Curly Hair Routine for 2B 2C 3A Hair
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This is me and my curly hair. I wear my hair curly every day. It has been more than 7 years since I’ve straightened my hair. I always have people telling me they wish they had my curls. Other wavies and curlies look at my hair and have a million questions as to how it’s not a puffy, frizzy mess. They want to know my secrets. But when I begin to explain, it’s like I’m talking about quantum physics. I promise, it’s really very simple.
Let me give you some background, because my hair didn’t always look like this. I grew up with what I thought was just wavy, frizzy, puffy hair. I had no idea how to tame it. I straightened it every day. EVERY DAY! I live in Miami, where humidity hovers around 80-100% year round, so imagine what my hair looked like a few seconds after walking outside. It also rains a ton here, which just makes it worse. I had to straighten with the dryer, then flat iron my hair every day to not look crazy. I did this from middle school until I decided to embrace my curls, when I was 24.
Below is what my curls used to look like before I stopped straightening them. You can see they were undefined, flat, and look damaged. They were pretty much just stringy waves.
In 2010, I moved abroad to work and travel. I decided then I wasn’t going to waste anymore time fussing with my hair and just embrace the waves. I thought that styling my hair every day with the dryer and iron was just too much when traveling and I was done with it. Pretty much all I did was stop straightening my hair. I didn’t adopt the Curly Girl method because I had not heard of it yet, and I wouldn’t have been able to find the right products anyway.
Just 1 year later, my hair looked so much better. You can see in the photos below my hair is curlier and looks healthier. I still had frizz because my method was wrong, but the health of my hair had improved so much very quickly. Within months really, my hair started to curl instead of just being waves.
Another plus was that my hair grew quickly. My hair had never really been much past shoulder length before because I always had to chop off so much damage. But it got very long within the first 2 years of not straightening it. It got all the way down my back before I started keeping it shorter.
When I came back to the U.S., I decided to go full CG (curly girl method). It had already been 3 years of not straightening my hair. During that time I had been reading about the curly girl method so I could start right away with the right products.
The Curly Girl Method is a method of washing and styling wavy and curly hair to get softer, more defined, healthier curls and waves. It pretty much works for anyone who has frizz, waves, and curls. It’s basically using silicone and sulfate free products, washing less often, adding in lots of hydration, styling hair when it’s sopping wet in the shower, using a microfiber towel or t-shirt to squeeze out the water, letting it dry “crunchy” (the hard cast gel creates), and then scrunching it out to get soft curls. You can read more about it here.
I had seen so many amazing hair transformations from other women who had changed their routine to CG and was determined to make it work. I tried different lines, types of products, styling methods, and techniques and figured out what worked for my hair. Some people go crazy and use many products to style their hair. I can’t keep that up so I only use 4 hair products.
I have now been CG for 4 years, and embraced the curls for almost 8 years. I will show you in detail how I style my hair, but please know that this will not work for everyone. I have very fine, thin hair, with 2b-3a curls (click here to find out your curl type), and live in a high humidity area. I cannot use products with glycerin or creams, even though others with similar hair type can and get beautiful curls with them. My biggest struggle is maintaining volume and definition in the humidity.
Products for 2B 2C 3A hair
I use Raw Curls shampoo, conditioner, and medium hold gel. This is what works best for my hair right now, and I like that they are organic. Lots of curly hair lines are full of toxic fragrances and other not so great ingredients, and they are very pricey. Also, I love that this line is very concentrated so it lasts a long time. It is so much cheaper than the others. I save even more by buying the large bottles during their Black Friday sale which last me a whole year. They are local to me (Florida) as well which is great. This brand even has a line for people with wavy hair. Check them out here.
I have also been using the Evolvh Smart Volume leave in conditioner spray. I got this sample size as a gift with purchase from Credo Beauty ‘s Black Friday sale. When I first tried it I was not a fan, but it turns out I had just used too much. Just a few sprays was all my hair needed and it doesn’t weigh it down as much as when I leave in the regular conditioner.
Curly hair routine for 2B 2C 3A hair
I wash my hair every 3-4 days.
First, I wash with the Raw Curls shampoo and conditioner. I finger comb the knots out with the conditioner and add more if I need to. I flip my head upside down to rinse out the conditioner.
I make sure to rinse my scalp really well, then with my head still upside down I spray a little of the Evolvh Smart Volume conditioner through the ends and scrunch my hair up. I finger comb a bit here as well to make sure there are no tangles, and scrunch some more. If I don’t see my curls clumping up nicely, I cup my hands to grab some water and scrunch into my hair. You want thick clumps of curls.
I then plop with a microfiber towel. A microfiber towel or t-shirt is key for reducing frizz. A regular towel will not work for this. I plop by placing the towel under my hair when my head is upside down, then pushing it towards my scalp, and tying it up. I leave it like this for about 10 minutes then remove the towel. Here is a quick plopping tutorial.
I then smooth on some of the Raw Curls medium hold gel. I put about a nickel size with a few drops of water in my hand, lean over to one side and just smooth my hands over the hair hanging down. This is called the praying hands method in the curly world. I try not to get any near my roots. I repeat on the other side, and then flip upside down and add a tiny bit more to the ends and the curls around my face while scrunching up . At this point it looks like I barely have any hair and it doesn’t even look very curly.
I leave my hair alone until the ends are dry and crunchy. This takes about 30-60 minutes. Because my hair is so flat, I diffuse the roots with my head upside down. If you don’t need volume, you can skip that. I use the diffuser attachment on my hair dryer, flip my head upside down, and dry the roots. This takes about 3 minutes. You can see below the volume it gives me. Here’s a diffusing tutorial if you need a visual.
I usually wash my hair at night, so I don’t scrunch out the crunchy gel until the morning. I put my hair in a buff (pictured below) to preserve the curls and maintain volume and sleep in that. But if I am going out then I skip this part.
When when I wake up, I take out the buff and scrunch out the crunchiness. I flip my head over for this and try to fluff it a little bit too. Usually on the first day I don’t need to add any styling product because it looks good straight out of the buff. This is what it usually looks like after I scrunch out the crunch (aka SOTC in the curly world).
I sleep with the buff on every night to preserve the curls. On the second and third days I need to refresh my curls a bit. I usually add a tiny amount of conditioner mixed with water to recoil some of the curls in the front and top layer, and if needed add a small amount of gel with water.
Here is second day hair after refreshing with a little conditioner and water.
Sometimes there’s no salvaging it on the third day, so I do a quick side braid or side bun on those days. I also sometimes pin back one or both sides, or the front if only some parts of my hair are not cooperating.
And that’s it. Typing it out makes it seem more complicated than it is but hopefully this was helpful.
One thing I didn’t expect was how much money I would save on hair care. I now get hair cuts twice a year. I don’t have to pay for the blow out. I don’t have to buy heat styling products, brushes, and special straightening treatments. It can cost a bit up front if you don’t find the right products quickly, but in the end it’s cheaper and so much less stressful than to be fighting your natural hair on a daily basis.
I hope I have inspired some of you to wear your natural curls! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the curly girl method or if you’d like to see some tutorials.