How I’ve Transformed My Curly Hair + Free Printable!
The wait is over! The curly girl post if here!!!! If you’re wondering what in the hey Adams I’m talking about, today I’m going to share how I went from this to this (forgive me for not taking better photos! These are from my Instagram stories. I need to be better about documenting all of this!):
At the start of this year I was determined to figure out how to make my wavy hair work for me. I was spending so much time blow drying and curling my hair. Considering my word of the year was intentional, I was like “alright… Enough is enough. This takes too much time and FOR WHAT PURPOSE? I feel like this hair can be better and take way less of my time so I’m going to figure out how.” In my typical fashion, I got down a deep rabbit hole doing research. My research led me to a BOOK! An actual book all about curly hair and how to properly deal with it! I was amazed. I read the entire book in a day and again in my typical fashion, I decided to go all in and try this so called “Curly Girl Method” out for myself. I have to mention in here that if you have any wave or movement to your hair whatsoever, you might be surprised to know this but you a curly girl. For years and years we have treated our hair exactly how it shouldn’t be treated and it has responded accordingly. If you start diligently following this method though, I guarantee you’ll be absolutely shocked at your results and the way your hair is transformed back to its natural, so desired, curly state over time.
I could go on and on explaining this method to you but Courtney does an amazing job at it! Before moving on in the post, watch this video that explains the Curly Girl Method and what it entails.
To summarize what Courtney said: stop washing your hair daily, be very cognizant of the products you’re using and their ingredients, stop using heat on your hair, stop brushing your hair, and stop using terry cloth towels to dry your hair. I know that’s a lot of “stops”. I will tell you right now – this is not easy. If you’re like me, you’re going to basically have to change your entire routine and break a lot of bad habits! Some days are really going to be horrible and you’re going to want to give up. It sounds dramatic but it’s true. We all know the power a bad hair day can hold over us! I also will tell you though that persistence through this process is beyond worth it. Your hair will continue to get better and better. You just have to ride out the rough transition period and have patience.
Every head of hair is different so I want to make it clear that all of you will have to do some experimentation of your own to determine what works best for you. However, I will explain how I got started and some things I’ve learned that helped me a lot:
Keep it really simple to start. Don’t over complicate things! In the printable I’ve included in this post, I shared the most basic curly girl wash day. I would suggest sticking to that for at least a month when you start. Just let your hair start to reset itself! Even after one month you’ll start to notice a difference in how healthy it is (that’s only if you’re using curly girl friendly products though!). I actually followed this method for about 4 months into my curly girl journey before I started to make any changes. It helped me limit the number of variables at the beginning.
Application method matters. I might have followed the same order for my wash day and even used the exact same products for the first 4 months but I did change my application method. At the beginning I did the most basic method that I will show on Instagram! Then I learned about “roping” and how it disperses the product throughout the hair more. For some people this does not work, but for me I think it helps create better curl clumps. I also tried a finger curl method that works really well for some people and did not work for me whatsoever. Again, I’d start with the most basic method of just scrunching the products into your hair, do that for a good amount of time, and then start experimenting using different methods.
Follow basic experimentation principles. Only change one variable at a time! If you change multiple you won’t know what really worked for you. That’s why I decided to stick with the same products to start. That way I was able to understand really how much application method mattered for my curls. I think a lot of people make the mistake of using a product once, hate the results, and then blame the product. Sometimes it has entirely nothing to do with the product itself. It’s just about how it was applied.
Learn how to do an updo. It doesn’t have to be prom ready or anything like that! It should just be something to make you feel pretty while dealing with your somewhat freaking out and confused hair. Updos are especially helpful going through the transition phase (you can find tons of videos on YouTube all about this). The way that I did it and still do it is I’d wash my hair on Sunday, refresh it on Monday, refresh or updo Tuesday, updo Wednesday, wash it on Thursday, refresh Friday, updo Saturday, and repeat. Sometimes it’s not exactly that but it’s usually really similar. My favorite person to learn updos from is @wavyengle. She always has really cute ones that are not difficult! I believe you could all do them beautifully! You just have to decide to do your best and you work. that. updo. You like Mike and Ikes? Okay I’m done. But seriously! You can do it! Worse case scenario throw on a cute headband or hat. That’s my go-to.
