New to curly girl method - advice needed

casachesscasachess Posts: 6Registered Users
Hello everyone! First time poster here. :)

So, I've just started on the curly girl method. My hair has always been curly, but I've never known there was a specific way to take care of it. I never used any specific shampoo and conditioner, and DEFINITELY no products. I've been doing the curly girl method for all of like, a week so it's still new.

Here's the issue I've been having: I got all new shampoo and conditioner, as well as products. I use the shea moisture shampoo and conditioner, with the Curls brand leave-in conditioner. The problem is that the various gels/mousses/custards have been giving my hair that like, really unattractive hard, crunchy, wet look. Is this me not using the products correctly, or am I using the wrong products? TIA!!

Comments

  • SereneCurlsSereneCurls Posts: 1,145Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Hey, welcome. That crunchy look you describe is the gel cast, which helps your curls keep their shape while they're drying. Once your hair is fully dry, scrunch it with your hands and that crunch should go away, leaving curls that are defined but natural looking. You may want to experiment with applying your product to soaking wet hair, or to hair that's had some water scrunched out of it first, to see which you like better. Try scrunching out the crunch and let us know how it goes.
    3a, dense, fairly coarse, normal porosity and elasticity, just below shoulder
    Low poo: Giovanni 50 50
    Co-wash: aia, suave coconut, salon care
    R O: Tresume Naturals, gvpcb
    L I: KCKT, gvpcb
    Stylers: cjpp, re : coil, kccc, brhg
    Oils: coconut, argan
    Experimenting with: curls rock amplifier, pantene mousse
  • casachesscasachess Posts: 6Registered Users
    That does help with making the crunchiness go away, but then I get frizz. :/ LOL!
  • BotticelliBritBotticelliBrit Posts: 2,075Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    SOTC (scrunching out the crunch) is the best way to get rid of the crunchiness and have soft, defined curls. Some people prefer to 'smooth out the crunch' instead though. If that doesn't work you may need to take a closer look at your routine in general.

    How and when do you apply your gel? (Do you scrunch it in or smooth it in? Is your hair damp or soaking wet? Do you use a towel at all at any point?) Also, what gel are you using?

    Aaaaand what are your hair properties?
    3B. Med porosity. Med thickness. Med density.

    LP: Shea Moisture (currently JBCO)
    Conditioner/CW: Jason Aloe Vera

    LI: Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Quench
    Refreshing: TRESemmé Naturals Aloe Vera & Avocado
    Gel: DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel
    DC:
    Aunt Jackie's Soft & Sassy Super Duper Softening Conditioner
    Treatments: Coconut oil/Coconut milk

    UK curly. CG since Oct 2013.
    Growing my hair to WL when dry :thumright:
  • casachesscasachess Posts: 6Registered Users
    SOTC (scrunching out the crunch) is the best way to get rid of the crunchiness and have soft, defined curls. Some people prefer to 'smooth out the crunch' instead though. If that doesn't work you may need to take a closer look at your routine in general.

    How and when do you apply your gel? (Do you scrunch it in or smooth it in? Is your hair damp or soaking wet? Do you use a towel at all at any point?) Also, what gel are you using?

    Aaaaand what are your hair properties?

    I try not to use a towel because I think I had read that it's a little more damaging. So I squeeze out excess water in the shower and then let it air dry for a few minutes so it's more damp than like completely soaking wet, then apply leave-in conditioner, and then gel, mousse, or custard. (I don't use all three at the same time, but I've tried each one individually and they all leave me with the crunchiness.) I scrunch it in because, again, I think that was what I read to do. The products I have are:

    Kinky Curly Curling Custard
    Curls Goddess Curls Botanical Gel
    Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
    Herbal Essences Curl Boosting Mousse (bought out of desperation the other day in hopes that mousse would be less crunchy)

    I'm still new to all of this so I honestly have no idea what my hair properties are.
  • BotticelliBritBotticelliBrit Posts: 2,075Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Okay, so you're right about the towel :) what's good to use though is a cotton t-shirt (or a microfibre towel) to scrunch out the excess water. You want to apply your products in your hair when it's pretty wet, as that's when you have the most control over it. When it starts to dry, that's when it starts to frizz, so it's usually best to get the products in as quickly as possible and on hair that's more wet than damp.

    Personally, I don't find scrunching product in to be the best method and this gives me frizz. IMO, it's best to rake the product in with your fingers (or a wide-tooth comb, I guess, if you prefer), or smooth it in with your hands. This ensures even distribution over ALL of your hair. Then, once you've done that, it's time to scrunch scrunch scrunch to really help 'push' your curl pattern and accentuate it.

