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Curly Girls

post #1 of 492
Thread Starter 
Do you have curly ringlets, soft curls or sexy waves? Have you read this book? "Curly Girls" by Lorraine Massey Please join me in posting what has worked for you & if you are following or would like support in following the curky girl handbook! Check this book out of the library, it is a easy read!

I just discovered this method from my MDC friend Spastica, who I'm sure will be joining this conversation! I started using the no-poo curly girl way this week! I have used the brown sugar scalp scrub as well! So far my hair looks great, my curls are more defined & I have more curl now! I was abusing my hair straightening it for a couple years. Then I wanted to see how I'd look blonde!!! It wan't very becoming! So 8 days later I went back & had my dark brown color applied to cover up my golden horror! So I have abused my hair & it stopped being a curly! So I started with a cut which is recomended. Then got rid of shampoo & folloewd the technique described below!

The book is great for anyone who has ever wished that they had straight hair. But after you read it you won't want to straighten it anymore. THis is a handbook that teaches us not only how to embrase our wild tresses but also how to lovingly care for our hair so it looks it's best.

This link will give you the basics of the technique. IT will help you to figure out which typ of curl you have, corkscrew, bottecelli or wavy. Which if you have curly hair will require you to ditch the shampoo, brush & hot irons! It can take up to 3 weeks to get the best results, so hang in there!

Curly Care
the Curly Girl Way!

"My philosophy is, `Blow-dry straight, you're happy for a day; stay curly, you're happy for life.'"
-Lorraine Massey to The Toronto Star

So how does a Curly Girl care for her curls? Lorraine Massey's curly care principles include:

don't use shampoo (except if you're a wavy girl, and then only a little bit once a week)
never blow-dry your hair (unless you use a diffuser)
never comb your hair
use lots and lots of conditioner
Curls needs lots of moisture (think conditioner) to maintain their curl. But the main ingredient in most shampoos is a harsh detergent (such as sodium laurel sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, or sodium laureth sulfate), which dries out your curls (making them frizzy to boot!).

As Lorraine Massey told New York Times, "The curly-haired can leave their hair hydrated with natural oils and clean their scalps quite well by rinsing only with hair conditioner once a week or less. Rubbing the scalp firmly with fingers is enough to loosen dirt."

The Basic Steps of Curly Care

Step under the "waterfall" of your shower and rinse your curls well (but don't touch them!).
Once-a-week Cleansing Step: Using your fingertips and a bit of conditioner (gentle shampoo if you're a wavy girl), gently rub your entire scalp. Rinse well.
Gently but generously and evenly distribute conditioner through your curls. Wavy Girls, rinse well. Botticelli Curly Girls, rinse 'til your curls feel right. Corkscrew Curly Girls, rinse for just a second. (Rinse with cold water to "seal" the hair shaft.)

On the other days you will just condition the canopy & nape of the neck. Run fingers gently in tangle prone spots this will help to remove loose hairs. Don't worry it is normal to lose about 100 hairs aday! You will massage the scalp in the water without conditioner. You really have to see what works for you!
Use your towel to "scrunch-dry" your curls, gently scrunching towards your head.
Spread a small amount of gel over your palms and scrunch your curls in an accordion motion. Repeat until all your curls have been scrunched (scrunching the canopy last), but don't over-gel!
Use claw clips to arrange and style your curls, twisting any last curls into place. Then don't touch your hair while it dries! (Use a diffuser on the coolest, lowest setting if you must speed the process.)
Bend over and shake your dried curls to give them more volume. Enjoy your soft, springy curls! By clicking on the link I provided you can see examples of curly girls with clips in their hair

Curly Conditioners
(no silicone or "-ones" but lots of emollients, humectants, proteins, moisturizers, oils, Amino acids, and Panthenol)

TRESemme Conditioners - Vitamin E Moisture Rich or Pro Vitamin B5 & Aloe Remoisturizing or Vitamin E & Aloe Colour Revitalizing
A curly girl favorite--comes in a big bottle at a great price!

Aussie Moist Conditioner
Aussies know all about curls--as they say, "Every day has a style all its own!"

Soft Sheen Carson Optimum Care Stay Strong Conditioner
Found in the ethnic hair section, a great conditioner!

