By Urvi Babaria
When we enter in this curly world will come across various abbreviations and new words like cg ( Curly girl method ) , cgm, fsg, sotc, Hair types, hair porosity, etc. etc. Well in the beginning it will be really confusing and overwhelming coz we have never used this or heard this type of terms. (That was my case too, all i new was, “I have CURLY HAIR”)
But it is not necessary to understand everything right in the beginning. Take baby steps So let me make it simple for you guys.
CG METHOD – Curly girl method.
Yes CG means curly girl. Textured hair (Wavy, Curly, Coily) are naturally dry as the sebum (natural oils) cannot travel through our Hair length, hence it lacks moisture and shine.
So now the question is what to do? How to take care of it? Well it’s very simple. All we have to do is to make certain changes in our Washing style (I mean hair washing style). Let us divide the curly girl method into 4 steps to make it more clear and easy.
- STEP 1: CLEANSING.
As the word suggest we have to clean our hair. BUT here’s the catch in
Curly girl method we don’t use normal shampoos. Because it contains harsh chemicals (surfactant) like “sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, with co – surfactant, most often cocamidopropyl betaine (WHAT?)
Too much to remember right? Too make it simple for you go let us do a test grab the current shampoo bottle you have at your home read the first ingredient on it or may be second and if u find anything which ends with sulfate than that’s it . STOP using it. (Why?)
Because it is a detergent and that dries out textured hair. It will strip away our natural oils and it will make it more frizzy and dry. So instead of using sulfate shampoos use Sulfate free shampoos or cowash (wash with conditioner) on your scalp to remove the dirt and oil.
The original cg method suggest to co wash as its less harmful for our scalp too but there can be certain places that you might not able to find a proper co wash hence u can use a sulfate free shampoo instead.
So the MORAL of the story is: Use Sulfate free shampoos Or COWASH to clean your hair and scalp.
- STEP 2: CONDITIONING.
Well we all use conditioner Dahh! What’s new about it? (This is what I was thinking when I started my journey). Well conditioner is a boon to curly girl; it’s the key to have gorgeous hair. (IS IT?) But I am also using conditioner and I have tried dozens of conditioners nothing makes my hair soft, frizz free, gorgeous like we see on commercials L not even spa treatments at saloons. This is what u must have been thinking. JUST KIDDING 😉
Well conditioner in curly girl method is must. Seriously this is one thing that not a single curly can live without. So again here’s the catch we don’t use normal conditioner [nothing about a curly girl is normal we all are extraordinary ;)]. Jokes apart normal conditioner mostly contain SILICONE (remember SILICONE). Commonly found by the names as: Dimethicone, Bis-aminopropyl Dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, and demithiconal etc. … (Ahh! Again science)
To make it simple go grab your current hair conditioner and read READ your ingredients list. If you find anything that ends with CONE, XANE or CONOL.
STOP using it. (Why?)
Because silicones are Plastic. Yes you read it right it’s a type of plastic which will coat your hair to look manageable and shiny for few hours and it gives us a smooth feel and great slip but it will block the natural moisture to enter into your hair. We curlies don’t need silicone. Because it’s bad very bad for hair in general. (I mean even to straight hair girls/boys). This makes our hair dead, lifeless, dry and the only thing that can remove this plastic form our hair is SULFATE. So again more dryness, trust me our hair deserve much more than this.
So what to do now? Simple, use silicone free conditioners. In cg method we use conditioner for two purposes, one is to detangle and other is to condish (u can also use it as a co wash).
So the MORAL of the story is: Use Silicone free conditioner
- STEP 3: DETANGLE.
As we talked above detangling comes while conditioning. Why do we do this?
Because in curly girl method we do not use combs once our hair is dry.
NO DRY COMBING OR DETANGLING. Yes unlike our straight hair friends we don’t have to use comb after our hair gets dry. If will do this then our curls will break and will end up having a frizz ball. (Remember combing will not make your hair straight… never) so stay away from combs. It’s kind of a myth in India.
So now the question is HOW to detangle and when to detangle? Detangle your hair in shower when is fully saturated with water and conditioner, you can use your fingers or wide tooth combs which is less harmful for textured hair. Curly hair is very fragile they can break easily. So if you’ll dry comb your hair then not only it will be frizzy but you’ll lose lot of hair due to breakage which will lead to more frizz.
So the MORAL of the story is: Detangle with the conditioner or a leave in conditioner or wit oil.
- STEP 4: STYLING.
The third most important Step after well after all of the above steps is styling.
There are different techniques used in curly world. If you’ll goggle, How to style naturally curly hair? Then you will come across these names: Rake and shake, praying hands, shingling, finger coiling, twist out, scrunching… etc. etc.
What are these techniques used for? Well we use it to put products after we wash our hair. (Will talk about it in another article) Basically we need two products after washing:
Leave in conditioner and gel. But there are other products too: Curl creams, Smoothies, Mousse, Custard, Soufflé etc… Etc. Now what does these products do? Well they are used to get definition, shine, hold, moisture for longer duration.
LEAVE in CONDITIONER: First of all don’t get it mixed with serum. Serum contains silicone and we don’t want that in our hair so no livons! Leave on conditioners are little different from the rinse out conditioner its less thick but moisturizing hence we need this in our routine. This will be on our hair for days, till the next wash so it will help to keep our locks look moisturized and live. They will not harm our hair but use silicone free and alcohol free styling products. You can also use your rinse out conditioner as leave in conditioner.
GEL: Yes u read it right. Gels in India are mostly used by man so we never thought of using it on our hair. But yet again gels contain harmful and drying alcohols so why do we have to use this? Well we don’t have to use the gels which contain harmful alcohol and silicones but here in curly girl method we use organic gels.
Gels which are alcohol free and safe to use on your hair. Now the question is what do gels do? Ya why do we need them? Gels are mostly used to give hold to our curls. It will lock the moisture of our conditioners and make our curls frizz free. How interesting right 😉 so using right gel will help your curls survive for days.
So the MORAL of the story is: Use Silicone and alcohol free leave in conditioner and gel to style our hair.
This concludes the basic steps of a curly girl method. There is more as I said there is a whole curly world. But it’s not rocket science. You can crack that. Just start with basic steps and you will see a huge difference in your hair.
Also if you want to start your journey today, then start with a pure sulfate shampoo(without silicone) as your final wash to remove all the silicone build ups and then use a co wash or a sulfate free shampoo, silicone free conditioner and an alcohol free gel , get these products and you are ready to begin your natural hair journey.
Hope this helps you. Happy natural Hair journey 🙂