Hi, everyone!! When I first started CG, I was very confused
I have learned a lot now, though, and just thought I'd share everything I've learned for the CG newbies or for my own reference, hahahaha. I know these tips work well for me, but I have chin-length 2b/2c/3a hair, so I don't know if these tips apply to everybody. Nonetheless...here we go...
1) Cleansing Hair (Co-Washing, Clarifying, Low-Pooing, etc.)
Shampoo may not be necessary, but cleansing definitely is! One of the main principles of CG is washing hair with conditioner, but here's the thing:
-CONDITIONER DOES NOT CLEAN YOUR HAIR
(Or at least mine, hahaha.) It was recommended when doing CG that you're supposed to wash your hair with a light conditioner and then use a very hydrating one. But why?? Conditioners, especially heavy ones, are supposed to rehydrate your hair after stripping it from harsher shampoos. If you wash your hair with conditioner in the first place...why do you need to rehyrate so much? That might just result in weighed down, over-conditioned hair :/ Co-washing is great, but not exclusively and not with heavier conditioners. It's worked better for me to use a light conditioner, like a leave-in, and clarify once to twice a week. Again, co-washing can be really good...but if you do it correctly.
-BUILD-UP AND CLARIFYING
Build-up is definitely likely when doing CG. It can make hair look/feel oily and gross and alkjfd;lsjdf. I suffered from it, but I learned that you cannot condition your scalp, no matter how dry it appears. You won't be using much shampoo or any at all, so your scalp shouldn't be too dry anyway. If anything, it should be a bit more oily. Plus, conditioning your scalp will make you have to wash your hair more often...which I'll get to in just a second.
Natural remedies, like Apple Cider Vinegar rinses are awesome. You can use lemon juice if you have blond hair, though. For serious cleaning, use a 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3 ratio. For mild cleaning, use 1 tbsp per quart. These should only be done once a week.
However, some do need a low-poo, and there's nothing wrong with that. Whatever you need to get clean! Shampoo really isn't all that bad, as long as you don't use it every day and you use a gentle one. Some great shampoos/cleansers are DevaCare No/Low Poo, Jessicurl Cleansing Cream, and L'Oreal Cleasing Conditioner. Those are more conditioning cleansers, though. If you need an actual shampoo to remove product build-up and simply get hair clean, Kinky-Curly Come Clean Shampoo is great! It really deep cleans. However, sometimes it is a little drying, so I use 60% shampoo and 40% coconut oil. Now, I can use shampoo without my hair being stripped
2) Conditioning (How often to, Deep Treatments, Protein Treatments, etc.)
-HOW OFTEN TO CONDITION
Conditioning is so beneficial to hair! I used to never use conditioner, but my hair thanks me so much for going CG and finally using it. HOWEVER...there is such thing as too much. Before CG, I never shampooed every day. I figured since I was using conditioner, I could co-wash/condition my hair every day because I didn't have to worry about stripping. NOOOO. My hair got so much build-up and was soooo greasy. I had the exact opposite problem, haha. Plus, if you apply too much moisture to your body or hair, it could actually come off as dry because it relies on foreign moisture and stops producing as much natural oil. (At least that's what I heard, and the more I conditioned, the more accurate that seemed.) I'd recommend conditioning every other day. I shampoo and condition every other day.
Personally, deep treatments and protein treatments just seemed excessive. I used to use all that stuff, but it just seemed so tedious. I guess it depends on your hair, but I know they aren't necessary for me. Plus, it can really cost you $$$$. If you really want a deep or protein treatment, try natural stuff! Coconut oil makes an awesome deep treatment. Apply some at night, sleep in a shower cap, and wash it out in the morning. Other oils work well too, like avocado and olive oils. For protein, just crack an egg on your head
. I know, it sounds gross, but at about $0.20 an egg, that sounds a lot better than expensive protein treatments. For deep conditioning and
protein, MAYONNAISE!! Seriously, it's awesome!! There's a reason our grandmothers pass this advice down. Cure Care is a really good protein treatment too! I use it for that and as a daily conditioner.
3) Techniques (Plopping, Scrunch 'n Pump, Diffusing, etc.)
Many say the way you apply your product is just as important as the product!
There are techniques you can do to help your curls in the shower. The ones I have tried are the Super Soaker and Scrunch 'n Pump.
Super Soaking works by flipping your head over, applying a little conditioner or leave-in, combing with a fine-toothed comb, and the putting your head under water and scrunching again. This is to promote clumps.
Ice Queen is where you flip your head over, (sorry, so much flipping!!) and applying a lot of conditioner. After that, you scrunch for a while then rinse it out under cold water and scrunch again.
Scrunch 'n Pump has worked the best for me. You, again, flip your head over, apply a little leave-in, finger comb, apply styler, then take a section of hair in your hand and squeeze it to hear that squishy sound about 15 times to establish a curl pattern
. (Wow, that was a run-on sentence! Hahaha.)
Plopping is very popular for long-haired curlies, but it didn't work too well on my short hair. What you do it take a long-sleeved t-shirt, set it on a toilet seat (or something like that
,) then flip your head over and lay it gently on the shirt. Take the sleeves and corners and twist them, and then tie them behind your head. You can take it out after 20 minutes or so.
I love the t-shirt turban!! Plopping gave me weird curls, so I decided to try something else. Right after scrunch 'n pumping, I take a thin t-shirt, flip my head over, and put my hair through the neck hole. I lightly
twist the shirt into a turban, flip back up, and voila! You have a t-shirt turban. I take it out after 15 minutes and then rescrunch.
Another way to dry hair with shirts is to just scrunch your hair with one to absorb the water.
When it comes to blow drying, even diffusing, eh. Air drying works better for me to get softer hair that looks better overall. Diffusing frizzed me out! (But that's just me.)
4) Products (Ingredients, Stylers, Brands, etc.)
Product is very important! Play around with it and see what works for you. When it doubt, wash it out
Remember to avoid sulfates and silicones. Some curlies don't like proteins, glycerin, waxes, or oils in their products, though. See what works for you!
-WHAT TO USE AND HOW MUCH
I cannot stress this enough...keep it simple!!!
You should only need 3 products, 4 at most. I used to use more but found my hair just got confused by all the different stuff I was dumping onto my head. You basically just need a cleanser, conditioner, and styler. (Refer to the cleansing and conditioning sections.)
There are so many stylers! Creams, gels, sculpting waxes, puddings, custards, mousses........ahhh!! Find what works for you, but remember to do so without becoming a PJ and without breaking the bank. If something doesn't work, keep trying! Don't waste it. Trust me...I'm a recovering PJ, haha. Anyway, when finding what's right for you...
Wavy: mousses, gels, spray gels
Wavy-Curly: custards, gel-creams, gels, mousses, spray gels, milks
Curly: custards, gel-creams, creams, puddings, milks, pomades
Curly-Kinky: custards, creams, puddings, pomades, oils
Kinky: custards, creams, puddings, pomades, sculpting waxes, lotion, oils
At least...I think that's what is is ^ (I'd double check, haha!)
Using products from the same brand always makes them work better for me, especially with Kinky-Curly products. For instance, the custard is nothing without the leave-in. (By the way, I totally recommend KCKT and KCCC, but used together!!!) Also, natural brands with fewer ingredients work really well for most curlies. If you can't decide what to buy, search this site for reviews. They're very helpful. I really recommend the entire Kinky-Curly line and Cure Care from Sally's.
Well, those are my tips. Sorry this is so long, haha! Also, sorry if there are any spelling or grammar mistakes. I know these might not apply to everyone--or anyone but me, haha--but I hope I helped! Thanks for reading!!!