A little over a year ago, I wrote about my experience with the Curly Girl Method 3 months into my journey. And boy, did I have a lot to say!
To be fair, I had gone deep down the rabbit hole of all things curly, so I learned a hell of a lot in a pretty short time. OK, it was a full-on obsession. But I’m not sorry!
My obsession has resulted in incredibly healthy hair and what I hope will be a lifelong commitment to embracing my natural texture. If you have curly hair, you know that’s no small thing.
So, 16 months into my curly journey, what do I have to say that’s different from a year ago? Well… quite a bit. But I’ll try to focus on the biggest differences between then and now.
1. I accept that my curls are perfectly imperfect
When I started, it was baffling to me that I didn’t have the same curl pattern all over my head and I chalked it up to transitioning. Now, I know that it’s very normal to have several curl patterns and I try to love them all equally – the tight, 3C ringlets on the top layer, the luscious 2C waves on the bottom, and everything in between.
2. I don’t get (too) upset about bad hair days
When I started, I would get super frustrated when my washes or refreshes turned out badly. I felt like I’d failed and my hair looked like shit to boot. Fun! Yes, I even had a couple of meltdowns that ended with me getting back into the shower because I was convinced I’d messed up so badly that I had to start from scratch.
Nowadays, I don’t really care if I have a bad hair day unless I’m going out somewhere special. I’ve come to realize that I’m my curls’ worst critic, and what may look horrible to me still probably looks pretty to other people.
3. I know my hair
If I’m being honest, I’m still getting to know my hair and feel I have a lot to learn. But I know a lot more than I did a year ago, when every wash day felt like an experiment and I had zero instinct about what would work well.
These days when I try something new (which I still do, a lot), I can more accurately pinpoint why it did or didn’t work. And if I stick with the tried and true, I can rely on pretty consistent results.
4. My hair is healthy
Back then, it was easy to end up with a stringy, frizzy, dull mess if I wasn’t super careful. Now, thankfully, my hair is much healthier and I think most of the damage from straightening has gone.
Without too much coaxing, my curls form big, shiny, smooth clumps when I’m styling. I don’t fingercoil, brush or do any other fancy tricks. This is just how my natural curls behave when they’re healthy, and I’m super psyched about it.
5. I can refresh
I still don’t love refreshing, but it’s a whole lot better than it was, thanks to discovering the magic of steam. At first, I was using a regular clothes steamer but I got freaked out about it being too hot so I finally broke down and bought the Q Redew hair steamer.
Steam has been a game changer for my refreshes. It imparts moisture and allows for reshaping without getting my hair wet with water. I find that after a good steaming, I only need to add minimal styling product to smooth over.
6. I’m still a product hoarder
I wish I could tell you that I now have like 4 hair products from one brand and I’m content to only use them. But nope, I do still crave new products and frequently give into my urges. I know it’s not reasonable to think so, but deep down I’m still waiting for that one miracle product that will make my curls perfection.
I hope this will improve with time. But for now, I’ll resolve to use up what I have before buying anything new. I’m only saying this here in hopes that it will keep me accountable!
7. I don’t have the patience for crazy routines
I can’t do super complex, 10-step wash routines, I just can’t. I’ve experimented with stuff like finger coiling and Denman brushing but I’m just not patient enough. Most wash days, my routine consists of co-wash, leave-in and gel. I do everything in the shower in just a couple minutes, air dry to about 80% and diffuse for 10 mins or less.
I think it’s entirely possible to have a simple curly girl routine that’s easier than straightening your hair. Here’s the caveat though – it will take time to get to a place where that’s possible. For a while, it will be harder because your hair is unhealthy and you’re still learning how to care for it properly.
8. I genuinely feel lucky to be curly
At first, my motivation was to just stop abusing my hair because I was worried it was thinning due to all the straightening. It’s taken me time to get here, but I now really feel happy that my hair is curly. It’s unique, beautiful, wild and makes me feel different in a good way.
And I know that when I want, I can always straighten it for a change and go right back to my curls. Women with straight hair don’t really have that option, so I feel lucky in that way too. I don’t plan to straighten often, but I know I can occasionally if I want to.
Committing to the Curly Girl Method and keeping on track isn’t always easy, but it is worth it. I’m so glad that I stumbled upon it and took the plunge. If you’re thinking of giving up, don’t!
I mean, obviously do what you want and what makes you feel comfortable and happy with yourself because life’s too short to be pissed at your hair. But if you have it in you, try to be patient and get through the hard part, because I think you’ll love what’s waiting for you on the other side.