beauty

'I tried the Curly Girl Method with PUMP haircare. This is what happened.'

Pump Haircare
Thanks to our brand partner, Pump Haircare

Embracing my curly hair has been a long time coming.

If you have naturally curly hair, you’ll probably relate to my experiences. As a kid, I had beautiful, glossy ringlets because of course I had the best hair of my life when I couldn’t even appreciate it…

Then in high school, I started thinking more about my appearance and noticing the slick, straight hair of my peers and decided I too, wanted slick, straight hair.

I’m pretty sure my mum confiscated my hair straightener once or twice in a bid for me to "embrace my natural Greek hair" - but I always found a way. 

What followed was probably 10 years of relentless heat damage. 

This left my natural hair frizzy, poofy and dry, which just perpetuated the cycle even more because I constantly straighten it to look half decent.

The “before” photo (last week). 

I’m now in my mid-twenties and I’ve finally decided to reclaim my hair as my own and not let its style ebb and flow with the trends. I’ve realised that I feel the most ‘me’ when I have curly hair and that’s the trendiest look to wear. 

When I got the opportunity to trial the Curly Girl Method (CGM) using PUMP Haircare’s products, I grabbed it so fast because I had always wanted to try out this elusive method that promises to completely transform your hair.

The Curly Girl Method

The CGM originated from a book by Lorraine Massey, “Curly Girl: The Handbook” and is a hair care method that switches your damaging habits like over-shampooing and heat styling for a healthier regimen using specific products that are curl-friendly. 

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The first step is identifying your hair type. 

I have long, thick hair. I would classify it as wavy now (RIP) even though once it was technically ‘curly’. 

My hair type is 2c curl which means I’m teetering on the edge between waves and curls and my waves make more of an ‘S’ shape than a ringlet. It also means I struggle with frizz pretty much every day. YAY. 

Next, you’ll want to eliminate these bad boys from your hair care routine:

  • Silicones

  • Parabens

  • Sulfates

  • Alcohol

  • Heat styling

  • Overuse of shampoo

You can use shampoo once a week and then for the rest of the week you only wash your hair with conditioner which will take some time getting used to but is meant to produce seriously good results. 

After washing your hair you go in with a curl cream and then let dry naturally.  

About PUMP haircare

Can we take a moment for this packaging? 

If you’re going to follow the CGM then you’ll need the right products. 

PUMP haircare is all-natural and made using organic and chemical-free ingredients. 

They have a specific Curly Girl range that all comply with the CGM. I love this because it takes the guesswork out of trying to find approved products and trying to read complicated labels. 

Another cool thing about PUMP is that they’re not only good for your hair but they’re sustainably made too so you won’t damage the planet like you’ve done with your hair ;)

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I decided to road test the products for a week and follow the CGM to see what happened. 

Road Test

I decided that I was going to start on a day where I would be using shampoo as it’s only recommended to do this once a week. (To be honest I usually only wash my hair once a week so I was a little confused by this, but happy to keep doing what I was already doing.)

Two peas in a pod! 

The PUMP CG shampoo is a gentle cleansing shampoo made with Argan Oil to control frizz (hands down the biggest problem with my hair) and gentle coconut cleansers to remove build-up without stripping your hair of oils. 

According to PUMP, you’re meant to massage this onto your scalp for 1-3 minutes and look, that’s news to me. Usually, I’d be doing a quick 30 second scrub and then washing it out. Taking that time to truly work it into my scalp felt so luxurious and like the shampoo actually had time to do the work. It had a really thick lather that coated my hair so well. It also smelled delicious but super subtle. 

After rinsing it out, it was time to use the PUMP CG Conditioner. It promised to lock in moisture and hydrate your curls and has the addition of both Argan Oil and Almond Oil. I applied it from my mid-lengths to the ends and left it on for 5 minutes. 

Only to use in the shower! 

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I also used the PUMP Detangle Comb during this step, because you should only brush your curly hair in the shower as if you do it when it’s dry it will lead to breakage. After washing it out, my hair felt so well nourished. I don’t really know how to describe it but it felt… different. And I just kept on gliding my hands over it. It was weird.

Image: Supplied. 

