About Curly Girl
For long-time CurlTalkers, "CG" or "no poo" has become a staple of their vocabulary. But many newcomers may need a crash course in what exactly this term—used as both a verb and a noun—means.
CG is a CurlTalk abbreviation for "Curly Girl," a book written by Lorraine Massey and Deborah Chiel, which helps people embrace their natural texture. With that objective in mind, Massey describes a new and revolutionary routine to get healthy, well-behaved waves, curls and coils. "No poo" is another way of referring to this method.
Although the very best way to do this routine is AFTER reading the book, we understand that many people just can't wait another day because their hair is begging for help, so in order to make this easier here's the basic guidelines of the routine:
- Either eliminate or seriously limit the use of shampoos with sulfates.
- Use a clear gel to help keep frizz away.
- Handle the hair in a very gentle manner.
The premise is tri-fold:
- Most commercial shampoos contain surfactants that are too harsh for our hair and tend to rob our hair of moisture.
- Our hair tends to be more porous than straight hair, which makes totally rinsing out all traces of shampoo virtually impossible, and that residue causes frizz.
- Most conditioners contain mild surfactants that, paired up with a little manual friction, are capable of lifting off dirt, debris and excess oil from our scalp and hair.
To make a no poo routine work, you should eliminate the use of most silicones (or 'cones for short) from your hair care routine because most 'cones can only be removed from the hair with rather harsh shampoos. Washing with a conditioner while using them would cause them to quickly build up on the hair, which results in dull, matted hair and poor curl definition.
It is very important to choose a good conditioner for no-pooing. Here is what you should look for on the label:
- Emollients, which soften, smooth the hair and give it shine. There are hundreds of them, including such natural emollients as vegetable oils and nut butters. Widely used emollients include glycerides and liposomes.
- Proteins, which temporarily "repair" the hair and/or protect it. Occasionally proteins will build up on some people's hair, especially on healthier hair. In this case, alternate with a protein-free conditioner. Examples of proteins include silk, soy, wheat, keratin or individual amino acids (components of proteins).
- Humectants, which absorb water and hold in moisture. They are absolutely crucial in a conditioner for curly hair. Panthenol, vegetable glycerin, sorbitol and honey are just a few humectants to look for on the label. Moisturizers soften and control to curly hair. Amino acids and aloe vera are two great moisturizers.
Step 1: Cleanse
Step 2: Hydrate
Step 3: Scrunch & Style
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