CG Method: Part III

I’ve finally decided to do another CG method post! I will continue where I left off on Part II and talk about how my hair has been lately here in the Pacific NorthWest…

For all your curly girls (or wavy) who have made the brave decision to transition into this new lifestyle since I’ve started this series, welcome to our ʻohana! It’s different and it is hard to stand by (especially when you are first beginning), but it is so worth it. Keep on going!


Although I mentioned in part II that co-washing can efficiently remove the day-to-day grime (when all silicones are removed from your routine), sometimes it is a good idea to clarify your hair. This process removes a lot of build-up and some people do it once a week or even once a month, it would strictly depend on your hair and it likes. There are CG-friendly clarifying shampoos or you could make your own. If you hair seems less shiny or increasingly dry, you may need to clarify. The shampoo I use for clarification is Shea Moisture’s Sachi Inchi Oil Omega 3,6,9 Rescue + Repair Clarifying Shampoo (that’s a mouthful haha). It looks like this:

However, if you would rather make your own or it’s too expensive, you could just do an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse (or ACV rinse). Now this rinse is not only used for clarifying… which means I will make it it’s own topic.

ACV Rinsing

Apple Cider Vinegar rinsing is amazing (if you can get past the smell, it is also much cheaper than buying $8-13 bottles of clarifying shampoo). Personally, the smell doesn’t bother me. I’m Filipino and we cook with a lot of vinegar, haha. Doing an ACV rinse will clarify your hair and remove excess amounts of build up on your strands (co-washing is efficient to pretty much remove build up from the scalp). All you need to do is mix one part ACV to three parts water. Pour it on your scalp (close your eyes tight!) and onto your strands, then rub your scalp as if you were co-washing and your strands as if you were shampooing. Rinse it all out thoroughly and co-wash or shampoo vigorously to remove traces of the ACV scent. I have once rushed through this process and left the house smelling like my hair products and a hint of vinegar… it wasn’t pretty. So there’s your clarifying process! However! You can also do an ACV rinse if your scalp is very oily and your head is flaking a lot, which leads me to the next topic.

Dry Scalp/Flaking

Ever since I started the CG method, my scalp has never stopped flaking. I know this may put you off, but the method works believe it or not. I have seen way too many testaments and my own hair has gotten much curlier. I haven’t seen the doctor yet, but I am possibly thinking that I have scalp psoriasis, which is why my scalp hasn’t stopped flaking. Some days are really bad, and some days are pretty average. However, I have done a lot of research and it is also very normal to be flaking quite a bit during the transitioning process. Transitioning is the hardest part for most people and to alleviate that flaking and dry scalp, an ACV rinse or a sugar scrub would help tremendously. A sugar scrub is not hard to make at all and what this process does is put moisture back into your scalp and roots as well as get majority of the flakes out. The CG peeps would highly recommend (so do I) using raw sugar because it would scrub easier, rather than finely granulated sugar. I use raw brown sugar mixed in a bowl with my normal CG-friendly conditioner (a thick one is best). Do not let it sit because the sugar will dissolve, it’s probably best to mix it in right before you step into the shower. Use this scrub first, and be a little gentle, you would want your scalp to get raw. Rinse thoroughly and continue with your usual routine. For those struggling with the flakes and dryness, I hope this helps you! Remember, there is a difference between dandruff and just flaking. Dandruff is usually caused by buildup of products, so you probably aren’t scrubbing your scalp good enough (and it usually looks yellow-is).