DevaCurl Conditioners
Lorraine Massey's own "No-Poo" Shampoos & Conditioners--if your curls are worth their weight in gold
Buy from NaturallyCurly.com's CurlMart
Buy from Devachan Salon

Curly Gels
(no alcohol, no color, and little fragrance, with PVP/VA)

TRESemme Smooth De-Frizzing Moisture Gel
TRESemme Tres Gel Clean-Hold
LaBella Lots of Curls Extra Hold Styling Gel

These arn't the only one's on the market but you have to do label reading! Nothing that ends in "cone" in the ingredients!

Extra-Special Care for your Curls
(look for detailed recipes and directions in the Curly Girl book)

Brown Sugar to exfoliate your scalp and "candy" those curls
(mix equal amounts brown sugar and conditioner and massage into scalp & rinse well--it smells so good we call it "Boy Bait"!)

Pure Lavendar Essential Oil for a Lavendar Mist that will revitalize, moisten, and cleanse those curls (found at health food stores or Bath & Body Works)
(boil 5 drops Lavendar with 1/2 gallon water for 1 hour ) Pour into spritz bottles & spray your hairto rejuvinate curls & tame frizz.

Baking Soda to make your hair feel squeaky clean
(rinse curls with 1 Tbsp. Baking Soda to 1 cup warm water) Combine ingredients in a spray bottle. Wet, condition & blot dry as usual. Spray hair with BS mixture. Allow to sit for a minute, then rinse with cool water. Blot dry again, style as usual.

If you have a dry scalp try this therapy
1 cup heavy cream, beaten until fluffy (or reddiwhip)
Pour into palms of hands & massage into scalp. Wait 5-10 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Olive Oil to deep-moisturize your curls
(mix with equal part of conditioner, distribute through hair, leave on for a few hours or overnight, then rinse well with vinegar & lemon juice)

Vinegar & Lemon Juice to cleanse and clarify your curls
(mix equal parts with some conditioner, distribute through hair, & rinse well)

Vegetable Glycerine for a spritz that will moisturize your curls and make them shine

Cholesterol to keep your curls soft as can be!
(scrunch on your curls right before you apply gel, or mix and apply with conditioner while in the shower)
Try LeKair's Cholesterol Plus Conditioning & Strengthening Cream, found in the Walmart ethnic hair section

Microfiber Hair Turban to plop your curls so they dry more quickly, or to keep a treatment on your curls and off your pillow
Buy on E-bay, Order from PerfectCloth, or Make your own!
post #2 of 492

Great to be here and welcome to all!

EricaLeigh, thanks for the props!

I thought I'd post the original links so that everybody can read through all the info and bookmark it, print it out, or whatever they'd like.


I found plenty of information from the NaturallyCurly website:

Home: http://naturallycurly2.com/home/index.php

Curl Community: http://www.naturallycurly2.com/curlm...a164cf119c7093

and from this website:


What kind of curly girl are you? Read this information to find out:

It just seems to boil everything down to the basics, and the helpful recipes are on this part of the site (scroll at the bottom):

How to use a diffuser on your blow dryer can be found here:

"Plopping," which is the method to get the biggest, juiciest curls from wet hair, can be found here:

These sites are also incredibly helpful:

(Some of the chemical information here, I disagree with, but the no-poo method and troubleshooting info is here)


I have a lot of websites bookmarked, so if you have questions, just let me know. I'm so excited to find all this information. I wish I had known about this stuff earlier - I wouldn't have spent most of my life blow drying my hair straight and hating my frizzy hair when I tried to keep it curly.
post #3 of 492
thanks for all of your great links. i've been thinking lately that i want to find some natural alternative to shampoo for my curls. i look forward to trying the scalp scrub.

