Last night, I was allowing myself some time to write another blog for this week. I’ve been going back and forth about the topic of today’s post, and I’ve decided to do the big one. I am sitting outside of my house drinking my coffee and listening to a new podcast called “Dear Sugars,” and trying to figure out how to start this. I may have multiple blog posts about this, more than likely this will be 1 out of 2 or 3.
The Curly Girl Method (CG Method) is an awesome method of hair care and health for all those with curly hair. It was created by Lorraine Massey… you should buy her book! It’s very cheap on Amazon, and it will truly help you start.
There are 4 types of hair: straight, wavy, curly, and oily. The CG method works for all hair (it is a healthier alternative), but it really works miracles for any hair that is not straight. Most people believe that their hair is simply wavy, but from years of straightening or using hair products full of silicone, it weighs your natural hair down (which could very well be curly!).
My hair pattern is 3b/3c. Keep in mind that your hair can have many different patterns. As your hair adjusts to the healthier method, you will notice a change of a more uniform pattern. I used to straighten my hair daily in my sophomore year of high school, it destroyed my curls and I only did it for about a year. After I graduated from high school, I grew my bangs out and never touched my hair again. I left it curly and wild, which is why my hair is also very long. The only thing I needed to change was stopping the use of un-friendly curly girl products, which I will get to in a minute. Here is a picture to help you identify what kind of hair you have. It’s good to know your hair type, but if you’re beginning the CG Method, it’s not too important.
If you want to step into this realm or some would even say this “cult,” haha!, I would highly suggest making the trip to a store first. What you will look for are shampoos and conditioners with absolutely no sulfates and silicones. It’s not enough to just read the front label and trust that it saying “no sulfates, no silicones, no parabens.” Make it a new habit to flip the bottle over and look at the ingredients. Here are ingredients you would want to steer clear from, these are not CG-Friendly:
Sodium Laureth/lauryl sulfates are the worst sort of sulfates to be putting in your hair. Sulfates help clean, however, it strips away too much of the natural oils produced by your body. This is, especially, no good for curly hair. Curly hair is more prone to being dry without extra help. Oils from your scalp take longer to travel along the hair shaft because it is curved.
Silicones seal the hair shaft, however, it seals it and doesn’t allow moisture to get in. Silicones and sulfates work hand in hand. Silicones cannot be removed unless you use sulfates. Most shampoos have sulfates and most conditioners have silicones. Its a never-ending cycle of horror for your hair. It’s already not getting enough moisture and then you strip whatever moisture you have away.
Steer clear from sulfates and silicones like they are the plague.
There are many options that have no sulfates and silicones. Look at the ingredient list on the back to be sure, but here are my favorites! If you wanna start the cheapest route because you’re new to this and don’t want to spend too much, go with V05 or Suave Essentials. I use the brands Shea Moisture, Garnier Whole Blends, Say Yes to Tea Tree, and Cantu. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, think that an entire brand could be CG friendly just because you checked one line of the brand. An example of this is Garnier Whole Blends. The only lines from this brand that are CG friendly are Vanilla Milk and Papaya and Chamomile and Flower Honey. The other ones are not good to use. The rule is to always check the ingredient list.
Get a gel or a mousse that is CG-friendly. If you’ve never used gel on your curls don’t be alarmed. Your hair will not be crunchy or greasy looking. It holds your curls perfectly and the better hold means the longer chance you can go without washing your hair again. I use ECO gel (the entire line is CG-friendly) and LA Looks sports gel.
After you get home, and have your CG friendly products, go ahead and do a final wash. This wash is with your old shampoo, the one that has sulfates in it. The reason for this is to strip the silicones in your hair, get all the gunk out one last time. Then donate all the hair products that are not CG friendly, give it to a friend (that doesn’t have curly hair!), or some people use it on their bodies.
Use your CG friendly conditioner and let your hair soak up the goodness. Never use a brush to detangle your hair. It will rip your curls. I detangle in the shower with my fingers or a wide tooth comb. Yes, it does take longer, but your hair will thank you in the end. When detangling make sure there is a sufficient amount of conditioner, which we termed as slip. The more slip you have, the easier it is to detangle; your fingers and the comb will glide through the tangles.
When you’re done taking your shower, don’t use your regular bath towel to dry your hair. Bath towel fibers are huge, which frizz up curly hair! Use an old cotton t-shirt or a microfiber towel to squeeze excess water out of your hair. Gently squeeze in scrunchy motions not like wringing a towel (that is so bad for your hair, no one should be wringing their hair!).
Distribute gel evenly throughout your hair on each curl, then scrunch it to re-form the curls. Then leave your hair alone. Let it air dry and when it is 80-100% dry, you can scrunch out the crunch (SOTC). Previously I mentioned that your hair will not be crunchy when you use gel, because you must scrunch out the crunch. When it dries and it hasn’t been touched (the best way to do your hair) it forms a cast. After the cast is pretty much dry you will scrunch it all out, your curls will be soft and bigger.
This concludes your first steps of doing the CG method. Continue to take care of your hair. Next time I will discuss other factors and terms of the CG method (it’s kind of like black hole, you can get completely sucked in) like protein vs. moisture, co-washing, itchy-M’s, diffusing, refreshing, factors of humidity, using lube, etc. But for now, this is the best way to start.
I, personally, am still learning. I’ve made mistakes doing this method but my hair has improved dramatically. The before picture is from years ago, on a day that I thought my hair was at its best (ugh), and the after picture is a couple months in of the CG Method.
The definition of my curls are way better now. Don’t give up! It takes time, your hair isn’t going to change in a week, its going to take months, or maybe even a year. I think its so worth it though. My hair thanks me!
Happy Curl, Happy Girl
Curly Island Girl