If you're anything like 99% of the other curly/wavy girls in this world, I'm sure you've frowned with disapproval looking at your curls in the mirror. You've probably thought more than once, "Why couldn't God make me have straight hair like my friends?" and believe you are destined to live with unmanageable, frizzy, curly hair unless you spend two hours a day straightening it. Well, I can certainly feel your pain...but I invite you to join me on a journey of learning to love our natural curls and take care of them! I would like to introduce to "The CG Method".
The first step is to eliminate/limit the use of shampoo to our hair. Most commercial shampoos contain surfactants that are very harsh on curls and dry them out, causing that frizzy, dry look. These are called "sulfates", and are usually recognizable by "sodium laureth sulfate", "sodium lauryl sulfate", or "ammonium lauryl sulfate". Curly hair tends to be more porous than straight hair, which makes totally rinsing out all traces of shampoo virtually impossible, and that residue causes frizz. Most conditioners contain mild surfactants that, paired up with a little friction, are more than able to lift off dirt and excess oil from our hair.
The next part of the CG method is using a light conditioner to clean your hair instead of shampoo most of the time. It really does work. Once in a while it's good to use sulfate-free shampoo to cleanse your hair, but cleaning your hair with a light conditioner actually removes dirt very well.
The following part of the CG method is using a thicker, more moisturizing conditioner to replenish your hair's moisture. A light conditioner to wash your hair is not enough alone. Frizz usually equals dryness, and curly hair needs a lot more moisture than straight hair.
Another part of the CG method is to remove silicones from our hair routine. A silicone is a damaging ingredient used in most hair products (usually conditioners, most creams, most serums, some mousses, and some gels...but rarely in shampoo) that creates a temporary "cover" on the hair shaft, and basically suffocates the hair follicle. Most times, it can give off an artificial portrayal of healthy, shiny hair, but what it's doing is creating a fake covering. In addition to this, it requires a harsh shampoo to remove. Look for any ingredient ending in "-cone," or "-xane," such as "Amodimethicone." That's all you need to look for. And if it has the abbreviation "PEG" before it, such as "PEG 14 Dimethicone," it means that it is water-soluble and CG friendly...easily removable. Make sure you clean really well after using one though. Personally, I like to avoid silicones alltogether to make things less confusing.
Sound complicated? It really isn't at all. There are 4 steps:
• Remove sulfate shampoo
• Use light conditioner to wash
• Use a thicker conditioner to further moisturize
• Remove silicones
*Some curlies/wavies need to wash their hair with sulfate-free shampoo more frequently than others, depending on how oily your hair is.
"Wash with only conditioner? I can't do that!" you may be thinking right now. "I will turn into a greaseball!" Don't be too hasty – try washing with only conditioner for a week. Yes, your hair may be horrible for a few days, but you need to give it time to adjust. It's been damaged with sulfate-laden shampoos and silicone-laden products for a long time. It can't adjust after one day. You need to give it time. During that time, wash with SULFATE-FREE (I'm REALLY stressing that!) shampoo once in that week.
If your hair is still really greasy after you’ve tried CG for two full weeks (give it time to adjust--like I said before, don't be too hasty), try a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to wash your hair, followed by a moisturizing conditioner.
In anyone's case, your hair can get worse before it gets better. I'm sorry if that sounds threatening, but it is true...some curls take longer to adjust. It’s all about patience. But it will be worth it…the results are wonderful! Your hair will be softer, more manageable, much healthier, less frizzy, and more shiny.
"Okay, sounds great. Where do I start?"
Start looking for your sulfate shampoos and hair products. Now, THROW THEM AWAY! "But I don't want to waste them! Can't I just finish the bottle?" NO. Trust me. It's not worth it. Throw them away!
CONDITIONER (CO) WASHING:
Now, you'll need to get a light conditioner to cleanse your hair with. Try any Suave Naturals or V05 conditioner. They normally very cheap, about 99 cents, and they both work very well. If you don't like one, try the other. I use Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut, and sometimes I use V05 Strawberries n Cream. I love both.
Here is how to cleanse your hair with a light conditioner:
After wetting your hair thoroughly, pour a dime sized amount in your hand and using the pads of your fingertips apply to one spot of your scalp and massage well, just as you would with shampoo. Repeat until you've scrubbed all over, then rinse all the CO off with plenty of warm water, still gently massaging with your fingertips so the friction will dissolve any residue. Next, pour more CO in your hand, rub your palms together and apply over the length as you normally did in the past. Try to detangle with your fingers or with a very wide-tooth comb.
A THICKER CONDITIONER:
As I mentioned before, in addition to conditioner-washing, or co-washing, you'll need a thicker conditioner. There are some available in drugstores, such as Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition conditioner, and at Sally Beauty Supply, such as Generic Value Products conditioners (look at only the conditioners on this page, and review their ingredients...many of them are silicone-free: http://www.sallybeauty.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-SA-Site/default/Search-Show?prefn1=brand&prefv1=GVP)
A SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOO:
Clarifying - Sometimes it can happen that all residue from our gel, oils, etc. may not rinse off with water and CO and we get a little "buildup". Very often it's easy to notice right away that our hair feels "gunky" but other times our hair just seems to stop responding to the routine, it may begin to tangle easily or our curls loose definition and shine; clarifying will refresh them and usually bring the bounce back. Use this weekly or every two weeks.
If you have tried the CG method for more than two weeks and you see that your hair is still very oily, wash with sulfate-free shampoo every time you wash your hair...but if oil isn't the problem and your hair is a mess with CG, be patient.
STYLING YOUR CURLS:
• NEVER brush hair
• Detangle it only when wet and soaked in conditioner, using a wide-tooth comb or whenever possible just our fingers
• NEVER rub hair with the towel* but to gently blot the water off using scrunching motions with it
• Apply product gently preferably by scrunching
• Air dry hair whenever possible or diffuse only partially to avoid frizz
• Don’t touch it while it's drying.
*microfiber towel works best
Well, we have come to the end of our little discussion, curly girls! I really hope you had fun learning about all of this, but more than that, I hope you'll consider doing it. If it sounds confusing, it really isn't. You just have to be educated about it, and re-read this article if you need to. If I still haven't convinced you, look at this:
I would like to support all of you in embracing your natural, gorgeous curls and do all you can to keep them healthy. Comment if you have questions; I'm more than happy to aid you! The difference it'll make in your curls is unbelievable. You'll finally be at peace with them. Curly and wavy hair is unique and pretty; embrace your God-given hair!