Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Curly Girl Method [Products]

Hopefully by now you have a good grasp on the CG method. In my lost post CG Method [Styling] I explained how to style, I also mentioned that your products need to be CG approved. Here is a guideline for making sure your products are CG approved.

1. No Shampoo/Sulfates! If you must use shampoo make sure it is sulfate free. There is only one instance where you may use a regular shampoo with sulfates... after using products with silicone. I'll explain why in a minute. Here are some common sulfates:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Ammonium Lareth Sulfate 
Myreth Sulfate

2. No Silicone! Why? Silicone coats the hair, which means none of the good products you use will actually penetrate the hair. Silicone weighs down hair and the effect is a lot more noticeable on curly hair. Deep conditioners won't work well with silicone in your hair. You CAN'T wash out silicone. It is not water soluble. The only way to remove it is by using sulfates. And we all know that sulfates can cause a whole mess of problems for us curly girls. Eventually your hair just gets flat, and dull, and gross. This is probably what happens when your hair gets "immune" to your products. 

3. Recognizing Silicone in your products can be confusing at first, but this should help. Any ingredient ending in -cone is a silicone. Dimethicone is the worst!! Here's a list of commonly used Silicones:

Amodimethicone (and) Trideceth-12 (and) Cetrimonium Chloride
Behenoxy Dimethicone
Cetearyl methicone 
Cetyl Dimethicone 
Dimethicone Copolyol 
Dimethicone copolyol 9
Stearoxy Dimethicone 
Stearyl Dimethicone 
Lauryl methicone copolyol 

So if it ends in -cone, leave it alone!

4. Here are some ingredients that you WANT to have in your products.

Emollients: Vegetable, nut and grain oils as well as "butters".
Proteins: Wheat, wheat germ, and soy protein.
Humectants: Panthenol, (vegetable)glycerine, sorbitol.
Moisturizers: Aloe and amino acids.

Those are just some examples.

5. Avoid alcohol in your hair products, it is very drying!

So now you have been armed with knowledge, so you can start your curly girl journey! FYI, here's how my hair looked after one week of my journey!

Rock on Curly Girls!!!

Curly Girl Method [Styling]

On my last post (Curly Girl Method [Drying]) I explained how easy it is to dry your hair. Now you can style your hair just as easily! Most CG followers, myself included, combine the drying and styling steps. It's easy, saves time, and allows your curls to dry frizz free! 

So once you have gotten your hair to the point is no longer dripping, but still fairly wet we can continue on to styling. Applying your styling products while your hair is wet keeps the frizz down and locks in moisture.

Step 1: You want to use about 1 Tbsp. (more or less depending on hair length) of CG approved clear gel. In my next post I will further explain what is a CG approved gel, but for now let's just focus on the method. Rub the gel in your palms to emulsify it. Bend over and scrunch the gel upwards toward your scalp. Start with the back of your head and save the top of your head for last. 

Step 2: Flip your head back over so you are now standing normally. Now take either more gel, or a light styling cream and continue to scrunch hair into place. I like to scrunch a bit with my CG towel to remove any excess moisture and product, but you don't have to do this. 

Step 3: Let your hair AIR DRY (if you are in a hurry you can finish with a diffuser, but I never do this. In fact, I don't even own a hair dryer). 

Step 4. DON'T TOUCH YOUR HAIR FOR 1 HOUR!!! If you touch your hair while it's drying you will cause frizz. So refrain from touching it.

Step 5. Once your hair is dry, flip your head over gently and scrunch out that crunch. Flip your head back over and gently shake head to fluff or separate your curls. That's it! You're ready to go!!

I know it seems like a lot of steps, but once you do it you'll find that it's easy. From cleansing to styling there are a lot of products to choose from. So in my next post i'll cover what to look for and what to avoid so you can use CG approved products in your routine!!

Next Post

Curly Girl Method [Drying]

Now that you have done the Curly Girl Method [Cleanse], it's time to dry your hair!

Drying your hair doesn't have to take forever or make your hair frizzy. If you just remember a few things. The most important thing is to not use terrycloth bath towels. Terry cloth acts like little microscopic hooks that catch on your hair's cuticle and break the hair and make it frizzy. It also absorbs too much moisture. In the curly girl method you only need to dry your hair until it is 80% dry, the air will do the rest. Trust me, air drying is the BEST method for curls!

So without a bath towel, what do you use? Easy... Cotton Jersey material... also known as T-Shirt!! You can also use micro-fiber. You can buy towels for curly hair made from t-shirt material (curlease.com) and micro-fiber (mimis diva dryer) too. If you're into DIY or just into saving money you can make your own with an old t-shirt! Just cut the shirt strait across just under the armpits, this will give you a "tube" of t-shirt material. Now, cut it up the side to open the tube and you now how a t-shirt towel. This long piece of material is ideal for "plopping" you hair too! Plopping is a curly hair technique that I will explain later! Right now, let's just focus on DRYING!

Step 1: Flip your head over and cup the ends of your hair with your CG approved (jersey/microfiber) towel. Using a scrunching motion, gently scrunch hair up towards the scalp. Start on your back layers of hair, saving the front for last. When your at your scalp, gently squeeze the hair. 

Step 2: Flip your head over and continue to gently scrunch the water from your hair. NEVER RUB OR WRING HAIR!!!!! Once your hair is no longer dripping, but still wet, add your leave in conditioner. Just apply it in a scrunching motion. Then use your CG towel and scrunch more water out! Now you can proceed to STYLING!

That's it! At this point you can either let it air dry with only the conditioner in your hair or you can add your styling products. 

So let's move on to Styling!

Curly Girl Method [Cleanse]

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 
Myreth 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:

Suave Naturals
Pantene Relaxed and Natural
Garnier Fructis Moisture Works
Aussie Moist

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:

Curly Girl Method [Introduction]

If you gals hadn't already noticed, I have naturally curly hair; type 3b corkscrew to be exact. I love my curls, but that hasn't always been the case. There was a time (3rd-9th grade) when my curls were my enemy! They were always frizzy, poofy and a pain in the butt to brush! 

Over the years I have picked up a lot of tips and tried a ton of products. I ran across a technique a year or so ago that changed my curly life... The Curly Girl Method. This method was created by Lorraine Massey, a hairdresser from the UK. She understood the needs of curly girls, she being one herself, and developed a system that can change your hair forever! 

I noticed a real difference after just a week, and even after the first day it looked better! So how does this method work and what's involved? 

To make it simple I'm gonna break it into parts.

Follow these parts in order, and you'll be a Curly Girl in no time!

Before you head on to the first step, here are some general rules:
1. NO SULFATES (no shampoo unless it's sulfate free!)
2. NO SILICONES (silicones can only be removed from your hair with SULFATES, and we don't like sulfates!)
3. Moisturize Hair Daily
4. No more Terrycloth towels
5. No more blow drying (unless you use a diffuser)
6. Love your curls!

Ok, Let's get started! Head over to the next post: