Beginning the CG Method

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

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

Menstrual Cups…Yay or Nay?

Hello lovelies!!!

Tonight, I wanna talk about menstrual cups. I know what you’re thinking… “Ew. Ew. Why.”

I said the same thing when I first heard of it, maybe in freshman year of high school. Last year, I made two new friends who used menstrual cups. If you don’t know what it is, look it up. Let me tell you, it has changed my life, and I am never going back. I got my period the summer before I turned 12 years old. I only used pads, but I was always struggling with them because it was a lot of work to keep myself clean. In-between my sophomore and junior year of high school, I switched to tampons. Last July, I took the plunge and bought my first menstrual cup. It took me a while to get to that point.

First, I did an insane amount of research (as you all should, if you’re curious). I read forums, blogs, Facebook posts, testimonies, YouTube videos, everything. I even took a quiz that told me what brand of menstrual cup I should buy. Taking a quiz is important! Not all menstrual cups are the same; some are a little bigger and wider than others and the quiz takes into account how high up your cervix is. Some cup brands will work better for lower cervixes and vice versa.

My cervix is pretty high, and I’ve never had any children so I ended up with the small Lena cup. Most brands have two sizes, a small and a large. Most times size large is for women who have had children or have heavy flows.

I started with the small Lena (even if I knew my flow was pretty heavy, evidently I only bleed for about 3-4 days). Reason One, I had no idea if I was going to be successful even using this. Reason Two, if I couldn’t figure it out, I didn’t want to waste 40 dollars.

It was a success, and I made the decision to never use anything else again. However, I ended up buying the Large Lena after an incident of the cup overflowing in too short of a timespan. As I mentioned before, I have a heavy flow.

Menstrual cups are amazing because:

1. It can be left in for up to 11 hours (longer than any pad or tampon) with little to no risk of TSS

2. Because the “period smell” that a lot of girls/women hate about having their period is an issue, this takes care of that immediately. The smell comes from the blood making contact with the air and just sitting. Menstrual cups keep the blood inside the cup and leaves no trace of a smell.

3. It’s cheaper in the long run. You don’t have to buy a new cup every year, but if there is discoloration (yes, that happens as with any silicone) you can. It costs a bit more when you buy your first cup, but because it’s reusable you don’t need to purchase a box of pads/tampons every month.

4. Its a healthier choice for your body and the environment. Only buy certified menstrual cups because they are FDA approved and makes of medical grade silicone or high grade rubber. In my opinion, tampons were a better choice for me, but menstrual cups are an even better one.

5.Once you get the right insertion/position you will never leak (it seals against the vaginal walls). I haven’t gotten to that point quite yet, I’m still learning, but I’m pretty close. Just use a liner until you get it right. Also, many women and girls believe you bleed a lot during a menstrual cycle, in actuality you do not. Normal amount of blood loss is 30-40ml and can be up to 60ml for those who bleed heavy, in one cycle. Menstrual cups come in the typical sizes of 15-20ml (small) and 30-40ml (large). Do the math (which I’m horrible at) and you shouldn’t overflow in a day, unless you only bleed for one day!

I know you’re probably thinking, well how does this even work? How does it not go leak out? Can you lay down with it? Can you swim with it? Can you do cartwheels with it? The answer is yes. You can do anything with a menstrual cup. Read up on how to use it, there are so many types of folds to get it inside, and with practice it’s quite easy to use. Watch a video of someone who explains how it works. Do the research.

I am about to start my 6th cycle with the menstrual cup and I cannot be happier. The only struggle I have with it right now is getting the right routine down for dumping/re-inserting in public restrooms. Some bring water bottles in and rinse over the toilet, some use napkins or wipes to clean it out before re-inserting. I’ve done both, but because you can leave it in for so long, I’ve only had to change it in public maybe 3 times?

Here is a picture of the brand that I use. I have both small (in the color pink) and large (in the color purple), and use small on my lighter days.

I swear it’s worth it. Menstrual cups are a definite yay for me. It has never inhibited me from doing anything. I try my best to get all my friends on this healthier choice and some people just can’t get past the blood being collected and having to dump it out and re-insert. Honestly, that’s the best way to to get to know your period and flow, accurately.

I hope you take the plunge, like I did!

Happy curl, happy girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl

Theory of Knowledge

Okay, here’s my topic for today.

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a hot minute, things got hectic with classes/work/home life (it’s still pretty crazy), but I need a break; I’m here now.

I am only taking 12 credits this semester (3 cr. per course) and the hardest course I have is turning out to be my philosophy course. I’m still wondering if it’s because I never did take a Philosophy course in all my five years of college — or what. Tis the third week of spring 2017 and I feel as if I’m suffering.

The philosophy course is a 300-level one (so it’s not that bad) and it is called Theory of Knowledge–hence the title of today’s post! We’ve only touched on four philosophers so far… Foucault, Descartes, Wittgenstein, and Stroud.

Foucault speaks on the relationship between truth and power. Basically, that those in power (whoever or whatever that may be) influence the way others view or believe to be the truth. If you’re curious, look up Bentham’s Panopticon design that Foucault uses as a metaphor to explain further how it works.

Descartes‘ and Wittgenstein‘s theories go hand in hand… and I do not have a firm grasp on any of it. Ever heard of that phrase “cogito ergo sum“? It translates from Latin to “I think, therefore I am”. Descartes coined this phrase. To be honest, it’s just nice to say something in Latin… LOL.

From what I understand (which is not much, in this case), Descartes had a grand question; a question that philosophers are still trying to answer and figure out. Basically, he asked the question of whether or not what we do at any point in time is actually happening. Or are we just dreaming? How would we know we are dreaming or not? How do we know what reality really is if we have never experienced a real reality?

The day we discussed this in class, I felt like I had truly gone mad. These are existential questions… and It makes me feel like I am descending into a rabbit hole. I lost a bit of Wittgenstein’s theory because I was falling asleep. All I got from his part of the lecture was “The Language Games”. Again, from my limited understanding of this topic (and some helpful explanation from a Philosophy minor), the language games are basically the interaction between every person you meet in your life. The language you use to communicate influence the way you think and look at others and also kinda sorta relates to societal norms.

Stroud detailed and agreed with Descartes’ theory … and that’s kind of all I got from him. Tonight I need to read Vogel, I have no idea who this person is, but apparently he disagrees with Descartes. This kinda makes me feel better because Descartes’ theory just leads me to think that there is no point of life. Glad someone else disagrees as well.

I may or may not continue giving updates about this… but I hope you have a fabulous night/morning.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl 

I thought “This is It”

I’m sure you’ve heard of the scare Hawaiʻi just went through on saturday morning. I woke up to my iPhone alarm blaring at me. I thought it was just a flash flood warning…. but then I see this:

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I immediately called my fiancé, Iʻm actually surprised the call went through, because during this statewide panic the phone lines were flooded. He picked up on the first ring and I was panicking and in full hyperventilation. Heʻs in the military and he continued to tell me to relax and breathe. I was preparing myself to tell him my last goodbyes and “I love youʻs” with tears falling down my face. I ran outside and listened for our emergency nuclear missile sirens and none went off in my town. I turned on the radio and – nothing – I continued freaking out while he stayed on the phone with me.

This was it, I thought. This was all I got to do in my short life, (my happiest life hasn’t even started yet). My fiancé continued watching on his social media and on his phone for any news from the continental U.S. (where he is stationed). He then told me with relief that our congresswoman had tweeted that we were in fact not in harms way and that it was a mistake.

