Curly Hair Care

A Pocket-Friendly Step by Step Guide to Starting CG Routine for Your Curly Hair

Cg Method for curly hair

Sulphates, silicones, drying alcohols, methods, techniques – find your self overwhelmed after discovering the CG Method for Curly Hair? I feel you.

Ready to start a routine but don’t want to spend  a lot on expensive products?


I’ve been exactly where you are now, in college and work before I started to earn enough to afford international brands.

I survived on pocket-money and back then, there was NO WAY I was allowed to spend more than INR 500-1000 bucks ($14) in a month on just my hair.

If that’s you as well, keep on reading!

Also, this post is for anyone with curly hair, not wavy hair so if you’re not sure what hair type you have, go right now and read this – Natural Hair Types.

If you have wavy hair, read this post insteadHow to Starting CG Routine for Wavy Hair

A quick note into what IS CG Method first.

CG Method For Naturally Curly Hair

This method was created by Lorraine Massey and published in her book – Curly Girl the Handbook. It includes these rules-

  • Stop brushing curly hair dry
  • Comb only after applying conditioner inside the shower
  • Comb only after applying leave in conditioner outside the shower
  • Avoid ANY shampoo with harsh sulphates, conditioner and styling products with drying alcohols, plastic coating silicones, hard to remove wax, mineral oil & more
  • You can read more about this here – CG Method

We follow this routine because it doesn’t allow any product that makes our hair even more dry and frizzy.

This is what I have also been broadly following for the last few years.

Here’s what you need to do. Don’t forget to-


Cg method curly hair pinterest


1. Pre-Poo

Poo is shampoo, so pre poo is before shampoo, get it? Lightly oil your hair and use your fingers to detangle big knots & tangles. This reduces tension on your hair in the steps coming next. Use oils like argan, almond, jojoba, coconut – lighter oils work better for loose curls, thicker oils like olive oil, sesame oil, castor oil work better on tighter, thicker curls.

2. Clarify

To start afresh, we need to remove all the old silicone that is still in your hair with a shampoo that has sulphates but NO silicones.

This type of shampooing is called clarifying.

Drench your hair in water and apply Pantene Lively Clean (Under Rs.200) to all your hair and rinse it out.

If you’re from USA, use Suave Essentials Shampoo Daily Clarifying Shampoo, TRESemme Purify & Replenish Deep Cleanse Shampoo or any Vo5 Shampoo instead.

Remember- you DON’T use this shampoo each time you wash your hair after this. This is just for a final rinse.

You will use another type of shampoo the next time you wash which I will explain later.

3. Condition

Apply a moisturising, silicone-free conditioner from crown to ends. Don’t be stingy with the amount.

Then use your fingers to gently detangle followed with a wide toothed comb.

This is essential to reducing dryness and frizz. Rinse out.

Use Loreal Smooth Intense Conditioner (Under Rs.150) or Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Conditioner (under Rs.350) if you’re from India. Peeps from abroad, try with SheaMoisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl & Shine conditioner or Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner.

Find more pocket-friendly conditioners in this list. You can also see how I shampoo and condition my hair in this IGTV video.

4. Leave in Conditioner/ Curl Cream

When your hair is still slightly wet, flip your hair upside down and smooth on a CG-Friendly leave-in-conditioner or curl cream on your wet/damp hair.

If you have loose curls, just smooth it on with ‘Praying Hands’ technique since you want to preserve your clumps.

If you have thick and tigher curls, use a comb to distribute the product throughout your hair.

Don’t plop (see point 8) if you are planning to apply any other styling product. If its only leave in, the plop away!

Start with – Loreal Smooth Intense Conditioner diluted with water in a spray bottle (under Rs.150) or Arata Hair Cream (Rs.599 – Use my code CURIOUSARATA for 20% OFF on orders equal to or above Rs.999) or Cantu Curl Activator (Under Rs.900)

You can also try  As I am Leave in Conditioner, Sheamoisture Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk or TGIN Leave in Conditioner– all of these are pocket-friendly!

You can find more products here in this list – Curly Hair Products in India

5. Gel

Apply an alchohol-free gel next by smoothing on a dollop to each section.

This will form a cast around your curls and help in clumping.

It also protects your hair from frizzing up fast.

Start with – DIY Flaxseed Gel (cheapest, natural, curl-enhancing gel you can make at home) or Arata Hair Gel (Use my code CURIOUSARATA to get 20% OFF on orders equal to or above Rs.999) or Set Wet Gel (Under Rs.100).

