Thanks for stopping by! This is my corner of the blogosphere where I'm keeping track of
styles/techniques/products, lessons learned, my to-do list, and favourite links.
Feel free to offer any comments, feedback, or advice - I'm learning as I go !

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Copycat "Style" - Inspired by CurlyGirlyB

I am super excited to be participating in this month's Hair Carnival!! This time around it's all about recreating each others' styles. I was paired up with Shelly, the author of Curly Girly B. Shelly is a mama who, like me, is trying to figure out how to best care for her daughter's curly hair. My all-time favourite post from her blog is this one, on hair care basics for curly hair. She covers a ton of important need-to-know info in one spot.

Side note: Shelly's taking a little break from adding new content to her blog, but do go check out Curly Girly B for some great info and to see more pics of B and her gorgeous curly hair!!

For the Hair Carnival, I recreated something that some might not consider a "style" per se; maybe more of a technique. But I was really inspired by a post where Shelly totally achieves beautiful, defined curls on little B. Here are her cute curls (copied with permission - thanks Shelley!)

Here's B: she is too cute!!!

I am always looking for ways to get curl definition - for both JJ's 4B(ish) hair and my own 3AB(ish) hair. 

When I saw that adorable photo of B, I was inspired to try her technique - she defines B's curls with a Denman brush.

One of the first tools I purchased on my hair journey was a Denman brush, since it seemed like the word Denman was mentioned in every other blog I read. But I never really got into using it. I found that I was finger detangling more than I was using a comb or brush. Because I am "curl-defintion challenged", my own hair spends a lot of time in a ponytail, and JJ's is usually in twists or braids, so neither one of use spends much time with loose hair.  
The A-Ha moment came when I read Shelly's next post, which has a link to a video demonstrating how to use a Denman brush to achieve curl definition. In all my blog-reading, I had never caught onto the fact that the angle of the brush would help to define curls. I'd just been using the Denman like I would any old brush.

I tried the Denman technique first on my own hair. Here is what happened:
My kinda frizzy, not very defined curls after a long day at work.
Freshly co-washed with Mixed Chicks Leave-In
Better definition with good Denman technique

As an experiment, I decided to only brush one side of my hair with the Denman brush. I left the other side to dry without brushing it (my hair had been thoroughly finger detangled in the shower). I took pictures of each side to compare as my hair was drying:

Dry hair:

No Denman
Yes Denman

Can YOU see the difference? It may be hard to see in photos, but I think the Denman side really was more defined. The curls clumped together more, and were generally less frizzy. Here is my Denman side the next day:

The next day - still quite defined!!
So what about JJ's 4B(ish) hair??

Well, I think there's potential, but the missing factor seems to be the clumping bit. Her tiny coils separate easily, and never seem to clump together well, even using the Denman brush. She has very "cotton candy" hair. When brushed, even with the Denman, even using the special technique, even using a variety of well-recommended products, I found it really hard to get her hair to clump together:
see the little defined curl?
Maybe I haven't yet found the right product.

Or MAYBE her hair - with its tiny coils and extreme shrinkage, can not do what I am trying to make it do? Which is okay, because I love what her hair CAN do - the versatility of her hair is my favourite thing about it.
yup, those are small coils!
just a reminder of the extreme shrinkage factor
Feel free to offer your thoughts on "curl definition" for JJ....... I'd love to hear from you!!


  1. Great post! I too just started using the Denman to define my curls (haven't tried on GDL's yet but I do use it to distribute her conditioner). I'd call myself 3b/3c-ish. Still perfecting the technique! For jj's curls have you tried the queen helene product that Baby Big Hair reviewed on her blog? Those were the most defined curls I've ever seen in my life!

  2. Very nice! I like how yours wasn't quite a copycat style, but more like a copycat technique to see how your hair would come out!

  3. What a great post! I love what the technique did for your hair and I really love how you aren't frustrated or upset that it may not work as well with JJ's hair! There's so much more that her hair CAN do!

  4. Oh wow, I have always heard of the Denman, never had one though, I just may have to invest!

  5. I so wish I could find the QH Royal Curl Creme here in Canada! I have been on a mission since seeing that first Baby Big Hair post. That curl definition was INCREDIBLE.

