Curly Girl Method Update | 9 Months

I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method for a solid nine months now and while the journey has definitely had its ups and downs and I’ve had my good days and bad days, I’ve gotten to a place where I can really enjoy experimenting with hair products and learning about them without it feeling like it’s taken over my life. I did cut five inches off my hair, which has definitely helped and relayered my hair. In all my trials with my hair, these are my favourite products at this point in my journey. As a frame of reference my hair is fine, I have high density hair, high porosity and hair that falls into mainly a 2c kind of pattern with the right kind of products. For reasons I don’t entirely understand, my hair always looks straighter in pictures…

DSC_0077

IMG_0847.JPG

As I Am Coconut Cowash ($11.99 CDN | Sally’s Beauty Supply): I’ve discussed this cleansing conditioner before in a fairly recent post, so I’ll do my best to keep this brief. As someone who has fine hair (but loads of it) and a scalp that can get easily pissed off, cowashing has not been for me for the most part. However, I really like this one. It’s slightly more cleansing than the traditional cleansing conditioner and has out of this world slip. I like using it in between washes with a sulfate-free cleanser, especially in the cooler seasons. It’s also nourishing enough that I can use it as my one product to cleanse and condition when I’m feeling lazy.

Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Conditioner ($11.96 CDN | Walmart): Shea Moisture conditioners, shampoos and masks have been a favourite of mine for a long time but this easily accessible conditioner was an impulse purchase that I don’t regret in the slightest. It won’t be for everyone because it has a bit of weight – which is why I find it curl clumping – and doesn’t have the most slip that I’ve ever experiences. However, I like how concentrated it is, how much moisture it brings to my thirsty hair and the juicy clumps it helps bring to life without weighing my fine waves and curls down. It uses shea butter, argan oil, coconut oil and a touch of hydrolyzed silk protein.

Curl Junkie Repair Me Reconstructive Hair Treatment ($34 CDN | honeyfig.com): This is a deep conditioner that is both protein rich and deeply nourishing. It’s not easy to get a hold of in Canada but it has been worth the hassle in my opinion. I’ve been using it since January on a regular basis and I love how nourishing (and detangling) it is, while containing hydrolyzed keratin protein as the fourth ingredient. My hair was never in dire health or anything but it responds well to protein, being fine and porous. I don’t notice a sudden huge increase in elasticity and bounce but it’s always smooth, shiny and forms nicely clumped up curls after I’ve used it. I think it would appeal to many, especially because it’s a treatment that works but doesn’t even contain shea butter, coconut oil or any of those ingredients that are too heavy for some.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask ($47 CDN | Sephora): Honestly, I’ve only had this hyped-up deep conditioner for about a month but it’s given me such happy hair that I couldn’t compile this post without including. It has a bunch of fatty alcohols, which lend slip, panthenol, biotin, argan and avocado oils, aloe and some hydrolyzed keratin protein. The texture of it is light and fluffy whilst deeply hydrating my curls and helping them clump together. It’s a nice balance of protein and moisture, as everyone seems to say and the slip was really nice. It’s a lighter weight deep conditioner that doesn’t sacrifice on the nourishment it lends.

Devacurl Leave-In Decadence ($36 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): As someone who has finer and wavier strands and who tends to use heavier conditioners – without rinsing them completely out – I often find leave ins heavy and dismiss them as an overpriced, needless step. However, I like this newer product from Devacurl. It’s much lighter weight than the rest of the Decadence line and features coconut oil, pequi fruit oil, hydrolyzed quinoa protein, argan oil, avocado oil and aloe in the top of the ingredient list. It smells amazing, even from someone who typically does not enjoy the smell of coconuts; it’s a musky coconut and baby powder kind of scent. It helps my hair remained clumped, smooth and moisturized without compromising volume and bounce.

Devacurl B’Leave In Miracle Curl Plumper ($26.55 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): When I want to spend a bit of extra time and effort on my hair and to get my best curls and waves, I apply this protein-rich gelee before my gel. It relies on glycerin, wheat amino acids and a couple of different kinds of hydrolyzed protein to enhance curls. It really helps my fragile curls to clump together and adds additional bounce.

Devacurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler ($38 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): This hot and humid summer has helped me rediscover my love of curl cream, with a little help from a Sephora 100 point perk. This curl cream is definitely intended for tighter and drier textures than mine. However, I love the curl clumping and control it provides without weighing down my hair. I find I can actually get away with using it as a standalone product but I get my best results pairing it with a gel. It provides light hold on its own and adds the right touch of moisture to my waves and curls. It’s glycerin heavy and also has coconut oil and jojoba protein in it.

Devacurl Ultra Defining Gel ($32 CDN | Chatters and select Sephoras): Writing this post has made me realize how much I’ve been enjoying Devacurl products this summer. I’ve been consistently pairing this gel with a curl cream either on wet or damp hair and I don’t really have any complaints. It’s a gel that’s loaded with hydrolyzed proteins, which are known to be curl enhancing, lending structure to the hair and protective in the sense that they work to block out humidity. It’s glycerin rich — my hair likes glycerin at all dew points — and offers medium-firm hold without much crunch, while being lightweight. It’s also a godsend that this gel doesn’t leave my hair wet for hours like some do.