Hair Porosity

Hair porosity is a big one. If nothing seems to be working for you (I mean the process of transitioning is just absolutely horrible) maybe you should look into what kind of hair porosity you have. I’m still not entirely sure what my own hair porosity is, but I am thinking it leans into lo-po (AKA low porosity). You could even have multiple types of porosity in your hair! It gets complicated. The basics of porosity is that your hair can either soak up product quickly, or it may need some coaxing first. Here’s a diagram that would help you understand what I mean:

There are three types of porosity on a hair strand. Basically, under a microscope hair would look like this. The hair shaft can be easily penetrated by moisture but also can easily lose moisture if your porosity is high. If your hair porosity is low, it could mean that your hair takes longer to get wet in the shower and it really takes time to get it to a good slip when conditioning. The pros of lo-po hair means that your hair (if done right during a wash) can potentially retain moisture longer. However, you would need to work really hard to get the moisture in. If you wanted to do a strand test, wash your hair and refrain from putting any product in. Get a strand of hair that is already loose or has fallen out in the washing process (that’s easier than not using any products and then finding a loose strand on your head). When it is completely dry place it in a clear cup of water. Make sure the hair is coated by the water but do not push it down. Leave it alone and come back a few hours later. If the hair is floating at the top still you have lo-po hair (the hair cuticles aren’t open enough to be filled with water), if it floats in the middle, then you have medium porosity hair which is sorta the best kind of porosity where it’s not too hard to put moisture in, and it won’t dry out too quickly. If your hair strand sunk to the bottom of the cup, then you have high-po hair; it can get moisture quick but it will lose moisture just as quickly. Now, knowing this about you hair is not too important during the transition process, but after 6+ months, it can really affect the way you wash/co-wash. You may want to try new methods, like the super-soaker, the squish to condish, shingling, etc. I can talk about these in another post!

So, if you have read other posts not just about the CG method, but about my life right now, you know I now live in the Pacific North West! The humidity is way lower than in Hawaiʻi, and my hair is extra beautiful here, however, my scalp is drying out even more than usual. I have been using CG-friendly oils more often to try and save my scalp. I had this oil while I was in Hawaiʻi, but I used it sparingly (mostly because it feels nice and cool on my scalp) and now I use it every day. Its the Curls Blueberry & Mint Tea Scalp Treatment. It also helps with actual flaking and encourages growth when massaged in. After I shower and get dressed I work on putting products into my hair. The first product I put in is the oil. By the way it feels amazing and it helps with itching. I distribute it straight onto my scalp with the dropper and I gently massage it in (my hair is still wet) and then I move onto the next step. It helps a lot, and maybe it will help you too! The bottle can be a little pricey but a little goes a long way and it has lasted for a while.

Itʻs available at your local store and Amazon even has it! I love this stuff and I couldnʻt do it it here, if I had not brought it along with me.

I hope you enjoyed part III of this series! And I hope you are persisting with the lengthy process.

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing off,

Curly Island Girl

CG Method: Part II

Aloha all!

Iʻm so sorry I wasn’t able to post last weekend — I participated/volunteered my time for Relay for Life Colleges Against Cancer and an Art Show. I’m back! I did not forget about Tales of a Curly Island Girl.

Today, I am going to continue sharing information on the CG method.

My first (and only) post of the curly girl method ended on this:

“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.”

Protein vs. Moisture

Okay, I know you’re thinking, “reallllyyyy?” But knowing how much protein and how much moisture you have in your hair is super important. Curly hair, especially, should have a well-balanced amount of both protein and moisture. If your curls are lacking moisture it will be “limp,” and frizzier and drier than normal. Too much moisture means you are lacking structure and when you style it, it often cannot hold it’s curls. If your curls are lacking protein it will be stringy, rough, and break easily.

Too much protein means you are lacking elasticity. There are tests you can do to determine that: get a strand of your hair (preferably one that already shed), and pull at both ends of the strand. If it stretches and then breaks, you have too much moisture. If it just snaps, you have too much protein. A well maintained moisture to protein ratio means your hair will be soft, your curls will be well defined, and if you did the strand test, it would stretch but not break. Be very careful when assuming you need more protein. Hair that is given too much protein is very hard to bring back to a balanced ratio.