i can't believe i used to hate my curls. i love them now & rarely (like twice a year) blow dry & flat iron.
post #4 of 492
I'm glad i saw this. I am a mama of a 6 year old with very curly hair, but I myself have straight hair. That wash and go kinda hair. So I am slowly learning all the dos and don'ts of curly hair. I had been combing it with a pick once a week in fear that it would dread up (fine when she's older, but I just cut off all my dreads and I don't think it's for a 6 yo IMO) I only washed/conditioned 1x a week as weel, but even that was turning into a torture session! So I started taking her to the $8 haircut places and having them wash, condition and comb and trim just the slightest off. I did this maybe every2 months : She seemed to do better with that.
BUT here is my latest store to tell.....
I went to one of these cheap places, they said sign in and then this young hairdresser (who btw was very pregnant) looked at my dd and said "Her hairs a nest, when was the last time you combed it?" I told her 1x a week and this girl made a disgusting look at me so I said "You don't want to cut her hair???" Her reply, while my dd is standing right there was "I'll do it, but it's gonna hurt her!" Obviously we walked right out, my dd now terrified. We went down the street to another place that was sweet as anything, they conditioned and gave me pointers and it didn't hurt!
I cried when I got home and got over my anger....who says these things to children? Another mom at my dd's school asked if I was letting her hair dread (I still had mine at the time) I kind of took offense for some reason. DD does not like to wear her hair in a ponytail, and by the end of the day after running around outside, her hair is all over the place. For awhile braids were working and kept down the tangling....but she doesn't like them all the time. I feel like people think I don't bathe or take care of my children becuase they have wild hair.

Sorry this was so winded.....I just have had a hard time with "hair discrimination "recently and this thread is just what was needed! I will check out those links THANK YOU
post #5 of 492
Hi! I'm a curly (wurly?) head!
I do use shampoo and haven't read that book though.

I used to wish I had straight hair too, years ago. Until I cut my hair short-ish, and it was so easy to get nice curls out of it then! I'd just wash it and let it air dry, or just make it wet and I was ready to go. Now it's long and not as easy, but the basics are the same - leave the hair alone as much as possible.

Here is what I do: I use a hydrating shampoo/conditioner combo. I shampoo my skalp, rinse it well. Then I condition all the length of my hair, sometimes the scalp too. I haven't figured out what works best for me yet. I detangle my hair while the conditioner is still on, gently, with my fingers. I only rinse it after it is tangle-free. After the shower I'll use some hydrating leave-in product (still haven't found one I love though...), and air dry.
What got harder is that the long hair bugs me, and I tend to make a bun using one of those "hair chop sticks" (forgot the right name), and that will stretch my curls and make my hair wurly (a mix between curly and wavy).

I'll try only using conditioner and see how it goes, but I am afraid of my scalp getting too oily too fast.

My hair was horrible fuzzy when I was young, and I only used to brush it after washing it My mother let me be. I remember once a mother of another girl from my class back then saying what a pitty it was that I didn't take good care of my hair, but at that age I really didn't think looking good was important, or something. I was also called gypsie girl by a girl from my class when I was a bit older, around 11. (I didn't like her at all, and I think the feeling was mutual ) The air was humid and it made my hair very fuzzy...
Good luck figuring out the best way to deal with your daughter's hair!
post #6 of 492
The NaturallyCurly site has a special section on how to work with children's curly, kinky, nappy, and fuzzy hair.


I would use diluted conditioner in a spray bottle on your child after coming out of the shower and use a wide toothed comb or pick.

The thing about hair is that hair sheds too - and you may have loose hairs tangling with regular hair, which contributes to the more tangling and dreadhead-ness. Scrubbing with the pads of your fingers to clean the scalp as well as combing stimulates bloodflow to the scalp to grow hair too!

Also, for combing, don't comb from top down. Gently comb the bottom of her hair and detangle, and work your way up. I'm sure the NaturallyCurly kids forum will have much more information. This particular link made me think of you:


I'm glad you guys are finding this thread helpful! I look forward to sharing tips and stories!
post #7 of 492
I really like this thread. I also love the burt's bees avocado hair masque before washing and Kiehl's creme with silk groom as a leave in (works great at smoothing, and no frizzies). I wash my hair about once or 2x a week. I don't wear it down much these days. I highlight it (mousy brown is the natural color) and it doenst mess with the curl. I never blow dry or straighten.
post #8 of 492
Thread Starter 
Some more recipes!

Aloe scalp therapy
After you have rinsed or shampooed (depending on what type of hair you have) apply 1 Tablespoon of alo vera gel to your scalp. (Use edable typy of alo gel, the kind that has to be refrigerated after opening.) MAssage for several minutes. Rinse hair & condition as usual. Or leave in as an alternative to hair gel.

I have NOT tried this yet but once I get my hands on some aloe, I'll report back!
post #9 of 492
Great links and tips!
post #10 of 492
Curly girl here!
And I read the Curly Girl book--good book! It is more than just a hairstyle, it's an attitude!
I still use shampoo, but much less of it, and less often. I hope my DD's hair gets curly as she gets older.
Big hello to my sisters in curliness!
post #11 of 492
I'm a lapsed curly. :

Out of desperation I had my hair straightened in April of 05, then again in September 05. I liked how it looked but it completely fried my hair, tons of breakage and split ends. I'm waiting for it to grow out so I can try to finally make peace with my curls.
post #12 of 492

Man, do *I* have a story for *YOU*...

