Thank you VERY MUCH to esteemed CurlTalker HalfWavyHalfCurly (Raquel J. Aguiar) for writing this wonderful explanantion for us.


NTRODUCTION TO CG:

"CG" is a CurlTalk abbreviation for "Curly Girl," a book written by Lorraine Massey and Deborah Chiel, which advocates embracing our natural hair. With this objective in mind, Massey describes a new and revolutionary routine to accomplish healthy, well-behaved waves, curls and coils.

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:

Ia. The first step is to either totally eliminate or seriously limit the use of shampoo to cleanse our hair and scalp, the second is to use a clear gel to help keep frizz out, and the third to handle the hair in a very gentle manner; the book included many pictures that illustrate how it’s done.

The premise for this is tri-fold: 1) the fact that most commercial shampoos contain surfactants that are too harsh for our hair and tend to rob our hair of moisture, 2) that 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, 3) the fact that most conditioners (COs) contain mild surfactants that paired up with a little manual friction are more than able to lift off dirt, debris and excess oil from our scalp and hair.

It is necessary to eliminate the use of most silicones (‘cones for short) from our hair care routine because most can only be removed from the hair with rather harsh shampoos. Washing with a CO while using them would cause them to quickly build up on the hair and this results in dull, matted hair and poor curl definition.

Ib. Choosing a good CO for CG - here is what we should look for in the label:

Emollients - soften, smooth the hair and give it shine. There are hundreds of them, natural ones include all vegetable oils and nut butters, others more widely u sed are glycerides and liposomes.

Proteins - temporarily “repair” the hair and/or protect it. Occasionally proteins will build up on some people’s hair, this is really more likely to happen on healthy or relatively healthy hair. In case of any concern, just alternate with a protein-free CO. Examples of them are silk, soy, wheat, keratin or individual amino acids (components of proteins).

Humectancts - absorb water and hold in moisture. They are absolutely crucial in a CO for curly hair. Panthenol, vegetable glycerin, sorbitol and honey are just a few humectants to look for on the label.

Moisturizers - add softens and control to curly hair. Amino acids and aloe vera are two great moisturizers.

Ic. HOW TO DO A CO-WASH:

After wetting your hair thoroughly, pour a dime sized amount in your hand and using the pads of your fingertips apply to one spot of your scalp and massage well, just as you would with shampoo. Repeat until you've scrubbed all over, then rinse ALL the CO off with plenty of warm water, still gently massaging with your fingertips so the friction will dissolve any residue. Next, pour more CO in your hand (sometimes another richer CO is necessary for this step), rub your palms together and apply over the length as you normally did in the past. Try to detangle with your fingers or with a very wide-tooth comb. For extra moisturizing clip your hair up and continue with your shower, then when you're done set the water as cool as is comfortable to you and rinse your head for just a second or two, gently squeeze the excess water off.

II. Choosing a gel - must be 'cone-free and preferably clear so it will allow the natural shine through.

III. Styling our curls - The main points are: 1) to NOT ever brush our hair; 2) to detangle it only when wet and soaked in conditioner, using a wide-tooth comb or whenever possible just our fingers; 3) to NEVER rub our hair with the towel* but to gently blot the water off using scrunching motions with it; 4) to apply product gently preferably by scrunching; 5) to air dry our hair whenever possible or diffuse only partially to avoid frizz and 6) not touch it while it's drying.

*microfiber towel works best.

IV. Clarifying - Sometimes it can happen that all residue from our gel, oils, etc. may not rinse off with with water and CO and we get a little "buildup". Very often it's easy to notice right away that our hair feels "gunky" but other times our hair just seems to stop responding to the routine, it may begin to tangle easily or our curls loose definition and shine; clarifying will refresh them and usually bring the bounce back. The recipes for natural clarifiers can be found in the forum section titled “Recipes – for hair and body”.


MODIFIED CG FOR WAVIES:

The author concedes to the fact that some people may have to continue using shampoo (hopefully a lot less often than before) because of an oily scalp, this is usually more common in those with wavy hair. To avoid drying the hair, here's the CG way to use shampoo:

1) Wet hair under a gentle shower. 2) Take a tablespoon of CO and using your fingers, lightly coat your hair from the ends to the midshaft. This hair has been around longer than the hair at the roots and needs more lubrication. The CO protects the hair by not allowing shampoo to penetrate and dehydrate the shaft. 3) If you're using shampoo, squeeze a half teaspoon* (no more) onto your fingertips and apply it gently to the scalp and roots only. don't use your nails. Start at the forehead and work around the scalp, then rinse thoroughly. 4) Add a half teaspoon of CO to your hair and work it through with your fingers. Then rinse quickly, for just a few seconds. No you're ready to blot-dry your hair.

*Diluting this amount in an ounce of water or so makes it much easier to distribute and gentler to the scalp.

Thank you VERY MUCH to esteemed CurlTalker HalfWavyHalfCurly (Raquel J. Aguiar) for writing this wonderful explanantion for us.
Gretchen
NaturallyCurly.com co-founder
3A

You are beautiful!