Do you suffer from curly hair that’s dry, damaged, frizzy, or uncontrollable? Do you find yourself not knowing how to self-care for your curls so straighten it until it’s damaged beyond repair? Pull up a chair and read on…
There is a lot of buzz online about the Curly Girl Method way of taming and celebrating curly hair. Curly-haired women all over the internet are waxing lyrical about how adopting the Curly Girl Method has changed their lives, and how their curls are bouncier and more healthy than ever before. Many curly-haired folk have a very real fear and distrust of hairdressers following salon disasters in the past, and we are striving forwards to change that for the future. We want curly-haired girls (and boys) to feel utterly fabulous! But what is it, and what exactly does following the ‘Curly Girl Method’ involve?
What is the Curly Girl Method?
The curly girl method is based on the book “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey. Lorraine’s advice about caring for curly hair created a movement, a sisterhood for all girls with naturally curly hair. Lorraine’s ‘no-more-shampoo’ epiphany suggests that you handle your curly hair as gently as you would your finest cashmere jumper; you wouldn’t wash your cashmere on a hot wash using washing-up liquid, and the same should apply when caring for your curly hair.
Here at David & David, we have had the absolute honour of having Lorraine Massey herself visit the salon and train two of our stylists in the techniques of how to cut and care for curly hair. Creative Director Jonathan and senior stylist Gemma both undertook the masterclass in cutting curly hair in June and were incredibly inspired by Lorraine and her wizardry with curly hair, putting David & David firmly on the curly girl map as one of the only salons in the UK to have been personally trained by Lorraine Massey herself.
We thought it interesting to explore the methods adopted by the Curly Girl Method to see if it helps you care for your curly hair at home in between visits to the salon. We hope it clears a few things up and helps you enjoy the beautiful bouncy curls you were blessed with!
What Do You Have to Avoid in the Curly Hair Method?
Firstly, it’s important to know what the Curly Girl Method (also referred to as “no-poo” hair care) advises you avoid using on your curly hair:
- Combs and brushes
- Sulphates (sodium lauryl sulphate and ammonium laureth sulphate)
- Non-water-soluble silicones
Avoid shampoo? Are they crazy? Well yes. It might seem that way (!) but to achieve the lustrous bouncy curls promised by devotees of the Curly Girl Method, they say it’s important to cleanse the hair gently without removing the oils which are crucial to hair health and protecting your hair and scalp. Stripping the oils away deprives the hair of necessary moisture and amino acids, leaving it dry and dull. Most shampoos contain harsh, drying sulphates which can be damaging for curly hair (ammonium laureth sulphate, ammonium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, sodium lauryl sulphate are common ingredients to look out for.). These common detergents found in shampoos make curly hair frizzy and uncooperative.
How to Follow the Curly Girl Method
Step 1: Cleanse
Here in the salon we use the Bouclème range which is natural, silicone, sulphate & paraben free (of course), and specially formulated for curly hair. Curly hair is drier and more fragile than other hair types so requires nourishing and penetrating ingredients to help hydrate and strengthen the cuticle from the inside out. Bouclème products are packed with high performance actives that restore moisture and life to dry lacklustre hair. As a result hair has more volume and it is perfect for women following the Curly Girl Method. The Curly Girl Method advises that you should clarify with a shampoo for the last time before beginning, this is to cleanse the hair of any silicones. Gently scrub and stimulate the entire scalp with fingertips (no nails!) and conditioner. The friction will lift residue, sweat & oil to be rinsed out. Some of you may feel that your hair is greasy to start with (and this is normal until your hair gets used to being in a natural ‘no-poo’ state, it will soon correct itself), but it also varies depending on hair type and you should play with it to see what works for you. Curl pattern is not the only determining factor, other characteristics of your hair like porosity, density and width will play a big role so feel free to experiment with products to see what works for you, everyone’s hair is individual! See below for a quick guide:
- Wavy Hair – You may use Curly Girl-approved cleanser, but only once a week. Always condition before and after using cleanser.
- Curly Hair – Cowash with water and conditioner once a week or every 10 days
- Coily Hair – In between cowash days, wet your hair and go straight to Step 2
Next Step: Condition
A major focus of the CG method is keeping as much moisture in the hair as possible so the cuticle lies flat without having to brush/straighten it flat. As with shampoo, make sure that your conditioner is silicone-free and sulphate free. It may feel odd at first – but try not to over-rinse your conditioner. Just think of it almost as a “leave-in” conditioner and your curls will feel so much healthier and moisture-filled. Start by untangling bottom sections of your hair and then gradually move upwards. Let the conditioner sit in your hair for five minutes or so for extra moisture. You also may want to part your hair at this point with a comb. It’s recommended that you part your hair to the side to prevent “triangle-shaped” hair. Do the final rinse of your hair with cool or cold water to seal the hair’s cuticle and lock in moisture, this will decrease frizz and add shine
We can’t stress enough how much silicone damages your hair! Our Olaplex treatments in the salon are amazing and work wonders for hair of all types, especially curlies. Guide depending on your own curly hair type:
- Wavy Hair– Rinse your hair for just a few seconds, if a little bit of conditioner is left on the hair that’s ok
- Curly Hair – You can either rinse or leave the conditioner in at this point, depending on how much moisture you need
- Coily Hair – If you have time when conditioning, wrap your hair and apply heat for 15 minutes for a moisture boost. Rinse completely to avoid a visible film.
