We are going to discuss the curly girl method and basically it goes a little something like this …
comb or brushes
or drying alcohols …
cold rinses …
Simple enough right? Great! Because it will CHANGE the way your curls pop due to more moisture retention just by changing the couple of things. (Because I LOOOVE moisture!) Now, lets get into a little more detail.
The Curly Girl Method, invented by Lorraine Massey, is a method in which you go SHAMPOO (sulfate) AND SILICONE FREE to give your curls some ultimate moisture. Instead of shampooing you cowash (wash your tresses with conditioner) and you condition and style your hair with silicone free and sulfate free products.
First things first …
1. We must prep the hair for the CG Method by shampooing your tresses one last time to remove all silicones and other build up that may be on your strands.
Most shampoos contain common detergents (harsh, drying sulfates) that are extremely damaging for curly hair making it frizzy and uncooperative. So shutthefrizzup™ and lets begin co-washing (washing with conditioner)!
3. Buy silicone free conditioners and styling products.
Silicones temporarily fill in the gaps along your hair shaft that should be filled by protein and other healthy repairing agents. Silicone give your hair the false appearance of being strong and healthy and the only thing that can wash it out is, you guessed it!, SHAMPOO … which leaves your hair dry and stripped (hence the vicious cycle).
You should probably buy have 3 types conditioners:
- one for cowash
- one for deep condish
- one for leave-in
You can totally have 1 condish (conditioner) that does all 3 jobs, like VO5 Moisture Milks: Strawberries and Cream, or 2 … or 3. Whatever works for YOUR strands because “not all strands are created equal.”
4. Lastly, for prep, you should trim your ends to give your curls a fresh start for this method.
Second things second …
THE CG METHOD
“The curly-haired can leave their hair hydrated with natural oils and clean their scalps quite well by rinsing only with hair conditioner once a week or less. Rubbing the scalp firmly with fingers is enough to loosen dirt.” – Lorraine Massey
2. Gently Finger Detangle
Use LARGE amounts of your deep conditioner and start from the bottom of your strands going up while using your hands or a wide-toothed comb. The reason for detangling while wet is that untangling your strands while dry with any tool separates the curls and causes more frizz and LOTS of damage.
NOTE: You may want to part your hair at this point with a comb. It’s recommended that you part your hair to the side to prevent “triangle-shaped” hair.
3. Rinse with Cold/Cool Water
Doing your final rinse in cold/cool water will decrease frizz and add shine to your strands. Leave some conditioner in your hair, especially in dry sections like the ends. It’s fine to run your fingers through your hair gently, but do not comb your hair after this point.
4. Apply Products to Hair
While your hair is soaking wet put product in your hands and rub them together to emulsify. Then, smooth or rake the product into your hair by sections. A common method is to begin with a leave-in cream or conditioner to decrease frizz and then follow with a gel or mousse for hold and definition. (Using your normal conditioner as a leave-in is fine too.) Some prefer curl creams or just conditioner for softer curls, however these products will not help the hair last as well for second day hair. Use whatever type and order of products you like (as long as they are silicone free). Next, finger shape the curls by scrunching them (cup your hair in the palms of your hands and scrunch in an upward motion) and/or twisting individual curls around a finger.
5. Scrunch Hair
Gently scrunch your hair with a t-shirt, paper towels, or a micro-fiber towel to remove excess moisture. A generic terrycloth towel will make your hair frizzy. You may wish to finger shape your curls at this time instead. Next, wait five or so minutes so the hair can assume a permanent shape.
6. Do Some Plopping
To decrease the drying time spread an old t-shirt or micro-fiber towel onto a flat surfaceBend over at the waist and position your hair in the middle of the cloth. With your head touching the cloth, drape the back section of cloth over your head. Twist the sides until they form “sausage rolls” and clip or tie them at the base of your neck. You can also use the sleeves of a long sleeve t-shirt to secure. After 15-30 minutes remove the cloth. If your hair is frizzy after plopping lightly graze the hair with gel.
NOTE: Plopping works best for medium to long length curly hair. The curls usually become weirdly squished after plopping in shorter hair.
Air drying is the easiest and gentlest way to dry your hair. If you must blow dry your hair use a diffuser to avoid frizz. Only dry your hair partially (about 80 percent dry) and air-dry the rest of the way. Do not touch your hair while it is drying or it will mess up and frizz. Both types of diffusers work well in terms of diffusing and decreasing frizz:
- A bowl diffuser with fingers causes more volume and clumping (curls sticking together instead of going every which way), is bulky and heavier, and will probably only fit on the hairdryer it comes with. Place a section of hair in the bowl and press the bowl to your head. Then turn on the “warm” setting of your blow dryer. Press the cool shot if your head gets too hot.
- A sock diffuser is lightweight, fits on any hair dryer, and is portable. Aim the diffuser at different parts of your hair while you scrunch your hair with your hands. Stop scrunching when your hair is about 50% dry.
