Things to know before starting CurlyGirl method

  • DO NOT blindly purchase any product even on recommendation without gaining enough knowledge about your hair. This is only going to empty your pockets unless you learn what your hair actually needs “because not all hair is same”.

 

  • Know your hair type.

Diameter – Even though you can say your hair is big/flat/crazy just by looking at your hair in the mirror, it’s the diameter of your hair that’s super important for picking out the right products. Test if your hair is fine, medium, or coarse by doing a strand test.

  1. If you take a single hair in between your fingers and you don’t feel anything, then you have fine hair.
  2. If you can feel the hair, then it’s medium.
  3. If you feel a strong, thick strand, then you are coarse.

Density

Determining both your diameter AND density will help narrow down the types of product you should use. Someone with dense, coarse hair will need smoothing products. While someone with less dense but still coarse hair will need a Volumising product. Just because the diameter of your hair is fine doesn’t mean you can’t have a thick head of hair — and vice versa. So, get to know the density of your hair by standing in front of a mirror, grab a handful of hair at the side of your head and notice the space around that ‘clump.’ Can you easily see your scalp? Your hair is likely thin. No scalp visible? Probably thick. If you’re in the middle, you likely have hair of medium density.

Elasticity

The amount of elasticity your hair has indicates how healthy it is, plus how easy it’ll be to style the way you want. To begin to slowly stretch the hair. If it breaks almost immediately, your elasticity is low, but if it stretches to 50 percent of its original length, your hair has high elasticity.

Texture/Curl pattern

Compare your hair texture with the below to understand where exactly do you fit in.

hair-type-chart

 

 

  • Educate yourself with the Curly Girl method.

CG method was introduced to an international, multi-ethnic audience by hairstylist   Lorraine Massey in her bestselling book, Curly Girl: The Handbook. Following are the so called rules under this method:

  • Say no to shampoo or use a sulphate free shampoo because it strips your hair of its natural oil called sebum. (Avoid products with ingredients like Sodium lauryl sulphate, Sodium laureth, Ammonium laureth or lauryl sulfate, Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium cocoyl sarcosinate etc)
  • Use Silicone free conditioner and stylers since silicones buildup on hair and ruin the natural curl pattern. (Avoid products with ingredients ending with cone, col, nol, xane etc.)
  • Unplug the dryer and use a diffuser instead.
  • Not using a brush instead use a wide tooth comb to avoid frizz and breakage.
  • Trim your hair to get rid of the damage or split ends.
  • Co-wash or Conditioner wash to clean your scalp and hair as a second option to a shampoo.
  • Apply products to your hairDo it while it is soaking wet. Smooth or rake the product into your hair by sections. A common method is to begin with a leave-in cream or conditioner to decrease frizz and then follow with a gel for hold and definition. Using your normal conditioner as a leave-in is fine too. Scrunch in an upward motion with hands.
  • Ditch your towel and scrunch your hair with a cotton t-shirt, paper towels, or a micro-fiber towel to remove excess water/moisture.
  • Decrease the drying time of your hair by plop Plopping means spreading an old t-shirt or micro-fiber towel onto a flat surface. Bend over at the waist and position your hair in the middle of the cloth. With your head touching the cloth, drape the back section of cloth over your head. Twist the sides until they form “sausage rolls” and clip or tie them at the base of your neck. After 15-30 minutes remove the t-shirt and air dry/diffuse.
  • Do not touch your hair while it is 100% dry or it will mess up and frizz.
  • Give your hair time to adjust. It takes 2-4 weeks for your hair to adjust or even more. It may even look worse at first. Hair is a long-term project and it may take a couple weeks for it to regain its health after being stripped of moisture for years by harsh chemical and sulphate shampoo.
  • Finally Clarify with a sulfate shampoo or clarifying shampoo before beginning. This will cleanse your hair of any silicones–ingredients in some hair products you would have using that are not water soluble.
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Hair Porosity

Hair Porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture. It is affected by the flexible outer hair layer called the cuticle, which determines how easily moisture and oils pass in and out of your hair. For most, porosity is genetic, but it can also be affected by external factors such as exposure, heat treatments and chemical processing. Knowing your hair’s porosity can help you choose the right products to keep your hair well-moisturized, supple, strong and shiny. And here are three ways to determine where yours falls on the porosity spectrum: low, normal or high.

