So you started down the rabbit hole and are completely overwhelmed. Why do people drive themselves crazy trying to learn names of ingredients in hair care products? Why go through the extra effort? Is it right for me? Went through all of these questions myself- I get it.
I’ll start with the fact that we don’t do it because we hate shampoo and hot tools. That would just be silly.
On Shampoo and Silicones
The idea is that if you’re not using ingredients that build up on your hair like silicone and waxes, you won’t need to use a harsh shampoo that’ll strip your hair in order to get that stuff off of your hair. Ingredients that sit on top of the hair create a barrier- so while it may make your hair look great the day you applied it, it stops your hair from being able to absorb anything else and ultimately dries it out since it can’t get more water from the air. So can you just stop using them and be fine?
Unfortunately not. Buildup frizz is a real thing. If you use ingredients that aren’t water soluble (ex: silicone) you need sulphates to break it down.
I do a modified Curly Girl Method (CGM.) The only modification that is a regular part of my routine is I purposely use a sulphate shampoo once every 4-5 weeks to remove any buildup. While I generally use all products that are CG approved, some of them can build up still (polyquats for example) and wavy hair does tend to feel the effects of that sooner. To fight the effects of this, I only clarify with a harsher shampoo if I have time to deep condition on the same day.
On Heat Styling/Brushing Your Hair Out
Your hair will curl best when it’s healthiest. So, the more you wear your hair curly, the better it will curl. I’m not telling you that you have to stop heat styling your hair, or brushing out your curls. You do you. If you like straightening your hair once a week, that’s fine! Just don’t expect to see the same transformation with your curls as someone who has been obsessively caring for the health of their hair for more than a year. The same way that yoga and powerlifting will train your muscles differently, encouraging curl vs straightening them will train your hair differently.
This is my hair 5 months into the Curly Girl Method. The differences between day 1 and this points- it’s healthier (including shiny without silicone faking the shine!) and the curls have gotten curlier AND more robust!