The Curly Gurl Experiment

As the Shaggs once said in their 1975 wise-beyond-their-years song “Philosophy of the World,” “All the girls with short hair want long hair and the girls with long hair want short hair, all the boys with cars want motorcycles and the boys with motorcycles want cars.”

And I dear reader, am not excluded from this number. For a really long time, I wanted curly hair without having to spend hours making it that way. Then I hit puberty then moved a bunch and then my hair got big. Too straight to be curly, too wavy to be straight. Just, big. I want to take a second here and say that as a caucasian woman I realize that I have no right to complain about how difficult my hair is to work with. I know that many women of color spend many years battling with their natural hair texture and that I have no idea what that is like at all. So this is not a post of complaint, rather a post of exploration and experimentation.

So anyway, I’ve always wanted curly hair, or straight hair, or really, just to look like Taylor Swift. But whatever. Because lately, I’ve been noticing this:


Do you see it? It’s a spiral curl!

Crazy, right? Especially because I live in a really dry place. So I started crowd-sourcing advice from my Facebook friends who have fabulous, beautiful wavy or curly hair to see if there is a way I can make all of my head look like this one spiral curl, without breaking out my mom’s curling iron from the 80s.

I got advice about moisture, frequency of washing, brushing (never ever do it!) and products to try. So I headed to King Soopers (it’s like Kroger with a better name), bought some product, and hid my hairbrush.

Here are the results of THE CURLY GURL EXPERIMENT!

Monday: I woke up, hit the shower, got my hair wet and threw a ton of conditioner in it. After towel-drying my hair and combing it, I threw two huge handfuls of Tousle Me Softly mousse into my hair, combing it through and then scrunching it. A video on Youtube told me to use more mousse, but my head told me I used too much. Monday is the day when I video chat with my boss, so it’s important to me that I look professional and put together on Monday mornings. I don’t really think I succeeded this week. It looked okay, but not much different than if I had slept on it while it was wet:


Tuesday: Remember, I can’t brush my hair. So when I went to the gym on Monday, I put it in a ponytail, then put it in a bun while I was showering. Wash less was another piece of advice, so being kind of a slob, I was not about to argue with someone who was telling me it’s okay to only wash my hair once or twice a week. I slept with it in a bun, then took it all down the next morning. There were some spiral curls, for sure. But they also looked kind of shitty. I wanted to brush, but I resisted, in the name of SCIENCE.


Wednesday: On Tuesday night, I took a bath and used tons of conditioner on my hair. After the bath, I really just didn’t want to deal with my hair at all, so I threw it up into another bun. I left it that way most of Wednesday because I had more important stuff to do. I took it down long enough to make a pre-gym ponytail and take another selfie. Yeah, it’s curly, but it also looks like I used turtle wax in my hair. I don’t really know what turtle wax is, or what it does, but I imagine it would create awesome, crunchy curls. Maybe I’ll try that during Week 2.


Ignore the zit in all of these pictures LIFE IS HARD okay!

Thursday: After I spent the morning helping my friend move, I rewarded myself with a relaxing shower and finally washing my gross crunchy hair. At this point, it’s been 4 days since I’ve brushed my hair, and it’s pretty much a huge tangle of dead hair. But it’s kind of curly so whatever. After washing my hair with shampoo and conditioner and shedding a few ounces of hair, I let my hair air dry until it was only slightly damp. Then I added a small palm-full of Rusk Wired hair mousse/stuff that I combed through and scrunched with my head flipped. This was much more successful, except for the fact that Rusk Wired smells a little bit like garbage to my nose. It looked like this!


How is this zit getting worse? Get it together Janney’s face!


1. Not brushing your hair is pretty sweet!

2. I probably will never achieve spiral curls without the aid of a curling iron. It’s okay.

3. I need to keep this experiment going for another week or so, you know, for the purpose of Science. Hopefully I will still have a job/friends after this is over.

4. Taking selfies is embarrassingly fun.

You can never please, everybody in this world, but you can certainly please yourself. I’m having a blast experimenting with my hair and I will not be stopped!


One comment

  1. I’m telling you, deva curl products are curly gurl miracles. More gel than u can possibly imagine with no crunchiness! It’s magical science.

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