  • Hair strand test

Drop few hair strands that’s been shed as a result of brushing/combing into a glass bowl of water and let it remain untouched for few hours. If the strands float, your hair is low porosity. If your hair remains somewhere in the middle, it means they are normal porosity, and if it sinks and lays at the bottom of the bowl, your hair is high porosity.

  • Go by feel

Gently stretch a tiny section of curl strands from different areas of your head – front hairline, nape, crown and temple. Place the stretched curl between your thumb and finger and slide it up the hair strand from the tip towards the scalp. If your fingers move easily up the strand and it feels dense and hard, you have low porosity hair. If it feels smooth, you have normal porosity hair. And if the strand feels rough or dry or it breaks, you have high porosity hair.

  • Water absorption capacity

If your hair takes a long time to absorb water and you can find droplets of water on top of your hair, you have low porosity hair. And if it quickly absorbs water then it means your hair is high porosity. And if the time consumption is medium then normal porosity.

hair-porosity-types@2x

  • Low Porosity hair 

Low porosity hair has very compact cuticles, so it’s hard to inject moisture into the hair shaft, although it does retain moisture once it absorbs. Thus, use heat such as steamer,warm towel, shower cap, drier etc to help products absorb better and bind with the hair well. Always distribute products evenly throughout your hair making sure not to put too much on. And apply products to damp, not drenched hair. Also cleanse your hair of product buildup once a month using an ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) or sulfate shampoo. Low porosity hair is more prone to protein sensitivity.

Some other characteristics of this type of hair are:

  1. Curls take long time to dry.
  2. Products tend to build up on curls rather than getting absorbed.
  3. Natural oils don’t readily penetrate, but rather sit on your hair.
  • High Porosity Hair

These kind of hair Parched needs products that help it retain as much moisture as possible. So use minimal heat. It’s best to air dry your hair, if possible. Incorporate regular deep conditioning treatments into your curl care routine. Rinse with cold water to seal the cuticle and prevent frizz. The LOC (Leave in, oil and cream) method works on such hair type very well.

Some other characteristics of this type of hair are:

  1. Curls easily absorb water, however, it requires more products.
  2. Curls often look and feel dry.
  3.  Curls are often frizzy.
  4.  Curls dry quickly.
  • Normal Porosity hair

Normal porosity hair has compact cuticles that easily let moisture enter in. So continue to do regular deep conditioning treatments to maintain good product absorption.

Some other characteristics of this type of hair are:

  1. Curls are full of bounce and elasticity.
  2. Requires very little maintenance.
  3.  Easily accepts and retains moisture inside the cuticle.
  4.  Holds styles well and can be colored with good results.

List of Protein free CG friendly products

Hey readers! So finally i have listed out some absolutely protein free ( including Panthanol) and CG friendly products which could be used by all those who are sensitive to protein and also follow the curly girl method as well and do not want any sulfates and silicones in their products. Please feel free to comment below if you do not see any product you happen to know or use which are SSP free and are missing in the list below. So here you go.

PS- I will be updating the list as and when i find any more new product .

