Who says we can not do it? Just follow the proper routine and you can get the well defined curls. And please keep in mind that it applies for wavy hair as well.
I follow the CG method with shampooing once a week and a co-wash in between.Unlike CG, I do use a mild shampoo (sulfate and silicone free) once or twice a week. I like the CG method because of its evidently superior results, just look at the before and after pics.
Shampoo: As usual, use a sulfate-free shampoo to wash your hair. It is a myth that only sulfates can clean your hair. It is brisk movement and scrubbing the scalp with finger tips (do not use fingernails) that removes the dirt and sebum. Just concentrate on your scalp with firm finger movement to loosen the dirt. You can follow a weekly routine to wash your hair with sulfate-free shampoo and in between these washes you can use a conditioner (silicone-free) to wash your hair. You should cleanse your scalp properly while washing your hair otherwise your hair follicles can get clogged which might lead to hair-loss over time.
1. After shampooing, apply a good moisturizing conditioner (silicone free) and follow your usual bath routine and keep the conditioner on for at least 3-4 minutes.
2. After 3-4 mins, detangle your hair while your conditioner is still on your hair. Use a wide tooth comb or fingers to detangle your hair from bottom to top. Here is a useful post on How to detangle curly hair. This is the only time you will use a comb on your hair. Don’t comb your hair any other time! If you comb your wet hair (without conditioner) it will lead to breakage and if you comb dry hair, then it will open up your curls and make the hair look frizzy. I think most of us are guilty of this one, combing dry hair. This is crucial to get that curly defined hair. DO NOT COMB!
3. After detangling, rinse hair with cold water. Even during the rinsing do not separate curls. Because this is the point your curls are very well clumped to each other due to conditioning. Let the conditioner wash off from hair in cold water. Cool water shuts your cuticles, this helps to keep the moisture inside your hair.
Leave-in conditioner: If you feel your hair is dry, you can apply a leave-in conditioner (again silicone-free), oily hair people may skip this step. The proper method is once you rinse your conditioner out, DO NOT rub your hair with towel, DO NOT put your hair in a towel turban.
You can use your silicone-free rinse-off conditioner as leave-in as well. Most of the leave-in conditioners are just watered down version of rinse-off conditioners anyway.
The process is :
1. Flip your head down.
2. This step is optional. If you want good curls definition with less frizz then you can skip this step but it will help you to shorten your drying time. Dab your hair with some old cotton t-shirt, put a t-shirt on your palm and grab your hair in the palm and just scrunch it towards the top of your head (DO NOT RUB). Do not use a towel as terry cloth towels make hair frizzy. Do not overdo this step because your hair should still be very wet (not damp) at this stage.
3. Apply leave-in conditioner section by section on your hair using smoothing motion (like praying hand) without moving your fingers though your hair so that your curl pattern is not disturbed. The amount of conditioner should depend on your hair condition, if your hair is extra dry then take sufficient amount to submerge your hair until your hair feels smooth. Make sure your hair is getting enough. It is lack of moisture that causes frizz.
If you have wavy hair that is not dry you can skip applying the leave in conditioner. For more information on wavy hair styling refer to this post.
Styling product: Yes the styling product! For me, conditioner and styling products are main things you should concentrate upon. Conditioner will give your hair the moisture that it always needs and styling product will give it definition it wants. Buy a good styling product, again silicone free (it can be a gel, mousse or in lotion form). You can use the homemade flax seed gel as your styling product as well.
1. Make sure your hair is completely wet at this stage. Keeping your head upside down, rake-in* your styling product section by section through the length of your hair by concentrating the area from scalp to mid-length. Make sure all your hair is covered evenly.
I keep on experimenting with my process of applying products in my hair. Recently I have started to glide my leave-in conditioner and styling product on hair instead of rake-in. And I have noticed my hair clumps better with gliding than rake-in. The reason being when you rake products in your hair using fingers then you separate the curls. In gliding you use your palm to apply the products in your hair in smoothing motion. So, smoothing the products gives you more clumped look and raking the products gives better volume as you separate the curls into smaller chunks. So, you can experiment with both to find out which looks good on you.
2. Scrunch your hair in upward motion towards your scalp to squeeze as much excess water as you can. Do note that when you apply conditioner, leave-in and styling product and scrunch your hair, it is better you keep your head upside down. Applying product upside down will give you better volume.
Use a generous amount of the styling product. It helps the hair in keeping the frizz at bay while hair gets dry. Do not worry about the crunch once the hair gets dry. We will be taking out the crunch in the next step.
You can also use other methods of styling called Squish to Condish method, Super-Soaker method, IceQueen method or Rake and Shake method to define your curls and waves. Try out all these methods or vary them according to your hair needs.
For more defined curls and if you can spare some time, you can try twirling method or skip curl method to make the curls last longer.
2. It is always better to air-dry your hair (but it takes more time, 2 hours at least depending on the length and volume) or if you are in hurry, you can use a blow dryer with diffuser and dry it around 70%, do not dry it completely and do not use blow dryer without diffuser as it causes frizz. Dry your hair upside down if you are using diffuser.
While your hair is getting dry DO NOT touch them, it disturbs your curl pattern and causes more frizz. You will feel crunchiness in your hair once hair is completely dry.
Some people also plop their hair to enhance the curl pattern. You can find more information on plopping in best methods of drying curly hair.
SOTC: (scrunch out the crunch) Next step is scrunching out the crunch from hair. Flip your head down, hold your hair in both the palms and gently scrunch hair towards the top of your head to remove the crunchiness. If your hair is dry, you can use small amount of some oil in your palms while doing SOTC. I use jojoba or coconut oil to do the final scrunching of my hair. Also it adds shine to your hair.
Now you are done! Just see the difference in your hair. Well defined curls! DO NOT touch your hair and DO NOT comb rest of the day.
Night routine:To get second day curls, tie your hair on the top of your head like a pineapple. It is called pineapple-ing. It is recommended to use satin pillow cover to sleep so that your hair does not get frizzy.
Weekly routine:Curly hair are naturally dry hair. It is not as if you can deep condition treatment (DT) once a month and you are good to go. If you want well moisturized hair then you should apply deep conditioner once a week and oil your hair. You can use any homemade recipe for DT. I use only homemade recipe for DT as most of salon DT products contain silicone and I am a CG follower.
If you follow this routine, you can get curl definitions the day you wash your hair or sometimes the next day. But by the third day, you have to have wash your hair to define your curls again. This is true for everyone. After that, rinse and repeat. Just wash your hair, style it using the method above and you are good to go.
You can check my video tutorial on how I use styling product to keep my natural curl shape and get the defined look.
Please do not keep it your secret, share it with as many Indian Curly and wavy hair girls (even men with curly hair) as you can.