A beginners guide to the CG method for curly hair

Many people swear by the CG (Curly Girl) Method to bring their once-curly hair back from being damaged, brittle, dry or frizzy. It’s perfect for curlies who have spent years straightening, bleaching or wrestling with uncontrollable frizz, or those that just want to gain a more defined curl pattern.

It’s easy, doesn’t cost much and you should start to see the benefits immediately.

So if you’re feeling fed up with your hair and close doing a to 2007 Britney shave – don’t give up yet! Give the CG Method a try.

What is the CG Method?

The Curly Girl Method (referred to as CG Method) was created by Lorraine Massey and became popular following her book ‘Curly Girl, The Handbook’. Her approach is to stop using damaging chemicals and shampoo (‘No Poo’) and instead just use apply conditioner and gel to the hair.  Many people have heard of No Poo before but have been put off by the idea that it would make they’re hair greasy. The CG method however can be adapted to suit you, so that you don’t have to go through that phase.

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So, the basic (but flexible and adaptable) rules are;

Where possible, don’t use:

  • Shampoo
  • Heat styling tools
  • Combs & brushes
  • Products containing sulfates, non-water soluble silicones, alcohol and fragrance

Basic hair routine:

  1. Rinse hair with water and apply a ‘cleansing conditioner’ (cowash) in replacement of a shampoo. A lot of scalp scrubbing must be carried out before rinsing off.
  2. Apply a more moisturising conditioner to the ends, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse, but ensure that a little product is left in your hair. Some people like to use a wide-toothed comb to detangle whilst the conditioner is in.
  3. Wrap hair in a t-shirt or microfibre towel for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Apply a generous amount of leave-in conditioner followed by gel OR use the ‘LOC method’ – leave-in conditioner, a natural oil and then a styling cream.
  5. Scrunch hair upwards using your hands and leave to air dry. Some people prefer to use a diffuser with a silicone-free heat protector.

A strong emphasis is placed on trial and error with methods and products to find out what works best for your curly hair.

The Curly Girl method does get more complicated with various recommended tips and tricks. Once you have got to grips with the basics you can start to incorporate some more frizz fighting techniques.

A few more tips:

  • Sleep on a silk pillowcase to prevent frizzing up your hair in the night.
  • Use the ‘pineapple hair technique’ at night to keep your curls in tact. This involves loosely tying your hair in a ponytail at the very top of your head.
  • If your hair gets greasy or dirty, it might be worth giving it a shampoo in place of cowashing once a week, but ensure the shampoo is gentle and sulphate free.
  • When you first begin the CG Method, you’ll need to cleanse your hair of any build up in your hair. Do this by replacing cowashing with a stripping shampoo – baby shampoo works perfectly.
  • Many people like to use a deep conditioner once a week to give their hair an extra moisture boost.

Which products to use?

Lorraine Massey’s own products (Devacurl) are recommended but only available in America. Fortunately there are many other CG Method approved products online and in the drug stores. Here are a few recommended products available in the UK:

Weekly shampoo: Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Shampoo, £7.32 from Amazon

CowashAs I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner, £10.16 from Amazon

ConditioningGiovanni, Smooth As Silk, Deeper Moisture Conditioner, £10.05 from Amazon

Deep conditioning: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, £8.65 from Amazon

Leave-in conditioner: Cantu Shea Butter Leave in Conditioning Repair Cream, £6.49 from Amazon Prime

Gel: Eco Styler Olive Oil Styling Gel, £7.50 from Amazon

Heat protectionBriogeo Rosarco Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Creme, £21.50 from Beauty Bay

Drying: MHU Professional Ionic Hair Dryer with Far Infrared Heat, with Diffuser attachment, £34.99 from Amazon (absolute bargain price at the moment!)

Towel: Microfibre Hair Turban, £7.99 from Amazon

Comb: Pro-Tip’s Black Wide-Tooth Shampoo Rake – Extra Large (245 mm), £3.29 from Amazon

It’s important to note that there are cheaper products out there, and if you’re on a budget then you can just purchase a conditioner and gel to make a start.

How long until you can see results?

Immediately! Some claim to have up to 50% less frizz after their first wash and then further improvements around 6 weeks in.

It’s common to then have a ‘big chop’ to get rid of damaged ends and encourage new growth.

After a year most CG followers boast glossy, manageable, moisturised and frizz-free hair, as long as they follow the method and avoid any damage to their  hair.

It’s worth checking out the CG method forum for more information, or leave any questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help. You can also read my 50 tips and tricks for curly hair to help fight that dreaded frizz!

Have you followed the CG method? I’d love to hear your views or experiences – please leave a comment below!

Evie Garnett

Evie is the Head of Beauty for Suit Your Look, specialising in hair and make-up products. She loves nothing better than shopping for the next big make-up trend!

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