FIRST WASH WITH CGM
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
In my previous article I talked about the first five products you need to start the journey towards your Healthy Curls. Now, take those products and place them in the order they are going to be used.
If you decided to go for low-poo method, put the shampoo for your regular wash aside, as you do not need it today. When you do your regular wash, simply use your regular shampoo instead of your clarifying one first, followed by the rest of the products listed above. I find it easiest to explain step by step, as if you were taking a shower.
Since you are at the very beginning of your new hair routine, you need to get rid of all unsuitable products you have been applying for years. That is your first step, which is called final wash. Although I would find it more logical if it was called “first” instead of “final”, in regards of our hair resurrection! Never mind, let´s get started.
So the first thing you need to use is a clarifying! shampoo. You will use it when you begin this process, and then every 3 to 4 weeks. Or whenever you feel your hair needs to get rid of the build up you have had from all those years of using unsuitable products (dyes, straightening, using heat etc.).
Make sure you scrub your head thoroughly.
Be careful: always scrub with your finger pads, not with the nails.
Rinse the hair, re-apply clarifying shampoo, scrub it, and rinse again. It is important to wash your hair twice when doing a final wash or when you clarify to get rid of all the build up. It is an important step in your routine to get rid of all sulfates, drying aclohols, silicones, and waxes; and also to get your hair on the right path after years of straightening, using heat on maximum, etc. I do not recommend using this for your regular wash; it would be too harsh for your hair. That is why you also have your regular shampoo (if you decided to follow low-poo), which you are not using this time.
You have washed your hair; now it is time for a Deep Conditioner aka DC. This is an absolutely crucial step towards your healthy curls. If your hair has been ruined by dyeing like mine, feel free to use it every time you wash it. If you have low porosity hair, still include it in your routine anyway, ideally once a week.
Apply it as a mask and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. If twenty minutes is out of the question for you (children, dogs, tarantulas, ideally all three variants together), then let it work for 10 minutes at least. Cover the conditioning mask with a swimming cap (or whatever you have at home - I once used a Tesco bag!) and put a heated towel on top of that.
LITTLE TIP: If you microwave a towel for a few seconds, the mask will activate even better from the heat. Then wash it off.
Ok, now, how do we apply conditioner?
There is a special method called praying hands. And it really looks like you are praying! Classic lathering is not practiced in CGM. I enclose an illustrative photo below. There are several ways to apply praying hands. It suits me best when I have my hair upside down; but you can also apply it from one side of the head to the other, and then get your hair upside down. I spread the conditioner along the entire length of my palms, put my hair between my palms, and "stroke" it in from about the middle of the hair to the ends.
PRAYING HANDS METHOD
Do not apply the conditioner all the way up to the roots, otherwise your hair will get greasy.
Now it is time to brush your hair. Only comb through wet hair, never dry, and with conditioner in. Especially if you are curly. I know lots of wavies comb through their dry hair but I give them my virtual evil look :-D.
Use your fingers first, run them through your hair to untangle it, and then comb through with your hairbrush. When you are done, put your hair on side, or if you have long hair, put it up in a bun and continue with your shower. I leave the conditioner in my hair during my shower, I would say about 5 minutes. If you bought the leave-in conditioner, do not rinse it out, but simply leave it in your hair.
Now let´s talk about my favourite thing: squish to condish (STC). You have two options to properly moisturise your hair: either just by "squeezing" it in the shower or by the bowl method. I will describe the easier one and leave the bowl method to another time.
Take the loose hair and start squeezing it up towards your roots. You should hear a squishing sound. It is like walking in flip-flops outside in the rain while the water keeps getting stuck in your shoes, that kind of sound. If you do not hear it when squishing your hair, add more water and squeeze the water mixed with the conditioner aka squish to condish. By squeezing, not only will your hair start to curl beautifully, but you will also give it that desired moisture.
