Is your frizzy hair really curly? We dive into the curly girl method

We talk to scientist and beauty brand founder Brianne West about how to take care of curly hair.

If you have curly hair and you’ve brushed it before, you’ll know that it can become a ball of frizz very easily.

However, many women with looser curls find that their hair isn’t actually frizzy, it’s curly, and they treat it badly.

First off, we have to start this story by acknowledging that the “Curly Girl Method” is by no means new. These tactics and processes for caring for curly hair have been passed down from generation to generation in the black community, so it is not a “new trend”.

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The Curly Girl method has also been chronicled in a book by hairstylist Lorraine Massey, Curly Girl: The Manual.

“It’s a way to take care of wavy, curly, and frizzy hair types because they require different care and products to keep the delicate curl structures looking their best,” says Brianne West, Founder and CEO of Ethique.

“The basic principle of CGM is to use hair products that are free of silicones, sulfates, waxes and drying alcohols – anything that is particularly drying or anything that will create a lot of buildup. Many people who follow the method only strictly comb their hair when wet, never blow-dry it, and avoid towel-drying to minimize the risk of frizz.

So if you’ve done everything to improve your hair and still find yourself at a loss, here are her tips.

Why do curls need different treatment and what are the benefits for hair?

“Generally, curly hair is drier, due to various factors such as porosity and structure, so a less cleansing and more conditioning routine is preferable. But not all curly girls and guys need to follow a strict curl routine. Some find that they go great with traditional products, especially those with milder surfactants like sodium cocoyl isethionate (SCI), and that’s fine!

Those who follow the Curly Girl Method often report that they have bouncy, longer-lasting curls and healthier hair than with their previous products. It’s about finding what works for you.

There are many types of curly hair. How do we know if our hair is curly, wavy or frizzy?

“It can be tricky! But the best way to tell is to look at the shape of your hair closer to the scalp. Wavy hair tends to have tight or loose S-shaped locks and is usually closer to the head.

Curly hair has a more corkscrew pattern and ringlets have more scalp “lift”. Again, these can be loose or tight corkscrews. Curly hair forms zig-zag type curls right from the root. It is often very elastic and voluminous.

Curly girls are particularly susceptible to frizz. How can we fight it?

“It depends on the person, but frizz is caused by many factors; the weather, friction (something curly hair is especially prone to because the hair shafts don’t lie flat), hydration, styling, treatments – the list goes on.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but generally a less cleansing-based, more moisturizing-based routine (like co-washing where you use a product to gently cleanse and moisturize rather than shampoo and conditioner), plopping (which is gentle to dry with a t-shirt or something with less fiber than a towel as it causes chafing) and careful use of appropriate stylers is your best bet.

Why does curly hair need different products than straight hair?

“Curly hair structures are all different, but generally the more curls or curls there are in a hair shaft, the harder it is for the natural oils produced by your scalp to work their way to the ends of the hair. your hair.There are often places along the hair shaft where the cuticle does not lie flat, exposing the internal structure to damage.In addition, curly hair tends to be more porous (it absorbs moisture). water quickly, but lose it just as quickly).

Are there any products or ingredients girls with curly hair should avoid?

“A lot of curly-haired girls swear by a routine free of sulfates, silicones, waxes, or drying alcohols, but that’s absolutely personal preference as some people find products with these ingredients work well for them. Unfortunately, blanket statements rarely work for everyone, but this method is certainly appreciated and well followed.”

The West brand has just launched a range of shampoos and conditioners specially formulated for curly hair.

“Professor Curl is probably one of the best shampoos we’ve ever made – it has a super creamy lather and a really lightweight finish to promote and enhance your curls. Curliosity is very special though…it’s the equivalent of nine bottles of conditioner in a small concentrated bar, which is the most economical conditioner bar on the market.It can be used as a conditioner, co-wash or as a leave-in conditioner, or deep treatment (just leave it on longer),” she says.

Bar-style products are all the rage right now, considering how much less waste they create than plastic containers. West says most women find them more intuitive to use than liquid products in one or two washes.

The best part? They are plastic-free, cruelty-free, vegan, palm oil-free, sustainably sourced, and ethically traded. The packaging they come in is also compostable.

All the products presented in this article are selected by our editors, who do not play favorites. If you buy something, we may get a share of the sale. Learn more.

Melissa R. Brumfield