I’ve been following the Curly Girl Method for 5 years now, which feels incredibly hard to believe. Every year, I do a post reflecting on what I’ve learned.
Honestly, this is the first year I don’t have anything new to share. My hair seems to have settled. It’s easy to care for, and I have great curls day in and day out. I have no regrets about sticking with this curly hair care philosophy.
So this year, I thought I’d pull my top 8 observations and lessons.
Here are 8 things I’ve learned following the Curly Girl Method for five years!
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What works for you is most important
The internet is full of Curly Girl Method advice, which is awesome! I wouldn’t have the hair I have without the advice I picked up. And I wouldn’t have a blog if I didn’t have my own curly hair tips and experiences to share.
But I’ve learned it’s really important to remember that no one’s hair is exactly like yours. If you’re struggling with a hair issue, turning to the internet and giving some tips a shot is a great place to start. But keep in mind, everyone’s hair is different, so don’t be afraid to mix and match.
Use one bloggers technique with a product you know your hair loves. Or try a new product with a technique that’s worked for you.
No one can tell you the “right” way to care for your hair. All that matters is that you’re happy with the results. If you are, then it doesn’t matter if you modified a technique or broke a curly girl “rule.”
And if you’re not happy, keep trying new things until you are.
Scalp care is really important
In my first year, I spent most of my time focusing on my hair and not enough on my scalp.
It led to a dry flaky scalp that was both uncomfortable and visually unappealing. Luckily, I solved that problem towards the end of my first year (you can read about that here).
In the years since, I’ve really come to appreciate how a little bit of regular scalp care makes a difference.
Once I got my scalp under control, I was able to maintain it with some regular care.
I made it a habit to massage a little bit of melted coconut and olive oils on my scalp the night before each wash day. Then when I wash, I use this Cantu Scalp Soothing shampoo.
These are two small steps, but if I’ve forgotten I can feel the dryness and notice some flakes.
The deeper you get into it, the easier it gets
It really does get easier and easier the longer I follow the Curly Girl Method.
I’ve indirectly touched on this in last year’s reflection, but I found it to be even more true as this year went on.
My hair is easier than ever to refresh. (You can check out my refresh routine here).
I use so little product, that my hair routine is cheaper than it’s ever been.
And overall, I spend even less time on my hair each year.
It’s actually easier to take care of my hair when it’s longer
I did a whole post about this, but I’ve come to learn that my hair is now much easier to care for when it’s longer.
I used to believe the longer my hair was, the harder it would be to care for. But as someone who started the Curly Girl Method with short hair and has now grown it longer, I learned differently.
And while my healthier hair may have something to do with this, I truly do think this is more to do with the length.
My shorter hair required much more maintenance. It needed more haircuts to keep its shape, it didn’t go up in an easy sleeping style, and because it didn’t go up easily, it was hard to refresh after a workout (or even the next day).
Listening to your hair is the key to success
If you want your hair to look its best, you have to listen to it.
If you start to notice your hair is flaking, you may have some product build up. Giving your hair a wash with a clarifying shampoo might be just what it needs.
If your hair is frizzy, it needs moisture. If the season changed, this might mean that your hair needs more moisture this time of year.
I’ve found that non-curly girl products often treat symptoms, but following the Curly Girl Method has helped me pay attention to and treat the actual problem.
It’s amazing how little time I spend on my hair
This is a side effect of a successful refresh routine.
Now that I only wash my hair every 3-4 days, most of my showers have gotten a lot shorter.
And since the primary component of my refresh routine is simply adding some conditioner, I can now go from just out of the shower to out the door (with dry, reliably presentable hair) in under fifteen minutes if I have to.
This especially blows my mind when I think of my life pre-curly girl. I can’t tell you how many days I got up extra early just so I had time to tame my hair!
I have more patience with my hair when I know it’ll last longer
When I first started the Curly Girl Method, I used to be a little impatient with how long it would take my hair to dry.
At the time, I needed to wet my hair every day to get any kind of quality outcome. I couldn’t argue with the results, so I kept at it, but I’d sometimes get impatient about how long it would take my hair to dry.
Now that I only wash it once or twice a week, I find I’m much more patient with my drying time.
Granted, because my hair needs less moisture, my drying time has cut down some. But it still takes hours, which I’m much more tolerant of.
My hair is so much stronger and more resilient
Before I started the Curly Girl Method and even in the first few years of following it, it was so easy for me to lose my curls and style.
My hair was more likely to get kinked or bent out of shape if I put it up in a bun or ponytail. It was more susceptible to frizz or the whims of the weather.
But I’ve come to realize recently that I don’t really have these problems anymore. It can handle wind, rain, and humidity better than it ever has.
And I can throw it up in a ponytail or bun and revive those curls with very little issue.
On the whole, it’s just so much stronger and more resilient than it’s ever been.
And once again, I can end a post like this saying I’m so grateful I started the Curly Girl Method five years ago! It definitely took some time to get the hang of it, but it’s made my life and hair care so much easier. In the grand scheme of things, I’m really glad I took the time and effort.
It may not be a good fit for everyone, but it absolutely is for me! If you’re curious and willing to commit, I say give it a shot! You can always let it go if it turns out it’s not for you.
Looking for more guidance on your curly hair journey?
If you’re new to curly hair care and looking for some help, you should check out the No-Stress Guide to Curly Hair Care!
After spending two years learning and caring for my curly hair, I wanted to create my own, in-depth guide to help fellow curlies create incredible curls in the easiest way possible.
It took me a while, but I eventually found an approach that helped me create a curly hair routine that fits into my life in the simplest way possible. And now I want to help you do the same!
For more intermediate/advanced guidance
If you’ve been on your curly hair journey for a while but still have some struggles, check out Curly Hair Problems!
After spending hours scouring the internet looking for solutions to my own curly hair problems, I found myself wishing for an easier, more comprehensive guide to the most common problems.
So that’s what I created!
Curly Hair Problems offers you 78 total solutions to the five most common curly hair care problems, including frizz, curl clumps, limp curls, product issues, and scalp issues.
Sound off: If you’ve been following the curly girl method for an extended period of time, what have you learned? And if you’re new, what are you most curious about? Tell us about it in the comments. And be sure to tell us a little about your hair type!
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