Most Filipinos genetically have naturally thick, wavy, or curly hair—which necessarily is not something that needs fixing.
Through the years of exposure to European and western beauty standards and the butterfly effect of colonialism in our society, having straight hair is deemed as the ideal hair type. Meanwhile, being called “kulot” (sometimes shortly followed by “salot”) is often used as a word of insult. Wavy hair is then seen as “buhaghag” or unruly. Most pre-teen and teenage girls are forced to straighten their natural hair to fit the Eurocentric standard.
I was only 13 years old when I went to a salon to avail their hair relaxing treatment for Php 450.00. It is a procedure of using chemicals to semi-permanently straighten the hair. I think I sat there for about three hours, enduring the itch on my scalp and its foul smell. Back then, I viewed having straight hair as more appealing.
Thankfully, a portion of our society is now adapting to the idea of diversity. Slowly, we are rejecting western beauty standards, and leaning toward the natural Filipina. Now, curly and wavy hair receives its long-deserved recognition and appreciation. Thus the sudden repute of the curly girl method (CGM)!
To celebrate and further normalize sporting natural hair, several contents are available online. There are YouTube and TikTok videos that are dedicated to teach us on how to protect and style our natural waves and curls. Written articles about this are also there to guide us.
For beginners, here are the four major steps to start your CGM journey;
The curly girl approach suggests using less shampoo since it can be drying for your hair. For those who have wavy hair, it is ideal to cleanse every 3-4 days. For textured or curly hair, you can go with washing once a week. Make sure to use a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping off moisture.
Conditioning your whole hair is an important part of the process. During this process is where you separate your curls either using your fingers or a comb. While rinsing off the product you will also need to squeeze the excess by cupping your hands upward.
Styling your hair after stepping out of the shower would require either or a combination of leave-in conditioner, curl activator cream, styling gel, or a hair mousse. Apply the product/s while the hair is still wet, in the same cupping manner as with the conditioner.
Drying your hair comes next, in which you may use a diffuser or let it air dry. Once finished, it is optional to apply natural oil directly on the hair by massaging to give it a nice shine.
Luckily, these styling, cleansing, and protective products for your curly hair are more accessible now with Shopee and Lazada, now having specifically dedicated shops catering to your curly hair needs. To help you embrace more of your natural hair, you may join the Curly Girls Philippines group which is dedicated to provide free education on curly girl method. Aside from this, it also serves as an online support group.
It can be intimidating in the beginning, trying out the different products and learning what works for your hair and what does not—but once you get the hang of it, it is definitely worth the risk!
Salihha is a typical Virgo. She finds interest in true crime stories, Korean wave, thrift shopping, and makeup; these stuff fuels her desire to write. There’s nothing she loves more than her dogs and Harry Styles.