➿ Fantastic Haircare: Making Sense and Science of the Curly Girl Method

(994 Posts)
botemp Wed 20-May-20 18:17:30

Offshoot from the Fantastic Skincare threads to document the trials and tribulations in order to make sense and science of the curly girl method. We don't necessarily follow it to the letter and are even critical of it in places. Nor are we especially knowledgeable at this point but we're learning as we go. Feel free to join in (especially if you have superior knowledge) as we attempt to approach this with an interest in ingredients and try to not buy everything that promises us magical things…

Useful blogs:

Curly Cailín
Science-y Hair Blog

OP’s posts: |
Pupsiecola Wed 20-May-20 18:27:15

Thank you Bo.

Day one of new shampoo and conditioner and leave in conditioner, tee-shirt drying and scrunching. No gel yet. Not expecting any real difference but definitely like the gentle waves I see (pic 1) under the top layer (pic 2). Took about an hour and a half to dry.

Re headphone Bo they are quite big with a big arch. Also I like to tuck my hair behind my ears a fair bit. I've got it in mind that I ought not be touching my hair too much as it will make is more frizzy but I suppose this isn't true, especially when it's wet/damp.

Looking forward to this little project 😁

Pupsiecola Wed 20-May-20 18:27:38

It posted the pics in the wrong order, obvs.

botemp Wed 20-May-20 18:41:12

I think once hair is dry it's not that prone to it anymore, it's really when it's wet that you have to leave it alone, crucially that almost dry period where you sort of forget it's still drying.

What products did you end up buying? I'm going to retract my scepticism of the Giovanni leave in as I was misled by a wrong INCI. I also noticed the soy is an extract not hydrolyzed so not a protein, just an extract, so just a soothing ingredient, I think.

Attached are the samples/travel sizes I ordered today to experiment with.

OP’s posts: |
Pupsiecola Wed 20-May-20 18:56:48

Ah so I've got that the wrong way around then re when to touch. Today after shampooing and conditioning I:

Scrunched with tee-shirt
Scrunched in leave in
Plopped into a second tee-shirt
Left for 20 minutes
Removed tee-shirt
Scrunched some more

I plan on pineappling later and not washing tomorrow.

I bought:

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat
Biolage HydraSource Dry Hair Conditioner
Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner

They arrived today. I have also ordered, and am still waiting for:

Giovanni LA Natural Styling Gel
Phyto Phytojoba Mask (travel size) - I really like their clarifying shampoo

I thought I ordered a Bouclere tester but I must have imagined it.

I'm going to take notes this time re specific ingredients and techniques and what works etc.

Still not sure about the gel and cast etc but it feels like an unavoidable step (mentally scarred from Studioline back in the day).

SophieLion Wed 20-May-20 18:57:33

Hello Bo and Pupsie smile and thank you for setting this up Bo. I can't remember what you asked me on the other thread and on my phone so will have to look tomorrow.

Oh I did have a look at the science blog but it was waaaaay too much detail for me right now. I have decided today though that the frizziness and kind of flat bit I always get at the top of the back of my head can probably be resolved by washing and conditioning upside down in the shower with tepid water and not too much pressure. So I'm going to be trying that and seeing what happens over the next few weeks.

Pupsie - in my experience touching and messing with hair definitely can make it more frizzy. Especially when it's drying. You have some nice waves which came out.
What new products did you buy?

Bo , the Giovanni leave in doesn't contain protein then? I also ordered jessicurl spiralicious and Rockin ringlets (this seemed most suitable for my hair and the results I want out of gelebration spray, Rockin ringlets and confident coils). I'm not sure what I think of the Biolage (maybe too much moisture right now for me?).

SophieLion Wed 20-May-20 18:59:15

We cross posted Pupsie. I have a boucleme Co
Wash which I really like. I've heard the Giovanni gel gives a super hard cast.

