Natural 101: The Curly Girl Method
“Oh yea, I don’t use shampoo anymore ever since I started the Curly Girl Method..”
My eyes furrowed in confused, “I’m sorry.. The what?”
The first time I heard the term Curly Girl Method, I was completely confused. Here I was two weeks into my Big Chop and I had been introduced to yet another term that I had no idea what it meant. First co-washing, now this.. well, let me explain..
So, what is the Curly Girl Method?
The Curly Girl Method, also referred to as “no-poo”, was developed by Lorraine Massey in her book, Curly Girl: The Handbook. Curly hair, because of its construction, tends to be drier and more prone to breakage and frizz than any other hair type. The nickname “no-poo” alludes to not using a sulfate shampoo since sulfates tend to strip the hair of its natural oils. Once you take away sulfates, your hair can retain it’s natural moisture.
I want to try the Curly Girl Method. What do I have to do?
+ Stop shampooing your hair. Yeah, when I first heard this I was like.. “well, that’s stupid, what am I supposed to wash my hair with then?” Unbeknownst to me.. at first at least.. was that most shampoos contain harsh, drying sulfates that are extremely damaging for curly hair. Conditioner can be used sufficiently to clean the hair instead. If you can’t let go of shampoo just yet, then opt for a more gentle shampoo that contains mild cleansers, such as cocamidopropyl betaine or coco betaine.
+ Co-wash, co-wash, co-wash. Although you can buy sulfate-free shampoos, they can still be too harsh to use on your curls every day.. or however often you want to wash. So, you wash your hair with conditioner instead. Ensure that you massage your scalp with the conditioner to loosen all of the dirt. Do your final rinse with cool or cold water as this will decrease frizz and add shine.
+ Avoid products that contain silicones. Whereas sulfates strip your hair of its natural oils, silicones coat the strands of your hair, making it feel soft and silky.. all while keeping out moisture and making your hair dry and frizzy. So avoid products thats contain ingredients that end in -cone, -conol or -xane. However, if a product contains a silicone that has a ‘PEG’ in front of it, it is water-soluble and will not cause product build-up therefore it’s CG approved and safe to use.
+ Detangle on wet hair only using either your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. Brushes can break our hair off and #aintnobodygottimeforthat. Throw some conditioner on your wet hair and begin detangling from the ends of the hair, eventually working your way up. Ends to roots, not the opposite.
+ Apply products to hair while it’s wet. Remember the lovely article about the LOC Method? Give it a try. This is the perfect time to practice retaining your moisture. Once the hair is dry, you don’t mess with it again until the next time you wash it.
+ Ditch the towel and use a t-shirt, paper towels or a micro-fiber towel. You can remove excess moisture after co-washing.
+ Avoid heat like the plague, but if you must dry.. diffuse instead. 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 (say 80%) and air dry the rest of the way. Try to avoid touching your hair as it may cause frizz.
Do you use the Curly Girl Method? Does it work for your hair?