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!

Hair: Wash day routine + products list Wk3

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3

So this post is a little late as I wanted to wash my hair twice last week. Last wash day Thursday and I washed it again last night Sunday. I’ve also purchased a new product – As I Am conditioning cleanser, £9.99 from Look Fantastic. It’s a gentle co-wash and apparently great for wavy hair as it’s really lightweight but still cleanses well. If you’ve never used a conditioning cleanser or know what it is, it’s basically a conditioner that has been formulated to cleanse and condition the hair without stripping it of natural oils. It’s great for curly girls but for wavies, it can be hit and miss as a lot of conditioning cleansers are too heavy for fine waves.

My hair is 2A but very ‘sensitive’ as the wind can blow my waves away and leave me looking a hot mess. I also find that my hair usually looks its best on refresh days, compared to wash days. I think that’s because my hair’s had time to ‘settle in’ and the gel has had time to work in the hair and the reviving mist of water just creates something beautiful.

My day 2 refresh hair always looks better than wash days
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
My new favourite: As I Am Coconut Cowash!

The cleansing conditioner worked really nicely on my hair and I felt like it did feel a little bit more moisturised than when I just normally cleanse with a low-poo. After rinsing out the co-wash, I still carried out my normal routine: conditioner, leave-in, and gel.

I thought to include photos of my hair immediately post-wash after styling this time so you can see how it looks when it’s wet and dry. Below, my hair is about 70% air dried after scrunching in gel with an old tshirt. My hair still looks quite stringy because my hair still doesn’t clump very well. My clumps are very thin and I still need practice with getting larger sections to clump together. I think I need to leave more water in my hair for when it dries, that will also help with the moisture but I need to figure out a way to lock that moisture in without weighing down my hair. I think I also need to switch back to my old gel; I love my Bouclème gel but it’s not giving me that super strong hold like my ECO olive oil gel did. It’s also a lot cheaper so I’ll have to give it a try again.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
Immediately post-wash after scrunching out the crunch (70% air dry)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3

And here’s my hair the next morning after wash day. As I usually wash my hair the night before, when I’ve gone to bed with damp hair I tend to accidentally alter the wave pattern as I probably lie on it and squish my waves flat. I always consciously plop my hair to the top of my head but don’t use anything to cover it when sleeping. I’ll wash my hair during the day next week so you can see how it looks after air-drying… minus the squished waves!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
Next morning’s hair post wash-day + squished waves
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
Right side
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair wash day routine week 3
Left side

See week 2’s hair wash day photos here


List of products used this wash day:

Cleanser: As I Am Coconut Cowash conditioning cleanser

Conditioner: Noughty Wave Hello conditioner

Leave-in: As I Am leave-in conditioner

Gel: Bouclème curl defining gel

Styling: ‘scrunch out the crunch’ technique

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NB. this post contains affiliate links

6 months update: My Curly Girl Method hair journey…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: Straight to Wavy Hair Journey

From straight hair to wavy hair…

Last year, December to be exact, I decided to start a hair journey called the Curly Girl Method (CGM). This method is known by many hair bloggers as the technique to really bring out your natural waves and curls. The method encourages using natural hair products that contain no parabens, SLS, sulfates, silicones, alcohol denat and other chemical nasties. It’s said that by eliminating these ingredients, wavies and curlies will be able to unleash their hair’s full potential.

My hair has always been – what I thought – was pretty much straight hair (fine/medium density) with a few kinks. It wasn’t until I started looking back at some of my photos that I noticed I did have a wave halfway-down my hair and thought I might as well give the Curly Girl Method a try…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: Straight to Wavy Hair Journey
Before and After CGM: The waves are coming through!

Here’s a pic of my before and afters. Wow oh wow! What a difference right?! I’m telling you, no matter how much I tried to scrunch my hair before going CG, there were no waves were coming through. Now I can even get my waves to come through with a quick spritz of water on the second day!

My hair type:
Curl Type – a combination of 2A/2B
Density – fine/medium
Porosity – high as it’s coloured
Length – long

Here’s what I was using/am using now:

  • Shampoo: I used Noughty Wave Hello until March when it ran out and switched over to Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion as I bought it when it was on sale for half-price on Look Fantastic.
  • Conditioner: I used Noughty’s Wave Hello conditioner and also switched over to Shea Moisture’s Fruit Fusion weightless conditioner in March.
  • Deep conditioning hair mask: I didn’t use one to start with as I couldn’t find one that was good and cheap but then found Garnier’s new argan silicone-free mask in February and was using that once a week. I now use Noughty’s Hair To The Rescue mask once a week.
  • Styling: for styling I was using a CGM favourite, Umberto Giannini Curl Jelly which smelt amazing and worked well however I got tired of scrunching out the gel cast and moved over to my new fave styling product, the ECO Styler olive oil gel (green one) which I got from the African/Asian hair shop. I still use both. When I prefer to have a natural, softer wave I opt for my daughter’s leave-in product, ORS anti-breakage monoi oil curling creme however it’s too heavy for my hair so I’ve been thinking about purchasing the Noughty Hydrate & Shine serum. As my hair is fine/medium it needs really light products and I’ve found Noughty is great for this (more below)… 🙂

My favourite products/brands

There’s no doubt about it, the two brands I really love is new UK brand, Noughty and popular US brand, Shea Moisture.