MadameButterface Wed 20-May-20 19:11:02

hi curlies,

I'm a wavy person and I work in a curly specialist salon

one thing that works for me in terms of avoiding frizz halo and extending times between refreshes is sleeping in a silk/satin scarf. it's quite a strong look, so if you sleep alongside someone you like having sex with you may want to get a pillowcase, or you can tuck the scarf over the pillow to improvise one.

one instagram person I always recommend for her extensive product application tips (find them in her story highlights) is @powerdomi, the before and after pictures on her grid will blow your mind. @marisascurls is another good uk curly to follow.

another tip is try and find a curl role model who has a similar hair type/ethnicity to you. when I first started, I was following curls and beauty diary on facebook, who is Indian. I'm caucasian, so whatever products etc she recommended tended to be too rich and heavy for my hair.

my last tip is don't underestimate the best ingredient in your routine, which is water. squish that water in in the shower, and always apply products with soaking wet hands. if you feel drag as you move your hands through the hair, you're creating friction, which creates frizz. also, watch out for bag straps and seat belts. you'd be amazed how many clients think I'm some sort of witch because I can tell which shoulder they carry their bag on just from looking at their hair.

MadameButterface Wed 20-May-20 19:19:39

in my work we use trepadora products which are all vegan and cruelty free, the company was set up by a black British woman. If anyone fancies something a bit high end I totally recommend them. I really rate the papaya slip taming potion for anyone who's not a huge fan of crispy crunchy gels, it's kind of halfway between a leave in conditioner and a gel, and the cast it forms just kind of comes off by itself as you live your life so not going back in scrunching and what not.

They are a little pricier than drugstore bargains but a little goes a long way. I have had my 200ml papaya slip taming potion for over a year, I use it virtually every hair wash (wash my hair roughly every 6 days), I decanted some for a pal to try and there's still about a third of it left.

I don't work for trepadora or profit from their sales in any way, we buy our salon products from the website and pay the same price as the public, they're just a brand I really really rate so thought I'd mention in case anyone's jonesing to treat themselves a bit during lockdown.

Outtheforest Wed 20-May-20 19:33:39

Hello, this was my hair this morning after trying out the low poo and plopping, lions mane as predicted. Feels lovely and soft though however I feel like it's going to need washing again tomorrow instead of lasting 3/4 days as with regular shampoo.
Still trying to work out curl pattern, thinking 2a/2b, low porosity it's hard to get wet and relatively undamaged as I don't use heat other than the occasional blow dry and curl every few months and highlights which are now almost grown out.

Pupsiecola Wed 20-May-20 20:07:22

Oooh welcome Madame. Where is your salon (roughly)?

I ordered a silk pillowcases earlier today. Been meaning to get one for ages for skin reasons.

botemp Wed 20-May-20 20:16:32

I like the look of your waves, out. Whoever came up with calling it low poo though...

Sophie going by the INCI on the Giovanni site (I assume that one is correct but it's the US site) there's nothing in there that's a protein. As far as I understand it it should say, Hydrolyzed __ protein, keratin, amino acids, or peptides. Older versions of the Giovanni did have hydrolyzed soy protein in though so it's a bit confusing. However, as I understand it a lot of botanical extracts and vitamins (like biotin) can give that same stiff feeling as protein does.

I'm very tempted but will probably refrain from joining Lockenbox, It's like a CG Birchbox. I would have been really pleased with what came in the previous boxes though <hides credit cards>. I did sign up to be notified for the next round of subscriptions 😬 maybe the every other month one once I've gone through all my sample size experiments...

I do my entire routine upside down Sophie, from shampooing to drying and it does work well for me. I do have to very carefully do the weird rotating thing with my head after plopping to get everything to sit in a natural place. Weird at first try but once you get the hang of it, it comes easy.

OP’s posts: |
Pupsiecola Wed 20-May-20 20:53:12

So what are the top tips for non wash day hair?

botemp Wed 20-May-20 21:06:27

I leave it alone. I looked at refreshing and thought, far too much effort and I don't want that much product accumulating on my head every day. I just take it out of my braid and leave it to resettle and then 'floof' it a bit by scrunching up if necessary. It took me a bit to get wash day results that lasted to the other days (in my case, using more gel than I thought).