AG Re:coil Curl Activator ($22/$38 CDN | Chatters and select salons): This cream-gel of sorts was something I had added to my collection when I started the Curly Girl Method for the first time, but it wasn’t until restarting the journey last December that I really began to enjoy the product. In fact, this is even a repurchase. It sits somewhere between a traditional cream and a gel, with more hold than a cream whilst still lending enhancement. This is a product that I find can help encourage the hair to spiral when paired with a harder hold product on day one but really shines as a product used to refresh my curls and waves combined with water. Also, it performs well for me in all dew points.

Ouidad Vitalcurl Tress Effects Styling Gel ($34.28 CDN | ulta.com): Within the first week or two of restarting the Curly Girl Method, I was lucky enough to find a litre size of the old bottle — formula is hardly any different ingredient wise — for maybe twenty dollars upon seeing it didn’t have silicones or drying alcohols in it. While it did not perform the greatest in the super humid weather this summer, I have gone back to this gel since the weather has began to simmer down and have rekindled my love of it. It’s a lightweight gel with medium hold — but can be built with a second application – that has nice slip, provides the hair with shine and moisture. I enjoy it in mild to subzero temperatures. It contains glycerin, humidity-resistant polymers, film-forming humectants and a modified form of shea butter.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.

More Hair Empties

I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method for over six months now and while I certainly still have days when my hair does not cooperate, I think everything is falling into place. I even mustered up the courage to cut 5 inches off my hair and add lots of layers. I do admit, I’m getting much more bounce in my waves and curls now. I’ve certainly made dents in a lot of hair products – but I still bought more, don’t worry – and even finished some of them. Here’s the lowdown:

DSC_0065.JPG

As I Am Coconut Cowash ($11.99/454g): As someone with a tumultuous relationship with cleansing conditioners and co-washes, my love for this As I Am offering is surprising. It’s silicone and sulfate free with a kind of runny but thick consistency that emulsifies and suds ever so slightly when worked into the scalp. I find it to be slightly more cleansing than typical cleansing conditioners with an excellent amount of slip and moisture. I don’t find myself having to reach for a separate conditioner when I use this co-wash and I don’t find that my roots are flat or my scalp is irritated like I do with other products of this category. I was actually legitimately sad when I finished the tub of the cleanser and have repurchased a new one since.

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate + Repair Conditioner ($13.99/305 mL): I really enjoyed using this incredibly thick conditioner because it was fairly inexpensive, really helped to clump my curls and offered sufficient slip for detangling my knot-prone tresses. While the texture itself was thick, I think this is on the lighter end of the spectrum for Shea Moisture in the sense that they add less weight then some other products by the brand. When I’m around a store that actually has this conditioner in stock, I will pick it up again. For those curious, it contains slip agents, fatty alcohols, shea butter, glycerin, honey, yogurt and a few notable plant oils for the most part. It contains a very minimal amount of protein.

AG Re:Coil Curl Activator ($38/355 mL): I can confirm that this curl cream lasts far beyond its expected shelf life. I picked it up a couple of years ago and wasn’t initially overly impressed with this lightweight cream styler. When used on its own and on soaking wet hair, I didn’t find it did much but now when used on my damp hair, underneath a styler with more hold, I like the boost that it gives my finer curls and waves. It contains a film forming polymer, fatty alcohols, a starch to add grit, glycerin and a small curl-enhancing magnesium sulfate. It has a light hold on its own and lends great bounce to the hair and works quite well as a refreshing product. I repurchased on Prime Day happily for quite a discount.

Jessicurl Rockin’ Ringlets Styling Potion ($24/237 mL): Honestly, I’m on the fence whether to repurchase this thin flaxseed based curl enhancer. I used the brown liquid as intended onto soaking wet hair without noticing much of a difference – and creating a bit of a mess because of how liquid-y the product is. It wasn’t until I tried applying the product into my damp hair that it went farther and helped to tighten up droopier curls. It has virtually no hold in my experience, especially when used as directed. My one comment about this product is that it does not help to clump curls in the slightest; instead, it creates defined more separated curls with flaxeed, glycerin, aloe, jojoba oil and magnesium sulfate.

Curls Creme Brule Whipped Curl Cream ($14.99/ 240 mL): At first, I found myself quite disappointed with this product because I bought it thinking it was primarily a styler only to discover that on my hair, it performed more like a leave in or moisturizer. It doesn’t offer any hold – nor does it promise to – and while it decreases frizz, smooths the strands and adds hydration, it doesn’t do too much to help with curl formation and definition. I did quite enjoy reaching for this birthday cake scented medium-weight leave in once I stopped trying to use it as a styler. It contains aloe, glycerin, a few oils and shea butter.

Any thoughts?
Maggie, x.