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Hair Care Routine For 2B Hair With The Curly Girl Method

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Here’s my current 2B hair care routine, including wash day, refreshes, protein treatments, and products I use to help enhance my natural curl pattern.


curly girl method routine

Last week, I mentioned how I’ve been trying the curly girl method and detailed what tools you need to get started (AND 11 things I’ve learned since started the journey).

It’s been such a great learning process for me, and I’ve loved seeing my hair transform and become healthier in just a matter of weeks!

Truly, my hair has never seemed happier and I’m finally embracing the curlies my genes gave me.

When I first started researching the curly girl method, I was obsessed with trying to find someone who had the same type of hair I have – but I have yet to find one!

I wanted to write this post to help those who have the same (or similar) curl pattern, porosity, thickness, and ‘build’ that I have to determine what products I use for wash days, refreshes, and treatments!

BTW, if you have the same hair type I do, please comment below, I’d love to hear from you! 

This post contains affiliate links, however, all opinions are my own.

My Hair Type

My hair is still currently transitioning, FYI. The above picture is the difference between 3 weeks ago and now!

I have a variety of waves/curls ranging from 2A-2C, although about 75% of my hair is classified as 2b hair.

My hair is also fine, thin, and has low porosity.

*I originally thought I had high porosity hair because it doesn’t take long to get wet in the shower by any means, but it’s also fine and thin.

My hair is low porosity because, even with it being so fine and thin, it still takes an entire day (and half a night sometimes) to air dry.

My Current CGM Routine For 2b Hair

All of the products I use in my wash day and refresh are CG-friendly!

2b Wash Day Routine

Here’s what I do in my personal wash day routine for mostly 2b hair:

  • Wet hair in the shower and apply deep conditioner with protein in it. Deep Condition for five minutes, comb through with a wide-tooth comb. This is the deep conditioning protein treatment I use – my hair loves it! I do this anywhere from 1-2x a week, although my hair is not protein sensitive and favors protein. Rinse completely out.
  • CoWash with As I Am Coconut Cowash. Work product along scalp and gently scrub to clean, avoiding ends of hair. Allow water to rinse cowash from 2b hair completely.
  • Apply leave-in conditioner in shower.

Using my fingers, I smooth a quarter-sized amount of leave-in conditioner into my hair, grazing the roots but focusing on the ends.

I DO NOT RAKE (it breaks up the very few clumps I get which leads to stringy hair).

If I notice my hair needs it, I may use a wide-tooth comb as well while distributing the leave-in.

I gently squish in some leave-in conditioner while my hair is still sopping wet.

Then, I quickly run my hair once or twice under the water, but I do not completely rinse out the leave-in.

I leave a majority of the leave-in in my hair. It just happens to style better that way! 

Shower DONE. I step out of the shower and towel off, leaving my hair dripping wet, and move onto styling…

How To Style 2B Hair (Well, How I Style Mine)…

For my 2b hair, I’ve found that I need three products to hold the waves after applying the leave-in:

  • Emulsify a pea-sized amount of Canta curl activator and 2 pumps of LUS for Wavy Hair all-in-one in wet hands and apply by roping.

Run a good amount of cool water onto a wet brush and brush through hair to distribute product.

Lightly scrunch to encourage clumping, tilting head side to side.

Scrunch hair side to side.

  • Lightly scrunch my hair with a dry cotton T-shirt to get rid of some of the moisture.
  • Wet hands some more, and squirt a quarter-sized drop of Aussie Instant Freeze gel into hands.

Rub product in between wet hands to emulsify gel.

Apply gel to hair by roping again, and smoothing along the back and sides of my hair while my head is tilted to the side.

Be sure to apply the gel to the front of your hair as well.

Scrunch hair, lightly squeezing out excess water.

  • Pixie diffuse hair with on warm setting with your head tilted side to side until 80%+ dry. 

I know a bunch of other curlies online love and recommend this particular diffuser attachment, but I don’t think you need any special diffuser to get the job done.

I use my old Conair and cheap plastic diffuser and it works just fine!

curly girl method diffusing

pixie diffusing curly girl method

P.S., The photos above were taken on a VERY humid day (the entire week was humid, actually), so I have some serious frizz going on already but that isn’t typical.

Frizz is, however, normal to experience with wavy and curly hair so don’t fret if you have some – it helps build volume!

  • Apply a dime-sized amount of emulsified Aussie Instant Freeze gel with wet hands while hair is 80% dry (this is called the Smasters technique).

I do not scrunch the gel in this time, I instead use flat wet palms coated with emulsified gel to press the hair up to my head from the ends.

No scrunching involved in this step because I don’t want to cause extra frizz or break the cast that’s already forming on my curls.

  • Diffuse until dry or allow to air dry the rest of the way.

Hair will develop a cast (that hard, crunchy feel) as the gel sets in the hair – refrain from touching hair at all costs.

Once dry, flip hair side to side every 5-10 minutes as I remember.

