Ya know COVID…I really thought you’d be gone by now. Back in March life as we knew it went haywire with virtual school, the sudden loss of human contact outside of our immediate families, masks, no masks, masks again. So much information being fed from all different directions. I think it is safe to say that people’s stress and anxiety levels took a huge hit. I most definitely felt the hit, and towards the end of May something started happening that I had not noticed since the birth of my youngest child:: hair loss.
Tons of it. I could see my scalp, especially in the areas around the forehead. I tried not to freak out and add to the anxiety that I assumed was the root cause of this hair loss. But as strands of hair blocked my shower drain and long stringy strands rushed out with every stroke of the hair comb, I freaked out.
I began researching and it seems that I have something called telogen effluvium. I am no doctor but a quick Google search (I know I know…never go to Google) revealed many articles that perfectly described what I was experiencing. I also DID go to the doctor and discovered a few little things that needed tweaking such as my Vitamin D levels. He agreed that this hair loss was temporary and that it should reverse itself soon. The good thing is that telogen effluvium is reversible and typically does not require much treatment, but I couldn’t just do nothing. It’s not in my nature to just let it run its course.
So what did I do to help the process along? Well for one, I chopped about 4-5 inches of my hair. I probably didn’t need to do that but in my mind it felt necessary to reduce the length and give my hair a little more volume. I also greatly reduced the times that I apply heat to my hair with the blow dryer or the curling iron. I also took the supplements recommended by my doctor in order to bring my vitamin levels up. When in doubt, always consult your doctor. So then I found myself revisiting something I tried last year but wasn’t very consistent with:: The Curly Girl Method. My hair has always had texture and in my teens and 20s I hated my curls. I hated the way mousse would make my hair all crunchy. I always wanted straight hair and how I wished I could be one of those wash-and-go type of girls! It wasn’t until my late 20s/early 30s that I really started to embrace my hair and enjoy the versatility of it.
If you’ve never heard of The Curly Girl Method, a quick online search will lead you to tons of articles, videos and products. There is so much information out there on how to embrace this hair technique. There are also CG groups on Facebook and tons of influencers on Instagram. It can be overwhelming when you’re first starting out so definitely pick a few things to try instead of diving ALL in. The gist of it though is that you have to use products that are free of sulfates, parabens and silicones. Another part of it is using a co-wash instead of shampoo to wash your hair. I’m still not too well versed on the co-washes but like I said, start small. Making sure your curls are well hydrated and avoiding heat styling are also a big part of this method.
Ok now here is the part that was mind-blowing to me, so feel free to laugh at my naiveté…you know that crunchy feeling your hair gets after applying products to curl your hair? Well that crunchiness is called a cast. And I always hated it during my younger years and wondered why do some people have these great curls and mine are all crunchy? Well that’s because once your hair is dry and your cast is dry…you scrunch out the cast and it reveals those soft bouncy curls. Mind blown, drop the mic, let the angels sing! I had no idea y’all. It’s been a game changer.
To get your cast though you have to apply products and scrunch to encourage the curl formation. There are many application techniques as well. A lot of trials and experimentation can go into this! You can apply gels, mousses, curl creams, foam mousse…the options are endless as long as the ingredients are CG method approved. I personally apply my products with my hair soaking wet and I scrunch using a t-shirt because a regular towel can cause frizz. I also recently discovered the Wet Plop and I am loving the results! This is when you wrap your wet hair in a t-shirt so that your curls can set without frizz. You can keep the wet plop on for 10 minutes or overnight. There is no set time for leaving your hair in the plop. I just recently did it overnight and the results have been my favorite so far!
Y’all, this is just a tiny insight into the world of The Curly Girl Method. If you’re ready to embrace your natural curls, I say give this a try but take baby steps to avoid getting overwhelmed. Some days I have loved the curls and other days it has been a curl fail but I’m getting better! I’ve enjoyed trying out new products and some of my favorites are very inexpensive (hello L.A. Looks gel!). I’m happy to report that my hair loss has gotten a lot better in recent weeks but taking all those selfies for this post was very awkward! How do the Kardashians do it?
Do you have Curly Girl Method tips of your own? I’d love to hear them!