curly girl protein treatment
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Protein treatments on the curly girl method before and after. #curlygirlmethod #proteintreatments

Before curly girl method

This was my hair a couple of years ago. I was brushing it straight out of the shower and using any old shampoo or conditioner that I thought smelled nice. A few months later I decided to try the curly girl method even though I had always considered my hair to be straight. Looking at this photo, it’s obvious to me that there are some waves or curls in there trying to form, but I would have told you “My hair is so poofy on this side!” and “My hair gets soooo frizzy!”. I had no idea these were signs of natural waves or curls that weren’t being well cared for!

Anyway. I show you this photo in part to show how my hair pattern is uneven. Yes, I part my hair on the side which perhaps doesn’t help balance out my head. But there is clearly more volume and texure going on, on the left side of the photo (the right side of my head), right? This continued to be obvious after I started the curly girl method. These photos below are particularly ‘bad’ days but some days the one side of my head was nearly straight! Even on good days, the one side of my head still just had very loose waves vs the other side.

Curly girl method uneven curl patternCurly girl method uneven hair texture

Curly girl method resultsCurly girl method uneven curls


I believe these four photos are shared in order of when they were taken, with the first two being the first year or so of the curly girl method, the second being a bit later, and the last one being pretty recent, after trying a protein treatment once. Over the course of following the curly girl method (and getting some hair cuts) my hair has gotten more hydrated and less frizzy. It also has gotten a bit more curly as time has gone on. I think this is just the result of my hair being treated well regularly and getting healthier. However, it was still quite straight in that section near my face on the left side (right side in photos).

One of the big criticisms or stigmas about having naturally wavy or curly hair is how messy or disorganized or ‘crazy’ it is. Naturally wavy or curly hair isn’t uniform. I see people in the curly girl method forums sweating about how they have more curls on one side or the other, or bigger curl-clumps on one side, etc all the time. Media tells us that girls should be perfectly symmetrical but I’ve tried to accept that just is what we’ve been taught through curly irons or curlers! It’s okay for natural hair to not be ‘perfectly even’. I don’t need exactly 8 curls on each side of my head, all in even tightness and width. I really don’t sweat about that level of uniformity with my natural hair.

However, after getting the microscopic hair analysis done and being told that my hair was lacking protein, and trying a curly girl approved protein treatment a few times (it took multiple for the results to really start showing) I realized that was a big part of why that portion of my hair was straight or nearly-straight. I needed protein to give it the strength to hold its waves. The first year or so of doing the curly girl method, I was regularly doing deep conditioning treatments but ones with little to no protein. I had read about protein overload and how wavy hair is often more sensitive to protein than curly hair. I had occasionally had my hair break off in the past, leaving me with like a 1-ich long chunk of hair that looked like someone had just taken scissors to it! So I took that as a sign that maybe my hair was protein sensitive. So I avoided protein and embraced moisture…for a whole year of the curly girl method. So when I finally did a deep conditioning treatment with a decent amount of protein, my curls sprung up!  The last few months I’ve found I can just watch my curls ad when they start getting flat on that side, I do another protein treatment (deep conditioning treatment with protein). I’ve been using Desert Essence anti-breakage hair mask which I was originally sent for review, but the only post I had t do in exchange for that sample was the original review. This I am mentioning purely because it had worked so well for me. I believe any hair mask that has a decent amount of protein would, though.

Curly girl method protein treatment results

This is my hair still in a cast but after a protein treatment. Look at how much wave and volume I have on the right side of the photo, that formerly ‘flat’ side of my head! I believe that side of my hair will always be a bit more relaxed, but clearly, that side of my head really benefits from protein!

Naturally wavy hair after protein treatment

Here is a photo of my hair following a protein treatment after I have scrunched out the crunch.

I feel a little silly for not realizing for over a year that my waves needed protein. So my advice to other curly girls (or guys!) out there is to give a protein treatment a try even if you are afraid of protein overload. If you see a little results but not much, try another one maybe a week later. Remember, if you do experience protein overload you can use a deep conditioning treatment without protein to help restore your moisture-protein balance. If you find out that your hair has been lacking protein, I bet you’ll be shocked at how much it helps your waves or curls!

If you follow the curly girl method and have a favorite protein treatment I’d love to hear what it is!


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This post currently has 9 responses.

  • Mia E.

    This is so interesting because I struggle with too much poof and frizz or having hair that is too flat and listless after using some products. Very new information to me – admit I didn’t really know anything about the curly girl method protein.

    • If you’re curious about seeing if your hair is naturally wavy I’d recommend washing it while doing “squish to condish” in the shower and then NOT brushing or combing it. For waves or curls to form, hair has to stay in clumps so if you brush or comb that separates your hair into tiny sections and mostly ruins any natural waves or curls. So no brushing or combing after you get out of the shower and see if it dries with more waves. I did that here ( and could see a little bit more waves showing up which is what helped me decide to keep going. From there I tried using gel while my hair was wet to help preserve waves and that helped my waves form better and stick around longer.

  • ellen beck

    I sewar I have your hair almost exactly. I too part on the sid and it is flatter on one side than the other. Oh and I have ‘the frizz’ happening. I have tried numerous things, I kept thinking it was as it got longer it was weighing it down. Maybe I need to try this method and see if it does work. Your hair looks great!

  • Peggy Nunn

    I love that look on you. I hope you keep that style and it is not too much to keep up.

  • Lauryn R

    Your hair looks amazing!! I really want to try the Curly Girl Method with my youngest daughter, and I have been trying! It is just hard to get a 5 year old to wear something on her head for that long, she always wants to take it off before her hair dries. She was born with and had the curliest hair until her first hair cut. Now it is just a mess. I am hoping as she gets older she will be more willing to do it.

    • Thank you :). I use a diffuser attachment on my blow dryer to dry my hair, if I tried to let it air dry it would take hours and hours. So I don’t blame your little one for not being able to wear something on her head until it dries! On the subreddit almost everyone there follows the curly girl method and many talk about how they do modified curly girl routines on their little ones with curly hair. You might find some good advice for managing children’s curly hair on there. I think most of them just use curly-girl approved products and do a quick ‘squish’ of their kids hair when its wet to help encourage curl formation and definition but they don’t do things like gel or diffusing it dry, plopping, deep conditioning, etc. Totally makes sense to ust do what feels reasonable when they’re young, that doesn’t involve too much sitting, etc.

  • Alice F

    I have thick frizzy hair and I am always looking for products to help tame my hair. Love how your looks!

  • Sarah L

    I love how your hair has changed over time. I like the curly look. My hair is very straight.

  • Ronnell Storie

    I’m a man. I learned a lot. My hair short is straight. Let it grow out and then it is curly on the sides. Let it grow longer and it is all straight.

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