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6x How to wash your hair CG proof

One of the basic principles of the Curly Girl Method is to eliminate shampoos that contain aggressive cleansers such as sulfates and ingredients such as silicones. But how should you clean your scalp and hair? There are various options for this, such as a co-wash, cleansing conditioner, CG shampoo, clarifying shampoo, apple cider cleanse or by making a curl shampoo yourself. In this article, we’ll cover the different ways to wash your hair CG proof!

Also read: This is how to treat frizzy hair

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In this article:

Why washing your hair with shampoo is a no-go

First we’ll dive into the question why you shouldn’t wash your hair with a normal shampoo. This is because curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair. 

The oils that your scalp produces, take longer to reach the hair strands with curls. So if you keep washing your hair with a shampoo that contains a lot of harsh cleansers, like sulfates, your hair will stay dry. 

That cleansing effect is too intense for your scalp and hair, causing you to suffer from an irritated and dry scalp, hair that quickly becomes greasy, and frizzy hair. 

Of course it’s important to keep your hair and scalp clean, but there are several other ways to do this.

Final wash

To start the Curly Girl Method with a clean slate, you start with a Final Wash. This is a wash with which you remove the build up of products and especially silicone from your hair. 

A build up is an accumulation of hair products on your hair, which closes off your hair so that it can’t breathe. 

Until now, you’ve probably washed and treated your hair with hair products that contain silicone, which may have caused a build up. 

The Final Wash also ensures that your hair can absorb more moisture and nourishing ingredients from your new CG-friendly products.

For the Final Wash you need a silicone-free shampoo with sulfates. 

This may sound strange, as sulfates are avoided within the CG Method because they’re stubborn cleansers that cause your scalp and hair to dry out. 

But because sulfates do their job so well, they remove your silicone build-up too. Therefore they’re very suitable for the Final Wash. 

After this, you can start using Curly Girl-proof products.

Also read: Read all about the Final Wash

How to wash your hair CG proof: 6 different ways

There are several ways to wash your hair CG proof. We’ll explain them below!


Co-washing is a method where you wash your hair with conditioner, instead of shampoo. A conditioner is much milder and caring for your scalp and hair. 

You use a co-wash as follows. Apply the co-wash to wet hair and massage for about five minutes, from the roots to the ends. 

Just like you would with a normal shampoo. 

Since a conditioner doesn’t contain ingredients with a strong cleansing power, it’s important to massage the scalp to allow the product to diffuse and penetrate for a sufficient time. 

Usually 3-5 minutes are enough. If your hair and scalp don’t feel completely clean yet, you can repeat this process. 

You can also use a special brush to massage your scalp. In this way, dirt and product build-up will be removed extra well.

Also read: Everything you want to know about co-washing and Our favorite Curly Girl approved conditioners

Cleansing conditioner

There are special cleansing conditioner products for sale too. These go a step further than co-washing, because a cleansing conditioner does contain cleansing ingredients. 

So you can clean your hair well with this, but it doesn’t dry out your curls.

Nowadays, a co-wash and a cleansing conditioner often mean the same thing: a conditioner with cleansing ingredients. You use a cleansing conditioner in the same way as a co-wash.

CG shampoo

A CG shampoo, or a sulfate-free cleanser, is a regular shampoo that’s free of all ingredients that are avoided in the Curly Girl Method. Think of silicones, sulfates and parabens.

Clarifying shampoo

A clarify goes a step further than a CG shampoo. A clarifying shampoo contains less cleansing ingredients than a normal shampoo, but more than a conditioner. 

It purifies your hair of everything, so you can start with a clean slate. It’s a good idea to do this once a month, as just using a CG shampoo or co-wash isn’t enough to remove everything from your hair. 

Because even if you only use CG-proof products, a build up can still occur. For example through sweat, natural oils and pollution. 

So, if your styling products suddenly stop working, you know it’s time to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo.

Your hair can get stiff from a clarifying shampoo. Therefore, use a deep conditioner afterwards to nourish it. 

Then continue with your normal styling routine.

Curious which clarifying shampoo is best to use? Here you can find our favorites!

Apple cider cleanse

Another way to clarify your curls is with an apple cider cleanse. This is a mix of water and apple cider vinegar. 

It removes build up from your hair, keeping your scalp and hair clean and healthy. In addition, it nourishes your hair with nutrients. 

This includes vitamins B, C and potassium, which helps you get and maintain healthy hair.

You can easily make an apple cider cleanse yourself, by mixing 1/3 part organic apple cider and 2/3 part water. Wet your hair first, pour the cleanse over your scalp and hair, massage it in and let it soak in. 

Then rinse thoroughly, as you don’t want to keep smelling like apple cider vinegar all day long. After this, you can use a deep conditioner to optimally care for your hair.

DIY curl shampoo

You can also make a curl shampoo yourself. This way, you can be sure that no chemicals are used. 

Curly-haired people often suffer from frizzy hair, which is due to the natural dry texture that this hair type has. Therefore it’s important to keep the amount of oil and moisture in the hair in balance. 

And you do that, for example, by making your own curl shampoo with aloe vera and coconut milk. The aloe vera plant is known for its moisturizing qualities. 

The gel in this shampoo ensures that your hair can retain more moisture, which prevents fluff.

To make your own curl shampoo you need:

  • 475 ml aloe vera gel (make sure it is 100% pure)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (full fat)

Mix the ingredients in a bowl and pour some of it into a bottle that allows you to easily apply it to your hair. You can freeze the rest for later use. 

Apply a bit of the shampoo to your scalp and massage it in for a few minutes. Then you apply a bit more shampoo. 

Let this soak for a while and then wash your hair thoroughly with water.

Hopefully it’s clear to you how you can wash your hair CG proof! Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask them on Instagram!

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