After getting out of the shower feeling like a new woman, I used the Soft Curl Gel which is meant to hydrate your hair even more (I didn’t think this was possible after that condish moment). It’s also meant to give a light to medium hold and make those curls extra curly. 

I popped a couple of pumps on my palms and applied it directly onto my wet hair and then scrunched and twisted my hair in sections towards my scalp in order to encourage the curl. “Go you good thing!” I thought to myself. 

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This looks like a silly dance. 

And then I waited. And waited…. And waited. 

Why?

Because you’re not allowed to towel dry your damn hair. 

You have to let it ~ air dry ~. 

But woahh. Was it worth it. 

My camera roll right after my hair dried. 

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Honestly, I’ve never seen my hair like this before. It was so big and I loved it.

So far, I was very impressed with the Curly Girl Method and was keen to see how my curls fared throughout the week. 

As anyone with curly hair knows though, no two curl days are the same. The next morning when I woke up, I noticed my curls still looked fab, but needed a bit of sprucing up before work. 

Instant refresh! 

I used the Spring Back Curls, Day 2 Curl Refresher Spray to put some ‘oomph’ back into my hair. When I spritzed it onto my hair and gave my curls a bit of a scrunch, my hair received a breath of new life, and looked and felt lush again.

This is honestly such a game-changing product because it extends your wash for way longer than usual and it’s like hitting the reset button on your hair whenever it needs a boost without a full wash. It’s such a good curl-preservation secret!

Image: Supplied. 

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A couple of days later I wanted to try out the Miracle Curl Oil which isn’t just an oil - it’s four. Yep, this little bottle contains organic coconut oil, Argan oil, Jojoba oil and grapeseed oil. Alllllll the oils. Well not really, just the good ones. 

This was great to use mid-week as my hair was starting to look a little dull and I was intrigued by the word miracle in the title. It says it’ll add moisture, shine and protect against my dreaded frizz.

I applied it from the roots of my hair through to the ends. It was super lightweight and didn’t make my hair greasy which I thought oil might - it just left my hair feeling silky. I would definitely recommend this on day 3-4 after washing. 

I love those two last products the most as they help me maintain the integrity of my curls between washes which is great for a lazy gal like me who hates washing her more than once a week.

Lastly on day 6, I used the Curl and Grow Mask. It’s packed with Biotin to strengthen hair, and Jojoba Oil to nourish your curls. The perfect way to round out my Curly Girl week.

Image: Supplied. 

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Also, wearing a mask is sooo decadent, it’s the perfect self-care activity after a busy week. All you have to do is wet your hair, pop it on, and then forget about it. WIN. 

Afterwards, my hair felt significantly softer and way less frizzy. I love this product so much because it gives you that instant gratification we’re all looking for with beauty products. That noticeable change. 

The mask is actually designed for co-washing (conditioner-only washing) which means you can use it in place of shampoo! I reckon I’ll use this a couple of times a month to give my hair some deeper, nourishing love. Oh and hot tip: a little goes a longgg way with this one. 

Verdict

Me trying to take a pic of the back of my head was hard but we got there. And puhleeeze, look at those curls! 

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Overall I couldn’t be happier with the results of the Curly Girl Method using PUMP Haircare’s range. It simplified the CGM so much and provided an easy to follow process, as well as simplifying everything by providing every product you need. 

I think this before/after pic speaks for itself.  

My hair has never felt healthier and more nourished. I finally feel like I’m getting back on track with my goal to restore my hair back to its natural state and I’m beginning to love my hair again in all its maximalist glory.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Pump Haircare
Australian hairdresser Natasha Jay founded Pump Haircare with one simple mission; to formulate professional hair care products that do more with less - a mission that has since grown to be centred around quality, organic and chemical-free ingredients, sustainable packaging and simplified, results-driven hair regimes designed to make the hair care shopping experience easier and more personalised. With a commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable future, Natasha and the Pump Hair Care team have created products that care for hair and for the planet, packaged in partnership with Australia’s first carbon neutral, solar powered recycled plastics manufacturing facility, made from biodegradable, post-consumer recycled plastic and sugarcane to maintain a zero carbon footprint.
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