My lazy version of the curly girl method.
I wasn’t actually supposed to blog about this until my 8th month or so on the #curlygirlmethod (CGM), when my hair has finished transitioning, but I have male students who had been asking me what I did to transform my hair. Emphasis on MALE because they can’t be members of the Curly Girls Philippines FB group.
To be honest, I thought that it had always been obvious that I have always had kulot katutubo hair. I mean my dad had an effortless afro in the 70s and 80s, for crying out loud. (Though my hair didn’t start curling stubbornly until I hit puberty.)
I actually grew up hating my dark skin color and my super stubborn hair. From 2001 to 2009, I constantly had my hair straightened. I’ve been free of that insecurity for 10 years now (I embraced everything about being a katutubo, from my skin down to my hair in 2009), but it was only last month that I learned how to really care for my locks via CGM. This change was actually triggered by the fact that I’ve become so sick of ironing and blow-drying my hair. (I mean, seriously guys, do you know how long it takes for curly hair to dry???)
So anyway, I had always thought that it was obvious that I am a curly girl, but when MY OWN DAD ASKED ME if I had my hair permed, I was aghast. Like…Hallo, dad, did you forget you used to sport an afro? So I tried to look for comparison photos of my pre-CGM hair and a month after CGM. I was shocked by the difference! No wonder people keep asking me if I had my hair permed.
All this time…Did you guys think that my hair was just wild (magulo) and not really curly? Hahahaha!
Anyway, enough about me. I’m here to help the guys out there who want to start the method but couldn’t belong to any curly girl community. It’s really all about switching to products with no sulfates, parabens, or silicones. BUT before you get into the routine, you have to get started with…
The final wash.
First, you need to strip your hair of all the existing silicone and other harmful product buildup. These are the products I used.
You only do this ONCE, just to get you started on the CGM. The only time you have to do final wash again is if you mistakenly put non-CG friendly products on your hair. Dimethicone is a common ninja culprit.
Oh, and do note that I run all kinds of products through the Curlsbot checker first, to find out if it’s CG approved.
Surprisingly, once I had gone through the final wash and then started the CGM journey, my hair started drying faster after a bath. It used to take A WHOLE FRIGGIN’ DAY. Now it just takes about 3-4 hours haha.
Most members of the Curly Girl group don’t recommend washing everyday, but gosh. This is the Philippines, it’s summer, and my scalp perspires before my hair can even dry. Plus, I do cardio every morning. I just have to wash my hair daily. So what I did is rotate products. The stuff you see here are kinda expensive so I’m just waiting to get my hands on some CG-friendly Suave or VO5 conditioners. I ordered all of these from Lazada.
Just to break the photo down for you:
- Saturdays: Shampoo with Zenutrients Gugo variant + HumanHeartNature Hair Revival Coco Mask
- Sundays/Work from home days: Leave hair be (no washing)
- Alternating field work days:
- Zenutrients Tea Tree variant for washing, HumanHeartNature for Squish to Condish* (S2C)
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus cleansing conditioner for washing, Zenutrients Tea Tree for S2C.
- On days I feel lazy (and this is most of the time haha), I just S2C with whatever I feel like using.
*S2C = basically working conditioner into your hair and then squishing it while rinsing. I usually spread conditioner into my hair by using a wide-toothed comb before I go S2C. That’s the only time I ever use a comb, never when I’m out of the shower.
As for drying the hair…
We avoid towel drying the hair because that causes so much friction and frizz. This makes it difficult for your curl patterns to form. So we use either a cotton shirt or a micro-fiber towel to just squish some excess water out of your hair.
On days when I don’t have to leave the condo, I just use a leave-in conditioner. Heck, there will even be times, when I’m being extra lazy that I just don’t completely rinse out the conditioner during shower.
It’s a different story for when I need people to take me seriously. While my hair is wet, I use a pea-sized amount of Cantu curl activator cream, wait a few minutes, then seal that off with Bench Fix gel. Here’s the most important part that many gel-haters don’t know about: YOU SCRUNCH OUT THE CRUNCH (SOTC) when your hair has completely dried out. Before CGM, I thought you just sort of leave that hard cast on your hair, which was why I stayed away from gel for so long. Apparently, I did not know how to use gel.
Pictured here is the purple variant, extra hold, but I find that I like the green variant better because it’s easier to SOTC with it and my hair comes out softer.
I usually let it air dry because I’m too lazy to use a blow dryer. Heck, the reason I started CGM in the first place was because I was so tired of using a straightening iron on my bangs (only for them strands to get back to being curly once I perspire, augh). But when I really really need to have dry hair, the diffuser is my friend. Avoid applying direct heat to the hair if you don’t want it to go brittle in the future.
As for dyes…
So far this is the only brand locally available that has CG-friendly variants. Just remember to deep condition after coloring.
These are the basics. I’m still learning more, as there are certain important details that also matter when it comes to choosing the right CG-friendly products. One of them is hair porosity. I don’t even know what mine is. Other issues that can arise are protein overload and over-washing.
I’ll probably update again when I’ve been on the method for months. My hair is still kinda frizzy during the transition phase.
Here’s a photo of my first week on CGM. I didn’t even have to iron my bangs. It held on its own when I clipped it for a few hours then released it.