Advanced search

Curly Girl tips, hacks and cheats

(32 Posts)
LittlePearl Thu 27-Aug-20 17:46:45

My hair has got a lot more curly / wavy lately, possibly because it's thinned with age and isn't as heavy as it once was. Having despaired of trying to style it during lockdown I've decided to give the waves a chance to shine and see how I get on.

I've spent ages reading the old CGM threads and watching videos and now feel slightly overwhelmed! Can any wise mumsnetters give me their 'top tips' for getting decent results while keeping it fairly simple?

My hair is just shy of shoulder length and fine. I did my last sulphate shampoo wash last week - I've had a couple of better days where it looked ok and a couple (today included) where it looks like a bird's nest blush

OP’s posts: |
vengeancer Thu 27-Aug-20 18:02:39

my easy version is:
- sulphate shampoo (only very little though)
- silicone free conditioner
- then curl cream (I like the pink one from boots for £2)
- go through the hair with a denman brush, scrunch it up
- let air dry

Done grin

LittlePearl Thu 27-Aug-20 18:10:01

Is there something special about the Denman brush Vengeancer, or would any brush do the job?

OP’s posts: |
Greenvalleysightseeker Thu 27-Aug-20 18:12:12

My version is:
Co-wash with a cheap thin silicone free conditioner or sulfate free shampoo about once a week
Condition with a richer thicker silicone free conditioner
Use the co-wash conditioner as a leave in conditioner
Scrunch and leave to air dry in the summer (blow dry in the winter as it takes all day to dry in the winter).
Use a bit of silicone free hair oil on the ends (almond oil or pure argan oil)
My previously thick and frizzy hair is smooth and wavy now using this very pared back method. For me the key is not using any sulfates at all, my hair just hates it and frizzes up so much.
I can get a really good curl if I use gel and let it air dry but it seems to take so long and looks awful until I've broken the cast. I'm happy with a decent wave now.

vengeancer Thu 27-Aug-20 19:28:56

it is only a styling brush. not one for detangling. You brush your hair with it once you put the curl cream in. it distributes product evenly and massively helps curl formation. check it out on YouTube. The videos are pretty self explanatory. It is ace!

2Kidsinatrenchcoat Thu 27-Aug-20 19:51:15

My routine is
As I am curl clarity shampoo (sulphate free ‘low poo’)
Faith in nature lavender and geranium conditioner
Giovanni weightless leave in
Homemade flaxseed gel
Brush w/ denman brush and scrunch
Air dry

I find co washing doesn’t agree with me at all and I have to avoid glycerin otherwise my curls go limp

I sleep on a satin pillow and to refresh on days when I don’t want to wash I spritz with water (or rose water if I’m feeling fancy) rub a single drop of jojoba oil between my hands and lightly smooth them over my hair

Cynderella Sun 30-Aug-20 14:10:00

I'm finding the days between washes the trickiest. I have a spray bottle which is water and a blob of gel - sometimes it works, but other days I give up and wash it again.

I bought a Denman brush, but I can't see why it's better than any other. I hated the no combing and no brushing - much better when I've brushed through the conditioner and gel before scrunching.

Cookerhood Sun 30-Aug-20 14:15:56

I don't ever brush or comb mine, it would be a frizz bomb. Wash with silicone free conditioner. Rinse it all out, add a small amount back. Curl creme type stuff, plus gel. Leave to dry, and DO NOT TOUCH until dry.

Dragonglass Sun 30-Aug-20 16:32:28

There is no way I could brush my hair, it would be a frizzy mess.
I wash with silicone free conditioner, rinse and then comb more conditioner though my hair with detangling comb. Do all my other shower bits and then rinse out again. I rinse upside down.
Then styling products, which at the moment in some mousse and then some gel. Plop in a tshirt while I dry myself off and then diffuse for as long as I have time for (or can be bothered for). Once dry scrunch out and crunch and fluff up the roots. The diffuser gives me more volume, so I prefer it and it takes ages for my hair to dry without.

gubbbbbddaaaa Sun 30-Aug-20 16:38:19

I've had curly hair all my life and hated cg but I do plop so my routine is wash with head and shoulders , add curl cream to soaking hair , plop for 20 mins then diffuse .