OP’s posts: |
Pupsiecola Wed 20-May-20 21:35:37

I need to try to plait my hair. I'm quite cack handed. I've never hand it plaited, either by my own hand or someone else's.

Pupsiecola Thu 21-May-20 18:08:56

I wasn't going mad. I also ordered Boucleme travel sizes of:

Curl Defining Gel
Curl Cleanser
Curl Conditioner

Putting my debit card away now. Have a few things to try so will bury my head in research, literally.

Day 2 and I know not washing it tomororw is going to be a struggle. Especially as I have a weight training session in the morning and then a Google Meet with my boss at lunchtime.

That's another point. At the moment I can wash my hair, let it air dry a bit and then tie it back/up loosely (which is what I've been doing since lockdown - I konw it's not the best for it but I've avoided the hairdryer, and I've been using invisibobbles). I'm lucky in that I work 25 hours a week to suit so I am never in the office/on a video call before 10.30am, but I like to train first thing and I'm going to have to go online/to the office with damp hair/possibly in a cast. But I guess I ought to only be washing it 2-3 times a week so maybe that can be my work from home days.

Thistle72 Thu 21-May-20 18:47:06

Great thread!!!
I’m after some advice, I am a curly girl and wash my hair normally every 7 days. I’m also front line worker so now have to wash my hair after each shift-3 days a week shock
I have been co- washing the first 2 days then a proper wash on the 3rd day.
I’m not sure if that’s best, does anyone have any advice?

botemp Thu 21-May-20 19:15:46

Thistle, do you not need to wash with some sort of surfactant to break it down? Must admit I don't know much about the protocol in place for that but I had to switch my hand cleanser to a soap based one because of covid19, wondering if the same applies to hair?

Do you deep condition, perhaps that's useful every now and then with all the extra washing?

OP’s posts: |
Thistle72 Thu 21-May-20 19:34:49

Thanks Bo, I don’t think so.
I worry going from once a week washing washing to 3 days a week will make my hair unhappy and the curl will be affected, does that sound stupid? I worry about that therefore have just gone with co wash but maybe I need to check what my hospital policy says. confused
If I did need to use a surfactant which one would be best?

botemp Thu 21-May-20 19:58:59

Co washes by definition don't contain surfactants, they do clean dirt but it's only a very little bit. I don't know if that would be enough to break down Covid19 which has an oily layer or something to that effect but soap breaks down that oily layer, that's how I've interpreted it anyhow. So you'd probably need to switch to a low poo, if that meets your hospital policy. I'm not sure the curl pattern will be affected by a low poo but you're obviously washing more so more prone to dryness which would lead to less definition potentially. I suppose you can compensate with heavier conditioners or leave in.

OP’s posts: |
Thistle72 Thu 21-May-20 20:11:21

Thanks so much for your advice I shall investigate.

SophieLion Fri 22-May-20 07:26:57

Hello MadameButterface, thank you for all the tips. I already sleep on a silk pillowcase and have seen the silk caps and scarves but not ready to buy yet another curly girl item at the moment!
Yes I'm following powerdomi. She has gorgeous hair. Her's is a little similar to mine but I'm a bit more curly and not as gorgeous (yet! grin). She also had a post on IG showing photos of her hair taken with a ring light and with normal light and there was a big difference - her point was that we shouldn't compare our photos to the photos online (unless we have ring lights, of course).

Hi Outtheforest, I don't think your hair looks like a lion's mane (other than being a similar colour). I've never done plopping. I know there is wet and dry plopping (power domi uses wet plopping). Might try it (although not good if hair is over-moisturised).

Bo, I had a look at the science blog site yesterday. Read the articles on protein and squish to condish (which was very interesting - seems to be better to squish even if you're going to wash out the conditioner). My Giovanni says "Glycine soya (soybean) seed extract" - will try to send a photo of the whole ingredients list if my phone allows.

Yes, I think it definitely need to start doing upside down routines to help my frizzy top back bit. My curls are front and sides are much more defined and much less frizz. I think I need to do some right way up screeching and applying for styling products otherwise I will probably miss that awkward bit at the back.

