My Curly Girl Method 18 months update: progression and regression photos

Can you believe it’s already been 18m (that’s 1 year and 6 months!) since I started my CGM journey and created my original Curly Girl post! So what are my thoughts on CGM after a year and a half of plopping, squish to condish-ing and scrunching?

Well what can I say really? I still see myself as a newbie; still learning every day and still finding it hard to work out my hair. Just when I think I’ve got the hang of it – BAM! Back to square one but then again it’s self-inflicted as I am to blame for that. I constant colour my hair and lighten it; just a last month I processed the hell out of it with bleach to lift it light enough to go pinky/peach.

I thought I’d create this post so you can see the highlights and the struggles of my wavy hair journey. It’s not always been rainbows and sparkles but can if you stick at it (unlike me and avoid chemical damage which is just as bad as heat damage) and really take the time to learn about your hair, you will yield much more. Now enough of the hair lecture, here are my progress/regress photos for you to feast your eyes on:

December 2017

The photo below was taken pre-CGM by a week or two. WOW. As you can see it’s pretty much straight but there’s a few slight waves in the middle section at the back of my head.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method Hair Journey Process

January 2018

A month into my Curly Girl Method hair journey…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: My wavy hair journey

May 2018

Then 6 months post CGM, my waves are looking more stringy which could be due to the colour processing or could be because my hair seems to be curling a little bit more. My hair doesn’t seem to clump as much as when I started but the waves have more of a squiggly pattern than a loose S pattern.

August 2018

I’ve gone pink! In this photo my hair is a little more undone but those are waves after being out all day. More clumping happened that day and I have a better curl pattern. The more frequent deep conditioning also helped.

October 2018

Had my first wavy cut at Jones & Payne Shoreditch but a fellow wavy called Lisa. She cut my hair really well and my hair felt much lighter. Unfortunately because she had to comb and brush it so much the waves were almost gone and she styled it by twisting strands to encourage clumping. I actually love this technique and it helped my wavy hair look more defined.

Once the pink colour faded I threw on a teal (semi-permanent) colour followed by intense deep conditioning to save it as much as I could. Here’s a photo of my hair wet and dry so you can see how different it looks. When my hairs wet, my waves always look good but by the time it’s dried (usually air dry) it looks a little more fluffy and wavy with a curly twists.

The two photos below are from one of my best hair days; I had the most curl clumps this day and cannot for the life of me remembered what I used or what I did because I didn’t keep a record! Argh! It looked amazing from the back and there was so many chunky, twisty waves I loved it. I do remember applying the Cantu curl activating cream but that’s about it. :’-(

wet waves

hair when it’s dried

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | My complete wavy hair care routine
The BEST clumping I had in a while!
November 2018

Colour has faded but waves are curling slightly more. The photo below is actually around day 2 refresh and it looks good. Slightly fluffy but overall, okay. I find that my hair always looks good on refresh days; days 2 and 3 are usually the best.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Noughty Haircare Review

December 2018: 1 year post CGM

So I went back to dark hair and that marked a year since I went CGM. The condition is not bad and a slight change since I started. Not bad but a lot of other CGM wavies have had much better transformations than I but I’m not too sad about it. I put in as much effort, time and money as I could and this was the result. With two children, it’s not always easy to even spend 15mins on my hair let alone longer.

waves on a pretty normal day

The photos below are from one of my rare best hair day. The waves looked amazing! It was one day post-wash day and I started off my wetting the hair with water, scrunching in mousse but then the waves were too hard but had beautiful definition so I did a light prayer hand over the top of the hair with some leave-in conditioner and lightly scrunched.

waves from my BEST HAIR DAY

BEST hair day: what the waves look like from the back
March 2019

I decided to do a DIY chop at home to see if it would help my hair wave a little more and it did a little but not much. My hair did feel much healthier and all the dry ends were gone. I stopped deep conditioning regularly and only did it when I felt like my hair needed it and felt too dry.

If you like, I would say my wavy hair regression started from here – when I started to bleach my hair. Usually I would have my hair lightened in the salon but I was really broke so opted for a box job, which even though it looked nice, it really dried out my hair. I went back to deep conditioning my hair on a bi-monthly basis.

June 2019: 18 months post CGM

Then went blonde in May and kept the blonde from becoming brassy with a regular treatment of silver semi-colour and silver shampoo which unfortunately contains sulfates. It really dried out my hair so each time I used the silver shampoo I would always follow with a deep conditioner. Last month (June) I added a pink semi-colour to my hair which is fading to a lovely peach over the weeks. I continue to deep condition and used a protein pack for the first time which worked really well for my high porosity, chemically-damaged hair. It left my hair feel UBER soft!

Soo, to summarise…

Let’s just say my hair journey became LESS CGM and more about processing the F*** out of it but hey! I get bored of my hair so quickly and couldn’t help it. Because it’s been processed, the condition and texture of the hair is no longer the same as when I started. It’s now more drier and coarse due to the chemical processing and damaged (a lot of deep conditioning helps!) and the curl pattern is less wavy than before but I’m slowly getting it back on track. I recently used a protein pack hair treatment which my hair loved so much, I was surprised how well it worked. As my hair is highly porous due to the damage the protein is necessary to help the hair repair.

To get the best results from doing the Curly Girl Method;
  • Avoid chemical processes to your hair ie. bleaching, dyeing, colour stripping
  • Deep condition your hair at least once a month or once a week/two weeks if you have damaged hair with a suitable hair masque
  • Keep a record of ALL the products you used on your hair each time you wash it or style it and take a photo to make a visual note of how your hair looks and responded to the products
  • IF you need to change a product from your current routine, change one product at a time so you can pinpoint exactly whether that product works/doesn’t work for your hair
  • Be patient. Getting the best results from CGM takes time… I’m still learning and I’m 18 months post-CGM!

Like living a healthy lifestyle, following CGM is not about getting to the end, it’s about the journey and the processes in between – learning what works, what doesn’t and how you can do it better. I don’t think I will ever stop colouring my hair so I have to learn to adapt CGM to a way that suits my hair best. The only time I had been really strict with CGM IS when I first started but right now, my modified way works. So the take-away lesson here is to not be afraid to adapt CGM to make it work for your hair. There is so much information out there on the web that you’re sure to find another wavy/curly girl in a similar situation to you so don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Read the articles on NaturallyCurly.com and BritishCurlies.co.uk because they are so helpful and on BC you can even sign up and chat on the forum with other wavies and curlies.

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Slowly getting my waves back to a better condition
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PEACH HAIR / waves getting back on track!

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