DISCLAIMER: Since writing this post, I’ve abandoned most of the process I list below. I’m leaving it there in case anyone wants to try it, but in the end there are things I prefer to do that the Curly Girl method frowns upon (namely, not brushing through the hair after washing and not using any heat) and I wasn’t seeing enough of a change in my hair to stick with it. I do really like the products, though, and am going to continue to play around with how best to use them.
As mentioned in my last post, I went back to the George Ranch Historical Park to finish up the tour I didn’t get through the week before, and I took more pictures. Not that I really needed to; I took enough the first time out to have easily filled a second post without going back for more, but I wanted to fit the rest of the park in before it got too hot outside to be able to stand it. But before I do that, I thought I’d give a little hair update:
No curling irons used here – just my natural wave pattern
I’ve written a lot in the past about using the DevaCurl line of products, mostly because after I got that perm back in 2014 their stuff really worked to control the frizz and give my curls some definition. I also mentioned at that time that I’d tried the whole Curly Girl method before, back in the early 00’s right after it came out, and that I didn’t have much success with it. However, back then my hair was quite short and I was in the process of growing out a pixie cut, so I don’t think my hair would have looked great no matter what method of cleansing and styling I was using. Since my hair has gotten quite long now (for me, anyway) and I quit blow-drying it straight once I quit teaching, I realized that I do, in fact, have a decent amount of wave to my hair and that perhaps I should give the whole Curly Girl ‘method’ another try. Ironically, I made this decision about a week after finally boxing up all my old DevaCurl products and shipping them to a curly-headed friend, so I had to buy all new stuff (which turned out to be a good thing, because in the years since I last used their line they’ve come out with some better products for my particular curl type so I ended up with more appropriate stuff for my hair anyway).
Curl close-up – not sure why I look so pissed here
As soon as I started using the special conditioner and cleanser made for wavy hair, I noticed a nice change in my curl pattern; while I will never have hair I could actually call curly, it does have a pretty clear wave to it, and when using the DevaCurl shampoo and conditioner without sulfites and all that other jazz, I felt like the waves had a bit more fullness and bounce (I started out trying the full-on No-Poo products, but those are much better for tighter curls, like I had when I had my perm). I also switched all my other styling products to either DevaCurl or another brand that had no sulfites or alcohol (I find alcohol drying on my hair, and although a lot of people who follow this method worry about silicones, I actually like them and don’t try to exclude them from anything I use). I got my hands on some more of the DevaCurl mousse I always loved, and the same spray gel I used before; my Moroccan Oil that I have loved for years still gets used, and I found a spray wax without alcohol to use as a finisher (although for some reason, the DevaCurl Set It Free finishing spray that was a huge fail when I had my perm suddenly works like a charm on my non-permed hair, so I haven’t even needed to use the spray wax that often). I also still use a dab of the Mirror Curls because it adds definition like nothing else, and I got another ConAir bonnet hairdryer to sit under to dry my hair without blowing in a bunch of frizz (links to all this stuff is at the bottom of the post, if you’re interested).
But for the first week or so, I was still using my curling wands to add curl to my hair in places where I felt it fell flat – mostly on my right side around my face. However, I always had a bad habit of not stopping with just adding curl where it needed it – once I get started, I end up curling everything which takes a lot longer and doesn’t really need to be done. Not to mention that I bought this super small-barrel wand that can give me the sort of tight springy curls I’ve always wanted, which made curling my whole head extra-tempting. But I was curious if the assertion the Curly Girl book makes was true – that the longer you go without using heat on your hair (bonnet dryer excepted, the method considers bonnet dryers an acceptable way to use gentle heat so I swear it’s not cheating) the more curly your hair will become. I’ve never actually believed this claim; as I mentioned earlier, the first time I tried to use the method I found it added some curl and bounce right away, but it’s not like it improved over the months at all, and in fact it ended up being more trouble than it was worth, but mostly because I was growing out a short cut as well and my hair was just a mess in general. Then when I had the perm, that idea didn’t really apply because my curls were chemically-induced and were therefore outside the purview of the Curly Girl method entirely. I don’t have any real reason for not believing this claim is true, I just kinda doubt it. But, I decided I might as well experiment with this and give it a shot.