    NOBODY here carries it, and even Whole Foods (which does carry it in the US) said they can not get it from their distributor. Looks like I have to go on a little US shopping excursion? Or suck it up and pay shipping and duty? I'd prefer the excuse to go cross-border shopping. Better make a list!!

  6. I definitely think that QH Royal Curl Creme would do wonders, I love it on Des' hair too. She was able to wear her hair out for a five days without any more application beyond the initial application. The pic in my header is her hair after 3 days of QH RCC in it.

  7. Thanks for the feedback, everyone. The Denman I have I got at Sally's and didn't pay too much (somewhere between $5 and $10, maybe I had a coupon...). I think it does work wonders for some hair types. And I really am okay with not yet having all the answers for JJ's hair yet - this way I get to keep experimenting!

    @Precious - I have to add that blogging about one's own hair is hard - it's tricky to take pictures and get the right angles. I have even more admiration for you after writing this post!!

  8. Very nice blog!!! I need to get one of those good brushes!!! HAHA!! :) I rarely brush our comb our hair though... But, for those days that I do, I know this'll do the trick!! Thanks for posting such a helpful blog post!! :)


  9. Great post! I use a denman to define my curls but not so much for Anisa's.

  10. What did I learn fro this post? I need a denman! What kind did you buy? I have been hearing about this brush and keep puttig it off. I saw one a Sallys and just passed it up. Now I want one! Btw, jj has major shrinkage ! Such long hair!

  11. Thanks again everyone! @ allthingscuteandgirly - the one I have is a D3, with 7 rows. There are videos about modifying D brushes on YouTube, and lots of people talk about using a modified Denman, but I haven't done anything with mine. And apparently there is one called the D31 that has wider pins and is better for more tightly coiled hair like JJ's - maybe I'll give that a try - if I ever see it and have money in my pocket...

  12. I love the Denman for me and my girls! Curls just seem to POP!!! And let's talk about that shrinkage on JJ....My oldest has the say hair type and the same problem with shrinkage so I do indeed know your pain!

  13. You both have such beautiful hair! and now I need a denman. LOL GREAT post!

  14. Awesome post, I think i may have to try the denem brush, I thikn JJ's hair is close to my own texture which i have no idea what I'm doing

  15. We LOVE our denman! I can definitely see the difference in your hair when you used it vs. when you didn't. And that's some super-shrinkage you've got going on over there! :)

  16. I love her cotton candy hair!!!!!! Yes hon, that queen helene will hook that baby up!!! I'm thinking you'll need to have her hair completely saturated and loaded with conditioner. Don't squeeze anything out. Let the denman squeeze the water out. also try in very small sections starting from the back moving up to the front. Have a spray bottle at hand to rewet the spots that dried while working on other sections. Maybe detangle w/fingers then mid-small tooth comb THEN brush It's a labor of love but the coils are there! Trust!

  17. Wow! a tutorial from Baby Big Hair. Looooooove it!!!! Thanks!!!! Gonna get my hands on some QH and ***promise*** to report back.

  18. What a great post. I have always been skepticle about the denman brush because when a comb touches mine an dmy daughters curls wet or dry they end up frizzy. BUT.... Since Ive seen how beautiful your curls turned out Im going to buy one Thanks (",) My daughters curls are sometimes like JJs I say sometimes because it depends on the producut I use and if I braid her curls the night before. Some products give good defination and some not so good and if I braid her hair the night before then take her braids out in the morning and slightly wet her hair and add more product her curls are defined but with less shrinkage. Theres two styling methods I use. The first is I just leave her conditioner in her hair and let it air dry. I use curly qs conditioner its so moisturising and detangles hair easily but its the amount you add that gives results. You need enough in the hair that when you finish detangling there is sill conditioner visable, there is a pic on my blog that shows you what the hair should look like. Dont worry about applying too much, if when her hair dries it is too greasy or you can still see conditioner just wet it a bit and it will get rid of any excess. The other way is to rinse off conditioner and add either curly qs custard and gel sc or mixed chicks kids leave in conditioner. Heres a link to the post I hope it helps (",)

  19. Wow another personalized tutorial - from ggmix!! Thank you!! I know the exact post you are talking about, I read it and bookmarked it just the other day. Everyone, go & check out that post and be prepared - gg is crazy cute!!