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What is the Curly Girl Method?

The Curly Girl Method. You may have heard the term being thrown around in beauty communities, maybe a few youtube videos or online articles, but do you know what it ACTUALLY is? As with lots of beauty and haircare trends, sometimes things are talked about without properly being explained to those who have no prior knowledge on the subject. But don’t worry, we've got you covered. Team nuddy is here to break down all things CGM for all you curious, curly haired honeys out there. 

The Curly Girl Method is a series of techniques designed for naturally curly hair that has not been chemically relaxed. It was brought to the mainstream by hairstylist Lorraine Massey and her book, Curly Girl- The Handbook and has had a recent revival, due to the increase of information about it online and on social media. In a nutshell, it is a hair routine specifically designed for curly hair, which is often more prone to dryness, damage and breakage. It involves avoiding heat and sulphate-based shampoos to avoid damaging the hair cuticle, resulting in super moisturised, healthy curls. It also suggests avoiding silicon based conditioners which coat the hair and prevents moisture getting to the hair strands.

So, let's get into the main steps. A key part of the CGM is 'co-washing'- AKA using a silicone free conditioner, rather than shampoo, to avoid the harmful ingredients often found in regular shampoos. A quick bit of background: most shampoos contain sulphates and alcohol in their formulas, which help to create their lathering effect. The problem with these elements is that they strip hair of their natural oils, leaving it dry, dull and lacking moisture. They also leave a build up on the hair and scalp, which can increase greasiness and leave the hair feeling weighed down. Given the heaviness and dryness faced by naturally curly hair, these products should be avoided at ALL costs. The good news is, nuddy shampoo bars are free of all the nastiness that CGM lovers avoid, (yes, we are curly girl approved). This means we are the perfect option for anyone who wants a sulphate-free product to kickstart their CGM routine.

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Whilst washing the hair, the CGM recommends a stepknown as 'Squish to Condish'. This is basically scooping hair whilst washing and squishing it back towards the scalp to help curls regain their bounce and shape, whilst helping conditioner to fully penetrate the hair.

Once out of the shower, it's gel time. Gel products help to capture the curl’s nature shape, leaving them defined and able to hold the moisture gained from your shower. If you are looking for the best curly girl approved gels, you can check some out here. Once gelled, its time to plop the hair. Yes you heard that right. Curly gals are advised to 'plop' their hair. Have absolutely no clue what this is? Plopping is the process of placing curls, head first, onto a microfibre towel or old t-shirt, before wrapping around the head. It is super important to use either of these materials rather than a regular towel, in order to reduce frizziness and minimise the chance of breakages (towels are the WORST for this). 

Now we come to drying. A key aspect of the CGM is to avoid heat when drying and styling the hair whenever possible. Curly hair is often prone to dryness which is why its important to minimise any heat damage. Air drying helps to keep curls frizz free and more defined, but it may not always be the most practical option. If you do want to dry your hair more quickly, a diffuser is your new best friend. Often dismissed as that funny looking attachment for your dryer, a diffuser will help your curls like no other. Due to its small holes, it allows more air to reach your locks, meaning your curls are dried more effectively. Using cooler air will help keep curls looking the best, so this may take longer than usual- patience is key! Once hair is around 90% dry, flip your hair forwards and scrunch to help break the cast of your gel. Depending on personal preference, some may want to add a curl activating product or mousse to their hair to help set and define curls. 

There you have it. The low down on the Curly Girl Method. The internet is full of many extra tips and tricks but we wanted to make sure you understand the very basics of the process and how it can help you make the most of your beautiful curls. If you want to take the first step of your CGM journey, we suggest checking out our shampoo bars, like, erm, right now. 

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