SQUISH TO CONDISH AKA STC
After you finish with STC, you can rinse your conditioner out. Again, if you have a leave-in conditioner, just leave it in your hair. Personally, I run the water over it for approximately 30 seconds. If I have a little conditioner left in my hair, that is totally fine. Some recommend doing the final rinse with cold water to close the hair cuticles so your hair becomes even smoother. I prefer slightly warm water rather than completely cold one. I realised that when I used cold water, my hair got greasier sooner than rinsing it out with a bit warmer water.
Hurrah! Well done! You have successfully washed your hair according to the CGM. Probably no one has ever praised you for that, have they? I know it all sounds quite complicated, but believe me, you will become a real pro after a few washes.
Now is the time to use a towel to squeeze that excess water out. Simply replace it with either a 100 per cent cotton T-shirt or a microfiber towel. Why? This will significantly reduce the frizz. You will not see an immediate change right after the first wash (though a few people have); but you will after a few washes. And believe me, I used to be the Queen of Frizz.
Now it is time for styling.
Are you afraid to use gel or foam because your hair will end up sticky? This is a common concern of everyone who starts with this method. I was nervous about it too; but only because I was applying it incorrectly my whole life, to my dry hair.
Apply your styling product into wet hair using praying hands and squish it (as you already did with conditioner). I guarantee you a completely different result than what you are used to. You will be surprised how much your hair will love it. You can either let your hair dry naturally (air-dry) or use a hair dryer with a diffuser to achieve volume. When diffusing, it is always best to switch between medium and low buttons, definitely not the hot one. From the moment you put styling product until the moment your hair dries, do not touch it at all. Sure, you will be tempted, but if you do, slap that hand, yes, slap it! because the same hand would cause you frizz. And frizz what? We don't want frizz.
I read some great advice online: “If you think your hair is dry, it almost 100 percent is not.”
Scrunch out the crunch i.e. SOTC.
This is your last step. Promise. When your hair is definitely dry, scrunch out the crunch.
THIS IS THE PICTURE BEFORE SOTC
THIS IS AFTER SOTC
Now, how do you get the waves like in the second picture?
Again, you have more options. Either gently squeeze the crust into the T-shirt or microfiber towel or clap it out. And that is how I do it. Take a part of your hair, put it between your hands, and start clapping, just like you do at a concert. Does that sound strange? Sure it does; but that is how you break the crust you have at the moment and start forming your beautiful healthy curls.
If it helps you to see me clapping, check out my video Wash Day Routine in a video section, where I demonstrate how to do it.
And that´s it, ladies and gentlemen! The easiest way to get started.
Let me give you a few extra tips.
Keep a hair diary. Write down things that work for you and things that do not.
Do not apply anything directly on the scalp, except for a shampoo. This is like the best advice I got when I started...especially cuz of my hair can turn into a baking paper very easily
So I will just repeat it again because it is so important. Deep Conditioner, conditioner, and styling products ideally from the middle of the hair till the ends. This will significantly reduce how greasy your hair becomes.
Join those two FB groups:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1272296646241812 - best group for wavy people but curly as well. Not strict at all because I am one of the Modmins so it is quite funny one of course (some of the strict ones do not like mentioning low-poo. If you do, you are on your own mate. Good luck with that. They might jinx you and your own family. Haha)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1256485677796226 - this group is perfect if you decide to follow the original method. Seriously, if you decide to follow "real deal" CGM with co-washing, not using oils...join this group. You will learn a lot.
People share their experience with the method, their fails, their good and bad hair days. If you are stuck with the method, you can ask them and they will give you some valuable advice. I am really grateful to those two FB pages for my hair improvement.
I know I am repeating myself, but be patient and determined. It is not a sprint, it is a marathon. You will see how your hair changes with each wash. If you are still confused after reading my article, feel free to contact me via Instagram: @healthycurlsnow, or right here. I will be more than happy to help you.
Healthy Curls to us all. X