Thursday, January 29, 2009

So I'm about one week into it!

Here are some pictures of my first week on CG. I'm LOVING the results! I'm also doing some research on the difference between primary and secondary surfactants (shampoo v. conditioner surfactants) and why secondary surfactants are sufficient to cleanse the scalp and hair. I'm interested in this topic because while we know that silicones and cationic polymers can only be removed by primary surfactants, I haven't read too much about how other surfactants can get the hair and scalp just as clean. So check back soon! I'm hoping to have up this post within the next day or two.

I found an ingredient in the Aloe 80 condish that is only moderately soluble in water. Wikipedia states that phenoxyethanol is only moderately soluble in water. This pdf saftety data sheet states that phenoxyethanol is only slightly soluble in water, and is fully soluble only in acetone and ethanol. Since I'm just recently starting on CG, I think I need to be using products that have absolutely no potential to build up. Knowing this, I picked up a bottle of Nature's Gate Biotin condish. It's watery enough for me to work as a COwash, but thick enough to be rich enough in this dry weather.

Here are my pictures:

These two pictures were taken on Sunday after six days on CG, three using natural products.

These two were taken today. I started the day off at 86% humidity and it's currently at 33%. I think my hair did really well!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Our story begins...

I've always been curly, but I haven't always liked it. I didn't have a single spit of hair on my head until I was around three years old, and from that moment on my mother insisted on styling it straight. And why shouldn't she? She has straight hair herself. That's what I've heard about lately - well-meaning mommies that have straight hair don't know what to do with a child who has curly hair. Thus, I grew up thinking my hair had to be straight. At some point in High School, I decided to wear my hair curly, and that began my vicious cycle of "system" styling. Use this poo, condish, creme, mousse, and gel to achieve PERFECT CURLS!! The problem? Every time one didn't work, I'd try another whole system. Noticing a pattern? I gave up when I was 20 and began heat straightening my hair. I decided to go *back* to my curls at age 23, and gave up on them entirely in November when I got a very close-cut pixie chop. Geez, was that a bad idea! It looked horrible on me. I had no choice but to grow it out. Especially with my upcoming wedding to the man of my dreams. Something had to be done!

Then, earlier this week, I was browsing the internet trying to find some new way to style my hair since I still wanted to wear my hair curly. That's when I found While perusing these boards, I discovered not only a whole new lineup of curl products, but an entirely new method of styling my curly hair. This method is called Curly Girl, CG for short. It was developed by Lorraine Massey, a New York-based former stylist and guru of the DevaCurl line of hair products. The premise? In short, curly hair is moisture deprived by default, so shampooing is right out. This also means watching what other products you use in your hair, since some contain ingredients that can only be removed by shampooing. Dormroomcurly has a great, in-depth description of the how's ad why's of CG. I decided to give this a try. On Tuesday I clarified with Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo to get rid of any and all buildup that had accumulated on my still very short hair. Then I used Biolage Conditioning Balm to condition my hair, and left it on for the rest of my shower and then rinsed it out. I followed with a small amount of the Conditioning Balm as a leave in, and used Bioterra as a gel. I had good curls, arguably much better than any other coils I'd ever seen spring from my head.

Then I got to thinking. I've already gone all-natural with my skincare products, using Kiss My Face Peaceful Patchouli shower gel and lotion and Alba facial cleansing products. I don't know why I felt I had to go drugstore and/or salon for my hair. I guess because, like my mother, I didn't know any different. Effective marketing worked on me - I thought it's what my hair needed! Enter my epiphany: If I can go organic, botanical, and natural for my skin (heck, for my *face*), why not do the same thing for my hair? I wandered down to my local health foods store, EarthFare, and picked up Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose conditioner because I read on Botticelli Babe's blog that it is very, very rich, and great for cold, dry weather. I also picked up Aubrey B5 Styling Gel, and Lily of the Desert Aloe 80 conditioner as a COwash. My next shower (that afternoon since I just went on a product spree!) I COwashed with the Aloe 80, used the AOHR as a rinse out, and just a teeny bit of the Aloe 80 again as a leave-in, since it's thick enough for a cold weather leave-in. Scrunched in some AOB5 Gel, and finished getting ready. My hair dried about 45 minutes later, so I gently scrunched out the crunch.

My oh My oh CURLS!! They were amazing!!!!! Such definition and shine and life like I had never seen before. Even if my hair gets a little worse as it gets used to no poo, it was worth it to even try going CG since I saw the radical turnaround in only one day. WOW! My Fiancee even commented on how great my hair looke (and smelled). Hearing it from him sealed the deal. I have chosen to embark on a journey that I think will prove to be exciting and enlightening. I will put nothing but CG friendly organic products in my hair and see what happens. My skin is thanking me for going natural, and I'm hoping my hair will, too. I will also evaluate the change in products my hair may need as it grows longer, and how hair length affects the products I use. I have two months growth out of a pixie cut, which isn't too much hair. Most of it is still fresh out of the hair follicle, so for me, that's as good of a clean slate as any.

I'm hoping you will keep up with my leap into all-natural CG. It's now a few days in, and I'm still having great curls! I hope to indulge in my newfound love for my curls through this blog, and I would love feedback from my readers as well. That's all for now - happy reading, and love your curls for me!