Protein free CG friendly Shampoos

  • The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Shampoo
  • The Body Shop Rainforest Balance Shampoo
  • The Body Shop Rainforest Volume Shampoo.
  • The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Shampoo
  • The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Shampoo
  • As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo
  • Kinky-Curly Come Clean Moisturizing Shampoo (Contains Olefin sulfonate)
  • Shea Moisture African Black Soap Deep Cleansing Shampoo
  • Alikay Naturals Coconut Milk Shampoo
  • Elaine hair and body clarifying shampoo

 

Protein free CG friendly Conditioners

  • The Body shop rainforest moisture conditioner
  • The Body Shop Rainforest Volumising Conditioner
  • The Body Shop Rainforest Shine Conditioner
  • The Body Shop Rainforest Balance Conditioner
  • The Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Conditioner
  • Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Smoothing Conditioner
  • Kinky Curly Knot Today conditioner
  • Matrix Biolage conditioning balm
  • Shea Moisture African Black Soap Balancing Conditioner
  • TRESemme Botanique Nourish + Replenish Conditioner
  • Yes To Carrots Conditioner
  • Yes to Cucumbers Conditioner
  • Elaine hair and body conditioner (and a separate leave in conditioner)

 

Protein free CG friendly Deep Conditioners

  • Body shop rainforest moisture hair butter
  • Body Shop Rainforest Radiance Hair Butter
  • As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner
  • Matrix Biolage Hydrosource conditioner
  • Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment
  • EDEN BodyWorks JojOba Monoi Deep Conditioner
  • Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment
  • Shea Moisture African Black Soap Purification Masque
  • Maui moisture heal & hydrate mask
  • Eden natural deep conditioner
  • Elaine hair and body deep conditioner
  • DIY homemade Mask

 

Protein free CG friendly Gels

  • Kinky curling custard gel
  • As i am curling jelly
  • Giovanni LA Natural Hair Styling Gel
  • Gatsby water gloss gel – Soft hold, hard hold and hyper hold.
  • Jane carter coiling all curls elongating gel
  • DIY homemade flaxseed gel

 

Protein free CG friendly Curl creams

  • Ogx moroccan curling perfection defining cream
  • Rizos curls curl defining cream
  • Jane carter conditioning styling cream

Gatsby Water gloss hyper solid gel

I found this amazing little anGEL the other day when I was on my grocery shopping. And guess what I did when I had the first sight of it?🤔 Yes, you are right! I quickly jumped in to check the ingredients and to my amusement it was absolutely CG friendly and protein free. Flaxseed gel will and forever remain my ultimate favourite but I was really delighted to have found something which I was looking for like ages.

So let’s look at the ingredients:

Water (Aqua), SD, Alcohol 40-B, PVP, Dipropylene Glycol, VP/VA, Copolymer, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, PEG-50 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cellulose Gum, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzophenone-2, Benzophenone-5, Disodium EDTA, CI 14700.

Price: INR 120.00

300gms

And here are the Pros of this gel.

  • As the name suggests this gel has a very very hyper hold which I loved because I have thick curls and I like my gel to give the best hold.
  • CG friendly as in No Sulfate, silicone and absolutely protein free.
  • It is very glossy and hence gives a natural shine to your hair.
  • Non sticky and soft to touch.
  • Budget friendly.
  • Easy availability.
  • Love the fragrance.
  • Big tub so a little goes a long way.

Cons:

  • Need not suit people with fine and thin hair due to its high holding power which is 7. However, there are other varieties under the same brand which have much lesser holding power like 2 and 5.

I would definitely purchase this gel again when I run out of my homemade flaxseed gel or go too lazy to prepare the gel at home😜

The Struggles of being a Protein Sensitive

1511971398720We all know the importance of protein in our daily life and hair care. And especially if you are a curly girl who loves protein in the hair, it can give you amazing results such as hair growth, definition, clump and so on just when your curls lack them by doing a simple protein treatment. But what if you are on the other side of the ore and your hair hates protein?Well, here comes the real struggle of being a curly girl!!