    You can also find sections that look a little frizzy and finer twirl them while your hair is wet to give a unique and uniform curl with no frizz.

    Just a few things with the products you've listed: I don't know anything about the gel or mousse, but the KCC custard and the SM smoothie gave me awful hair. They were far too thick and 'cakey' and left me with a lot of frizz and no definition. I've found my hair (medium porosity) responds far better to more 'liquidy' products.

    In regards to your hair: do you know your hair type? There's a banner on this site just under the title that lists the hair types, with pictures so that you can compare them to your own hair.

    Hair properties are: thickness, density and porosity. Thickness is how thick your hair is which you can tell yourself just by examining your strands.

    Density is how much hair you have which, again, is easy to see.

    Porosity is a bit tricky and the only way to tell is to either A) Get a hair analysis done (the most reputable on here is Goosefootprints on Etsy) or just pay attention to how long your hair takes to dry without product. If it's quick (a couple of hours or so) then it's high porosity, if it's average then it's medium, and if it takes ages (five or more hours) then it's probably low porosity.
    3B. Med porosity. Med thickness. Med density.

    LP: Shea Moisture (currently JBCO)
    Conditioner/CW: Jason Aloe Vera

    LI: Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Quench
    Refreshing: TRESemmé Naturals Aloe Vera & Avocado
    Gel: DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel
    DC:
    Aunt Jackie's Soft & Sassy Super Duper Softening Conditioner
    Treatments: Coconut oil/Coconut milk

    UK curly. CG since Oct 2013.
    Growing my hair to WL when dry :thumright:
  • casachesscasachess Posts: 6Registered Users
    Okay, so you're right about the towel :) what's good to use though is a cotton t-shirt (or a microfibre towel) to scrunch out the excess water. You want to apply your products in your hair when it's pretty wet, as that's when you have the most control over it. When it starts to dry, that's when it starts to frizz, so it's usually best to get the products in as quickly as possible and on hair that's more wet than damp.

    Personally, I don't find scrunching product in to be the best method and this gives me frizz. IMO, it's best to rake the product in with your fingers (or a wide-tooth comb, I guess, if you prefer), or smooth it in with your hands. This ensures even distribution over ALL of your hair. Then, once you've done that, it's time to scrunch scrunch scrunch to really help 'push' your curl pattern and accentuate it.

    You can also find sections that look a little frizzy and finer twirl them while your hair is wet to give a unique and uniform curl with no frizz.

    Just a few things with the products you've listed: I don't know anything about the gel or mousse, but the KCC custard and the SM smoothie gave me awful hair. They were far too thick and 'cakey' and left me with a lot of frizz and no definition. I've found my hair (medium porosity) responds far better to more 'liquidy' products.

    In regards to your hair: do you know your hair type? There's a banner on this site just under the title that lists the hair types, with pictures so that you can compare them to your own hair.

    Hair properties are: thickness, density and porosity. Thickness is how thick your hair is which you can tell yourself just by examining your strands.

    Density is how much hair you have which, again, is easy to see.

    Porosity is a bit tricky and the only way to tell is to either A) Get a hair analysis done (the most reputable on here is Goosefootprints on Etsy) or just pay attention to how long your hair takes to dry without product. If it's quick (a couple of hours or so) then it's high porosity, if it's average then it's medium, and if it takes ages (five or more hours) then it's probably low porosity.

    Thanks for the tips about those products!! I'll have to keep looking, I guess.

    Based on those descriptions, I'd say my hair is extremely thick, very dense, and low porosity. Like I said in the first post, I just started using product of any kind, period. And it takes literally all day for my hair to air dry. I hate blow drying because that in and of itself takes forever, so what I had been doing is washing at night and letting it dry while I sleep. Now I've been attempting to do the hair plopping with a cotton t-shirt, although usually I take it down after three or four hours (and it's still wet). I haven't tried sleeping with my hair in the t-shirt.
  • casachesscasachess Posts: 6Registered Users
    Oh, and as for hair type, I think it's a 2C. I need to get it cut! I found a local salon that does DevaCuts but they have insanely long waits to get an appointment so I think (hope) that once I do that, the stylist will be able to give me more information about my hair and how to take care of it.
  • BotticelliBritBotticelliBrit Posts: 2,075Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    If your hair is low porosity, I really wouldn't recommend the SM smoothie. That's far too thick. You'll probably do better with more watery products (like gels that have a serum consistency, rather than a jelly one).