American or British curlies, try As I Am Curling Jelly Aussie Moist Instant Freeze or Curl Keeper Gel.

Watch this video tutorial to see how I style MY curls with a hair cream and hair gel.

7. Scrunch

Flip your head over, take sections of your hair and squeeze up with your fingers first and then a t-shirt. Don’t comb your curls after this.

8. Plop

Take the t-shirt and plop your hair in this manner (see video below) for 3-5 minutes. This activates your curl pattern and makes them shrink better.

9. Air Dry or Diffuse

You can remove the t-shirt and air dry normally as you go about your day or sleep in it overnight and remove the next morning.

I travel in the metro daily and like my curls dry before I leave home and that is why I use a diffuser.

Learn more in this video- How to Diffuse Curly Hair

10. Scrunch Out The Crunch (SOTC)

Once the curls fully dry, you’ll find your curls are dry and crunchy. This is normal.

You need to soften it by taking a light oil in your palms (Jojoba, almond work great) and gently scrunching the sections of hair again.

Then fluff the roots of your hair to create some volume on the crown.

Day 1 Night, Day 2, Day 3, Day 5, Day 6

Night Routine

At night, to protect your curls from getting flat, tie your hair into a pine-apple like this (see video above) and cover with a satin hair cap or satin scarf.

This fabric will help preserve your curls longer.

Indian curlies, check this satin cap and this satin scarf.

US curlies, try this satin bonnet or this buff to protect your curls!

Morning Routine

On the next day, and the next, until you wash again, you can’t comb your curls dry.

To revive your hair which will become slightly more frizzy as each day pasts, follow this refresh routine.

Spray some water on your curls and then smooth on a small amount of cream or gel on the frizzy parts. Fluff the roots again and let it dry.

Do this every morning until your hair is frizzy and flat again and in need for another wash.

Day 4


Now the second time and almost every other time you wash your hair, you will use a shampoo WITHOUT sulphates and silicones.

Remember, the first shampoo you used was just a way to deep cleanse your hair. Now only light cleansing is required and you will need a CG Friendly shampoo.

You can start with Mamaearth Happy Heads Hair Shampoo (Rs.349)
or Giovanni Organic Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo (Rs.547). Find more options here in this list.

Uk & USA curlies, try Sheamoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine ShampooNature’s Gate various shampoos or Not your Mother’s Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Shampoo

After this shampoo, follow the same steps as you did on Day 1, i.e conditioning & styling!

Co-Wash or No-Poo

If you gym or swim a lot, you may need to wash your hair more often.

In this case, mid-washes, use a product called a co-wash.

This is actually a conditioner. With this you need to apply it to your scalp and use your fingers to scrub out the dirt.

I personally don’t recommend ONLY co-washing.

You need to cleanse your scalp for healthy hair growth so make sure you shampoo (CG Friendly) or clarify once in a while, especially if you suffer from an itchy scalp.

You can start with Enliven Natural Fruit Extracts Coconut and Vanilla Conditioner – CG Friendly (Rs.305) or As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner – CG Friendly (Rs.1500) if you’re in India.

Peeps in the US, try either As I Am Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner or Mielle Organics Detangling Co-wash.

Day 7

Deep Condition

This is SO important if you have curly hair.

You need to start off with deep conditioning at least once a week.

Deep conditioning is basically doing a hair spa or putting on a hair mask. It will work intensely for a short time on your curls making it softer and smoother.

Read more about deep conditioning here – How, When, What : Deep Conditioning Curly Hair

Mix some conditioner + 1 tsp honey + 1 tsp oil of your choice or use  Lotus Herbals Soyasmooth Protein Creme Deep Conditioner – CG Friendly (Rs. 189) or Aaranyaa Spa At Home Argan Oil Hair Pack – CG Friendly (Rs. 333) or MATRIX By fbb Hydra Creme Intense Ultra Hydra Source Hydrating Masque (Rs.445) for Indian curlies.

International curlies try SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque or the Curls Blueberry Bliss Reperative Hair Mask.


It looks like a long list but honestly, this routine takes me about 15-20 mins in the morning (except diffusing).

Just try it once and see the difference in your curly hair!

Don’t forget to share your results with me by DMing my Instagram (@thecuriousjalebi) or share it on my private Facebook group Ask Jalebi.

If you know someone with frizzy, curly hair, please share this article with them!