LightOfAThousandStars Sun 30-Aug-20 16:43:08

I have Wavy hair and use a tiny bit of Noughty To the Rescue Shampoo to wash, Tresemme Conditioner and squish it in then rinse out. Apply a pea sized amount of Cantu Curl Activator after emulsifying it by rubbing it between your hands. Scrunch and add a bit of gel if you need extra definition. The Cantu was a game changer for me, it makes my hair curlier.

GoatsInBoats Sun 30-Aug-20 16:47:18

I wash with As I Am co-wash, apart from every couple of weeks I use a foaming shampoo.

I mostly use protein rinse out conditioners. Leave ins make my curls drop.

I don’t get on with gel, I use Pantene curl mousse.

lookatallthosechickens Sun 30-Aug-20 16:51:03

If you find the Denman brush separates your curls too much (I want slightly fewer, chunkier curls instead of lots of skinny ones) then disassemble it and remove every other row of bristles. It’s easy to do once you get it apart. It can be more difficult to get the rubber base back into the handle so use some dish or hand soap to make it slide back in if needed.

spookmeout Sun 30-Aug-20 17:01:43

I use aldi apple conditioner for washing and conditioning
I do this as soon as I get in the shower, and leave the conditioner on whilst I wash myself etc.
I wrap my head in a towel but don't rub it dry
Then I put shockwaves mousse onto wet hair then cantu curl cream
I do this upside down and scrunch each one in or use an Afro comb

QuentinWinters Sun 30-Aug-20 17:06:15

I wash with normal shampoo about every week, but one without glycerin or too many ingredients. The pantene micellar shampoo works best for me.
I use a low poo (shea moisture 10 in one) every week 4 days after the shampoo.
The other days I just condition it with either tresemme botanics conditioner or garner 3 in 1 banana mask
I comb with a wide tooth comb then put some form of non-silicone product in it - cantu cream or umberto Giannini curl jelly at the mo
Its a bit inclined to frizz though

Agapantson Sun 30-Aug-20 19:54:06

I posted the below in another thread:

I have done bits of the CGM over the years and properly (ie actually correct ingredient products) embraced it the last year. Difference is amazing.

It can seem confusing as different products suit different hair. As a brief example:
Dyed hair needs a conditioner/co-wash with protein.
"Virgin"/Undyed hair tends to not like protein based conditioners etc as it can be drying.
Fine hair needs lighter hair products and conditioners than thick hair.
When you condition you need squish the conditioner in.
Some people need to add leave-in (just their normal conditioner) but if your hair is conditioned enough and/or fine this may weigh it down.
Coconut in a product can mimic protein - so some hair loves it, other (like mine) hate coconut - it goes super frizzy and dry.
So in essence, what one person loves, another person hates.

After co-washing or conditioner washing you do need some kind of product to "set" the curl. Either a mousse or gel. This will set in a "cast" which is crunchy and a bit grim but as soon as it is dry you gently scrunch your hair the crunch disappears and you get soft bouncy curls.

Airdrying is great. You can diffuse too. Google Manes By Mel method of drying - her video shows you how to dry for deffinition. Or the Pixie method to dry for volume. You can also half diffuse/half air dry.

"Refresh" and/or second day hair
I thought this was impossible. For 40-odd years I wet/washed my hair every day as I woke up to a frizz ball with all the curls flattened. Now I wear it in a high, very loose pony tail overnight, use a silk pillow case and have bouncy/strong enough curls that I wake up, dab a bit of conditioner to calm any flyways and can get day 2/3/4 hair. Often better than wash day hair. I never thought this would happen.

Product help - When I started properly I trawled the "Official CGM" Facebook page. Hugely, amusingly struct and rigid and SOOOO much information. But I worked out the most universally like products to start with. So many products would have a chalk/cheese response (loved it/hated it) so I avoided them. And I had some experience with this (see coconut above). I found that Faith In Nature (except the Rooiboo one) conditioners were never in the "hate" pile. Dragon Fruit particularly liked. Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly also a good all-rounder.

So that is what I started with. Worked beautifully. I strayed and tried a couple of other bits - but am now back with these too, plus a bit of Pantene No 5 Curly Mousse.

