I want to start off by saying, great job on taking the first step in embracing your natural hair. Whether you’ve decided to stop straightening your hair (like I did) or you just want to see what your hair’s full potential looks like, the choice to start your CGM journey is the right one.
When you begin researching and following curly hair focused influencers on social media, the amount of information is overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to start when there are so many different methods, products, and tips to try and experiment with.
It’s doubly confusing because not every curly head is the same. Products that work for one person, won’t necessarily work for you and not all tips will work to give you the kind of curls you envisioned or see on influencers. Remember that influencers have the kind of curls they have because they take incredibly great care of their curls and they’ve been experimenting with their curls longer than you have. We all started at the bottom at some point.
The first step in starting your CG journey is using CG friendly products; products that are free of sulphates, parabens, and other nasties. These ingredients that we commonly see in many hair care products are curl killers (in my opinion) and negatively affect hair health in the long run. You’ll see people with straight hair even complaining that their hair is dry and brittle over time.
The next step is adopting a routine that allow your curls to thrive. Start washing your curls two to three times a week and make sure to use a moisture-heavy hair mask, otherwise called a deep conditioner, once a week. Moisture heavy deep conditioners or hair masks add much needed moisture to your curls. Curls are naturally dry because of the structure of our hair - our curl spiral, while gorgeous, makes it hard for sebum (an oil secreted by our scalp) to coat our strands fully. In addition to this, you’ll need to use a protein-heavy hair mask once a month. Protein gives your curls shape, strength, and structure so on those days your curls feel limp and lifeless, it probably needs a protein treatment.
Curly hair is very temperamental so its important to experiment with different product application methods that work the best for you. This is where the internet is a real hero. Social media and blogs are chock full of information on techniques, from raking, praying hands, using brushes to manipulate your curl pattern, you name it and you’ll find a detailed explanation of it on the internet.
The last and final step is protecting your curls while you sleep and while you shower. One of the biggest reasons your curls frizz up and lose their curl pattern as the days go on is because of this. Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase dries out your curls and the friction produced when we move around in our sleep causes frizz. Invest in a great satin bonnet and/or a satin pillowcase or if you’re feeling fancy a silk pillowcase. While showering, ensure you protect your curls with a shower cap. Your curls lose their shape when wet even if it’s just the accidental spray from the shower. Both these steps really go a long way in extending your wash day curls and keeping your curls intact.
The key thing to remember is to have patience while you’re figuring out what works best for your curls. It usually takes six months to see real progress so be kind to yourself while you’re transitioning into your natural hair.