NOTE: The CG Method can TOTALLY be remodeled to whatever suites you and your curls, there are TONS of modified versions out there. This is simply a foundation on a journey to shutthefrizzup™.
HAIR SHOPPING LIST
1. Avoid sulfates in your shampoos. Sulfates are foaming detergents that are found in many commercial shampoos and dish detergents. They can be drying for curly hair, so choose sulfate free shampoos if you are going to use shampoo. Sulfates contain “sulfate” somewhere in the ingredient name (usually). Also keep in mind that there are some cleansers that are as harsh as sulfates but are not sulfates. Technically, you want to avoid shampoo altogether to retain the most moisture, but if you decide to use a shampoo, avoiding sulfates is best.
- Here is a list of sulfates to avoid:
- Alkylbenzene sulfonates
- Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate
- Ammonium laureth sulfate
- Ammonium lauryl sulfate
- Ammonium Xylenesulfonate
- Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
- Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate
- Sodium laureth sulfate
- Sodium lauryl sulfate
- Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
- Sodium myreth sulfate
- Sodium Xylenesulfonate
- Ethyl PEG-15 cocamine sulfate
- Dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate
- Here is a list of gentle cleansers to look for:
- Cocamidopropyl betaine
- Coco betaine
- Disodium cocoamphodiacetate
- Disodium cocoamphodipropionate
- Sodium cocoyl isethionate
- behentrimonium methosulfate
- disodium lautreth sulfosuccinate
- babassuamidopropyl betaine
2. Avoid silicones, waxes, non-natural oils, or any other non-soluble ingredients in your conditioners and any styling products. This is key to making sure your products do not build up on your hair. Without shampoo, many of the following ingredients will build up in your hair over time. Remember that a silicone is any ingredient that ends with the suffixes -one, -conol, or -xane. Waxes are easily identified because they have “wax” in the ingredient name (usually).
- Here is a list of silicones to avoid:
- Bisaminopropyl dimethicone
- Cetearyl methicone
- Cetyl Dimethicone
- Stearoxy Dimethicone
- Stearyl Dimethicone
- Behenoxy Dimethicone
- Phenyl trimethicone
- Here is a list of waxes and non-natural oils to avoid:
- Castor oil
- Mineral oil (parrifidium liquidium)
- Waxes: bees wax, candelia wax, etc.
- Here’s a list of ingredients that look like silicones, or are water soluble silicones. These are exceptions that are OK:
- Lauryl methicone copolyol (water soluble)
- Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone
- Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane (water soluble)
- Dimethicone Copolyol (water soluble)
- PEG-Dimethicone, or any other ‘cone with “PEG-” suffix (water soluble)
- Emulsifying Wax
- PEG-Hydrogenated Castor Oil
- Natural oils: Avocado oil, Olive oil, Coconut oil, etc.
- Benzophenone-2, ( or 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) – sunscreen
- Methychloroisothiazolinone – preservative
- Methylisothiazolinone – preservative
3. Avoid drying alcohols, if at all possible, in your conditioners and stylers.Drying alcohols are commonly found in conditioners, leave in conditioners, gels, mousses, and hairsprays as fillers. For products that you are going to rinse out, this is not as big of a deal, but for products that are going to sit in your hair all day, or for several days, they should not contain drying alcohols. There are also moisturizing or fatty alcohols however, that sound similar, so be sure not to confuse those with drying alcohols.
- Here is a list of drying alcohols to avoid:
- Denatured alcohol
- SD alcohol 40
- Witch hazel
- SD alcohol
- Propyl alcohol
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Here is a list of moisturizing alcohols to look for:
- Behenyl alcohol
- Cetearyl alcohol
- Cetyl alcohol
- Isocetyl alcohol
- Isostearyl alcohol
- Lauryl alcohol
- Myristyl alcohol
- Stearyl alcohol
- C30-50 Alcohols
- Lanolin alcohol
4. Consider the effect proteins in your hair products may have on your hair.Most hair needs some amount of protein in its diet, especially damaged hair. However, normal hair, or protein sensitive hair does not need large doses of protein all the time. If your hair feels stiff, frizzy, and dry, then your hair is getting to much protein.
- Here is a list of proteins that you can avoid or look for, depending on your hair type:
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed casein
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed collagen
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed hair keratin
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed keratin
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed rice protein
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed silk
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed soy protein
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl silk amino acids
- Cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
- Cocoyl hydrolyzed keratin
- Hydrolyzed keratin
- Hydrolyzed oat flour
- Hydrolyzed silk
- Hydrolyzed silk protein
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Potassium cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
- TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed collagen
- TEA-cocoyl hydrolyzed soy protein
5. Write down the rules for identifying curly girl products on a piece of paper and keep it with you when you go hair product shopping. Remember, sulfates are ingredients that contain “sulfate” or “sulfonate”; silicones end in -one, -conol, or -xane but PEG modified silicones are acceptable; waxes contain the word “wax”; and drying alcohols often contain propyl, prop, eth, or denatured in the name. Have fun shopping!