Now that my hair has been styled, I’ll give it time to hang out in the gel cast while I start my morning routine (coffee, writing, starting a load of laundry, waking the kids up for school, etc).

I try my hardest not to touch my hair at all during the drying process as this can break up the cast on my curls too soon (resulting in flat waves) and generate more frizz overall.

curly girl method 2b hair

This is what my hair looks like in the cast most days.

I inherited some serious waves, but my thin, fine hair looks pretty scraggly in the gel cast, right?

Oh well, that’s genetics for you!

When I scrunch it out, it will look softer and fill out a bit. 

I usually leave the cast in until right before I leave the house to drop the kids off at school. At that point, I will…

  • SOTC = scrunch out the crunch. This means I will scrunch my 2b hair (with dry hands) to get rid of the ‘crunchy’ gel cast and reveal soft waves and curls that hold their shape.

curly girl method 2b hair

Look at how shiny and healthy my hair looks from just a month of doing the curly girl method!

This is real shine, not silicones coating my hair to make it ‘seem’ healthy – WOOHOO!

2b curly hair closeup

Here is it fully scrunched out!

As the day goes on, the little parts of the cast that are missed in the SOTC process (there’s always just a little bit of stiffness still there after scrunching that can’t be helped), and I’ve touched my hair a bunch and am going about my day, it will continue to get softer and fuller.

  • Fluff hair at the roots.

Using a pick or wide tooth comb, I will fluff my hair at the roots.

This helps build volume and breaks the cast up towards the roots.

Avoid fluffing at the crown and along the part.

  • Apply root clips for about 10 minutes – IF I HAVE THE TIME.

Sometimes I forget this step, although it does help with volume.

These root clips are my favorite!

If we’re being honest, I hardly ever remember to do this or have the time – #momlife.

Sleeping on my curly hair

To sleep, I simply put my hair into a loose pineapple bun with a soft scrunchie on top of my head (see below) to help preserve my curls.

This method works best for my mostly 2b hair which rests just below my shoulders.

pineapple bun

I currently do not use a CG-recommended silk pillowcase because I’m pregnant and sleep on my giant pregnancy pillow for which there is no giant silk pillow cover ;).

I’ll be looking into getting one like this for less than $10 after I give birth, however.

Some women like to use hair buffs or wet/dry plop their hair in a cotton t-shirt overnight.

Personally, my fine hair hates overnight plopping!

I seem to only be able to get away with plopping just long enough to get dressed after washing/styling. 

Refresh routine for 2B Hair

To refresh my hair, I either do a full refresh or I pull it out of the scrunchie in the morning and it looks awesome without needing to do anything to it.

It all depends on how I slept the night before and if the hair gods are looking down on me with a smile that morning ;).

If I pull my hair out of the scrunchie and it looks crazy or lifeless, I’ll do a wet fresh…

  • Remove scrunchie.

I literally pull it up towards the ceiling from my hair and allow my hair to fall however it wants.

2a hair

Allow hair to ‘settle’ for about 10 minutes.

Make coffee, check my e-mails.

Once the 10+ minutes are over and my hair has settled, I can really evaluate if it’s in need of a refresh and see what I’m working with.

 

  • Wet hair using the bowl method.

Rewetting my hair reactivates the product in it so I can restyle it.

I’ve tried spritzing it with a water bottle so I could scrunch and style – it just creates frizz and looks gross.

Plus, with low porosity hair, wetting with a water bottle takes forever because my hair doesn’t absorb any water unless fully submerged *rolls eyes*.

  • Scrunch soaking wet hair with wet hands.

I always gently scrunch because my hair frizzes up fast with intense scrunching. Some people’s hair can tolerate the roughhousing – my fine, thin hair just can’t.

Smooth on strands by roping, squish into dripping wet hair.

*The curl enhancing smoothie product contains protein, which MY hair loooooves!

If you are protein sensitive, I would steer clear of this, even though the protein is towards the bottom of the ingredient list. 

Apply to strands by roping and squishing.

  • Diffuse hair on WARM until dry.

I like to do this until it’s fully dry if I have the time so make refresh days as simple as possible.

  • Allow hair to remain in gel cast for about 20+ minutes while I do my makeup and start my morning routine.

I sometimes allow it to sit in the cast longer if I have time before we leave the house.

  • SOTC (scrunch out the crunch) once it’s fully dry.

2c hair

  • Fluff hair, clip roots. 

 

2b hair

2b hair type

These pictures above are actually of 3rd-day hair after refreshing.

I’m still working on how to fluff my hair to get more volume, but with its density and thickness, I can’t really expect it to change too much.

I refresh my hair every 2nd and 3rd day after washing. Day 4 seems to be when I feel the need to wash.

Rarely, I have a morning where I remove my scrunchie after waking up, and my curls fall into a majestic state that requires NO refreshing, and I feel like a unicorn.

But, again, those days are very rare ;).

Special Treatments

At least once a week, I give my hair a protein treatment with a deep conditioner in the shower (as I mentioned earlier).

