Why I didn’t do Buzzfeed’s better curls challenge

Someone shared a link on Facebook saying they were taking a seven day challenge on Buzzfeed with the goal of getting better curls. While click-bait annoys me as much as it does the next person, I actually have time for Buzzfeed. It’s actually successful in getting people to read (and engage with) news and it was recently nominated for an Online Media Award so it can’t be all bad.

My hair is curly. My new shorter bob is a little more manageable than my longer cut was but it still doesn’t do quite what I want. There’s so much advise out there about how to best look after curly hair so that it looks good, stays healthy and starts to behave in a way you don’t hate. Somehow, I’ve not followed much of it apart from washing it less often.


So I clicked through and, after a quick glance at the short description (something along the lines of, this is a seven day challenge that will help you to give your curly hair the respect it deserves. We’ll email you once per day with instructions) I signed up. I then totally failed to follow a single instruction.

Why? Because in the first email, the introductory one that welcomed me to the challenge and informed me that we’d start tomorrow, I got a shopping list. This list didn’t appear (or at least, I didn’t spot it) on the sign up page, or I wouldn’t have signed up. I might have bookmarked it and returned when I’d got everything I needed but I wouldn’t have signed up then and there.


Here’s the list:

  1. Hair mask
  2. Diffuser
  3. Cotton t-shirt
  4. Apple cider vinegar
  5. Baking soda

They even had the gall to link to for the first two items on that list, trying to encourage me to buy from their partners who, I now assume, may have had some part in this challenge. Devacurl’s hair mask comes in at $28.00 and their diffuser attachment costs $44.95 and fits “most” hair driers. Quite aside from these prices being kind of expensive for something I don’t get to see or try before I order, you’ll notice they’re also in dollars – they don’t ship to the UK.

So, that was pretty off putting. To be fair I do already have a hair mask or two and I’ve already got baking soda but I don’t have a diffuser, a spare cotton tshirt I’m ready to give up, or apple cider vinegar. At the time I only had ~£1.27 in my bank account so no shopping was happening until pay day.

I’m sure the advice in the emails was pretty good but by day two I’d stopped opening them. The gist, however, seemed to be that moisture is a good thing. You want lots and lots of moisture in your hair and you want to be gentle with it. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda is meant to be your new shampoo, you dry your hair with a tshirt (after slathering on plenty of conditioner), you use a diffuser instead of straighteners or curling tongs. Hair masks go on a few times a week and you sleep in them.

Honestly, I try to avoid drying my hair at all and straightening/curling is rarer so I’m not sure I’d bother with the diffuser either but the rest of the advice sounds reasonable. I just got annoyed with the lack of foresight and with the assumptions the challenge made. I’ll keep the emails to one side and maybe I’ll write another post if I ever get around to the challenge. For now, I guess my curly hair will have to stay badly behaved.


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