This blog post is inspired by a reel challenge that @maybeitswavy started on Instagram. My version is linked here and shown below, and it basically allows you to show which Curly Girl Method (CGM) rules you follow and do not follow in a cute Instagram reel.
As you can see, I do not follow most of the rules however, I do think the CGM is great starting point for people who are new to the curly world and need something to follow to allow their curls to thrive.
That being said, I have never personally been CGM exclusive and below are my explanations and reasons for why I do and ‘don’t’ follow these particular rules:
CGM Rules I do not follow and why:
Co Wash – The CGM method requires you to only co-wash and not use any clarifying shampoos (specifically any with sulphates). However, as I use products with silicones from time to time and use protective styles, I will notice product build up and scalp itchiness that cannot be removed with just a co-wash. I could not go with only co-washing full time.
No Sulphates – I personally use a sulphate shampoo around once a month, or at least when I notice a distinct build up of product and need to fully clarify my hair. I will always ensure that I follow this us with a deep conditioner as sulphate shampoos can be quite harsh and stripping on curly hair. In moderation the use of sulphates should not have any negative effects.
No Silicones – This is closely linked to the shampoo issue. I personally have a large amount of silicone free products that I love, however, there are also a few in my collection that do include silicones and that I have no intention of parting with. The key with silicones is that they tend to stick to the hair and are hard to remove without sulphates, hence why I still occasionally use sulphate shampoos.
No brushes – This one is a must for me. I have high density, thick hair and there is no way I can full detangle using only finger raking. I always detangle with a brush or comb, but I always do this while in the shower and with significant conditioner for slippage. I also love using my Denman brush to define my curls – see my Instagram.
No fragrances – I never really understood the logic behind this one, but I LOVE using products that not just work but smell great. There is nothing better than someone giving you a cuddle and saying, “omg your hair smells amazing”!!
No Heat – I have not used high direct heat such as hair straighteners since starting my journey, however I do diffuse my hair and will use high heat for part of the process to bring the drying time down. I have not noticed any adverse effects, and in the future I will also likely straighten my hair again on occasion, it will just not be a regular thing.
No colour – I have personally coloured my hair over the years and I think this is fine as long as it is done right. I think all people have the right to do what they like with their hair and colour treatments are so good now that you can do it safely without affecting your curls.
CGM Rules I do follow and why:
No Drying Alcohols – This is not one that I actively try to do, however I have managed to so far as very little products in the curly hair industry include drying alcohols.
Deep Condition – 100% this is the something I follow. I deep condition once a week and it is one of the reasons my hair is as healthy as it is now.
No towels – I do not let any standard towels touch my hair at any time with no exception. It will frizz instantly. I have microfiber towels and use cotton t-shirts to scrunch out excess water and use a satin scarf to scrunch out the crunch from my gel.
Do not wash too often – This is one I think is kind of subjective. For some people once a week is too often but for me the key is I only wash my hair when it needs it. If I need to refresh my curls or add moisture before it is due for a wash, I will use a spray bottle to wet it down and reapply my products.
Know your curl type, texture, and porosity – I believe that knowing this information, although not vital, is helpful in your journey. Porosity specifically will make a difference in the products you choose and the need for protein as part of your regime.
As I said the Curly Girl Method is something that has helped millions of curly women across the globe, however the restrictions it imposes may not work for everyone and as it is your hair, and your goals, it is your prerogative to follow which ever rules you wish to achieve your best hair.