So, I’ve decided to use no heat styling on my hair for one month and see if, in fact, the flat parts of my hair get less so, or if any other hair miracles occur. One thing has happened already; when I really stopped forcing my hair to do anything I noticed that on the right side of my head – the side that tends to fall more straight – the curl pattern is actually curling towards my face rather than away from it (as you can see in the photo above) but on the left side, the side that always looked nicer and more curly, it’s curling away from it. Now, I don’t know anyone who heat styles their hair by curling it towards the face – it’s fairly common practice to curl the hair to move away from it.
And, even when air-drying my hair, I would sort of nudge the curls on the right side to move away from mine, which was part of the reason why those curls would look a bit flat – I was forcing them to curl against their natural pattern. I can still use heat to curl the hair away from my face quite easily, but since I’m trying not to use heat for a month, I was just going to have to live with these weird curls on one side of my head that went the ‘wrong’ direction. But, I did come up with a bit of a solution, and moved my part from the left side of my head over to my right side, so that more of those forward-moving curls have now been shifted to the left side of my head where, of course, they are now magically moving away from my face! This has helped my wave pattern look more even, but as you can see I’ve still got one side of my head with curls waving forward instead of back. Oh well.
I took this shot earlier, when I was still using the curling wand. I think I even used the small one here to get tighter curls. It REALLY works and is so tempting…but I’m determined to give this a month!
I’m also trying to grow out my bangs a little right now to see if I prefer having longer ones when wearing my hair curly; I am torn between doing that or getting some micro-bangs that are even shorter than what I’ve been wearing. In the end I think I do need some sort of bangs framing my face – I have 2b waves, which means the hair is flat up top and the curls hang close to the head, and when combined with my long face I still need something to reduce the appearance of length and bangs are the best way to do that. But I’m thinking if I get these bangs a bit longer they can curl up and be cute; they’re already starting to form little ringlets if I don’t do any straightening, and I think I will like the effect.
I could see my bangs doing this...
But I dunno, this is pretty damn cute too…
To sum up, for anyone with waves like mine who wants to know what I’m doing and using, here you go:
- Cleanse with DevaCurl Low-Poo and One Condition
- Add DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam
- Scrunch dry with t-shirt, then spritz in some DevaCurl The Curl Maker Spray Gel
- Air-dry and sleep on it as normal (I don’t pull my hair into a ponytail, but I do sleep on a silk pillowcase)
- In the morning, I re-wet my hair until damp, then scrunch in some Garnier Nutrisse Wonder Waves Hairspray (I don’t know why this stuff works so well; it does leave the hair crispy but other products I follow up with soften it. It really adds curl for me and always has, but it’s a hard product to find now.)
- Scrunch in the TINIEST dab or two of DevaCurl Mirror Curls (if I put this stuff in my hair right after washing, sleeping on it will add frizz; but using it the next morning reduces this).
- Sit under my Conair bonnet dryer for about 20 minutes or so while I drink my coffee (this is so oddly comforting and to be honest, I’d sit under it the night before too if my husband didn’t complain about the ridiculous amount of energy this thing uses)
- Once the hair is dry, smooth in a dab of Moroccan Oil and finish with the DevaCurl Set It Free spray
For day two hair, I am still trying to figure out what works. Some mornings when I wake up it looks fine and I should probably leave it alone, but being me I end up messing with it anyway and making it look less than fine. So far, it appears that if I’m going to do anything, I should just wet it down a bit and scrunch in a touch more Mirror Curls – that does the best to add some definition and bounce back when the waves have gone flat, but damn does it also give me frizz! I may try out some of DevaCurl’s dry shampoo that I found too greasy when I had my perm; like the Set It Free it may work better for me now.
So what do you all think about the fringe? Do you like the longer curly ones, or the micro-bang? Let me know in the comments below! More park pics coming soon!