It takes a village. (The hair post)


Me, at 5 – photo by my mom

I suppose I asked for it. You don't name a company “Curly Girl Design” and not get calls asking if you make or sell shampoo. If I had a dollar for every time…


I don't mind really.

The curly-headed are a special breed. We are almost always clever by nature and most probably resourceful by necessity. We will seek high and low, near and far for a system, product, treatment, magic potion or ancient tribal dance to calm our frizz and make our natural gift (not that we have always thought of it this way) shine and bounce. For most of us, this has been a life-long battle journey that has included a range of looks and emotions. From the uncontainable joy of finding a product that you love (and can find, you know, here on earth), stylists that get it (!) and (many) that don’t, bad decisions around bangs, super-short cuts (don’t get me wrong, Kerri Russell looked fabulous…) to all-out temper tantrums when any one of the million delicate steps in the curl-courting process goes wrong and you are doomed to a day looking like a standard poodle.


While I often get asked about my personal curl regimen, after the post about my beloved conditioner, I got so many requests I thought I would take a post to share. Just a few things before I begin:


1.)    I am in no way a professional. Not in anyway that you could define professional. My expertise is simply my own process with my own head of hair and about 19 years of trial and error. I had 80’s bangs and brushed my hair out until sophomore year in high school (because that’s what Libby McCormac did) and didn’t even really know that my hair was this curly because I never let it be. I just knew that it was unruly and that something must be done.


2.)    I am not being paid to advertise any specific product or service, this is just the formula that I am using today and it seems to be working well for me. The products featured here can be found at your local drug store and/or a salon that sells Bumble & Bumbe products (for the conditioner).


3.)    I have tried LOTS and LOTS of products over the years and am FULLY open to trying others, but only on a day when I don’t have to leave the house.


4.)    Every head of curls is different. Mine is fine and not too thick. I have larger ringlets (not tiny tight ones) I can straighten it easily with a blow dryer and it tends to be dry. I try not to wash it everyday.


5.)    I use approximately 3 beauty products total in my life, so simplicity and quickness are key factors in my routine. I don’t even bother using a diffuser unless I need to be somewhere fast and it is below freezing out.


That said, here is what I have been using:


The process is simple; every other day (even sometimes every 3rd day) I shampoo my hair with whatever is in the shower at the time. Right now, Coach and I are using Herbal Essences Drama Clean. It’s nice.


After I have thoroughly rinsed the shampoo out, I squeeze the water out of my hair and use a good solid fist-full of Bumble & Bumble Curl Conscious Conditioner (9 pumps -yep. 9.). I comb this through with my fingers or a wide tooth comb. This is the only combing that my hair ever sees. Nary a brush or fine-toothed object is allowed near this wild mane.


I then leave the conditioner in my hair until I am ready to get out of the shower. I rinse MOST of it out, leaving a little in (just enough that you can easily run your fingers through). I squeeze as much water out of it as I can before touching it with a towel. I gently squeeze dry my hair with a big towel and shake it out.


At this point I move on to a hand-towel or one of those specially absorbent ones if there is one around.


I grab my spray gel, right now I am using Pantene “Curls” Spray Gel which is nice, too much alcohol in a gel and it gets dry and crispy. I have also known and loved DevaCurl’s AnGel, but prefer a spray gel as to not get gloppy or do any unnecessary touching. I flip my hair over, spray (about 5 sprays), flip it back and spray in about 5 sprays.

Then it’s all about scrunch drying with the hand towel. From the bottom up and making sure to get the back and crown of my head. Also, if I am going to do any rearranging, parting or smoothing the front, this is the time. After this: NO TOUCHING. ONLY SCRUNCHING.


Then it’s up to the gods and the weather. I am off to air-dry.

Wasn’t that riveting? Oddly, it will have been for some, and those fair maidens, are my tribe members. It takes a village.


I should follow this by saying that when I named my company, I wasn’t even really thinking about my hair.

At that point, in college, my hair had become so much a part of my identity and personality that it was more a concept. It was a lifestyle, an attitude, and a way of being. That’s what I wanted to communicate with my brand, and without really thinking too much about it; I think we have started to.

Being a Curly Girl is not about having ringlets on your head, it’s about how you see the world. It’s about being who you are and not brushing it out. It’s about embracing the wildness of life (with a little conditioner) and taking it as it comes. It’s about having a little twinkle, a wink and nudge, a smirk. It’s like having an inside joke with the universe…those that get it, really get it and they are our tribe members.


Hope that was helpful. xoxo

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