I haven’t shampooed my hair in a year.
There I’ve said it! I’ve got the dramatic statement out and now everyone knows! But do you know what, it has been the best decision I have made for my hair in my full 33 years.
This time last year I found the Curly Girl Method aka the CG method. How I had not managed to stumble upon this method before then, I don’t know. But it was through an amazing Facebook group that I found my curly compadres and learnt how to care for my curls.
The Curly Girl Method has three main rules:
No silicones, mineral oils or wax
Little to no heat should be applied directly to your hair
The CG method is taken from a book called Curly Girl the Handbook, written by Lorraine Massey in the early 00’s. There are now a couple of editions but the first, which the Facebook group uses as a guide recommends using conditioner to wash your hair with rather than shampoo. This is due to the harsh sulphates that are found in shampoo. I had read a number of magazine articles on similar methods before finding CG, but there was always shampoo involved somewhere. However, the science of removing shampoo from the routine completely, made a lot of sense to me.
Curly hair is naturally coarser and needs more moisture than straight hair so why was I stripping the moisture away each time I washed with harsh detergents? The natural oils my scalp produces, which can benefit hair health massively, could not regulate themselves because we got rid of them every shampoo. This was why my scalp felt greasy if I didn’t shampoo for more than a couple of days.
So now I co-wash, which uses the same actions as shampooing, including a pretty invigorating scrub and head massage but using conditioner instead. I then rinse this out, along with all the dirt and grime as it would with a shampoo stage.
The other main rule which has also had a huge effect on the health of my hair is only using products that have no silicones, mineral oils or wax in. These ingredients are not water-soluble so cannot be washed out with conditioner. These ingredients can also create an artificial shine to your hair but not allow moisture to penetrate through to the shaft therefore damaging your hair in the long run.
Before CG my hair took a serious beating over the years.
There were brushed to death curls in my early years. There were fluffy fringes in my pre-teen years. There were triangular-shaped hair days when the layers weren’t quite doing their job. There was the very long hair. There was the above the shoulder hair. There were more ill-advised fringes in my 20s. There were heated rollers, straighteners, curling tongs, curling wands. There was every product ever made for curly hair and yet I could never guarantee a good hair day. My ratio of good to bad was probably about 1-2 out of 10. Now, however, after following this method for nearly a year I can pretty much guarantee a good hair day 8-9 out of 10 times.
I know what you’re thinking though…
Doesn’t your hair smell? And the answer is yes! It smells of which ever conditioner I have used and they smell pretty gorgeous!
I won’t lie, there has been a lot of trial and error. Finding the best products for my hair and the best routine to fit in with my lifestyle and for my hair and curl type. But a little bit of effort goes a long way, and me and my hair are very happy with the change.