Step 3: Products and Drying Curly Hair
If you have curly hair then you should always apply products whilst your hair is soaking wet. If you have wavy or medium curly hair, then wait 5 minutes. Smooth or rake your hair product into your hair by sections. Some people like to use a leave-in oil or cream but beware that this won’t work well for second day hair. Some people using the Curly Girl Method use a scrunch gel to form the curl. If using this, scrunch gel from ends toward the scalp, starting at the nape and working up, scrunch the top layer last. Clip the roots for lift.
To dry, bend forward and blot dry by cupping curls in a t-shirt, paper towel or micro-fibre towel. Never wring or disturb your curls as this will disturb them! You can then leave your hair to air-dry naturally or, if you’re in a hurry, use a diffuser.
What is “Plopping”?
“Plopping” as it is interestingly named (!), is the process of tying curly hair up into a t-shirt or towel so that it preserves the curls and prevents frizz. Lots of people do this overnight and sleep in the t-shirt or silk head sock to wake up with beautiful curls in the morning. Plopping works best for medium to long length curly hair. The curls usually become weirdly squished after plopping in shorter hair. Find out more about how to plop your hair here.
How to Maintain Your Curly Hair
Well you’ve done the most important bit; finding a hair stylist experienced with curly hair in Plymouth! Not all hair dressers were created equal, so if you’re looking for a stylist skilled in cutting curly hair make sure that you trust that they understand curly hair first (as all our talented stylists do here at David & David). Unplanned haircuts can be disastrous for curly hair! Remember, it takes a skilled hairdresser to successfully cut layers or other haircuts in curly hair.
What is the “Deva Cut”?
The Deva Cut is a hair cutting technique created by Lorraine Massey at her Devachan salon in New York (in 1994) whereby each curl is cut individually and normally at an angle so as to not disrupt the curl pattern. Usual practice in salons is the hair is washed, dried, the hair brushed and pulled straight and then cut. Well as we know here at D&D, that doesn’t work with curly hair. No two curls are the same so cutting curls like this usually results in an uneven disaster. By cutting the hair dry, in its natural state, specialist stylists who are adept at cutting curls (like us) are able to cut the curls where they naturally sit, and thus create a beautiful shape. This has become known in the USA as the ‘Deva Cut’ and is beginning to be a known term here in the UK too. We also use ‘curl-by-curl’ cuts as this is the trademark which Lorraine now uses. Curly hair cuts are nothing new however, and here at David & David, we treat each person’s hair individually and exercise the best techniques for their style.
Curly Hair Stylists in Plymouth
People with curly hair should have their hair trimmed every three to six months. A half inch trim is usually enough to get rid of split ends and keep it looking lustrous. Because curly hair usually consists of a combination of textures, with the crown being the curliest part, long, rounded layers are more suited to curly hair.
No two curls are the same, so why treat them so? Here at David & David we understand the specialist needs of clients with naturally curly hair. We can’t wait to meet you curly-haired goddesses and help you to celebrate the beautiful curls you were blessed with. Get in touch to discuss your curls with one of our talented curly hair stylists today… you won’t regret it. Share your curly hair transformations, hints, tips and tricks with us over on Facebook and Instagram – join our vibrant online community!
How to prepare for Your Curl-by-Curl Cutting Appointment
Before coming along to your curl-by-curl hair appointment, please ensure that you adhere to the following points so that you can be assured of the best results and the beautiful bouncy curls you were blessed with….
- Arrive with your hair cleansed and fully detangled
- Please make sure you don’t have your hair in a pony tail or bun as this makes cutting your curls extremely difficult (the kinks will give a false impression of the natural fall of the curls )
- Come in with your hair ‘naked’ (no gel, hair spray, heavy butters or oils!)
- Wash your hair with conditioner, re-apply to condition and then leave it ALL in!
- If you have finer/wavier hair, you can rinse partially if you feel its necessary (if you have Afro Caribbean curls, apply even more conditioner and use this to style your curls)
- Please ensure your hair is 100% dry on arrival at the salon
How Much Does a Curly Cut Cost?
Since our visit from Lorraine Massey and the investment we have made to further our training in the specialist field of curl-by-curl cuts, we have realised that we need to spread the appointments to 90 minutes to ensure that we give curly clients the full curl-by-curl cutting experience. Unlike straight-haired clients who may visit the salon every 4-6 weeks, the slow-growing nature of curly hair means that curly clients usually only need to visit the salon 2 – 4 times per year.
If it is your first time having a curl-by-curl cut at David & David then you will need to have the full curl-by-curl cut. If you have already had your initial curl-by-curl cut with us then you can request a subsequent shape-up ‘express’ appointment (but are of course welcome to have the full works if you rather!). A breakdown of each can be seen below:
- Full Curl-by-Curl Cut £65 / 90 mins
If it’s your first time getting a curly cut by Jonathan or Gemma then you will get to experience the full works. A curl-by-curl cut will take 90 mins and you will enjoy a dry cut and consultation before your curls are cleansed, conditioned, dried and styled.
- Express Curl-by-Curl Cut £41-43 / 45 mins
The express shape-up is offered to curly clients who have already had the full curly cut with one of our curl specialists before but want to have a reshape to freshen their look. The express curly cut is a dry cut without cleansing/drying.
If you want to make an appointment please get in touch here. We can’t wait to welcome you to Plymouth’s curly hair specialist salon!