I use this deep conditioning hair masque after regular shampoo and conditioner, leave it on for five minutes and comb through my ends with a wide-tooth comb, and rinse it completely out.

Then, I’ll cowash and apply my leave-in.

My 2b hair loooooooves protein.

There has only been one week I didn’t give my hair protein in the shower, and I could definitely tell the difference!

Not everyone’s hair needs protein, and you may have the exact same hair type, porosity, and curl that I do and still not need protein in your hair.

In fact, it’s recommended that you do not try to balance the moisture vs. protein in your hair while transitioning, but I’m a total rule breaker.

To determine if your hair needs protein, read this article.

And, as I mentioned in last week’s post, not everything works for everyone.

My hope is that if you have the same hair type that I do, my hair routine can help shed some light on what might work for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wait – What Is The Curly Girl Method, again?

The curly girl method is a method developed by Lorraine Massey that encourages curlies to ditch sulfates and silicones, stop brushing and damaging their hair with heat, and enhance their natural curl patterns through wet styling and diffusing.

Waves and curls suffer from the modern-day haircare products and tools we use to curl, straighten, and dry our hair.

By cutting out these things, you can get wavier waves, bouncier curls, and healthier hair in time.

The most important thing to mention is that there are tons of different applications, techniques, and products to try because WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT HAIR!

Reading up on your hair type, density, and porosity (as well as taking into account the damage it’s accumulated), you can start to experiment and try to understand what it is your hair needs and the best way to care for it.

How Do I Emlusify My Hair Products?

When you emulsify your hair products, you are combining them with water. With the curly girl method, it makes for beautiful waves and curls.

To emulsify your hair gels before applying, for example, you would wet your hair with a spray bottle (or work with soaking wet hair from a fresh shower), and your hands.

Squeeze some product into your hands, grab a little more water from the faucet, and rub your hands together.

This emulsifies the gel for better application. 

How Do I Determine My Hair’s Porosity?

My post last week talks about how to determine your hair porosity with a few simple tests, but you can also read about it in-depth HERE.

Will This Routine Help Me Get Curls/Waves?

No, but it can help you enhance your hair’s natural waves/curls. 

It’s also important, and I say this all the time, to note that not all gels and products will work for all hair types.

It takes some trial and error to figure out what your hair needs, likes. It also takes time for your hair to recover from the heat and brushing damage it’s endured over the years.

A lot of women see results from adapting the curly girl method in just a month (like my hair!), while other women wait for 6-9 months to actually see a big difference.

But…if the good Lord didn’t give you any waves or curls, you probably won’t be able to do anything about that with the curly girl method – but there are some women I’ve seen and read that thought they had straight hair all their life that actually have natural waves and curls they never knew about until adopting the curly girl method.


curly girl method for wavy hair

 

Related 2B Hair Articles

How To Start The Curly Girl Method For Wavy Hair

The Curly Girl Method For Wavy Hair (11 Things You Need To Know)

To read more about implementing the Curly Girl Method on wavy 2b hair, be sure to read my post here, and comment below with what your wash day routine looks like in the comments below!
*POST AND ROUTINE UPDATED January 2021, originally published September 2019.

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Hannah

Friday 17th of September 2021

You can’t get the volume you want because your hair is over saturated with product. You’re never cleaning the product buildup out of your hair. Yes your hair looks soft. It also looks weighed down and greasy preventing your curls from fluffing out. Wash your hair with an actual shampoo (you can find a sulfate free one of scared of sulfates). I have the same curl pattern as you and did this same method with the same struggles. Please wash your hair. Especially having low porosity hair. Ugh. So much buildup never being cleaned from your hair.

Kristin

Wednesday 15th of September 2021

Oh my gosh!!! I FINALLY found someone with my hair! Mine looks just like yours. Some days it gives me more curls and some days it's barely wavy. Do you have a YouTube channel??? If not you definitely should because we need representation!

Allie

Monday 13th of September 2021

My hair is very similar to yours, girl! I've been working on my waves/curls since I brushed my dreadlocks out a year and a half ago. What I have learned is that my hair does not need all the things that most curlies do! Not even close. The only thing I do now is leave a tiny bit of conditioner in and use John Freida's curl reviver)frizz ease mousse and only a little bit of it then my hair stays good till the next time I wash it. And I mean only a little. If I use too much of it after my shower my hair will not be as curly. I wish I could add pictures on here so you can see how much curlier my hair has gotten since figuring all this out. Hope it helps 🙂

Shelby

Sunday 27th of June 2021

Hi! I just found you and my hair is EXACTLY your texture. I saw a video on TikTok and was told I actually had curly hair all this time and have been fighting it instead of leaning into its natural Texture. I went out and got stuff to try at Target and five hours later I am going to bed with 100% curly hair! OMG who knew?! Thanks for the tips on roping and products - you have given me so much to work with going forward.

Danielle

Sunday 6th of June 2021

I have the same hair, except high porosity! Thank you for all the tips! :)

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