Check your CG friendly products to see if they have protein in them! You do not want your entire routine to be filled with protein or filled with no protein. Perhaps, your after shower styling has protein in it, or just your co-wash conditioner/shampoo has protein. You would have to figure out if your hair really loves more protein or more moisture through trial and error, but just be wary of the over treating of protein. Here are some common ingredients that are proteins:

  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Hydrolyzed keratin
  • Hydrolyzed silk protein
  • Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
  • Keratin
  • Variations of hydrolyzed collagen
  • Variations of hydrolyzed soy protein
  • Coconut (protein mimic)
  • Sea Kelp (protein mimic)

*protein mimics are just that, they mimic protein, if your hair is sensitive to protein and you keep running into that problem, check for any protein mimics in your products. If your hair has too much protein, deep treat with a moisturizing conditioner.


I mentioned in the previous section about co-washing (conditioner). Co-washing actually stands for conditioner-washing, so that last bit was redundant. You cleanse your hair with your conditioner rather than shampoos. Although Curly Girls will use sulfate-free shampoos, some (such as myself) opt out of all use of shampoos. Most people would find this disgusting. I understand that. However, if you don’t quite understand how and why co-washing works, let me enlighten you.

When you use sulfate shampoos, you strip your hair’s natural oils while cleaning all the gunk out from the day, from your products, and from the air (dirt, etc.). When you follow sulfate shampooing with silicone conditioning … you seal the hair shaft from retaining any moisture you could potentially be putting back into your hair (that you just stripped the oil from). In order to get your silicones out of your hair, you would need sulfates to do that. Hence, the never-ending cycle of bad ingredients for your hair (especially curls!).

Co-washing is able to remove the gunk and dirt from your scalp and hair simply because you do not use any products with silicone in them. The catch is that you have to gently scrub your scalp with your fingers, or shampoo brush, for quite a long time, probably a minimum of 8 minutes. This action will remove all of the gunk and dirt accumulating on the scalp. Switching to co-washing is not easy because you are used to the “squeaky clean” feel that shampoos give you, also your scalp will have to get used to a lot of conditioner. After co-washing, rinse your hair out thoroughly, if you don’t, you only leave the dirt and gunk sitting there (that defeats the purpose). I use a light CG friendly conditioner to co-wash because it feels more like a shampoo and it’s easier to work with.

Some people don’t like this part of the CG method and it is not needed in order to be a curl girl. This is entirely up to personal preference, especially if your scalp and hair just don’t agree with this. Sometimes, I use a sulfate free shampoo because I feel that my hair is extra dirty or my hands are too tired to scrub for so long.


My scalp is very sensitive. Even before I started the CG method, I needed to wash my hair every day (it was a huge pain) because it kept the itchiness away. I have removed the cause of itchiness from my routine, but I am still struggling with dry scalp/flakes. If your head is always very itchy, I would highly suggest removing the itchy-M’s from your routine. There are two ingredients (nicknamed, can you guess? Itchy-M’s) that cause itchiness. Methylchloroisothiazolinone/Methylisothiazolinone. If you have this problem, I would ditch any CG friendly products with these two ingredients. Some people have no reaction to this, and some do. There are products with no itchy M’s, don’t fret. Here a few that I use:

If it’s not the way you are cleansing your scalp (good co-washing or sulfate free shampooing), than odds are it’s the itchy-M’s.


Most curly girls who have just started the transitioning process are already spending an insane amount of money trying to find the right routine/products for their hair. If you have money to spare or you’ve been doing the method for some time and are ready to try something new, here it is. Diffusing. If you already own a blowdryer, perfect! If not, you’ll need to purchase one. Blowdryers normally come with diffuser attachments, but the ones they give with it, are not going to dry curly hair without creating an insane amount of frizz. You will need to buy a curly hair diffuser attachment separately. The one I have is the xtava Orchid (shown here).

There are tons of curly hair diffusers on the market, but I hear from the grapevine that the Orchid, and the Devacurl (this one looks like a hand!) ones are the best. I really love my Orchid because it’s huge and my hair is very long.  Curly hair diffusers have various lengths of tips that allow air to flow out as it holds your curls and dries. This keeps your curls in place. When using a diffuser, use little to no heat, as heat is very damaging for our hair.