For half an hour, the state of Hawaiʻi panicked and there was chaos. An emergency mistake alert did not go out until half an hour after the initial danger alert was sent. The entire world watched as we panicked. Some prayed, some cried, some even laughed. That was the most scariest event of my entire life. In the event of a missile threat, Hawaiʻi was completely unprepared. We do not have shelters to protect us from a nuclear bomb, and if we do have bunkers from WWII era, we do not all have the luxury of being safe in there.

I read across social media the sadness of my friends holding their babies in bed, thinking that this was the last cuddle. I watched the panic on Mānoa campus ensue as students ran in terror. It was terrifying.

Coincidentally, saturday was also my childhood friendʻs wedding. She had the worst scare of her life, but it only put her half an hour behind schedule. Her wedding was still incredibly amazing. We cried and enjoyed her happiness, and the happiness surrounding us all with the craziness that morning. It turned out to be an amazing day and night, and as we went out to the bars and clubs, we decided we would “Live our best lives” because we can never know when the threat will be real.

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Hawaiʻi and itʻs government learned an important lesson that day, that we are unprepared and that we are grateful we still have more time on this Earth.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl

My Last First-Day

Yesterday was the first day of Spring Semester 2018. This is my last semester of undergraduate school. I have so many thoughts. Half of it is joy (because I have big plans right after commencement), the other half is sadness. I have been a student at my local university/college for five years. I have made the greatest friends in my college career, thus far, and I can’t stand the fact that I’ll be gone soon.

I am an English major, double-minoring in Anthropology and Gender & Women’s Studies. I just picked up the GWS minor because most of my english courses were cross-listed with GWS. I love what I learn. I love learning. I love listening to my fellow classmates share their knowledge, which furthers my own knowledge.

The word, “Professional Student,” comes to my mind. I swear, all I know, is being a student. I’m pretty good at it too. I like the rush of first week of classes, the craziness of last-minute papers, and the madness of finals week. Students band together, and we share this special awareness of what goes on within classroom settings, boards, events, etc. I love that, that is what I will miss the most!

And of course, the scariness of having to finally join the workforce. And paying those loans off — YIKES. I have most certainly thought about graduate school. I haven’t applied yet, but I intend to. The application fee is so high, Ugh, and I need to take the GRE too. Anyone else struggled with that as a soon-to-be graduate or a fresh-out-of–undergrad-school student?

I know my thoughts are so scattered on this post but I feel like I have a lot to say, but not enough energy to write. I still haven’t done readings for my anthropology course tomorrow… so maybe I should get to that. I’ll try and come back again some time this week! An elementary friend of mines is getting married on Saturday! Maybe, I’ll share some pictures of her wedding.

It’s been a pretty fantastic start to the new year (other than my sister’s car window being broken and my purse being stolen on the 1st) so far. I hope yours is going pretty great too!

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl 

Hauʻoli makahiki hou (Happy New Year!)

Itʻs 2018! This is gonna be an incredible year for me. Yesterday, my family and I went hiking to a waterfall/river area called Narnia. We were gone for about 3-4 hours, and when we came back to the cars parked outside, there was trouble. My sister’s Civic (it’s rather new) was broken into. The window on the passenger side was completely shattered… and MY PURSE WAS GONE. Albeit, it was an ugly old brown purse, that costed around $20, so it wasn’t a complete loss. However, my wallet was in there, and there went my driver’s license, debit card, Starbucks card (I’m a gold member, YES I AM IN LOVE WITH STARBUCKS), and about $40 of cash. Whoever it was who stole my purse, also got my deodorant, my pareo, a sports bra, floss, and some ibuprofen.

I laughed after making the police report because they stole from a person who had nothing. Whoever it was is gonna be so hygienic! haha. My sister’s window is much more expensive to repair than the things I lost. But, I’ve cancelled and reordered all brand new cards and I just got my replacement driver’s license today.

Even if my New Year’s Day ended with a junk situation, I still had a wonderful day, and I still wholeheartedly believe this year will be amazing.

Mahalo nui for visiting!

Happy curl, Happy girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl