Hello curlies! =)

I’m writing this post because it took me forever to find all the information on this website. The information on this site is scattered, making it difficult trying to learn about new techniques/products as they happen, soo this is an attempt to make a post about some general techniques and ideas you can start with, a “base camp” shall we say

First, figure out your hair type! Additionally, read through this thread.

Here are ALL the steps to a CG routine. I’m emphasizing the word ALL here, because not ALL of these steps work for everyone. Becoming CG is an experimental process over a few weeks while you figure out what your hair likes best. Trust me, in the end, it’s SO worth it. If you don’t believe me, check out the before/after thread!

Before you start becoming CG, wash your hair one last time with a clarifying shampoo so that you can start with a “clean slate,” so to speak.

1. Cowash
What does it mean to cowash? You wash your hair with conditioner. I know it sounds gross, but your hair doesn’t need all the nasty sulfates in your shampoo – they just strip your hair of essential oils =( If you want more convincing, most shampoos contain a sulfate called “sodium laureth sulfate.” What else has this same sulfate? DISHWASHING LIQUID. Know that horrible feeling on your hands if you ever accidentally wash your hands with dishwashing liquid? Now imagine that on a million strands of hair on your head! =( Washing your hair with conditioner is enough. Just be sure to use LOTS of friction so that you “rub out” all the dirt, oil, grime, etc. =)

2. Baking soda; ACV rinse

A lot of people use baking soda and an ACV (apple cider vinegar; you can also use regular vinegar) rinse to get that “squeaky clean” feeling, and for a naturally clarifying effect. I don’t want to say anything more here that is incorrect, so I’m going to quote some nc.com users =)

The baking soda is alkaline (as are soap and most shampoos), so you need the acidity of an ACV or citric acid rinse to restore you hair's pH.
(With the baking soda wash and ACV rinse you don't get the volcanic reaction of mixing straight vinegar and baking soda, BTW.)
Here's a recipe from Live Curly, Live Free:

Baking Soda Clarification
With some silicone-based products, clarification must be done to remove the product that builds up over time on the hair shaft. Rather than resort to sulfate-based shampoos to remove this build-up, which can damage and dry the hair, a baking soda cleanse is preferable:

1 tablespoon baking soda
3 tablespoons silicone-free conditioner

Apply mixture to the scalp and massage firmly, then continue to massage the mixture down the hair shaft to the ends. Work into hair well. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and follow IMMEDIATELY with an apple cider vinegar rinse.

Note: you MUST follow any baking soda cleanse with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Baking soda is alkaline -- meaning it will raise your cuticle and open up your hair shaft. The apple cider vinegar is acidic and will close your cuticle back down. If you don't follow the cleanse with an ACV rinse, you'll be leaving your hair shaft open and setting yourself up for more frizz than you'd probably like.
Originally Posted by curlymaybe
3. Honey rinse

I’m not sure exactly where I found this idea/recipe, but I do know that it works! Mix a tablespoon of honey into a cup of water (that’s the ratio, multiply as needed) and pour it on to your hair. Let your hair soak for a few minutes, then rinse to get an extra shot of moisture and shine! =)

4. Condition – icequeen method

At this point, rinse everything out of your hair, and condition as you usually would. You can try the the icequeen method, created by nc.com user "icequeen."
Here’s the gist of her method:

I rake a large amt. of conditioner through my hair in the shower, then flip over and scrunch it through until it feels like seaweed and squishes which gets the clumps going. It sits on my hair through the shower routine. I then rinse upside down in cool water and firmly scrunch in a small amt. of conditioner
Originally Posted by icequeen
Here is the link to a thread about her method. There are a few variations, so be sure to check those out =)

5. The “in-shower” part of your CG routine is now complete - I thought I’d throw this step in there for clarification!

6. Leave in

A lot of people just use their cowash conditioner as a “leave-in” conditioner. Basically, you scrunch a small amount of conditioner into your hair after you're out of the shower. This is step one of your "base coat" (as Rudeechick calls it).

7. Curl cream

This is step two of your base coat. Curl creams promote curl formation and give your curls extra hold. NOTE: If you use a curl cream that has humectants in it, DO NOT use it over your conditioner and skip the leave-in step. If you mix the two, you’ll be left with little white flecks all over your hair – don’t say you weren’t warned!

Side note: here are two articles about humectants – article one and article two.

And here's a post I wrote about humectants and emollients.. good read, IMO!

8. Comb your hair with a fine-tooth comb or a denman.

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but this promotes clumping, for whatever reason! Play around with it though, because it doesn’t work for everyone.

9. Super soaker

Another revolutionary method!! Naturallycurly.com user Rudeechick created this method. Here is the link to the thread and her video!

10. Gel/mousse

This is another experimental realm. Some people like gel, some people like mousse! Search your hair type thread to find out what people with your hair are using =)

Here is a link to a wildly popular flax seed gel!

11. Plopping/plunking

Another great technique! Here is a link to the how-to article, and here is a link to a great video by Jessie of the Jessicurls brand. =) Jessie uses a special towel, but you can just use an old t-shirt!

12. Diffuse – pixiecurl method

Another technique! I’m not sure if the user “pixie curl” created this technique, but here is the link to the thread if needed, and here are the general directions:

Pixiecurl is a method of drying your hair using a diffuser. You press the diffuser into your hair so the bowl is scrunching your curls, then you turn the dryer on. Before moving the dryer, turn it off. It is a lot of turning on/off, and some do get annoyed/ask if there is something wrong with your dryer, but it keeps your hair from blowing around and helps prevent frizz.
Originally Posted by rejoicingcurlygirl
13. For 2nd day…3rd day…etc hair!

Use the pineapple technique to “set” your hair when you sleep at night, and then spray your hair in the morning with a curl spray. (I just use water )

To continue from the quote above…

Pineapple is done to dry hair at the end of the day before going to bed. You loosely gather the hair at the very top of your head, and put it in a ponytail. Because it sticks up and flops over your head resembles a pineapple.
Originally Posted by rejoicingcurlygirl
In addition! Here are some helpful links =)

Here is a link to help out with abbreviations that people on this site use.

Here is a link to start out CG on a budget.

Here is a link to the “best of the best” products available!

Here is a ink to some useful curly links.

Here is a link to great summer vs. winter seasonal changes.

Here is a link to a lot of great curly blogs!

Here is a link to the Spritz and Condish Method!

Here is a link to an article about dew points - veryyy important when it comes to styling!

3a/C/iii; mod-CG since 07/14/08
Shampoo: Whole Foods 365 Citrus Grapefruit shampoo (same results as Deva Low Poo but a tenth of the price!)
Condish: Deva One Condition
Styling: Deva AnGel, then SOTC with no Frizz creme
Hairtwins! Ab-star, Ledzeppole, Shellynot, soficurls and tarc817

Last edited by wowohwow; 06-18-2011 at 01:09 PM.