I wanted to get my hair chemically relaxed, so I went where I usually get my hair cut. The lady was an older white lady and she was nice enough and said it would be no problem. She'd use a solution and huge rollers to straighten my hair.

To her horror, and mine, another hairdresser, an African-American woman, found out what she was doing and then they proceeded to wash out the perm, which was already nice with big waves, but she insisted that relaxer is what I needed, not perm solution.

So she put on relaxer on my hair. It stank. It burned.

When it was all done, I had the most horrible hair on the planet. It was frizz dried, fried looking, looked like a mop of ugly pubic hair.

Later in college, I used kiddie relaxer, which worked, but left the ends looking ugly and it just made my hair flat and straight, not straight with any kind of volume.

I quit after a few times and haven't put anything to straighten my hair since, but I continued to use blow dryer on the highest heat setting and pulling my hair straight with a brush. Then the new Raphaelite curls were on the runway and with people like Faith Hill and every celeb sporting romantic curls, I thought I could just let my hair be and my curly hair would be 'in' for once.

If I let my hair dry by itself, it looked ugly, frizzy, and stupid. It didn't look romantic at all. In fact, it looked so bad, that one day, I was going to get my haircut, so I left the house after I showered, but the salon had a wait, so I called up my boyfriend to go have lunch with me somewhere. By that time my hair had dried naturally. He took one look at me and laughed his ass off for 30 minutes straight. He almost cried he was laughing so hard.

I finally did some research on how to get the curly style and how to style curly hair, and I stumbled on the no-poo stuff and Lorraine Massey's book information online.

And here we are!

I still use a blow dryer, but it's at a lower heat setting, and I don't blow dry it bone dry, nor bone straight.

My hair is much happier now I even have new growth and length to my hair now.

Things I use that have been working wonderfully:

- Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner - as a base for no-poo and for conditioning.

- Baking Soda

- Essential oils like Tea tree oil, orange, and lavender.

On days I feel I need to 'shampoo' I get a tablespoon or less of baking soda and mix it with the conditioner, mix it up completely and use that to scrub my scalp and hair. I keep that on for a few minutes and then rinse. Sometimes I squirt diluted apple cider vinegar on my hair, or if I want super silky hair, I'll get some more conditioner and squirt some apple cider vinegar in the fresh conditioner and THAT, my friends, turn into a super luxurious acidifying conditioner. Other days, if I just use the plain conditioner after doing the conditioner-baking soda mix, my hair feels a little rough and feels dry at the ends, but it's big and huge and looks nice.

One some days, I can get away with putting tea tree oil or lavender on my scalp and 'mock-shampooing' with that. Or I can shampoo with conditioner only. I pretty much experiment everyday.

I'll use Avalon shampoo on rare occasions where I feel uber dirty, like the other day when I was stripping the paint off some furniture and sweeping pollen off my balcony. I didn't want to chance having that crap in my hair, so I shampoo'd with Avalon, which has low risk in chemicals.

I want to experiment using baking soda, essential oils, and aloe. Think that would make a nice 'un-shampoo'?

Ladybug: to help restore your current hair a little bit, try lots of apple cider vinegar or the apple cider vinegar plus silicone free conditioner that I mentioned. You can even do deep treatments with olive oil once a week. That will make your hair restore some of it's shine and smooth some of the damage until the damage grows out.
post #13 of 492
Chemistry time

IIRC the hair cuticles open up in an alkaline environment, and close in an acidic one.
Baking soda, sodium hydrogen carbonate NaHCO3, is alkaline. Do you use ACV or some other acidic solution to neutralise the carbonate after you wash your hair with it?
post #14 of 492
'Nother curly girl checking in...I love all the tips and websites from you other curl goddesses. HappiLeigh has it right on...curly hair is an attitude I strut around sporting my curls with pride even through I'm surrounded by a sea of straight-haired ladies.

I spent most of my adolescence fighting my curls through blowdrying straight, "relaxing" perms and straight irons...what a pain! And if there is the slightest bit of humidity, fuggetta about it.

