So what is CG?
Curly Girl Method
Curly hair are naturally drier than other hair types and so, are more prone to frizz and breakage. So normal hair routine does not work as well with curly hair.
Main idea of curly girl method is to avoid hair care products that contain sulfates, silicones, mineral oil and drying alcohols. The original Curly Girl Method says not to use a shampoo at all and wash your hair with a silicone free conditioner. But you can also use a non-sulfate shampoo having mild surfactant once in a while like every other week to remove any buildup on hair from using conditioners and styling products. Just look at the signs, if your hair feels limp and lose curl definition then use a sulfate-free shampoo otherwise co-wash. I personally like to include a sulfate free shampoo in the routine.
The reason we avoid silicone in the CG method is, they are hard to remove from hair through co-wash and with a sulfate-free shampoo. Silicone builds up on hair and makes hair dry over a period of time and leads to breakage as well.
Most shampoos that are available in market contain sulfates like sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), Sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) . Sulfates are suds producing harsh ingredients that you can find in every type of cleaner like dish washing liquid soap etc. Sulfates not only remove the dirt from your scalp (which is good) but it also strips off natural oils and moisture from your hair leaving them dry and frizzy (which is definitely bad). As curly hair are naturally dry so using the shampoo containing sulfates make them drier, so people with curly hair should avoid shampoos that contains sulfates.
The original CG method tells you not to use a shampoo and wash your hair using a light silicone free conditioner (co-wash). But if you still need to clarify your hair from product build up you can use shampoo containing mild cleanser like cocamidopropyl betaine.
I use a mild sulfate free shampoo at least once in a week and co-wash my hair with a silicone free conditioner if I have to wash hair during the week.
In between shampooing when you need to wash your hair use a light silicone free conditioner to wash your hair, it is called co-washing. I know it is sounding little bit unnatural, but the idea behind cleaning your hair is to get rid off the dirt from your scalp and hair. For that you can use small amount of conditioner and rub it in scalp with gentle movement to loosen the dirt and wash it with water. Use conditioners that are silicone free. As everybody’s hair is different so depending on your liking, you can always co-wash your hair instead of shampoo. When you feel that your hair needs to be clarified or it looks over-conditioned then you should use a mild sulfate free shampoo as mentioned above.
Use a good moisturizing conditioner after shampoo to keep your hair moisturized. Avoid using conditioner that contains silicones. Silicone is an adsorbent (material which sticks on the surface of others forming a thin layer) on hair and provide good slippage but some silicone builds up on hair with time and becomes hard to remove.
Styling Products: Again, use styling products that do not contain any drying alcohol and silicone. Styling products are used to give hold to curly hair and help to maintain its natural shape through out the day.
I would highly recommend that you read The curly girl handbook. It is a must read for everyone who are struggling to maintain their natural hair.
In my next post I will explain how to start with the CG method.