I co-wash/condition/bit of leave-in-on-the-ends with Faith in Nature Dragon Fruit.
I comb through (wide tooth comb) the UG Jelly - combing "outwards" so I am not plastering my hair to my head.
I then squish (upwards, curl forming motion) a blob of Pantene mousse in.
Squish (gently, upwards) a bit with a t-shirt to take some wetness out and leave to either air dry or diffuse. Or a bit of both.

My hair is very fine and not dyed, so the above works for me. I did have problems at one stage as the curls dropped out by day 2 - it was over-moisturised - so I didn't use leave in conditioner for a few washes and it balanced out again (you get to know the feeling of your hair as you wash it after a while so you can tell what to add/not add).

Also what I lot to add about technique

1) Squish - squish your conditioner in quite a bit - you need to make sure it penetrates the hair shaft. Add extra water as you squish as well

2) Rinse upside down - otherwise if you rinse standing up tin the shower you can end up with too much water on the top canopy of your head =dry/flat top curls

3)Product application - you can rake through, praying hands or squish in. I tend to do a mix of stuff - just with the aim to get all of my hair coated. The preying hands method is just a way of getting all the hair aligned to get rid of frizz and get curls clumping together. I find a wide toothed comb (or probably a denman brush) does the same. Comb out/sideways not down - otherwise you will flatten your hair against your hair and not be as curly. Then you gently squish the curls back up to your hair to make it curl.

Wigglegiggle0520 Sun 30-Aug-20 20:07:48


That’s so helpful thank you.

Can you suggest any conditioners with protein please?

lookatallthosechickens Sun 30-Aug-20 20:10:45

@Wigglegiggle0520 fyi protein doesn’t work for everyone- my hair HATES it. Makes it look greasy and frizzy at the same time. I think porous hair likes protein and non-porous hair doesn’t? Not positive about that or even how you know if your hair is porous or not.

Cynderella Sun 30-Aug-20 21:04:34

So, I use the Denman brush to distribute conditioner and product - I could use a wide toothed comb for this, but kept seeing the Denman brush mentioned.

At night, I tie my hair up in a scrunchie. Next day, I spray it with water and a bit of gel BUT I cannot easily get my fingers through all the tangles. Following day, it's worse.

I really miss brushing and combing - how do I get it tangle free without washing it every day?

Agapantson Sun 30-Aug-20 21:09:04

I think the XHC banana and ginger conditioners (poundland) are protein ones -and seem v popular on the CG facebook page.

Protein is only needed if you have dyed hair.

Wigglegiggle0520 Sun 30-Aug-20 21:44:41

Great thank you

vengeancer Sun 30-Aug-20 22:10:39

So, I use the Denman brush to distribute conditioner and product - I could use a wide toothed comb for this, but kept seeing the Denman brush mentioned.

I would not use it when I apply conditioner as I am detangling at that stage with a wide tooth comb. It's not a detangling brush. I only use it for curl formation and to distribute curl cream but at that stage, my hair is already detangled.

Agapantson Sun 30-Aug-20 22:45:31 <<<----Just remembered this one Find your product on line, get the list of ingredients, paste into Curlsbot and it will tell you if CG friendly or not. Saves a lot of peering at ingredients on the back of a bottle or buying something only to discover it is full of silicons or drying alcohol/something

Cynderella Sun 30-Aug-20 23:51:09


*So, I use the Denman brush to distribute conditioner and product - I could use a wide toothed comb for this, but kept seeing the Denman brush mentioned.*

I would not use it when I apply conditioner as I am detangling at that stage with a wide tooth comb. It's not a detangling brush. I only use it for curl formation and to distribute curl cream but at that stage, my hair is already detangled.

Yes, I use a comb to detangle, but then brush through. Then I brush through some custard or gel - that's all OK. Next day though, my hair is so tangles that I have to really wet it to get it to go in the right direction!

LittlePearl Mon 31-Aug-20 16:41:55

Thanks everyone for the replies.

Today is a (fractionally) better day though still a strange mix of definitely curly bits and almost straight. Fortunately DH loves the unkempt look and is encouraging me to persevere!

I wish someone would come and look at my hair and tell me exactly what I need rather than have to do all the trial and error stuff. Patience isn't my strong point.

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in