    Also, for drying, I feel you. Sometimes my hair takes AGES to dry and I have to wash it in the evening once a week because I don't get home from work until late. A few tips:
    Diffuse. You can get right to the roots with a diffuser and it really speeds up the drying process. Also, you don't have to fully dry your hair with it, you can just do it for 5-15 minutes or so to kickstart/speed up the drying process. Focus on your roots and you'll see a big cut in drying time.
    Scrunching with a cotton t-shirt before you apply product (some even do it after they apply product too). Honestly, this has been a life saver for me and cut a good few hours off of my drying time!

    You should buy the Curly Girl handbook if you haven't already. Some great tips in there for beginners, plus a DVD to see them in action.
    3B. Med porosity. Med thickness. Med density.

    LP: Shea Moisture (currently JBCO)
    Conditioner/CW: Jason Aloe Vera

    LI: Aunt Jackie's Curls & Coils Quench
    Refreshing: TRESemmé Naturals Aloe Vera & Avocado
    Gel: DevaCurl Ultra Defining Gel
    DC:
    Aunt Jackie's Soft & Sassy Super Duper Softening Conditioner
    Treatments: Coconut oil/Coconut milk

    UK curly. CG since Oct 2013.
    Growing my hair to WL when dry :thumright:
  • casachesscasachess Posts: 6Registered Users
    If your hair is low porosity, I really wouldn't recommend the SM smoothie. That's far too thick. You'll probably do better with more watery products (like gels that have a serum consistency, rather than a jelly one).

    Also, for drying, I feel you. Sometimes my hair takes AGES to dry and I have to wash it in the evening once a week because I don't get home from work until late. A few tips:
    Diffuse. You can get right to the roots with a diffuser and it really speeds up the drying process. Also, you don't have to fully dry your hair with it, you can just do it for 5-15 minutes or so to kickstart/speed up the drying process. Focus on your roots and you'll see a big cut in drying time.
    Scrunching with a cotton t-shirt before you apply product (some even do it after they apply product too). Honestly, this has been a life saver for me and cut a good few hours off of my drying time!

    You should buy the Curly Girl handbook if you haven't already. Some great tips in there for beginners, plus a DVD to see them in action.

    Thank you for the tips! And yeah, I will make sure to get the handbook. Maybe I should have done that first LOL. ;)
  • BluejacketsgirlBluejacketsgirl Posts: 94Registered Users
    Kinky curly curling custard is by far the best gel I have ever used. Once my hair is dry I just scrunch out the crunch, break the gel cast and my curls are perfect. Spray with water the next day and diffuse, it brings my curls right back. Best product on the market for my 2B hair.

    I am currently using devacurl no poo and One conditioner, they are definitely pricy but they work wonders on my hair. The CG method works incredibly well and is worth doing!!

    Sent from my SM-N910V using CurlTalk App
    2C, low porosity, medium density
    CoWash: As I Am Coconut Co-Wash
    Low-Poo: SM Fruit Fusion Weightless Shampoo
    Rinse Out & Leave In: SM Coconut and Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner
    Syler: KCCC. BRHG
    Refresher: SheaMoisture Smooth and Repair High Shine Glosser


    Read and follow my curly girl blog!:blob7:

    Like me on Facebook!:thumright:
    Follow me on Twitter!:angel8:
  • chupiechupie Posts: 5,280Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    2a medium porous, You can see my wavy tutorials here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy8bclCLgER5N_uVYSYZNxhBHSXAW40OQ and my wavy blog is The Wavy Nation http://wavynation.wordpress.com
  • SereneCurlsSereneCurls Posts: 1,145Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    casachess wrote: »
    That does help with making the crunchiness go away, but then I get frizz. :/ LOL!

    Some people find smoothing a dab of conditioner or oil between their hands before they scrunch out the crunch helps to make sure the curls don't frizz up after they're softened. You could give this a try if you haven't already. The kccc works great for me, but I haven't been able to get the sm smoothie to work at all, I've tried it a variety of ways.
    3a, dense, fairly coarse, normal porosity and elasticity, just below shoulder
    Low poo: Giovanni 50 50
    Co-wash: aia, suave coconut, salon care
    R O: Tresume Naturals, gvpcb
    L I: KCKT, gvpcb
    Stylers: cjpp, re : coil, kccc, brhg
    Oils: coconut, argan
    Experimenting with: curls rock amplifier, pantene mousse
  • debrocdebroc Posts: 20Registered Users
    Serenecurls! We seem to have similar hair. I noticed you have re:coil and kccc listed as your stylers. How do you use your these? Order? Application method? Thanks!!!

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file