I’d been fighting the frizz for about 20 years and was fed up of my long frizzy/curly hair – years of blowdrying and colouring had damaged my hair and I wanted to chop it all off. I needed something something shorter and easier to manage. I spent hours on Google looking at pictures of hairstyles and eventually came across a website that literally changed my life: Naturally Curly! I read about different kinds of curls, different kinds of treatments, shampoos, you name it, it’s there. The site also has a message board where people can ask questions or leave tips for other readers. I spent hours browsing the website and figuring out what was best for me.
The first thing the site recommended for unruly curls was to ditch the shampoo. ‘What?? That’s gross!’ I hear you say. And that was my initial thought too. How can you NOT use shampoo when you wash your hair?? There was a detailed explanation of how the chemicals in shampoo strip curly hair of any moisture it might have and this contributes to the frizz factor. Instead, they recommend co-washing, or washing your hair with conditioner. As I read, I begin to wish I’d never given up chemistry at school – it goes into detail about silicones and sulfates and many other terrible things that go into shampoos and conditioners. Once I thought I’d figured it all out and had bought my new products, I gave it a shot.
Before going shampoo-free I had to get rid of any build-up on my scalp by using a clarifying shampoo. Pantene do a good one – I used to use it every 3 to 4 weeks.
I was now ready to go shampoo-free. I washed (with conditioner) just as I would if I were using shampoo, scrubbing, etc. The conditioners I used to wash with were Original Source Mint and Tea Tree Conditioner and sometimes I used the Superdrug Coconut and Almond Conditioner. You need to find conditioners without silicone/mineral oil – these cause build-up and the only way to get rid of that is to shampoo. It’s a vicious circle. Surprisingly, you still get a good lather even if you’re just using conditioner.
Once I washed with conditioner I used a heavier conditioner to condition – the ones I used were Aussie Frizz Miracle, Miracle Moist or L’Oreal Elvive Nutri-Gloss Masque (in the tub, NOT in the bottle – the bottle version containes silicones) – I usually alternated between the three, I didn’t use them all at once! I only combed my hair during this stage – with a wide-tooth comb with conditioner in my hair.
Once I’d rinsed out the conditioner I would hold my head upside down, dripping wet, and scrunch in either Boots Curl Creme (pink gel stuff) or Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner (it used to be only available in the US but I believe you can order it online for UK delivery). While still holding my head upside down, I would wrap it in a microfibre towel and then get on with the rest of my getting ready… The microfibre towel is ultra-absorbent and is much better for your hair than a regular towel. I got mine on amazon.com and they weren’t expensive at all.
And then I would take the towel off and either just leave it to dry naturally (if I had time to spare) or use a diffuser but only for a short while – not until it was completely dry… And then I’d be ready to go. The results were astounding:
Before I had frizz, now I had properly defined curls, even ringlets.
And because my hair was so much softer, when I did have the occasional blowdry, the result was much smoother hair:
The other thing I used to do before I went to sleep which helped retain the curl definition was I would turn my head upside down and put all my hair in a loose scrunchie and sleep like that. When I woke up in the morning, I’d just let it down and run my fingers through it – it was brilliant. I avoided many bad hair days by doing that! If the curls looked a little flat and I didn’t want to wash my hair all over again, I used to have a spritzer filled with water and a tiny bit of conditioner in it. That worked wonders!
This is a really useful link to get you started if you want more info but the products are mainly US-based. It took some getting used to but it’s definitely worth the effort!
Since then I discovered the Brazilian keratin treatment (you can read about that here)!