Monday, July 19, 2010

Curly Girl

So you've had a few days to play with new methods and kick some of your current hair sins to the curb. Have you had any luck? How's the hair been looking? Mine's been great. I got some amazing 2nd day hair yesterday and some decent 3rd day hair today. :) Have you done any reading on your own? If you have today's blog might be old news, if not, I hope you learn something.

It's time to talk about Curly Girl or CG for short. CG is a method for caring for Curly Hair. I found it through a book titled Curly Girl written by Lorraine Massey. When I first read it, I thought it sounded cool but wasn't convinced. I later found a website that was specifically for Curlies, or for short. So many curlies post on the CurlTalk section of this website and a lot of them follow the CG method. They are sooooo much help. If you interested in seeing some results of people making the switch from whatever they were doing before to CG, look here on CurlTalk on Basically what the CG method consist of is cutting out silicones (chemicals that are in a lot of styling products and conditioners) so that you can cut out sulfates (chemicals that are in a lot of shampoos).

Most shampoos have sulfates in them. Sulfates are what strips any oils and/or grease off of things. If you look at a bottle of dish washing detergent and compare it to a bottle of shampoo you will most likely find that their top two ingredients are the same. Most people would think, "Well , my scalp produces oil and that makes my hair look greasy so I need to use shampoo to get it out." This can be true for people with straight hair. Curly hair is drier and more fragile then straight hair. We need that oil. Curlies, you will also most likely find that as you strip out less of the oils in your hair your scalp won't produce as much. Sulfates strip every bit of it away leaving us dry and frizzy and moisture starved.

Just so you know, sulfates are listed in your ingredient list as:
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Laurel Sulfate
Ammonium Laurel Sulfate

When I started this method I didn't understand how my hair and scalp would get clean if I didn't use shampoo. It turns out that conditioners have surfactants in it. Surfactants clean our hair just as well as sulfates without pulling all of our moisture away. So surfactants are the way to go for curlies. You just scrub your scalp with conditioner the way you used to with shampoo and tada, your clean. One down side to this is if we are using surfactants we have to watch what else we are using.

Silicones are in tons of hair products and they are used to coat the cuticle of your hair and make it lay down. Sticking up cuticles are what attract moisture and cause frizz and fly aways. So while they control frizz, good, they also don't come off easily, bad. Most silicones are not water soluble. You have to use a sulfate cleanser to get a silicon off. This is why people have to use shampoo with sulfates.

Reading labels
This, curlies, is something you are going to get pretty good at. To figure out if something is CG friendly, which you now know means that you don't need a sulfate to get it out of your hair, you have to read the ingredient labels. I have a short list of no-no's. All the no-no's, as you will notice, end in -cone, -conol, or -xane. They are all silicones.

Phenyl trimethicone

Silicones are tricky though because some have been altered to dissolve in water. If there is a PEG- or a PPG- in front of your silicone then you are good to go. Look out for more then one silicone in a product. One no silicone means it's no good for CG even if there are others in the same product that have a PEG or PPG.

Wow, that's a lot to learn. Here is your task for today. Go read the labels of your favorite hair products. Learn if there are any silicones in your conditioner or stylers and take a good look at that sulfate in your shampoo. It's kind of fun once you get used to it.


erin.patrice said...

this is the hardest. I always just see any 'cone' and put the product back on the shelf.

Jenna Caldwell said...

So far, I really like this method! Thanks for sharing.
My only problem is that I feel bad putting my hair in a ponytail now:( And I sort of have to with a 1 year old sometimes!