I’m team curly cut! Did you know that there are hair stylists specifically trained on how to cut curly hair? I had no idea either… I decided to bite the bullet and finally get one. It was definitely more expensive than any previous haircut I’d ever had but I do think it’s worth it. I’m actually going again this month to get another one (it’s long overdue)! The reason why it costs more is because the stylist cuts each curl individually so that they don’t weigh the other curls down. It gives the curls so much oomph! I found my local Deva Stylist using this link HERE. By the way, I’ve always had to wait a month+ to get on her schedule! I’d suggest calling as soon as you can if you want one!
The ingredients in your products matter. If you’ve been around for a minute you know that I could talk for a really long time about this, completely unrelated to how ingredients can impact your curly hair. I’ll just stick with why it’s important for curly hair though… Curly hair needs moisture! So many of the ingredients on the market dry out our hair which causes frizz and limp curls. Courtney explained more of this in her video above. I felt really overwhelmed with the ingredients aspect of this journey but I found this post that lists out ingredients we need to keep our eye out for in the products we’re using. I literally have gone through each ingredient on the label to determine whether or not a product is or is not approved for curly hair.
Document everything. I really wish that I had done this. I had full intention of doing it but I didn’t. What I’d do is create a new note in your phone and on every wash day take a selfie, attach the selfie into the note, and then document what you used and what you did. Trust me!!! You’ll thank me when you can look back on your photos and remember “Oh yes… My hair loved when it was sopping wet when I added the gel. Or see!! It looked so frizzy when I scrunched out the water before adding the gel.” This stuff might sound crazy to you now but these things actually make a difference and having it all documented would’ve made this so much easier for me.
Products I would suggest starting with:
Keep. It. Simple. I personally would recommend starting with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner. That’s what I used when I started out and I think they’re great, especially for the price. A lot of people also like the Giovanni products like Courtney talked about HERE.
If you decide you want to try clipping your roots, THESE are the clips I use!
This gel is a 3 on the Think Dirty app and what I used in the wash day video! It’s not what I started with but looking back on it I wish I had because I think it works well, is less expensive, and it’s safer than what I was user before (it was an 8 on the Think Dirty app).
Some of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow:
@wavyengle – she has great information and tutorials! Especially for updos!
@marisascurls – I love her refresh tutorial saved in her highlights. That was a game changer for me!
@swavycurlycourtney – she has so many helpful videos and recipes! I also use her flax gel recipe and am a huge fan!
@curlicue_lu – there’s so much education and resources shared on her feed! Her curly transformation is really inspiring!
@coffeecurlygirl – again, she drops a ton of knowledge on her feed!
@wavyhair_skincare – Amanda has really helpful Curly Girl Method intro videos on her feed. I’d definitely watch those to understand more!
My wash day routine that I used for the first 4-5 months of my curly girl journey:
I know there are so many of you that want to start a curly girl journey of your own so to help with that and to try to make it a little less complicated, here’s a free printable you can print and frame to hang in your bathroom! You can print the 5×7 HERE.
I hope that helps!!! I know it was a lot of information. Now that I’ve created this baseline of explanation with you all, I’m excited to talk more about this journey (until this point I felt like you’d be thinking, “Jordan, what in the world are you talking about? Scrunch out the crunch???”). If you have any questions, feel free to message me on Instagram! Thank you all so much for your support. Always.
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I get great curl, but when it is humid my hair is just frizz! What should I do?
For me having a better gel cast helps the most as well as making sure I have enough moisture in my routine (my hair can’t get enough!) BUT no matter what, I have ALWAYS had frizz! I just embrace my big hair at this point!
Hi, Just came across your post on Pintrest and believe I have similar hair properties. I swear, my hair looks like your pre-CG photo. I have fine/thin low porosity 2B curls/waves at this point. I believe I can have better defined curls. Wondering if you have any pointers, as I tried doing CG and found that maybe I had to much moisture in my routine? My hair was getting weighed down and was loosing my curl pattern. My scalp gets very oily as well, so I was having a hard time in between wash days. Thanks in advance!
