Test Lab: Curly Girl Method | Week One, The Why
So if you follow my Instagram stories, you may have noticed that I’ve started sporting my usually straight/wavy locks in their natural curly state... I’m trying out the Curly Girl Method and thought I would document the experience- or as they say on the Batchelor- journey, for you all with another test lab.
The catalyst for this was two-fold, one: we got hit with a major (by SF standards) heat wave the other week, and I was not inclined to pull out a hair dryer and hot tools when the house was already sweltering. Two, I realized that it has been so long since I regularly embraced my natural texture that friends who had known me for years were surprised that I had curly hair. I honestly couldn’t even locate a picture that was remotely recent to prove the fact, and it had been so long that I questioned what my hair’s natural texture was these days.
Here’s a bit of backstory on my hair routine and how it has evolved over the years.
As a grade schooler, my hair was long with a slight wave, nothing to write home about. Then when I hit puberty my curls sprung up- seemingly overnight. Of course, this being puberty and all they couldn’t do it in an organized fashion. Instead, the top layer of hair remained straight while the rest wrapped itself into springy coils. I was utterly lost when it came to styling it, hairbrushes and blowdryers amounted to a frizzy pouf of hair and even when it was seemingly “under control” it swelled at the slightest hint of humidity. My solution at the time was to either wear it half up to disguise the remaining straight/stringy bit or scrape it all back into a tight bun much to my mom’s chagrin. Finally, I had the brilliant idea to chop it all off into a pixie… at the exact time “Felicity” cut hers off on screen. Not a great move on either of our parts, but at least I didn’t have a rating crash to contend with.
My one big takeaway from that cut was that shorter does not always mean more manageable when it comes to my hair and that you always need to account for “shrinkage” when you cut curls. My curls are on the looser side, so when it’s cropped very close to my head it’s akin to having a hundred unruly cowlicks, and as it grows out without the weight of longer hair it’s springy and full.
Throughout the rest of high school and my early twenties, I flip-flopped between attempting to learn to style my curls, which had thankfully evened out post-chop and straightening them with a blow dryer and a flat iron. When Brazilian blowouts came along, I was early in adopting them and loved how smooth, shiny, and easy to style my hair became overnight. It was a game changer in terms of the time I spent styling, and I never had to worry about getting caught in the rain or going for a swim. It was also extremely straight and flat, and even after it “wore off,” my curls weren’t the same. I continued to use the treatment until I became pregnant with my first child, and it’s been almost four years, between pregnancy and breastfeeding, since I’ve had one. Which leaves us where we are today. My routine lately has consisted of blowing out and styling my hair a couple of times a week when I can spare the time and stretching the time between washes with a healthy dose of dry shampoo.
Check back in next week if you’re wondering what the curly girl method is and how I’m discovering how my hair is both more and less forgiving than I expected. I’m giving it a month so this is the first post in a series of four.
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