My daughter has always had curly, sometimes frizzy + unmanageable hair. A lot of people tend to try ‘fix’ that by using straight irons, perms and other damaging methods. We have fought with many, many products and routine after routine over the years. A few months ago, I was introduced to the curly girl method. This has been a huge game changer for us!
First, the curly girl (CG) method is a routine in which you go SHAMPOO FREE to give your curls some ultra moisture. Instead of shampooing you cowash (wash your scalp with conditioner) and you condition and style your hair with silicone free and sulfate free products. While there are many products that are available for use, I will be sharing exactly what we have learned works for my daughters hair.
THE DO NOTS:
- No towels. Microfiber or cotton t-shirts are best to scrunch, not rub or scrub, excess water out of hair.
- No heat like straight irons or curling wands. (Hair dryers are OK with a diffuser.
- No hair brushes. Only use a wide tooth comb and/or fingers to detangle your curls while wet.
- No shampoos. Except for a silicone, sulfate free shampoo for your last poo wash to help rid of the products that have been damaging.
- No conditioners with silicones or sulfates. If any of the ingredients in a conditioner include a -cone or -ate at the end of the word(s), it’s not CG Friendly.
THE PRODUCTS WE USE:
I am listing the products we use. I wanted to share these with you all as it does not have to be expensive to follow this routine. Conditioner + gel can be whatever brand you choose as long as it is silicone + sulfate free.
Spa Haus -argon oil & cocoa butter conditioner and a wide toothed comb, both purchased at Dollar Tree. The conditioner can also be purchased at Wal-mart and Big Lots. It also comes in tea tree mint which we have used with the same results (and helps with any itching that may occur in the first week or so when you stop using shampoos).
I emptied out a bottle of children’s detangler spray. I poured a bit of the conditioner into it and topped off with warm water. Shake well before each use. We use this to refresh every morning and to detangle after co-wash days.
LA Looks gel. Any sulfate or silicone free will work.
A silk shower cap that I purchased from Dollar Tree. I cut the plastic inside liner out. The cap is to sleep in to keep hair from frizzing due to friction from pillows + to continue drying without get pillow wet. It also allows ‘scrunching’ of the curls to enhance them. An alternative is using a buff, scarf, cotton tshirt or a silk pillow case.
Wash your hair with a sulfate + silicone free shampoo. Rinse well. You only need to do this step to get started. This is the last shampooing you will need to start your Curly Girl journey.
Co-wash: Wash with the conditioner of your choice as long as it’s sulfate + silicone free, just as you would shampoo. Rinse. Then add more conditioner to your hair like you normally would…but this time leave it in, don’t rinse!
When you get out of the bath/shower, squeeze/scrunch the excess water from your hair with a cotton tshirt or microfiber towel. Don’t use a regular towel or scrub your head as it will create frizz.Use your fingers or a widetooth comb to detangle hair from the bottom working your way up. Remember, no more brushes!
Add gel by using ‘praying hands’ to smooth it onto sections of your hair at a time. Do not scrunch it in. Be gentle.
You can use a hair dryer with a diffuser if you wish. For my daughter, we wash her hair before bed + plop (put her hair into her silk cap by her flipping her head upside down + inserting all the hair). Plopping helps to dry + keep friction between hair + pillow causing unwanted frizz.
In the morning, you just need to refresh. Remove cap. Spray hair with the conditioner/water mixture. Finger (or my daughter shakes her head up + down for a moment) + scrunch out the crunch of the gel.
Her wake up hair after removing the cap.
This is her hair, after refreshing, in 5 mins or less!
For my daughter, she bathes regularly but only co-washes once every 3-5 days depending on whether it has gotten tangled due to outdoor activities, swimming or sweating, etc.
At night before bed, we spray her hair + put it in the silk cap.
We do this daily: refreshing in the AM and plopping at night. Takes about 10 mins total daily. Co-wash days may take us 20-30 mins total from washing, detangle + plopping.
If her hair seems oily, I use less conditioner…if too dry or still hard to detangle I use more. All hair types needs more or less moisture than others. It’s trial + error until you find out how much conditioner your hair needs.
This is her Day 2 hair (two days after a co-wash).
And Day 4 hair. (Four days after her last co-wash.) Next day we chose to co-wash due to frizzies after being in the car + hair rubbing the back of the seats.
Hope this helps you understand the basics of the Curly Girl Method. If you give this a try, we’d love to see how it works for you!
This post was originally published: Oct 16, 2016.