➿ Fantastic Haircare: Making Sense and Science of the Curly Girl Method (thread 2)

(699 Posts)
botemp Thu 20-Aug-20 15:35:01

Offshoot thread 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 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 on the golden triangle of healthy hair
Science-y Hair Blog
The Mestiza Muse
The Beauty Brains (podcast/blog)

Understanding ingredients:

Commonly found ingredients in haircare

Useful information about cosmetic chemistry


Understanding hair porosity (video)

Removing build up:

Shampoos which remove product build up

Cationic compounds (of interest to those with buildup prone and/or fine hair):

Cationic compounds found in cosmetics

Polyquats (of interest to those with buildup prone and/or fine hair):

Polyquat buildup

To polyquats or not

Silicones, polyquats and soap

Another cosmetic ingredient to be afraid of?

Protein/Moisture balance:

Aphogee hack (video)

Extract and proteins in CGM, a biochemist explains

Protein vs Moisture (video)

Hygral Fatigue

SPF protection of your hair:

UV protectant ingredients

UV damage of hair (pubmed)

Summers sun and your hair

Rice water rinses:

Rice Water Rinse


Is it too late to improve your elasticity

Managing elasticity and porosity in hair

Hard and soft water:

Hard and Soft Water (video)

Hard water and your hair


How does Olaplex hair treatment work


Hair frizz science

What's your frizz type

How to tame your hair based on frizz type

Flash Drying:

Flash Drying

Next level nerdery:

Chemical and Physical Behavior of Human Hair (cosmetic chemists' textbook)

OP’s posts: |
Skinfulnappies46 Thu 20-Aug-20 17:25:18

Thank you Bo ! Very comprehensive as always .

PickAChew Thu 20-Aug-20 17:56:05

I read the frizz types stuff with interest. Went down the list thinking hmm, all of them, then grin

My scalp is much happier for its product rest (though I did use a little jessicurl awe inspiralising spray to make the surface of my hair less fuzzy, in its ponytail, since it does naff all for my curls)

After a rather sweaty walk with Ds2, I've used the ecoslay pack. The peppermint schnapps cleanser is definitely too gentle for me to use regularly but it did feel nice and soothing. Determined to find a way to use up the orange marmalade, I kept a jug of warm water to hand. I needed it anyway because my hair still felt really thirsty and needed some extra banana dream squishing in. I combed that through, splashed it with more water and combed through a few pumps of the orange marmalade. The water definitely did the trick and it didn't sieze up. I finished with a load of my instant freeze gel. Even though I've been trying other gels, I did end up ordering another triple pack of this, last week.

Tomorrow's forecast doesn't look great, though.

Pupsiecola Thu 20-Aug-20 18:12:34

Thought I posted on the old thread but doesn't appear so.

No real cast from the Giovanni LA gel. Pineappled overnight and also for weights session this morning.

I've started a new gym program and my hair must for around that so up it went and train I did. So not looking too bad all things considered. 7lbs down and feeling strong.

Going to Devon for a few days next week. Will just use LIC and air dry I guess.

PickAChew Thu 20-Aug-20 20:20:28

You've got lots of definition and not too much frizz there, @Pupsiecola considering your hair has been messed around a fair bit.

Pupsiecola Thu 20-Aug-20 22:10:22

Thanks Pick. And also Bo thank you for the new thread and all the links. Much appreciated 🙏

SophieLion Fri 21-Aug-20 07:29:47

Hi and thank you Bo for the new thread and for taking the time and trouble to put together all these links. I also went straight to the frizz ones! It's so humid by the sea that my hair is taking forever to dry - not used to this.

I wonder why you didn't get a cast Pupsie. They say the Giovanni gel is one of the strongest? Are you using enough? And do you apply on wet hair or damp hair?

To add to the confusion, a curlie on IG (Britt Curls) has started a new thing that not all "bad" ingredients are bad and is trying out products and ingredients which traditionally weren't part of CGM. I suppose like Manes by Mel. Not sure I'm willing to do that at the moment - spent the last 4 months being so careful with my hair and looking after it. I imagine I would feel different if I was further along in my "curly hair journey" and was generally getting amazing results every time I washed.


PickAChew Fri 21-Aug-20 08:36:09

I've captured this before the filthy weather trashes it. Forcing my hair to accept that bit of orange marmalade has had the result I hoped for. Still had a pretty hard cast when I woke up and even my lazy 2a bits around my crown are joining in.

Pupsiecola Fri 21-Aug-20 09:37:02

Has anyone taken a silk pillowcase on holiday with them? (Asking for a friend).

I apply the gel on wet hair and I add water if needed. I use a reasonable amount. I've taken to applying a squeeze upside down, then another couple of squeezes the right way up.

botemp Fri 21-Aug-20 09:45:35

It did work well Pick. Looks good.

My second attempt with the Denman, this time using it 'normally' (as in, not finger coiling with the brush) worked well too but it was hot and humid yesterday so pic 1 is with last bit of cast on after sleeping in silk cap (washed Wednesday late afternoon, wasn't fully dry before going to bed) with it and by the time I managed to get a picture of it scrunched out the heat and humidity (another tropical day here yesterday) had already done its thing 😑

My only issue with the Denman is that I have to style rightside up and it gets very flat at the roots. I'll try scrunching upside down next time but I've also ordered these from South Korea as root clips don't work for me as my hair is fairly straight and it just gets dented and then falls flat with a dent in it hmm

Sophie, I think they discussed it on that science panel. The CGM just 'works' for a lot of people with very abused hair because you remove all the abusive elements (heat, dyeing, etc. Not necessarily the no no ingredients according to CGM), regardless of what you do hair health woul improve. It's a bit like when you damage your skin barrier, you're able to use very little so it's best to eliminate almost everything as that gets you back to a healthy place quicker but it doesn't mean you have to remain that restricted forever, you just need to not be so excessive with what you subjected your hair to once.

