Are you considering going on your own curly hair journey? Ready to finally have a healthy outlook on your natural hair? After committing to the fact that I want to embrace my naturally curly Asian hair, I decided to document everything so that I can share my successes and failures with those who want to learn how to love their naturally curly hair more. What better way to ensure a successful outcome than to track progress? Since there will be a lot of trial and error as I go along, I’m positive that the format of each blog post may differ, but I ultimately hope to be helpful!
Here are 5 things I did in the first month of starting my curly hair journey:
DISCOVERING THE CURLY GIRL METHOD
Before I declared I would be 100% committed to the curl (basically before I chose a specific day to start), I read a lot of articles on different ways to start my healthy hair journey. A lot of sources kept referring to the curly girl method (CGM), which is more of a lifestyle than just a routine to follow. With a basic understanding of its principles, I decided to utilize a lot of the tips and routines from CGM as a start to my journey.
TIP: there are many schools of thought revolving around how to care for curly hair. CGM is just one of them. As I write this blog post during month three, embarking on the fourth, my first personal rule of my curly hair journey is that I will be open to trying new things, which may or may not include following the CGM model. Do what feels comfortable and affordable to you and be proactive and unafraid to change course when things aren’t working out.
Products Used: Kinky Curly ‘Knot Today’ Leave In Conditioner
A FRESH START ON DAY 1
A major ruling of CGM is to use products that are sulfate/parabens/silicones-free. The general idea is that the ingredients negatively affect the vitality of curls, much like one would approach the idea that eating only organic foods would be better for the body. Additionally, another product that CGM suggests to use less of is shampoo. With those two rules in mind, I cleaned out all of my impurities from my hair on my last shampoo day. I threw away all nonrelated products containing sulfates, parabens and silicone. I switched out shampoo and conditioner brands to Renpure’s ‘Biotin and Collagen’ hair thickening system.
TIP: Whether you’re just barely beginning, starting over or are approaching your next wash day, it’s always important to remember that giving your hair that fresh start will give it the opportunity to flourish the way it’s naturally supposed to. Think of it like doing a detox for your body before going on a diet, except for your special curly hair journey!
WASH DAY WATER TEMPERATURE
I’m INFAMOUS for only taking hot showers from start to finish and can’t stand the idea of taking cold showers (although yes, I sucked it up during my Cambodia trip). A general rule for hair care is to wash strands with cold to lukewarm water. Especially for curly hair, ending your wash with cold hair will help promote shine and seal in moisture. This has been a tough step to follow because I just love hot water too much (it’s mostly mental, hot water soothes me to the core).
TIP: this is a step that I cleverly negotiated on. I bend over (frontwards or backwards, whichever works for you) and wash only my head with the cold water, quickly shampoo and condition my hair, then wrap my hair in a bun and clip it to my head. Next, I unhesitatingly switch over to my beloved hot water, do the rest of my shower routine and end it with a final cold rinse on my hair. It’s the best of both worlds! And yes, I’ve been doing this in the colder months and have been miraculously surviving.
INVESTING IN CURLY FRIENDLY PRODUCTS
Before I decided to go crazy and purchase a bunch of products that were specifically only for curly hair, admittedly I didn’t understand why one would differ from a product that WASN’T tailored for curls. As I’ve quickly learned early in my journey, while one can be born with curly hair, it takes the correct type of products to enhance and encourage your curls. It is highly recommended to use a complete product line because whole hair care systems are made so that each item works upon the other to further maximize the curl, but it is not entirely necessary to go this route.
TIP: there is a wealth of products made to show love to your curls. If it feels too overwhelming and you want to start small, try resorting to your favorite convenience store (WalMart, Target, Whole Foods, CVS, etc.) where you’re sure to find all types of curly hair products for exceptionally reasonable prices and deals. Other retailers I recommend are local beauty stores, Ulta and Sephora.
SEEING A CURL EXPERT
A highly recommended thing to do when starting a hair journey is to get a haircut. This is another way to get that fresh start as mentioned above and ensures that dead ends are eliminated. When consulting with a curl expert, you’ll be able to learn more about your hair texture and how to care for it. I can’t stress how important it is to do this when beginning your journey. You can read up on my shocking experience when seeing my curl expert and learn why I keep telling people to do it.
TIP: to find a curl expert near you, simply search those keywords in a search engine or on social media and you’re bound to come across qualified stylists! Also, if you have a curly friend or colleague, or even a gym attendee you see often who has curly hair, ask for recommendations. You may also find tutorials on how to cut your own curly hair although I highly advise against this especially when new to the journey.
BONUS: FREE PRODUCT GIVEAWAY
If you’re new to the curly hair journey or want to care for your hair better and love trying out a product for free (who wouldn’t want something free in general?), my post on Maple Holistics Silk18 Conditioner and Almond Oil includes details on how to score free sample and full-sized hair products!
READY TO BE 100% COMMITTED TO THE CURL?
I’m just barely getting started and I’d love for you to join me on my curly hair journey so that we can learn from each other! Follow along by: subscribing to my Youtube channel or connecting on Facebook and Instagram.