As a natural redhead, my ginger hair is delicate and on the almost-desert side of dry. It has a wave/curliness to it too, which makes it all the more fragile. I’ve always wanted to embrace my curls and encourage them, but wasn’t sure how to go about it.
A friend told me about the Curly Girl Method, created by Lorraine Massey and detailed in her book Curly Girl: The Handbook. My pal told me that by following its guidelines, it has completely changed the life of her hair, going from disorganised waves to goddess-like dream curls.
The Curly Girl Method (CGM) has a few core principles: conditioner is your life now. Shampoo is (probably) a great big no-no. Oh, and you can never ever use products that have sulfates, silicones or anything nasty in it.
What’s ‘nasty’, you ask? Thankfully, there’s a handy online ‘CurlsBot‘ that analyses hair product ingredients so you know whether or not to use it. As the website says, “We look for silicones, oils, and waxes that can build up, as well as harsh sulfates.”
As we know, redheads should turn their backs on sulfates like they’re a bad stench. And by shunning all the bad ingredients, in turn it encourages your hair strands to be less frizzy, reflect more light, be shinier, and, well, that can only mean one thing…
You’re a real-life Princess Merida!
Finding CGM products for my red hair seemed daunting, but thankfully, hundreds of thousands of curly girls have already done the legwork for you. And double-thankfully, so many of the products don’t cost the Earth either. My first port of call was joining the Curly Girl Facebook group which has product recommendations on there, but there are heaps of articles on the internet too.
Armed with my new CGM-approved products, I was ready to start my CGM journey. My washing and styling routine went like this:
Phew! There are hundreds of videos online that guide you through this process visually and routines differ from person to person, but it’s important to find what works for you.
There are some parts of CGM that may seem a bit restrictive. At least, that’s how I felt. And I must admit, after a while I did miss using shampoo. It’s true that your hair doesn’t actually need shampoo to get clean, but there is such a thing as sulfate-free shampoo, or what is referred to as ‘low poo’ in CGM.
Here at Ginger Parrot, we’ve often gone on about the importance of conditioner for redheads, and how sulfate-free shampoo is your ticket to dream ginger hair.
And so now my hair washing and styling routine has altered slightly. I use Gingerful’s Henna & Rose shampoo for redheads, because not only is it sulfate-free, silicone-free, gluten-free and vegan, it’s got a tiny amount of henna so that my red hair shade gets a little extra boost over time.
What’s tricky about following CGM is generally any kind of hair dye is out the window, so I’ll take what I can get. Using the Henna & Rose products feels like a good compromise between going full CGM but also getting some colour enhancement at the same time.
The key thing I’ve learned through my CGM journey is that finding what works for you and your curls is what’s the most important. Don’t get hung up on the details – sure, learn about which chemicals are bad for your hair, but don’t sweat the small stuff.
You’ll find that your hair’s curliness will become more and more defined the longer you follow CGM. And at the end of the day it’s all about how your red hair feels. And mine feels great!