We all know that most times our hair takes hours and hours to dry (mine does), but if I have to leave the house for some reason, I will try to get my hair at least 50% dry with the diffuser. Disclaimer: it takes a very long time to use a diffuser (albeit, shorter than air drying but still long) and your arms will be very tired. My hair is so long and I have never actually gotten my entire head 100% dry using the diffuser because my arms get too tired. It’s a terribly great investment for those who tend to get sick from wet hair (if you wash your hair at nights) and for those who have short curly hair, your hair will diffuse much faster.


Okay, so you’ve washed your hair and you’ve went out and enjoyed your beautiful curls for the day/night. You’re home now, but you don’t wash your hair every day. Tomorrow, you need your curls to look just as good as wash day. This is called refreshing. Buy a spray bottle, fill it with just water or both water and your favorite conditioner. Spray your hair, especially those unruly curls that have started to really frizz and lose its shape. You’ll wanna saturate those curls for sure. You do not need to saturate your whole head, but some people do, especially if your hair gets tangled very easily (saturating it again and adding conditioner to detangle is entirely up to you).

After wetting your hair, reapply your products. How much you will need to reapply will depend on how well your applied and distributed your products on wash day. Some people can last 7-10 days without washing, and still have beautiful curls. Personally, I can only last every other day and I still have not found the best refreshing routine for myself. I have been working on it for a long time and I hope to hit a breakthrough soon.

Factors of Humidity

In case you haven’t noticed by my blog name … I live on an island. Which means, I live in tropical weather, therefore, very high humidity. Humidity can be a terrorizer to hair, especially the curlies! If you live in an area that has high humidity, it means your hair will most likely frizz more than normal. You will have to combat that. In high humidity, humectants in your products will pull moisture to your hair. If your hair has too much moisture and water from the air, your hair shaft will swell and cause frizz. If you live in an area with low humidity, it usually means your hair will be dry. The humectants in your products will move moisture in your hair out to the air.

Here are a list of humectants:640.gif

  • Diols and Triols
  • Propylene glycol
  • 1,2,6 hexanetriol
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Dipropylene glycol
  • Hexylene Glycol
  • Glycerin
  • Triethylene glycol
  • Erythritol
  • Capryl glycol
  • Phytantriol
  • Hexanediol or -triol beeswax
  • Glycogen

  • Sugars and modified sugars

  • Sorbitol

  • Polyglyceryl sorbitol

  • Glucose

  • Fructose

  • Xylitol

  • Hydrolyzed proteins

  • Elastin, collagen, silk, keratin

  • Ethers

If your routine involves humectants, you may want to use less product in high humidity and more product in low humidity, to decrease the chances of frizzy and dry hair. I’m still working on this and doing research to figure out what is best for my own hair.

Using Lube

Yes, do a double-take if you like, I did say lube. Yes, I do mean personal lubricant. The ingredients for water-based lube are very similar to the ingredients in Curl Keeper. This is a product hack, and a much cheaper option at that. It’s light and it does not weigh the hair down and its totally CG-friendly. For those who want to try, make sure it is water-based and if you live in high humidity also choose glycerin free lube. It can be used like a gel, or as a refresh option for next day hair, or even to smooth the flyaways throughout the day.

There are a lot of curlies that actually carry lube around with them. It’s cheap (its not discreet) and its normally small enough to chuck in a purse or backpack.

This post is definitely part of my lengthy ones (I love it). Does this make up for my absence? I hope you look more into the CG method. There are so many new things I learn along the way and I do want to share it with you from time to time. I think I am going to start a series on the CG method. How does that sound?tenor.gif

Next time on the CG Method Series: clarifying, dry scalp/flakes, hair porosity, new products I’ve bought.

As always,

Happy Curl, Happy Girl

Signing out,

Curly Island Girl 

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