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

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