The T-Shirt Curly Hair Method


All in the name of hair, people.

So, it’s winter in Vermont again.

My hair is super dry.

I’m getting older.

It’s not as curly or bouncy as it used to be.

Ahhhhh……HAIR CRISIS!!!

Enter The T-Shirt Curly Hair Method.

It discovered the method from Jessicurl (I’m dying to try their products! I attempted to order them once before but I couldn’t check out?), except she doesn’t use a t-shirt. The Curly Girl book method is also very similar.

It’s my favorite method for my lackluster winter curls. You’ll look like a complete wacko because you wear a t-shirt on your HEAD, but it’s so worth it. I showed my cousin and her friend – who have wavy hair – and it works wonders on them too. I bet it would work on amping up straight hair too.

*I just lightly dab my hair with a t-shirt, not a towel after the shower. (I also rinse my hair with cool water after washing out my conditioner.) So it is usually much wetter (almost dripping wet) when I put the gel on it, and I bend over to scrunch it up. Then plop it in my t-shirt. These Jessicurl videos show those steps better.

**My hair wasn’t completely dry at the end….and I’m touching it too much….don’t do that. Essentially, it looks better about an hour later if you keep your hands off of it, but you get the idea.

My hair products, which change ALL the time:

Shampoo: Something I won at an event. I think it’s Avalon? I only shampoo about once a week and just use a small amount.

Or maybe I should try to go shampoo-less again, like they suggest in Curly Girl: the handbook? I had tried the baking soda/vinegar method before, but I never found enough research on how often to use it. And my hair was having trouble adjusting. It looked like crap. My mom came to visit and said I need to wash my hair. So I did.

Conditioner: Okay, so I read on Into The Gloss that Redken All Soft conditioner is great. I’ve been using that and love the smell/texture. I use conditioner anytime I get my hair wet. Gobs of it.

Leave-in Conditioner: Infusium 23.

Gel: Again, changes all the time. Currently, Aveda Be Curly Lotion and Confixer Liquid Gel mixed together. Use whatever works for you. My hair is dry, coarse, and long. It needs some hold without turning it into crunchy curls.

I’m tempted to try a homemade one again. I often wonder, people had long hair hundreds of years ago, so what did they use?  I really hate spending money on hair products, but I look like a frizzball without anything. I’ve tried it.

Finishing Oil: Moroccan Oil. My splurge! I feel like I’m on a tropical island, which is especially appealing in the winter in Vermont.

About Sarah

Always thinking about my next meal.
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19 Responses to The T-Shirt Curly Hair Method

  1. Ashley says:

    definitely going to have to try this. thanks for the tips!

  2. Linda says:

    I LOVED your video! I’ll have to give it a try, too.

  3. I have done this technique on so many occasions…haha. I call it the “hair bonnet” approach b/c that’s what the shirt looks like when you’re wearing it around on your head like a crazy person. It definitely helps reduce frizz on my hair which is always appreciated, but it sometimes makes my curls a little too intense for my taste. I think I have slightly curlier hair than you, so the extra curl boost can make my hair very Shirley Temple-esque and not in a good way. I don’t know. As you said, it always depends on the day as to what your hair does. No curly hair day is ever the same. :) I’ll have to try that Moroccan Oil stuff sometime soon. I’ve heard great things about it. Do you know if you can get it at a local drug store like Walgreens?

    • Sarah says:

      Oh, it is totally a hair bonnet. Hahaha!

      And luck you, it sounds like you don’t need the wacky bonnet. Jealous! You can just let your hair dry sans t-shirt. Awesome.

      I’m not sure if some drugstores carry the Moroccan Oil? I bought this little bottle. I think it was $15 (which is a lot for how little it looks). However, it’s lasted a long time.

  4. Jill says:

    Now that sounds like an easy hair routine I could do. Power to the curls! Mine is more like waves, but I can dream. Moroccan oil…I must find that :)

  5. I am so excited to try this. Thanks Sarah!

    p.s. I think I really need Moroccan oil now.

  6. lauren says:

    That’s so cool! And I am obsessed with Moroccan oil, it smells so good.

  7. wow! i’m totally trying this tomorrow–will let you know how it goes.

    ps i read the first game of thrones book and loved it, but i’m having trouble getting into the second one…

    • Sarah says:

      Yay! Let me know how it goes. The jessicurl videos are super helpful to watch. Much more informative than mine!

      And thanks for the game of thrones heads up. I’m five pages into the first one. I hear the show is good too!

  8. Pingback: A Hunger Games hairstyle. « DAILY NIBBLES

  9. charlotte says:

    I know this is an old post but the reason you were having issues with no shampoo is that both the conditioner and gel you were using is full of silicones. You have to cut out both sulfates and silicones at the same time or you will have nasty buildup.

    • Sarah says:

      Ahhhh, thank you! I have naturally very curly (FRIZZY) hair, so it’s a challenge to completely go product-free. I think those were my favorites at the time. I’ll look for non-silicone gel!

      • charlotte says:

        Your welcome. I have naturally curly hair myself and most of the info out there is so confusing with everyone telling you to do something different, and loads of complicated routines and product suggestions. But it doesn’t need to be so hard, just remember no sulfates, no silicones (unless they have PEG in front of them), and preferably no alcohol. If it helps I am using super cheap VO5 strawberry conditioner as cowash/rinse out (there are several “flavors” that are silicone free) about $1, SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk as leave in (that one is a little spendy at $10 but I only use about a dime size amount), and Garnier Fructis Style Pure Clean Styling Gel about $4 (any alcohol free gel will do, but that one has natural ingredients and does not leave me crunchy). All of them are available at Walmart, Target, or Walgreens, but you might want to look online first to see which individual stores in your area carry them, each store in my area has different products. It’s been two weeks since my last shampoo and I’ve seen an amazing difference in my curls, to the point where people have stopped me to ask/comment about my hair. Shampoo one last time with a sulfate shampoo to remove whatever buildup you have. Co wash/condition/detangle (scrub the roots well, run plenty through the ends and comb with your fingers or a wide tooth comb) and leave it in while you do the rest of your shower routine, rinse well, squeeze out most of the water, put in leave in and gel while in the shower, scrunch out all the moisture you can with a smooth cloth (I’m using a shamwow I already had and love it, but a microfiber towel or T-shirt works too), give it a shake, part it if you want, and either use a diffuser with your hair dryer or just leave it to dry. I get much better curls with air drying but it takes forever. If you want more volume flip it upside down and give it a gentle shake once or twice during the drying process. For second day hair just spray with water and scrunch until damp. I usually go three days between co-washes with an updo/pony on the third day. If you really want to shampoo Shea Moisture makes two really nice sulfate/silicone free shampoos. Another thing that really helps is a satin pillowcase, even without going sulfate/silicone free it was amazing the difference in the morning.

      • Sarah says:

        Thank you SO MUCH for all the hair advice and info! I really really appreciate it. It does get confusing with so many products and information out there. I was working in Japan for the past year (with NO curly hair products available) and rarely got a haircut. Just a trim a couple of times. So, my hair is pretty long and some of the curly hair products my friends use are just way too expensive, especially with the amount of hair I have. So I will check out the VO5 shampoo, SheaMoisture Style Milk, and Garnier Fructis Gel!

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