I do wash, condition and use gel daily as this seems to work best for me. I've tried not washing and I end up with flat, big loopy curls and I like my tight curls better. (I have a really oily scalp.)

The coolest thing is the my DH is constantly telling me how much he loves my curly hair and prefers it to straight
post #15 of 492

You are correct, an Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon juice rinse is recommended after shampooing with baking soda.


The no-poo method is actually helpful for people who would like to use less shampoo (if at all), less styling products, and normalize the excessive oilyness on their scalp. The theory is that if you shampoo excessively (daily is considered excessive), your scalp pumps out more oil to compensate. More shampoo==more frizz or damage==more gels and products to tame curls.

I have the same issue as you, oily scalp, curly hair, and I used to shampoo daily. I read about taking care of curly hair and really didn't think that shampooing everyday was healthy for my hair (and I found out the chemicals in shampoo wasn't that great for my health either), so I'm trying to cut down.

My hair is in better shape now and I don't have to use gels or heavy conditioners like I used to to 'tame' my hair.

You may want to try it!
post #16 of 492
Ugh! I just realized my post never went through...and it was a long one!!! Oh, well. I guess I'll retype it later, because I'm off to bed. Just wanted to say I'm happy for this thread. I was just thinking the other day of starting one for Curly Girls.

And Spastica, I'm SO HAPPY to have you here because you are AWESOME for information!!!!

post #17 of 492
I feel the love! Thanks Shannon!(@*#)(@*#)$&$!!($)% (<-- super excited)

post #18 of 492
Thread Starter 
This is such a great place for curly girls to share! BTY SPastica I am also using Suave Naturals Coconut!!! And do you really have to boil the water to make the lavender mist? I didn't boil it this time, I just added the lavender eo to my spray bottle. Today was humid & I did have soe frizz! Maybe I should leave in some conditioner on days like today? Has anyone tried the cholesterol conditioner yet? I'm curious how it works? I would love to try some of Lorraine Masey's products,"Devacurl" but it's not in the budget, yet! BTW on her website you can look up your state & see who in your area has trained with her to become a certified curl care consultant. There is a salon about 30 minutes from my house! I don't want to cut any lenght off though. I had my hair cut about a month ago, & it brought out so much more curl (I had gone about 7 months without a trim ) So my hair shrunk big time after taking some waight & damage off......So I think I'll wait to cut it. How often do you all trim? I'll check back in, tomorrow!

Ok, it's late, good night!
post #19 of 492
EricaLeigh, howdy!

Hell no, I don't boil herbs and all that. I use the same stuff that I use as body spray, deodorant, and insect-repellent: my Burt's Bees Lavender Facial Mist.

Of course, I have since bought my own essential oils since buying the first bottle of the Burt's Bees and I make the mixture myself now -- but I love it.

For this mixture, I put a capful of lavender EO, capful or less of Bergamot, and 1/2 capful or less of cedarwood EO. You can just stick with Lavender EO and put like 1-2 capfuls in a bottle with about a cup of distilled water. It does very well to prevent frizz. Just spritz some in your hair when your hair is wet or damp/almost dry.

I did do a conditioner-only 'shampoo' today and my hair was oddly dry at the ends. My hair isn't even remotely greasy. I'll need to add some more conditioner and/or some apple cider vinegar to the ends next time. I think the agitation of your hair and getting rid of shampoo for months really does adjust the oil production on your scalp, it's really quite extraordinary.

The reason I stick with the Suave Tropical Coconut conditioner is because:

- Coconut is a natural cleanser -- I know my hair and scalp will get clean somewhat, whereas I'm skeptical about some other kinds of conditioner. Soap even has Coconut oils and coconut-derived cleansers.

- This conditioner has some rosemary oil in it: It helps your hair grow!

- It just smells delish. Nuff said.
post #20 of 492
I'm a curly girl!!

I don't wash but once a week, and I always condition. I have been using John Frieda for awhile, but it is losing it's appeal, so I am glad to have this list of things to try. I am going to give a new brand a whirl and see how it goes!!

This is the picture I always have my cuts based off of: http://www.matrix.com/find_your_hair...spx?scroll=605
But you know how curly hair is, some days I can make it look like that and others, not so much!!!

I am so hoping my dd ends up with curlies too!! She has a little curl on the back, but not much. My curls didn't come out in full until I was around 3, so I still have a little time, keeping my fingers crossed!!!
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