Should I try the Curly Girl Method?

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Since so many of you kids are tackling important decisions and pressing questions, it just may be time to dip into the topic that is least represented around here: hair.

Some of my answers are direct and decisive, and as to the question of trying the Curly Girl Method I can deliver a very clear maybe.

The Curly Girl Method was possibly invented by one person, but it has competing versions, much like old-timey paleontologists arguing about where to put a jaw bone and what to call it. You can dig into the history of this Curly Girl Method if you like. I have spent a week on it and refuse to check anything about it again. I should add, it is not restricted to girls, only curls.

The Method is simple and inexpensive and I believe it represents the dark future of video blogs: generating a fad that persuades people try things they hadn’t considered so that they completely forget to properly drudge on a Wednesday.

I do not follow directions as a rule, but you do need to know what the directions are first. Of course, I did not know all the directions, either. Skimming through, I gleaned that this Method involved a lot of scalp massage and a daily rinse of conditioner with a very slim ingredients list. Likewise, a simple gel was to be applied in outrageous quantity. I decided to ignore the rule about no hot water, because I love hot water. In one to two weeks, a devotee of the Method would be rewarded with shiny, frizz-free curls, assuming the devotee brought some curls to the equation in the first place.

My grandmother used to get a weekly “shampoo and set” and after she retired, she would still drive deep into the city to have her regular guy do it for her. I marveled that Grammy could wait a whole week for clean hair. If I skipped even one day, I was itching like a bear and rubbing my head on trees or strangers.

It was a pleasant surprise to learn that I could skip shampoo for a week and have none of that discomfort. What I had was a completely different style of discomfort; I knew I looked slimier and slimier with each passing day.

If you try the Method, you will find out who really looks at you during a regular day. This isn’t the first time I have discovered that most people do not look at me at all. It’s sort of freeing to recognize that your most frequently-encountered humans are just not invested in your hair, or any of your visible traits, for that matter.

On the fourth day, someone asked me if I had colored my hair darker. On the fifth day, another person approached me, looking concerned and asked, “Is it raining outside?” Then yerdad intoned, “The wet head is dead,” not to be sinister, but because we’re old enough to remember the 1970s. He earnestly suggested dry shampoo.

“No,” I said. “This is a minimal product deal.” It made me think, however. Maybe I had missed some steps on how to cope with having progressively more spiky and frizz-free hair. Investigating, I learned that I missed the first step of “clarifying” shampoo, but I could attempt a vinegar rinse as a substitute. Something needed to be done. My neck had started to develop weird barnacles. A habitat was forming.

I used champagne vinegar, because I’m fancy and it doesn’t have a strong odor. Maybe that’s why it only made things worse. When I exited the shower–I’m sorry, this is getting way too gruesome, but I am bound to tell the truth–a big blorch of baking soda fell out of my hair and hit the tile. It was terrifying. My hair had started to collect things.

Some of my earrings may never be recovered. My hair was transforming itself into a nest for some creature. I knew then that I was way out of my depth and that I was stubbornly summoning a thing from the anti-shampoo dimension.

After one week, I abandoned the project and applied (sulfate-free) suds. It was just too much to take on prior to the apocalypse. But hey, if you really want to play with some (probably!) harmless science, go ahead and try it, if you really want to.

It will (probably!) be fine.


Waddaya think?

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