Pupsie, I have been kind of refreshing of non-wash days but not sure it's a good idea (or most likely I'm doing it wrong). When I take my hair out of pineapple, my curls are soft and defined but often pointing in weird directions so I kind of scrunch them a bit with some water and either gel, KY jelly (a curly Cailín tip) or styling cream. The problem is that I then get another cast on the hair which needs scrunching out and then my hair generally doesn't feel a soft as it did before the refresh. I'm open to suggestions or for someone to tell me what I'm doing wrong!! (today is day 3 hair and I've just left it to settle and not refreshed at all).

Hi Thistle, not sure I can give any advice really as don't feel particularly qualified but...I know Bounce Curl has a clarifying shampoo (so will give your hair a good clean) but is apparently gentle enough for regular use so that might be worth investigating too.

At the moment, I wash my hair twice a week or less usually and aiming to alternate between a co-wash (Bouclème) and a low-poo (inner sense when it arrives!). I am doing a clarifying/chelating wash every month with an Apivita shampoo (do they have this brand in UK?)

One of the key things for me right now is to find someone here who can cut curly hair well. I've found someone who has done the best job so far. Had 2 cuts with him but last time the top bit sprung up too much when dry. MadameButterface - I don't suppose you have any contacts in Greece?!

SophieLion Fri 22-May-20 07:34:20

Giovanni leave in INCI

Pupsiecola Fri 22-May-20 07:48:39

Nice update "Sophie*
Do you feel like sharing a photo of some curls?

Welcome Thistle. I'd not even have thought of that. Do come back and tell us what you find out.

I came on to say I'm now following powerdomi and I think her hair is similar to mine. I watched a few of her IGTVs last night and they were really useful.

Day 3 for me here and my hair looks good: the best day yet! Frizz largely reduced (skill pillowcase I guess but also further out from wash day? I see now my technique needs tweaking: showers are never going to be enjoyable again are they...).

Busy work day and training day today so going to resist the urge to wash. Will wait until tmrw when deep conditioner and heated cap will be here (Giovanni gel came yesterday). Might use a little dry shampoo if I'm struggling.

So tmrw I will:

Wash hair upside down (I always end my rinse like this anyway due to hair density. I separate the hair out and get the shower head between layers).

Use lower temperature water.

Deep condition

Try the roping method of getting product into the hair.

Remember to squish right up to the root.

Powerdomi.added water during product application. That feels like something I might benefit from.

I'm enjoying having a project to focus on 😁

botemp Fri 22-May-20 08:19:34

My Innersense and Jessicurl travel sizes should arrive today so I'm going to wash it hopefully somewhere in the afternoon and attempt the heatless blow-dry from waves by Ali to try our the foam.

I've been reading up on the Science hair blog about low porosity hair and using oil before washing as a pre treatment. I have done this in the past and it does work for me but it always took forever and was a bit messy but I'm thinking with the heated cap it would cut down time drastically and be less messy. I'm now searching for organic Babassu oil as a result.

I'm a bit cautious about all the plopping variations. Leaving it on overnight definitely feels like a bad idea and asking for trouble on your scalp as it becomes quite the breeding ground. I try to keep product away from scalp anyhow (per dermatologist advice), so I get close but not enough for stuff to linger on there. I plop after gelling and hair is quite wet still as I apply to near soaking in the shower (shower turned off at this point) so it's just to get a bit of excess moisture out.

What's the idea about lower water temperature Pupsie? AFAIK that would make cuticles close so only to be done at the end, although I believe that turned out to be not so true but I'd have to look that up.

I had to look up the roping method but I already do that, sort of, I start with applying like that and then do prayer method with a light squish. I might try roping method just on its own at some point.

Sophie, extract is not the same as hydrolyzed protein so I wouldn't think it would be classified as a protein containing LIC.

I wanted to get an Apivita lipbalm with my Greek pharmacy order but it pushed the shipping price up because of the added weight so I had to take it out. Annoyingly, the package arrived with a complimentary hand cream (which is highly fragranced and not very good) from the pharmacy. Appreciated the gesture but would have much preferred to have paid for the lipbalm without the shipping sky rocketing.

OP’s posts: |

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