Ah! I would add more protein into your routine and see what happens! @marisascurls (I believe is the Instagram account) has some great videos on this!
I have similar hair to you and I have been doing the curly girl method for a few months now. It has made a difference but the thing I struggle with the most is that halo of frizz. It’s like a layer that sits on my hair. I do a deep conditioning mask each week too consisting of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (sometimes). Any thoughts on how to get rid of the frizz?
Hi Sapna! I would look into the protein – moisture ratio! Swavycurlycourney has a lot of information on this. It’s best for me to recommend that you go there to find a solution because I’m queen of the frizz crown. 😂 I’ve always just kind of rocked it because I really haven’t taken the time to improve on it. I’m so sorry I’m not of more help. Courtney is amazing though and so knowledgeable on this topic!
This was an awesome video and you’re so funny!! I’m looking forward to the curl! Thanks for sharing your time!!
Aw this is so kind of you. I hope it helps!!!
I have been stumbling through trying to get my hair as curly and healthy as it was when I was little and I can tell this will be a big help!! A tough question I have for you though. I don’t really have a choice, I have to put my hair up in a tight bun for the military, not all the time thankfully! But I can see how that occasional stress would damage all my progress. Any ideas how I can avoid that as much as possible?
Yes!! This will help tremendously!! I actually think that if you’re following the CGM, putting it in a bun really won’t impact it like you think it will! I wear mine up very very frequently. It’s more about using as little heat as possible (if any) and being aware of the products you’re using on your hair. I think you’ll continue to see great progress as it gets healthier and healthier!
Like Ella, I have just started the CGM during quarantine. I know in the video in this post she stead not to wash your hair everyday, but I spin every day and I have to wash it! Not sure what my routine should be. I have been using a No-poo shampoo. Should I use a combo of Loe-poo and No-poo? Also I have been seeing a lot of leave in conditioner being used. Is this in addition to a regular CG approved conditioner, or does it replace that conditioner?
I do CrossFit almost daily and don’t wash my hair daily! It is possible to do!! 🙂 I do a “refresh” so as soon as I finish working out, I take it out of a pony tail and let it air dry, then I’ll add a tiny bit of gel into my hands with water, rub it together, and “prayer hands” my hair then gently cup it to bring the curls back to life. I’ll do this all over my head so it’ll be a tad wet but it dries quickly. This helps my curls get bouncy again and helps a lot with the frizz.
A lot of people use leave in conditioner. I try to keep it as simple as possible so at this point I don’t use any. From what I’ve seen they’ll wash or co-wash their hair with a conditioner then use leave-in then use gel. It just depends on the curls and the preference of the person! I don’t use a no-poo or low-poo. Again, this will just depend on the curls. I try to keep it pretty simple though. Trader Joe’s shampoo and conditioner works well for me!
[…] August of last year I shared my curly girl routine HERE that I had been using for about 6 months at that point. It was a very long and detailed post with a […]
I know this is an old post but I just found it after starting CG during quarantine. My hair is almost exactly the same as yours in the before picture, maybe a little more frizz. Please can you share a detailed post about your routine??
Hi! The video included in my post shows an in depth look at my routine! I’ll be posting an update soon but things haven’t changed a ton since then!
[…] Try the Curly Girl Method! […]
[…] Something that I learned quickly on this curly girl journey is that updos are a curly girl’s BFF. I couldn’t make it through day 3ish-5 or 6 […]
I’m sooooo excited to see this!!! Can’t wait to try some of your tips. It helped a ton to watch your video too!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for doing all the work and experimenting for us! You’re amazing and so is your hair!
Yay!!! I’m so glad to hear this!!!
I have a question..im a super duper havent even bought anything yet newbie. Im doing the research and im stuck on porosity. I did the water test and with that im low but according to the symptoms you have im definitely a high.which do you go by? Or does it even matter when you start? THANKS! I really need to do something but its its overwhelming!
It doesn’t matter when you start!! Just start 🙂 I haven’t even tested mine! HA! I’ve just learned what my hair likes through some experimentation.