‘CG since 5 Years’
‘I only use CG Approved/Safe/Friendly products’
Perhaps you’ve seen lines like this floating around on social media. A lot of girls wear the first line as a badge of honour or as a way to let people know where they are in a special technique called CG Method.
Don’t know what it means and why the hype around it is? Continue reading this post and you’ll find out why girls with wavy and curly hair across the world follow this to have beautiful, healthy hair!
Also, if you’re lazy like me, head to the end of the article where I’ve mentioned two websites who will calculate if a product is cg friendly within seconds.
Table of Contents
- 1 CGM or CG or Curly Girl Method
- 2 Sulphates are Villians!
- 3 Should I Never Use Sulphate Shampoos?
- 4 And Silicones are Bad Boys….
- 5 Are All Silicones Bad?
- 6 Mineral Oils, Waxes & Parabens
- 7 Do I Follow the CG Method
- 8 Should you follow a CG Routine
- 9 Ingredients to Avoid in CG Method
- 10 Websites for Finding if a Product is CG Friendly
CGM or CG or Curly Girl Method
Invented by Lorraine Massey (pictured above) & explained in her book ‘Curly Girl: The Handbook’ (get it if you haven’t already), in the CG method or CGM, you do not use any hair products with sulphates, silicones, mineral oil, waxes, drying alcohols (also called ‘Baddies’) in your curly hair routine.
This means you clean your scalp & hair with either non-sulphate shampoos (Low Poo or Modified CG) or botanical cleansing conditioners (called No Poo, Co Washing & Pure CG).
To comb and detangle, you use conditioners, leave in conditioners and stylers free of silicones.
You also need to avoid any product (especially gels) that have any drying alcohols as ingredients.
Sulphates are Villians!
What happens when you rub your hands with soap or scrub your scalp with a normal shampoo? Lather!
Foamy, creamy, frothy lather. It’s that ‘Ah’ moment in your shower that a lot of people love.
The lather is created by sulphates in soaps and shampoos that also unfortunately STRIP your hair of it’s natural oils and make it dryer, frizzier & prone to breakage.
Despite being psychologically pleasing, it’s not easy to rinse out and some of it remains in your hair if you are not careful enough!
Since curly hair is naturally dry to begin with, regularly using a sulphate shampoo is a bad idea. If all you’ve been doing to your hair is shampooing, you can understand the damage caused by just rubbing your hair in your hands.
So Lorraine wisely recommends to switch to shampoos without sulphates instead! She also strongly suggests you switch to the No Poo method, which is no shampoos at all in your routine. In this you use a cleansing conditioner to scrub out the dirt from your hair without leading to any dryness.
Now, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of co washing (using a cleansing conditioner) in another post but it’s important to know what it is since many people following CGM- they only co wash (bye bye shampoos!).
(I use sulphate free shampoos mostly, sometimes medicated anti dandruff shampoo. I followed a modified CG Routine as do many other girls. Don’t think you HAVE to follow a rule if it’s not working for you).
Should I Never Use Sulphate Shampoos?
I’d personally suggest no, don’t give up on shampoos with sulphates forever. Once or twice a month, do clarify/use a sulphate shampoo.
Whenever you find your curls feeling limp or they are not curling as well, use a clarifying shampoo. Post swimming in chlorinated water, clarify.
‘When in doubt, clarify!’ is popular advice.
One also reads that if you are using shea butter in your hair products, you should clarify often since it is heavy and can build up on fine curls.
Clarifying often will ensure healthy scalp, remove buildup and pollutants & make curly hair bouncy again!
And Silicones are Bad Boys….
Silicones are like plastic. When they’re in hair products, they coat your hair, smooth down the cuticle and drastically reduce frizz and make your hair softer and more manageable.
But they also lead to product build-up and over time makes hair frizzier (!), look limp and lifeless. You feel like you’ve lost your curl.
To remove this build-up of plastic, you need to use a shampoo with sulphates. But in CG routines, those are not allowed! So you need to stop using any hair products with silicones.
Are All Silicones Bad?
Like there are some bad boys that only need a certain type of girl to make them good (ah, teenage fantasies), there are some silicones that are partially or fully water soluble! Any silicone with PEG 8 & more is considered water soluble. If you’re confused, just drop the ingredients into this website: IS It CG or do a google search!
Mineral Oils, Waxes & Parabens
Mineral oil or Petrolatum will weigh down your curls and it is strongly recommended you avoid using products with it.
Waxes are some of the most natural ingredients that have been used to style curly and kinky hair since centuries. Unfortunately, they also are non hydrous, which means they won’t get washed out by simply water or co-washing. You will need to shampoo or clarify regularly to remove the build-up and as a result it is not recommended if you are following a pure CG routine.
There is no ‘yes or no’ for parabens in CG but many people avoid them because they fear it can cause cancer. That is a personal call you need to take after you find it you believe in the studies done or not!
Do I Follow the CG Method
When I found out about this a couple of years ago in college, I couldn’t find many CG Friendly products. I just made sure I combed after applying conditioner and leave in conditioner on my hair instead of combing it dry.
It’s only after I started earning that I could afford to shop online & experiment with products. Starting the blog exposed to me to SO many curly hair products in India too!
Now, I had great curls even on a Non CG routine, but they were NOT as curly and soft as they are now. My hair is super bouncy, curly from the crown and feel hydrated.
I am now using mostly CG approved products with an odd product with ‘baddies’ thrown in that I may need to review for the blog.
Because of having a scalp prone to dandruff, I also use a medicated shampoo which is too harsh for pure CG routines but I can’t live without using it once or twice a month, especially in sweaty, humid seasons. Like I said earlier in the article, I follow a modified CG Routine.
If you have dandruff or an itchy scalp, learn how I deal with it in my routine in this post!- How to Get Rid of Dandruff in Natural Hair
Should you follow a CG Routine
I have many readers who prefer sulphates & silicones in their hair products and get good results and I have many who don’t.
The point is to be educated, know the consequences of the ingredients & take a personal call on what suits you better after trying the method out.
Remember, what works for one curly girl might not work for another.
But if you do want to follow the CG Method, you need to watch out for the below ingredients.
Ingredients to Avoid in CG Method
Not all silicones and ingredients with the word alcohol are bad. Watch out for the below ingredients, especially the ones in bold.
Sulphates to Avoid in CG Method
- Sodium Laureth, Myreth, or Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate
- Ammonium Laureth or Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate
- Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate
- Ammonium or Sodium Xylenesulfonate
- Ethyl PEG-15 Cocamine Sulfate
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
- Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate
- Sodium Xylenesulfonate
Non-Water Soluble Silicones to Avoid in CG Method
- Behenoxy Dimethicone
- Bis-aminopropyl dimethicone
- Cetearyl Methicone
- Cetyl Dimethicone
- Phenyl trimethicone
- Stearyl Dimethicone
Drying Alcohols to Avoid in CG Method
- Isopropyl alcohol (also called IPA)
- Denatured alcohol
- Propyl alcohol
- SD alcohol 40
More Ingredients to Avoid in CG Method
- Waxes: Bees wax, Candelilla wax
- Mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum)
Websites for Finding if a Product is CG Friendly
While these websites should not be fully depended on since they have their own biases, they’re often very handy.
When you’re confused about whether a product is CG Friendly, just copy paste the ingredients onto any of these websites-
Want step by step instructions on how to start CG Method? I’ve explained in detail in the below posts-