I learned the fact that i was really sensitive to protein gradually through my hair care routine. When i begun my journey I did not have the faintest idea that my hair could hate protein. But I am glad that i could demystify myself from the fact as to why my hair was behaving so strange after all, through various protein tests and product usage. Please check out my older post on protein and its sensitivity to know how you can identify if your hair needs protein or not. Protein and its sensitivity on hair 

So, here comes the ultimate challenge. Now that you know protein is your biggest enemy, you need hair products without any kind of protein related ingredient along with any sulfates or silicones especially if you are dying to go all natural. I have literally struggled to find products without SSP as i say (Sulfates, Silicones, Proteins). I researched, googled online, connected with curly hair experts but all i could find were very few products which were either impossible to grab due to non shipped region or too expensive and not under my budgeted line. Whenever I found any CG friendly product in store or online I would straight away dive into the ingredients section to find out if they were protein free, unfortunately I was disappointed every time.

So, I decided to let go off the SS from my SSP and searched for products without protein alone and did not mind the sulfates and silicones 😦 And then I came across the Organix quenching coconut line products from Ogx. I was pretty happy the way they suited my curls but somewhere down the line was guilty enough to be using them after all they were not CG friendly products.

I kept my research on in the search of those magical products and was fortunate enough to find a silicone and protein free conditioner from Tresemme botanix which was under my budget so i grabbed them but still continued to use a sulfate shampoo. And very recently around 5 months ago i learned about few more products and one among them was the body shop rainforest line through one of my social media friend which was SSP free and could be netted as a budgeted product when compared to the other high branded ones. So, finally I started using a perfect blend of products with the right ingredients.

I am still in the hunt for SSP free curly hair products which could be easily available and not very expensive at the same time. And i am dying to create a list of these products for my co-protein sensitive curlies, “BECAUSE I KNOW THE STRUGGLE” 🙂 So stay tuned!!

Ways to detangle your curls

Detangling your curls is a very important aspect of a proper hair care routine. It would eliminate frizz and knots during non wash days. However, it is recommended not to detangle your hair when its dry to prevent breakage. It is also best to use your fingers to remove the tangles rather than a brush or comb.

You would always need a slippery agent in your hair to detangle easily. So here are the different ways in which you can easily detangle your hair:

  • Pre-Poo ~ Use oils like coconut oil, olive oil or argan oil and apply it on to your hair in a smoothing motion before you shampoo. Gently detangle your hair using fingers.
  • During condition ~ You could also detangle your hair while you have your conditioner on hair. Since the conditioner has good slip, it would allow you to remove the tangles easily without much breakage.
  • Under running water ~ This is one of my favorite way to detangle my hair. Before you shampoo your hair, get your hair under running water in upside down position. Let the water run through your hair. Using fingers gently separate the tangles. Since the hair already has conditioner and leave in conditioner from the refresh days, it would provide quite a good amount of slip to hair.

Refreshing your hair on non wash days will reduce frizz and tangles on hair. (See my post on how to refresh your curls)

The Shingling method

The Shingling method is a curly hair wash routine / technique where in we define or moisturise the hair strand by strand using a leave in conditioner/curl cream or hair gel. The best way to go about this method is to section off hair into four small sections, and then again make smaller sections inside each of those sections to focus on the strands. The process is time consuming and requires your ultimate patience 🙂 It is best to practice this style on soaking wet hair. This styling method is most commonly used by curlies who have kinky or coily curls.

It is also possible to shingle in very tiny sections if you do not have much time or if your hair type is wavy or 3a/3b curls.

Once you finish shingling a strand or section do not touch it and continue to complete the whole hair without messing the hair strands. Once you are done with the whole hair you could either air dry or use a diffuser to dry out your hair.

This method gives you ultimate curl definition and reduce frizz to a large extent.

I recently styled my hair using this method which was indeed time consuming and patience testing, although I was very happy with the result. I used the following products:

  • Washed my hair with SebaMed baby shampoo.
  • Deep conditioned using my favourite mask (Tresemme botanix conditioner + olive oil + honey)
  • Rinsed and used the same conditioner as leave in.
  • Shingled using Ogx moroccan curling perfection cream.