By Urvi Babaria
A person with Curly hair knows that it can be a blessing and curse at the same time. Unruly, messy, frizzy, dry these terms are often used for curly/textured hair. And taming them can be pain in the ass just like to wash curly hair.
Before starting CG Method I had a habit of washing my hair every day or every other day, water was the only product which can tame and make it look manageable. I was very envious of my straight haired friends as they can just wash their hair and leave it for 2-3 days and they still look gorgeous. I on the other side had to wash and condish was must. I am sure every curly can relate this.
But after cg method I understood lot of new things, I learned about scalp Ph. Balance, Sebum production, dandruff issues, Sulfates, silicones, drying alcohols Etc. etc. which we mostly ignore and that leads to hair fall and other problems. Cg method is all about refining your natural hair texture and your hair health. Curly hair is naturally dry and so it is not at all healthy to wash curly hair every day. Don’t get blinded by the commercials saying wash your hair everyday it is not advisable for any hair type weather straight or curly, even if you have oily scalp, cg method will help in improving that too.
Washing curly hair is not a complicated science but you have to find proper technique and decide a proper routine as per your hair texture. Now there are several questions that pops up in our mind when we think about washing our hair. Like: How often we should wash our hair? Is washing with shampoo equivalent to co-washing? Can we co-wash every day? What should be the temperature of water? Is it ok to wash once a week? Etc… Etc…
I’ll try my best to cover all the above questions in this article. So before jumping into the main topic “3 different ways that to wash curly hair” let us clear some air and solve certain myths about washing our hair.
Water is the best friend of curly-thirsty locks, so it’s essential to give it hydration anytime it wants. Hydrated Curls = Happy Curls. In India people think that using water every day is not healthy for scalp it will make hair oily and increase dandruff, well that’s actually true for fine straight hair cause sebum(natural oil) travels faster in straight hair compared to curly hair. But curly hair dries out quickly because the natural oils from our scalp finds it hard to travel through our hair length and hence it becomes dry from tips.
HOW OFTEN ONE SHOULD WASH CURLY HAIR?
The simplest answer to it is, WHENEVER your hair needs. As I said it’s different for different curl textures. And even environment plays significant role in it. Ideal time of washing for curly hair is twice a week (that is every 3rd or 4th day) with a sulfate free shampoo or a cleansing conditioner. People with fine hair should avoid co washing. Whereas, people with coarse-curly hair should wash their hair once in a week.
IS IT OK TO WASH OUR HAIR ONCE A WEEK?
It is perfectly Fine to wash curly hair once a week. Washing once a week will retain the natural oils from our scalp. It will be more beneficial to dry coarse curly hair. You can co wash in between. But if you exercise regularly then wash more often.
What should be the TEMPERATURE OF WATER to wash curly hair?
Temperature is something one should really take care of. If it’s too hot it might irritate your scalp and if it’s too cold it won’t break down the grime. One should consider her/his hair porosity when washing their hair. People with low porosity should use Luke warm water to open their closed cuticles. While on the other hand people with high porosity hair should use cold water especially as a last rinse to close their cuticles. Both hair textures can use Luke warm water to wash their scalp with sulfate free mild shampoos.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN U WASH YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY?
Do u know, your scalp gets oilier with frequent washing? By over washing (everyday washing) our hair’s Sebaceous glands will become more active and produces more sebum (natural oil) than normal. As a result, our hair looks more greasy and we had to wash it again. And that cycle will continue. Sebum production is important for our scalp and hair both but with constant washing, our scalp will get dry and flaky. Over sebum production is also not good for our scalp because that can block your pores and your hair growth will be effected by it. Hence it is not at all advisable to wash your hair every day.
Now that few things are clear lets jump into our main topic: 3 different ways to wash curly hair.
- NO POO method
- LOW POO method
- CO WASH (conditioner wash)
- NO POO METHOD :
No poo method means not using shampoo to wash your hair. Here you can wash your scalp with Natural products like “Baking soda”, “Apple cider vinegar” or “Rice water” or “Plain water”. It is really tough to ditch your shampoo, conditioner and styling products all together and use baking soda or rice water instead to wash your scalp and apple cider vinegar as conditioner. But many find it useful and their sebum production has also reduced and so is their frizz too but it’s not actually proven that it works. You have to try it yourself to see its benefit on your hair. As its natural it will take time to show some results you have to have patience and faith in this technique. And those who have mastered this technique feels their hair has become softer, shiny, bouncy, oil free and healthy compared to shampoo wash.
Method 1: Mix one table soon of baking soda with a cup of Luke warm water. Stir it well and apply the mixture on your damp hair massage gently and rinse it out.
Baking soda can be drying for your hair and scalp so if you have dry scalp then avoid using it and use Apple cider vinegar instead. Baking soda is preferable for people with oily scalp.
Method 2: Mix 2 table soon of Apple cider vinegar (with mother) with 2 cups of plain water.
Apple cider vinegar is natural conditioner. After washing your scalp with baking soda use this mixture on your hair through your hair and leave it for 5 minutes. Then rinse it out with cold water. It acts as a moisturizer for dry hair.
There are other natural products too which you can use. This method is all about believing and experimenting. Some people use just plain water and they find their hair better day by day. So give it a try who knows it might work for you too 😉
2. LOW POO METHOD :
Majority of people in this Curly Hair Community follow low poo method. Where, you can use shampoo but without sulfates and silicones. Sulfate is a detergent, which is used in majority of shampoos. And cg method insists in avoiding sulfate base products which can dry and damage our natural hair texture. There are tons of brands now which create sulfate free shampoos. These shampoos don’t lather which is best for our curly locks. You can even dilute it farther to make it less harsh.
Method: Use a sulfate free shampoo on your scalp. Massage your scalp for 5-6 minutes to remove all the dirt, dust and grime. These shampoos are not drying and won’t remove our natural oils. You can wash your hair once or twice a week with a sulfate free shampoo and follow it with a silicone free conditioner for a moisture boost.
3. CO WASH:
Co wash or conditioner wash is considered to be idle for dry curly hair. Washing your hair and scalp with conditioner is way better than using shampoo. It’s gentle on scalp and preserves our natural oils too. There are cleansing conditioners available in the market which can be used and you can even use your regular conditioner for this purpose but make sure it’s free from harmful silicones. Silicone is a type of plastic which coats your hair. It does not allow moisture from the environment to enter our hair shafts and suffocate our hair. And it’s not even water soluble, it will stay on your hair and forms a layer and that layer can only be removed by a sulfate shampoo. Which you already know, how drying that can be for curly hair.
Method: Use a silicone free conditioner or a cleansing conditioner; massage your scalp with it in circular motion. Keep it in your hair length and scalp for 5-6 minutes and rinse it thoroughly with cold water. Make sure your scalp is clean and there is no excess product left in your scalp. You can use your regular conditioner after it but its optional. Style your hair as usual.
If you have oily scalp and fine hair then avoid co washing. It’s not for you. It’s more beneficial to the people with thick coarse hair. You can even create your own co-wash by mixing your conditioner and sulfate free shampoo.
So these are the basic three techniques to wash curly hair. Make your own routine and you can use all three techniques as they serve different purpose. I personally use baking soda to exfoliate my scalp once a month. And I use mild sulfate free shampoo to wash my scalp and hair once a week. Co washing is not for my low porosity hair but when I feel my hair is very dry and needs a wash I go for a co wash. So figure out what your hair needs and choose the best washing routine J
Hope this helps. Happy healthy hair journey 🙂