  • Reply
    Niharika Vohra

    Hi Pallavi. I really loved reading everything. I am planning to start my CG journey. I have a few queries. Have been trying to reach you out. Is there any way we can talk?

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      You can email me at pallavijuneja92(at)gmail(.)com if you’d like!

  • Reply

    I really loved all the information and suggestion guide you gave about curly hair. I want to start my CG journey asap.
    Is Cantu shampoo and conditioner good?

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Yes, from what I’ve heard, haven’t personally tried!

      • SHRISTY

        Please try and review if possible.

  • Reply

    Hi Pallavi, can you suggest how should i colour my hair under the cg routine

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Try not to get it bleached if you’re getting it coloured. After, deep condition more often than earlier. Use a oil to seal after styling. Understand hair will get frizzier much faster! Working on an article for this so stay tuned!

  • Reply

    Thank you so much pallavi for such a great article. Was so much confused with so many products and techniques but you certainly have made it way simpler to understand.
    Well, I had one doubt that so whenever we DC or oil our hair we have to use normal shampoo to clarify and rest of the times we have to use CG friendly shampoo right?
    And everyday I have to refresh my hair with leave in and gel??

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Nono, if you lightly oil your hair you don’t need to clarify, a regular cg shampoo should work fine. Clarify only if its heavy oiling. Also you can clarify before a dc but its not mandatory. Try to clarofy your hair only once or twice a month basically.

  • Reply

    Hey! I loved the article. My hair is generally frizzy. I use the wow shampoo and conditioner. I oil up my hair before my hair wash. I I comb my hair only in the shower when it’s wet. I apply the same conditioner as leave jn and scrunch it. But ,as my hair dries the curls don’t look nourished. They look so dry. How am I to maintain this? And I am been using the CG friendly shampoo only from the last 2 months.

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Possibly the conditioner is not working well as a leave in- try changing it to a more moisturising one. Also, do clarify with a sulphate shampoo, free of silicones once a month, great for deep cleaning

  • Reply
    Merette Bishara

    You stated in your other blog on: to avoid “Drying Alcohols to Avoid in CG Method isopropyl alcohol (also called IPA)”, but the product you recommended here: Loreal Smooth Intense Conditioner has that ingredient. Is it bad then?

  • Reply

    Hi, love your videos, gives me hope with my curly hair. Its really dry and frizzy. I did a lot of common mistakes, got it straightened, combed it dry, etc. etc. Trying to now incorporate your tips but have a few questions. I work out everyday so I need to wash my hair. When I say wash I don’t use shampoo I rinse it with water. Shampooing is once a week. This has always been my routine. So what I want to know is that since i need to wash my hair (with water) every day is there a serum/after wash product that I can use to control the frizz that I can use everyday? When I shampoo and condition I am going to use your tips and also incorporate a mask in my routine but please let me know what I should do for my hair when I wash it daily. I am currently in Tanzania and its humid like how, my hair feels like a rope…please help. Thanks 🙂

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Hi Sherly! Do you really need to wash it everyday? Could you not air dry the sweat in your scalp (after keeping them protected in a bun)? Otherwise try getting a cowash- its gentler than a shampoo and will keep your hair moisturised! If you just want to rinse with water, I suggest taking a dollop of leave in conditioner and smoothing it on after getting out of the shower. this should help somewhat. Also try DIY Flaxseed Gel!

      • Sree

        The article is a meticulous one, thanks a lot!

      • Pallavi Juneja

        Yay I’m glad you liked it!

  • Reply
    Sonal Agrawal

    Hey! This is a great article and I am planning on starting this method (will keep you posted on my progress)! I have one question though, I gym about 4 times a week, so I was my hair every third day. For the co-wash, can I use the same conditioner as before? Or is it important to purchase another one? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Well, some people use the conditioner with the scrubbing motion of the fingertips to make it work as a co wash. I do think a proper co wash will also have gentle cleansing ingredients as well and that offers a better scalp cleanse to avoid the follicles from getting blocked.

  • Reply
    Shalaka Desai

    Thank you so much Pallavi. There is so much of confusion atleast for people who wants to start cg journey but don’t know how to. Despite of so much knowledge it’s really important to have your basics right. You made an effort to put all this out. I’m so grateful to you. This is clear and point info to start a cg journey. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      Pallavi Juneja

      Aw thank you Shalaka! So glad I was able to communicate effectively! <3

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