It’s June 2018 and we’re out on the town, it’s freezing but we’re ready to take on Bar 101 for all it’s worth. One of the girls arrives, graceful curls replacing her typically wavy, slightly frizzy hair. She gushes about a system she’s recently incorporated, a way to enhance and define natural curl patterns without using heat.
This is how I am introduced to the Curly Girl Method, an entire regime dedicated to restoring curls by removing silicone and sulfates from the hair-washing cycle. After a little research it is evident that this is more than simply a hair washing regimen: from the dedicated ‘Curly Girls NZ’ Facebook group to silk pillow covers, this quickly develops into a lifestyle – and certainly not one restricted to a female following. For years baby hairs have plagued my head, creating somewhat of a halo around already untamed hair, and I was more than ready to end this legacy.
Before embarking on this journey I was added to the Facebook group, taken in by the before and after photos that would put Jenny Craig to shame. I delved into experience after experience of those using the CG method, each person with a slight variation on how they liked to do things. After raiding the Chemist Warehouse, set up costs amounted to around $40 for a variety of silicone and sulfate free hair care products. Legend has it there are people who can drop $50 on a bottle of conditioner so this number is totally arbitrary.
The first two weeks after the final wash were tragic for my hair – oily here, dry there and unsexy all over. This was to be expected, but some symptoms only lessened instead of vanishing. My bathroom quickly became akin to goldilocks and the three bears; each conditioner proving to be wrong in one way or another. Two months into the process I met my match; Garnier conditioner, Maui shampoo (although shampoo is typically discouraged), and Garnier hair food. At the moment my hair feels healthier, with evenly distributed oils, and most importantly – the baby hairs have subsided! I’m sure if my hair wasn’t in a Jojo Siwa level ponytail the curls would flourish, but that will come another day.
For any fellow curly or wavy person looking to embark on this hair care experiment, be ready to put in the research and remember it’s in no way an overnight trip. It’s important to know your curl type and consider trying anything from ‘pineappling’ to leaving your shower on a cold note. To quote author of the book Curly Girl, Lorraine Massey:
“I often have the fantasy that curly girls are mermaids who have had to adapt to life on dry land. We come from the sea. The ocean is in our blood… Both ocean waves and curly hair are forces of nature that can’t be tamed. We can only accept and admire their power and beauty.”