*French readers, go to this link*
Earlier this year, after 10 years of chemically straightening my curly hair, I decided to go back to my natural hair and for the first time in my life, actually embrace it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fighting it in some way, trying to “tame” the mane, to “control” the frizz, usually giving up and putting it up in a bun or a ponytail.
I remember I used to hate washing my hair as a kid, because it meant going through a very painful 30 minute detangling session with my mum afterwards. As a teen, I hated my “fluffy” hair, and started using copious amounts of mousse to reduce volume, and most of all, my harsh enemy: frizz.
Finally, as a twenty year old, I gave up and started straightening my hair at the salon once a year, using a chemical process called Japanese straightening at the time. It was (very) costly, but lasted for a while, and gave my hair the “smoothness” it could never have (or so I believed) naturally. For 10 years, I never looked back, I thought that this was the only way for me.
Then last year, I stumbled upon a Facebook group for curly girls where I heard about something called the Curly Girl Method (CGM). And all my beliefs about curly hair were completely shaken up.
This method, written by Lorraine Massey, is nothing new: it was created in the 80s. It is a sum of techniques and ingredients to use in a very scientific manner (you need to determine your curl type, and hair porosity for example, in order to understand the best product and technique for your hair).
I started the method in January 2018. I’ve since had two haircuts (dry cuts, curl by curl technique), one of which was a major chop, from middle of the back length to a long bob (for both of these, I was in Melbourne and went to Helen Thompson in Mentone). I’m now slowly trimming off any leftover straight hair myself, and hoping to grow my hair from this point forward.
I’ve also had one colouring session in March, at Organika salons in Melbourne (Carlton salon).
8 months in the method, I’m honestly amazed at the state of my hair. It’s never looked this healthy when curly: it is hydrated and nourished, curls are bouncy and shiny, and I’ve made peace with frizz and volume. I can finally say I’m embracing my natural hair, and somewhere along the journey, I’ve started to love myself again, the way I am, the way I was born.
Follow my Instagram Story ‘Curly girl’ on @zerowaste_lifestyle to see my hair transition in more details.
If you are interested to find out more, I recommend to join one of these groups and read all the files to get you started :
Curly Girls (Conditioner Washing) – worldwide group with over 200K members
Curly Girls Australia – The Curly Girl Method Program – Australia based group with lots of great info and product recommendations
Alternatively, you can also read Lorraine Massey’s book (available on Amazon).
My personal thoughts on the method:
- It is an amazing way to have a structure and follow a set of guidelines as a starter, when it can all feel a little bit overwhelming.
- It is also a great way to find community and inspiration.
- However, I believe it can also lead you to become a bit of a ‘product junkie’, which personally goes against my sustainable journey and the zero waste mindset. I am now trying to move away from using too many products and finding ‘less waste’ switches (aloe vera gel for example), to eventually get to a ‘zero waste’ place someday. I am nowhere near perfection, but it really is a journey, and I’m taking it step by step. Let me know if you have any tips or recommendations to go more in the zero waste direction!
Have you got curly (or even wavy) hair? How do you care for you hair?
If you want to go towards more natural, why not try the CGM? If you also read French, I’ve written a short guide about the Curly Girl Method in French.