The rules, the expensive products, deciphering the technical names of silicones and sulfates -  is following the Curly Girl Method all worth it?

As with all things curly, it depends! For some curly girls, their hair isn't phased by a few silicones, while others see a world of difference when they quit the cones. Some curlies enjoy the hunt for the Holy Grail and love discovering the ingredients their hair performs best with, right down to the individual polyquats.

The only way you'll ever know what works best for you and your hair is to experiment, and that's exactly what our reader Raquel, aka RockynCurls, did. Here is a day by day break down of her experience with the CGM, complete with before and after photos.

Before

“before “before

Before the CGM: Dry from sulfates, heat damaged, weighed down by silicone

What was your hair routine like before you went CG?

Regular shampoo and conditioner occasionally because my hair was so oily.

What was your hair like before CGM?

Very frizzy, poofy, oily, dry on the ends and had a lot of split ends. It was wavy and not very curly I had a lot of heat damage from round brushing and flat ironing. It was very unmanageable and took an hour and a half to straighten, so I only did it for special occasions and mostly left it in a frizzy bun because I didn’t like how curly stylers felt greasy or sticky on my hair.

What lead you to your decision to try it?

I saw a picture of my hair that had turned into a giant frizz ball in the humidly. It was very disheartening because it looked good before I went outside in the heat. I thought I have read a book on how to do all kinds of things, I wonder if there’s one about how to take care of my curly hair? I found Curly Girl: The Handbook on Amazon and downloaded it onto my Kindle app on my iPhone right away.

Day 2

“before
“one

You already started to see some positive results in just a few days, what did you notice?

It was curlier, shiner and less frizzy.

I was washing my hair with sulfate free shampoo once or even twice a day because my scalp was so oily. From reading the book, my hair appeared to be wavy, so I was using conditioner only from the ears down, only on the ends where my hair wasn’t oily.

Week 1

“one “one

You deep conditioned on day 5, what did that do?

I used the SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. It made it super curly, softer, less frizzy and shinier.

Had you been co-washing?

No, my hair was a greasy mess at the roots. It was over-producing oil in a cry for help since I had been stripping it with harsh sulfates for so long.

What gel and sulfate free shampoo did you use?

I used EDEN BodyWorks Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo, homemade flax seed gel, and LA Looks Sports Gel.

How was your scalp dealing with the co-washing?

Well, I didn’t even attempt cowashing for a couple weeks, then I start rotating with cowashing and sulfate free shampoo every other day, then went to cowashing once or twice a day since it was so oily. I was using dry shampoo constantly.

Week 2

“two “two

During week 2 I started using SheaMoisture products.  I tried all of the Raw Shea Butter line and all the Coconut and Hibiscus line. I loved them all.

Month 1

“one “one

I made my own flax seed gel.  I was part of the wavy community on Facebook, and they have beautiful results using flax seed gel as a curl enhancer, so I wanted to try it.

I have the recipe on my blog RockynCurls.

“one

How was your scalp reacting to co-washing now?

Finally, by week four my scalp started to calm so I could cowash once a day. By week 6, it started to calm more where I wasn’t using dry shampoo constantly throughout the day, just a couple times a day.

What was your co-washing routine?

Massage the scalp with lightweight silicone free conditioner (Suave Naturals or Essentials) for 3-5 minutes, adding a little water halfway through to distribute the cowash better.

During week 6, you accidentally used silicones, how did you hair react?

It went back to being less curly and more frizzy. I had this coated feeling on my hair. It was the silicone building up since I wasn’t using shampoo. I was using a silicone on accident. I clarified it out with a sulfate and deep conditioned to get back on track quickly.

After

“one “one

What's your opinion of the CG Method now?

Still love it. I don’t think I will ever go back. I think it’s the only way for a curly girl to go. I can go without washing my hair up to 5 days. They aren’t always perfect hair days, but it’s a great time saver when you’re tired or busy.

Did you find any part of it difficult?

Drying the hair can be time consuming since I use much more products than I used to, it takes much longer. Sometimes I hate air drying because I don’t like wet products touching my back and neck for hours, but it’s ok.

“one

How has it affected your hair?

My hair looks healthier and better than it ever has and it is easier than ever to style. I love how healthy and soft my hair feels. It doesn’t feel like straw anymore!!

Do you ever modify the CG Method by using silicones, sulfates or heat?

Yes, I diffuse with high heat sometimes when I am in a hurry and my hair is very wet. I don’t flat iron, but I don’t judge if you want to switch it up sometimes. I personally don’t enjoy how long it takes. I have to use an occasional sulfate to remove build up from hard water and Shea butter build up or I get an itchy scalp. I use water soluble cones sometimes; but not water insoluble because they are too hard to get out of my hair, dry my hair out and they weigh my hair down. Even water soluble cones usually don’t feel as good on my hair, so I usually avoid them.

What would you say to someone who's considering the CG Method?

Please try it! You won’t regret it once you find your perfect products!! You can learn to love your hair too!!

A post shared by Raquel Bolin (@rockyncurls) on

Two years later

My curls have transitioned into more 3a now but those tips and styling methods still apply! My favorite products include:

You can follow Raquel on Instagram @rockyncurls

Do you use the CG Method? How long have you been using it?