Anecdotally, I have found that avoiding polyquats has been hugely helpful for me, my love of clarifying washes has diminished. I washed with my gentle sulphate shampoo after I think five sulphate free ones and I needed so very little, all it needed to do was wash not tackle any buildup. It's probably why I've also been able to use sulphate free shampoos where I've always struggled with them before. I know not all polyquats are the same but I'll wait until I'm in a very steady place before trying anything with them in again.

Pupsie, I remember reading something about struggling to form a cast but I've forgotten now what the cause was. May have been buildup related?

OP’s posts: |
PickAChew Fri 21-Aug-20 10:44:31

Those clips look like instruments of torture. If I put them in my hair, I'm not sure I'd ever get them out again!

SophieLion Fri 21-Aug-20 12:53:24

I'm only about 45 mins into that hair panel video Bo. It's quite long! Yes agree with what you are saying but I don't feel stable enough with my hair to introduce everything again - although I still do use sulphates and aphogee has silicone and my hair has survived!!

Your hair looks good Pick.

This morning I also thought that taking a silk pillowcase away here would have been a good idea Pupsie as woke up with creases all over my face** which I never get at home.

Seems like you're doing the right thing for a cast Pupsie. The only thing I remember reading is that one sign of possibly over-moisturised hair is inability to form a cast.

quirkychick Fri 21-Aug-20 13:59:40

Hair after washing with Gallinee and then Innersense and before it gets trashed in the wind. I'm trying to get back to my washing routine, but the hot weather has meant it's needed three times a week, not two.

Lots of things to catch up on, thanks bo. I've just read the olaplex one, that makes sense that it strengthens so well.

I'm also toying with the idea of the Innersense LIC, as the Cantu one is too heavy now I've adjusted shampoos and conditioners. I'm not sure if it was flash drying, but I certainly had a weird wash day where it seemed to suck the moisture out of my hair. It seems OK if I use much less of it than I used to. Maybe that's why Curly Cailin didn't like it, after the innersense conditioner it seems too much.

PickAChew Fri 21-Aug-20 17:01:36

I had ridiculous flash drying with the innersense LIC.

quirkychick Fri 21-Aug-20 17:49:31

Ah, thanks PickAChew, I can't seem to get a trial size so I'm already wobbling. I think I need a LIC that is less moisture heavy and their hydrating conditioning cream is good, which was why I thought I would try it.

PickAChew Fri 21-Aug-20 18:13:01

Are you in the UK, quirky?

Pupsiecola Fri 21-Aug-20 21:51:09

Thanks guys. I do clarify once every week to ten days and I'm quite sparing with product. But maybe I need to use more gel. I clarified today.

quirkychick Fri 21-Aug-20 22:27:48

Yes, PickAChew I'm in the UK.

Pupsiecola Sat 22-Aug-20 00:14:57

I have a cast!!!!

Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo
Hairfinity Amino Mask
No wet plopping
Blueberry Bliss LIC
Innersense Gel

Going to pineapple it and go to bed. Might put my silk cap in. Will SOTC in the morning if there's any left.

QueenCT Sat 22-Aug-20 10:02:12

Wash day for me
Planning to use the two inkey list products, flax seed gel and some orange marmalade for extra hold

Pupsiecola Sat 22-Aug-20 10:47:20

Not unhappy with this. Some frizz but also quite a lot of volume. When I next have it cut (a month) I'll go for more shaping. We were a bit conservative the first time. Also, one side looks longer than the other from the front. I've noticed this a lot. I guess this is where a dry cut would be beneficial (I'm sure it's curl pattern related rather than actual length).

Pupsiecola Sat 22-Aug-20 11:15:09

PS I definitely don't sleep well in the silk cap, and this is a lot of frizz for me. I wonder if my tossing and turning contributed to it (cast mostly gone this morning). I prefer my method of just leaving my hair loose and scooping it up above my head on the pillow. That seems to work well from a sleep and a result perspective. I sort of subconsciously half-in-my-sleep do it every time I turn over.

PickAChew Sat 22-Aug-20 16:10:05


Yes, PickAChew I'm in the UK.

If you have no luck finding it and I have no luck with it (doing to try it with the jug of water, like I did the orange marmalade) I'll see if I can pass mine on to you, then, rather than waste it.

quirkychick Sat 22-Aug-20 17:18:30

PickAChew, that would be kind if you can't find a way to make it work for you. I'll have another look around to see if I can find the sample size.

PickAChew Sun 23-Aug-20 14:56:03

Well I got my hair to accept some without immediate disaster, @quirkychick but it's not worth the effort. I've not left the house today and despite starting the day presentable but quite big and loose, already it's a fluffy mess and just feels tangled and stretchy. Another expensive ponytail in the offing (partly because neither of my autistic boys will leave it alone when it poofs out!)

My scalp is feeling a bit icky again, too.

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