I first heard about the Shea Moisture brand from my friend who is mixed (Jamaican/Chinese) and she has coily hair (roughly 4B curl type) and she recommended the castor oil range for my children’s hair. When they launched their weightless Fruit Fusion I decided I had to give it a try. Unlike Noughty, Shea Moisture’s shampoo still lathers up quite well without SLS and sulfates. For people who are just starting out on CGM and feel like their hair might not be able to handle the little/no lather and have fine to medium hair will love the Fruit Fusion range. It smells really nice too and the coconut water in the Fruit Fusion range seems to help my hair stay a little more hydrated.

Noughty is a brilliant UK brand and I can’t recommend it enough for curlies and especially wavies. The products are always weightless and smell amazing too! Every product is 97% and vegan-friendly – they never test on animals. I was sent the ‘to the rescue’ hair mask by Noughty to try and I was a little skeptical at first because I tried the Garnier argan range and as lovely as it smells and feels on my hair in the bath (the only silicone-free range by Garnier), it tends to weight it down – it’s great for Baby Girl’s curl type 3A/3B hair though! Noughty’s hair mask is extremely lightweight, easy to apply and smells absolutely delicious – think sweet, sweet almonds! The mask was light enough to not even fully rinse out. I really loved it and it definitely offers my hair more moisture without weighing it down. On the Noughty website, they offer free delivery for orders over £10 – happy days!

Another brand I’d like to try is Boucleme, I’ve heard lots of good things about their products so might try them out once my Shea Moisture products have finished.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Curly Girl Method: Straight to Wavy Hair Journey
My CGM hair journey from December to April

6 months on…

I started off with straight hair that had a few kinks in it here and there. After six months of going CGM, I would say my wavy hair curl type is a combination of 2A/2B. There’s few good clumps of 2B but it’s mainly type 2A. I’m really excited to see how my hair journey progresses in a few month’s time, and eventually in a year’s time.

It’s been a difficult six months as I loved dying my hair and now it’s so tricky as each time I dye it, it gets damaged. Hair masks with protein does help but my hair eventually feels weighed down by it so I’m still looking for a protein-based hair mask that doesn’t do that… still searching! If you know if any, please comment and let me know asap. Plus if it’s available in the UK that’ll help as US products are really expensive to ship over. I would love to try out the Deva Curl range but it’s expensive to ship and I’ve read reviews about it being watered down from Amazon purchases… yeah I’ll pass on that one.

My top tips and advice for fellow wavies…

  1. Squish to condish is one of the most important steps in our hair washing routine. After adding conditioner, I comb through my hair with my fingers to detangle then squish to condish from there to rinse and finish.
  2. Don’t fully rinse out all of the conditioner – stop rinsing one cycle short to leave a little conditioner in, I find it helps with the flyaway hairs. If you find this too ‘greasy’ you can run water over the top of your head and cradle your hair to prevent the waves from stretching out.
  3. Scrunch scrunch and scrunch! When towel-drying use an old cotton or jersey tshirt as it’s much softer and prevents frizz. Stop scrunching halfway to add your styling product however I found with gel it’s best to add it to the hair when it’s wet then add in again when it’s halfway dry.
  4. Plopping works great unless your hair is very long. A quick blast with a diffuser will help cut drying time and helps prevent the waves from stretching out, I usually switch from a blast of the hot setting to 5 secs of the cold setting then wait 3-5 secs before taking the diffuser away to do other sections.
  5. Regularly trim your ends to keep your hair healthy.
  6. A weekly hair mask is vital especially if you have coloured hair like me. Experiment between products with and without protein (if your hair is low porosity, it won’t like the protein).

The Curly Girl Method does really work but it is definitely NOT a quick hair fix. You do really have to work hard for your waves and watch out for the products that are not CGM-approved. British Curlies can help with their extensive list of ingredients to avoid if you get stuck.. there’s lots to remember! Learning more about my hair has also made me realise how much I need to teach Baby Girl about her hair when she gets older. Unfortunately our products are different and she requires a little more care than I but it’s a good learning curve. She loves her curls and I’m so glad that she does! 🙂

If you haven’t had a chance to read my first Curly Girl Method blog post, you can do so here: https://thegreenwichmummy.com/2017/12/22/curly-girl-method-for-wavy-hair-my-haircare-journey-and-routine/ – there’s some pretty useful links on there too and good to know hair tips and advice for wavies and curlies starting out their hair journey.

The Greenwich Mummy | London Family Lifestyle Blogger


I was kindly sent a sample of Noughty’s ‘to the rescue’ hair mask to try in exchange for a product review. All words, photos and opinions are my own content. This post also contains affiliate links.