Cleansing is the first step in the Curly Girl Method. If you need an introduction to this method, check out my previous post Curly Girl Method [Introduction] .
With the Curly Girl (CG for short) method you will not be using Shampoo anymore! I know that sounds crazy, but it's so much better for your hair! Basically you use your conditioner to cleanse your hair. Trust me, it works! You use the friction of "scrubbing" your scalp with your fingers to remove dirt, without the oil removing chemicals in shampoo.
The main ingredients in most shampoos are sulfates. These come in a few different forms, and should be avoided, unless you're clarifying for the first time. The most commonly sulfates are:
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Lareth Sulfate
So why are sulfates bad? They remove natural oils, dry the hair, can strip color and actually make your natural curls less curly! You may actually find that after using the CG method, your hair is curlier than before! In fact, if you have been using shampoo your whole life... you may find that your natural hair is much more curly than you ever knew!
So now that we know that sulfates are bad, how do you wash your hair with just conditioner, water and friction? Well first you need conditioner, make sure there are no silicones (ingredients that end in -cone, I'll refer to them as "cones") the best conditioners to co-wash (conditioner wash) with are cheap ones. Since you use a lot of it, cheap ones are best. You can still use your higher end conditioners, but after you have co-washed with your cheapies.
Here are some conditioners that are reccomened to co-wash:
Pantene Relaxed and Natural
Garnier Fructis Moisture Works
Ok, so you've go your conditioner, now let's cleanse!
Step 1: Step into the shower and allow the water to run over your hair and saturate it. Try not to touch it at first, just let the water do it's thing. The less you touch it while it's dry, the less you'll have to detangle later!
Step 2: Once your hair is fully saturated grab your conditioner. Get about 1Tbsp of conditioner and using your finger tips; gently massage it onto your scalp. Start on the sides by your temples (1Tbsp per side). Use another tablespoon on the top of your head, and another tablespoon on the nape of your neck. So far you've used about 4 tablespoons of conditioner. Use another tablespoon to get any areas you may have missed. Don't rinse it yet!
Step 3: After you have massaged your scalp with conditioner for about 2-3 minutes, take a palm full of conditioner and gently apply it to the length of your hair. Don't forget the underside. If your hair is fully saturated with conditioner it will feel like wet seaweed. Use your fingers to "comb" through your hair. if you get resistance use more conditioner. This will remove loos hairs and start to detangle the hair. Do this for about 2 minutes.
Step 4: Once you have detangled with your fingers and your hair is completely saturated with conditioner you need to do a rinse. Place your head under the running shower and let the water rinse your hair. Do this for about a minute without touching your hair. Then you can gently use your fingers and "comb" under the running water to rinse.
Step 5: This step is OPTIONAL. Take a few tablespoons of your "Good" conditioner and distribute it through your hair ( concentrate on ends) and rinse before you exit the shower using the same finger comb method in step 4.
That's it, you're cleansed! I know it seems like a lot, but once you do it... it's not that bad. i actually find it relaxing!
Move on to the DRYING step: