Lots of hair details coming riiight up! If you like before-and-after's, I'd love to have you stick around!
I've been familiar with the Curly Girl Method for quite some time, I own a copy of The Curly Girl Handbook by Lorraine Massey (super helpful!) and have tried to be conscious of caring for my hair as a result. It's been a start-stop-restart process, but I have made enough progress to see a difference and actually feel happy about it!!
Fast forward to the past 2 years: I used a curling wand a couple times a week to curl my hair instead of refreshing my natural curls after wash days. Sadly, it resulted in heat damage, which led to my natural curls not curling well at all when I tried to coax them out. Instagram has been a great resource for learning how to recover curls post-heat-damage, and as of this post, I haven't used a heat tool for 2 months!
My sister and I had our hair cut by a curly stylist at the end of July, and I have learned that not all curly stylists realllly know how to take care of curly hair, apply products, or style according to each hair type, but that is okay. I know what I need and next time I may just have to give a mini lesson to the stylist :-D
It is realllly helpful to record the progress and changes you make when starting new protocols because 1) you can actually SEE the progress, 2) you aren't going to remember everything you did in the early days, so just write it down, and 3) you become a resource for others who want to try the same things!
Here's my 'before': lots of frizz where there should be smoothness, stretched out top layers, my long strands simply didn't hold a curl, and I could see where the heat tool had done its damage. Overall, not too bad, but it FELT very bleh. Fixing my hair was no longer fun, and I 'made do' most days and put it up the rest of the time. Time to get a haircut!
And 'after'! A good number of inches came off, and it felt much better. Still battling the frizz, but excited about future results! My hair doesn't handle heavy products well (such as curl creams) it becomes greasy looking and the curls don't pop like they should. In my Instagram searching for products & protocols, I realized it's best to follow people who have similar hair to mine. I'm not going to get tight corkscrews because that is simply not my hair type! Waves and some ringlets are most likely what I will get on a regular basis, so that is what I'm focusing on for now!
Day-after-cut: After a wash and condition, I applied my products (gel, anti-frizz serum, and light mousse) by scrunching, and had great results! Much less frizz and more defined curls! We took a family trip to AZ after this photo, so I had a few days of dry, AZ heat to deal with.
Time is the most important part of a new regimen. You can try all the products, applying them 'properly' and still not see results. Selecting a couple products and setting time frames to observe progress is the best way to not get discouraged!
The first photo is a day or two into our AZ trip, and I was so pleased with the results that day!
The second photo is proof that I do have the capability for natural ringlets :-)
But these are the most recent! Up to this point I was still battling frizz and not wanting to use a hair dryer and diffuser e.v.e.r.y. day. (Side note: think of frizz as the hair strands reaching out for moisture. Curly hair needs lots of moisture to stay smooth & bouncy!) My product application was probably contributing to the frizz issue especially when I tried to refresh after wash days.
I purchased the MAP Method course by Scott Musgrave, and wowee! SO HELPFUL. This post isn't sponsored, but if you're needing help with your curls, go get the course!
His main premise is to understand your hair and give it the care it needs in a simple, orderly fashion, using only 4 products to Cleanse, Hydrate, Fill, & Seal. The filling and sealing parts were what I was lacking and I saw happy results after only a couple washes/refreshes and the results are only getting better today!
I had shampoo for cleansing, conditioner for hydrating (don't wash it all out), and used an anti-frizz serum I had on hand for filling, and light mousse for sealing. Didn't need to buy anything extra to get started!
Photo 1 is one week on the MAP Method
Photo 2 is a few days later after another trim, done by yours truly, behind a closed door so my visiting nieces didn't get annny ideas ;-) Did I mention Instagram is a great place to get inspiration??
A few months later, I gave myself another trim, and happily saw great results! I cut my hair curl by curl, trimming where the strand stopped coiling and looked straight. This gave me all kinds of fun texture and layers :)
As the winter starts to roll in here, I’ve noticed more frizziness no matter how often I used conditioner, so this week I deep conditioned (lots of conditioner in wet hair and head wrapped in plastic and a towel for an hour or two), and it really helped!
These last photos are the latest...so much happy hair to match the happy face!
Here’s to the next few months and more progress!
What are you working on these days that you’re determined to stick with?