A Salute to Curly-Haired Ladies

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curly hairBeing a curly-haired girl who has been home for the last few months, I decided to embrace my natural curls. I used to always blow dry my hair straight, and part of the reason was that I honestly did not know how to work with my hair being that it is very thick, coarse, and frizzes instantly. 

My 3-year-old daughter, who has these beautiful ringlet curls, was my inspiration for this change because somehow, while I managed to figure out her hair, I could not say the same for my own.

Since we have been home since March and the last time I physically straightened my hair was around Easter, I decided to give the Curly Girl Method (CGM) a try.

It was to my amazement that Facebook has a Curly Girl Method group, which I joined. I believe there are a few out there if you search. I joined it a few weeks before I started the method and read and searched through articles, YouTube videos, and posts galore about how to manage curly hair. At first, it honestly gave me a bit of anxiety because there was just so much information. Who knew!?

One of the first things the method tells you to do is to ditch all heating products. 

For me, this was fine, since I had been working from home for so long and had given up on straightening my hair. It was still so long and frizzy that I needed to do something.  Next, I took the quiz at naturallycurly.com to determine the texture type of my hair. It turns out that I have 2C/3A hair with high porosity, medium density, and coarse thickness. 

After determining my hair type, I started searching through posts and blogs about what kind of products work best for my type of hair.

My hair used to feel dry, but since laying off the coloring and blow-drying, it is definitely not as dry, but still, my hair does need some moisture, but not too much as that can cause fizziness. The key is to find the right balance between moisture and protein. Honestly, I am still trying to figure this out for myself. 

Lastly, I started checking all my hair products by going to curlscan.com and determining if they were curly girl approved. 

As I was determining which products to try, I knew that I did not want to spend a ton of money on new products until I knew for sure they worked. My daughter’s hair seems to love SheaMoisture Coconut Kids Hibiscus 2-in-1 Curl & Shine Shampoo & Conditioner, so I decided to go with that brand for myself too. For some, this brand is very heavy, but I think my hair seems to like it so far. 

The biggest change for me was learning about co-washing hair rather than regularly shampooing hair.

Co-washing hair is essentially washing your hair with a conditioner, rather than a shampoo to prevent your hair from drying out, as shampoo can strip out your natural oils.

The idea is that washing with a conditioner is enough to cleanse your hair. I have to say I was extremely skeptical about this method at first, but so many curly girls use this method that I figured I needed to give it a shot to see if it worked. After about a month or so of using this method, I have to say it isn’t so bad. I use the As I Am co-wash, which has great reviews. It detangles my hair so incredibly well as it is easy to comb out any knots in the shower with a large comb. 

After using this co-wash, sometimes I condition with a ginger conditioner from the Body Shop, which I used before that is CGM approved, but I find that I don’t always need this step. After I get out of the shower, I use a leave-in conditioner by SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil and comb it through again. I then style with a Devacurl styling cream, but the cheaper Harmon’s version. 

Then I plop my hair for about 15 minutes with a microfiber towel and let it naturally dry. My curls look much better and are a lot less frizzy. The one thing that I still haven’t figured out is how to refresh my curls on a no-wash day. Yes, you definitely want those no-wash days, so you don’t dry out your hair by washing too much!

If you are like me and have naturally curly hair, who has not yet embraced those beautiful curls, I suggest looking into this method. It may seem daunting at first, as it did for me, but with a little time and effort, you can learn to love your curls and spend a lot less time “doing” your hair.

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Bena is a a wife and mom to a little girl born in July 2017 and another little girl born in April 2021. Her and her husband, both born and raised in Long Island, randomly ended up living in New Rochelle, Westchester when they fell in love with the downtown area, which had the best of two worlds, walking distance to parks, coffee shops, great restaurants and a short drive away from great hikes and nature. Since then they have moved a hop, skip and away to Pelham, which is an adorable little town. Mostly, Bena is just trying to figure out how to do this mom thing, while also working a full-time job. After a few years of the juggling act, she feels a little more confident, but everyday there are new challenges, especially when #2 arrived. When she is not momming, she is usually lawyering, working out, cooking, running errands or somewhere out exploring nature and the world (pre-covid, of course)!