from styling products, but as she was still using Frizz Ease, she definitely needed to ditch the Frizz Ease and do a final wash. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is with hand soap or washing up liquid (just check it has no silicones in it!). If you don’t make sure all of the silicones have been removed then the method won’t work! The foundations have to be right. I occasionally wash my hair with washing up liquid if it’s been styled with hairspray (I do dance shows and a bit of amateur modelling so my hair has to be styled a particular way!) but I’ve managed to go 2 years between ‘final’ washes and just co-washed in between.
Those of us who follow the method have all developed slightly different routines but these basics are pretty much the same for every one of us. If you get these right you have the best possible chance of success! There are some excellent support groups on Facebook too who can give you excellent (and accurate) advice!
I think the lady on Mumsnet has already made her decision to bin off the Curly Girl method, which is a shame. But hopefully if you are reading this, you can make sure you get it right!