Here's what I've been doing for 3 weeks now.
To wash my hair, I put a quarter-size amount of sulfate-free shampoo on my fingertips and put it only on my roots. I scrub my scalp with my fingertips and ignore the rest of my hair. I rinse it well with cool water by standing under the stream of water and just lifting and scrunching my hair to get all the soapy parts rinsed. I usually count to 60 to make sure I'm really getting it rinsed. I do not swirl, rub, or otherwise roughly disturb my hair. My reasons: shampoo, even sulfate-free, can still be drying to hair and curly hair needs so much more moisture than I ever imagined. Cool water is less drying than hot water. Even while wet, curly hair is trying to keep its curl pattern, so I don't want to mess it up unduly.
Then I squirt apple cider vinegar directly on my scalp and give it a quick rinse. My reasons: my scalp likes to get itchy and flaky quickly, and the vinegar helps to disrupt that pattern. Plus, it removes any product build-up on my hair.
To condition, I use a half-dollar size amount of sulfate-free conditioner. This time, I ignore my scalp and scrunch it through my ends, getting to within an inch or two of my head. Then, I run my hands lightly over the top of my head, to hit the "hair canopy" where most of the frizz would be. I let the conditioner soak in for the rest of my shower ablutions. Then I stand under the water, cool again, for just a few quick rinses. My reasons: conditioner is going to moisturize my hair, not my scalp.
|Just done putting on gel: drowned rat look.|
Immediately, I flip over my head and scrunch DevaCurl Light Defining Gel through the ends and up to about an inch from my scalp. I stand up and ignore my hair as much as possible until it's thoroughly dry, several hours. It will look fairly crunchy and 1980s gelled, which is a scary look, but Curly Girl calls this a "gel cast" and says you can break it by shaking your head and shuffling the roots. I find that just general living with kids breaks my gel cast before I get around to it.
The next two days, in the morning, I spray my hair generously with water with a few drops of lavender essential oil in it. When it's quite wet and the curls are springing back, I flip my head over and scrunch in One and Only Argan Oil Styling Cream. Then let it alone completely until it dries.
Some issues, notes, and questions I have:
1. Lorraine Massey (Curly Girl method) says frizz is just parched hair reaching out into the atmosphere for moisture; it's a curl-in-waiting. My hair is hardly frizzy at all anymore!
2. I'm not sure if I actually love how my hair looks. I can see it's healthier and I'm not fighting its natural wave, but do I actually like it? Thinking this might be a reason to seek out a Deva salon to get a good cut.
3. Apparently my wavy hair will adjust and develop more the longer I stay on this routine. I'm curious to see if I like the looks more, or if it gets more curly? I know it will be more curly in the summer humidity.
4. If sulfates are so drying for hair, should I ditch all the sudsy sulfate shampoos in our house?
5. My scalp is less itchy, but more flaky than pre-Curly Girl method. Not sure I have the stamina to brave the Curly Girl forums and do research.
Please chime in with what you know about curly hair, wavy hair, or hair care in general.