Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Curly Girl Method: Part 2: Does it work on Kinky Hair?

My answer? Yes, but only with modifications*.

*Disclaimer: this is my own theory; I have no scientific evidence to back this. If you have a differing opinion, please comment below; I'd love to hear it.  

Ok, now that's out of the way...

The CG method, by definition, is meant to enhance curls. Or waves. Or coils. So technically, you should have curls to enhance in the first place. If, however, you are a kinky haired natural, like me, with no curl pattern to speak of, doesn't it mean there's nothing to enhance? think so. 

So why is the CG method so popular among naturals; kinkies, curlies and coilies alike?

Well, the theories about curly hair, as outlined in Part 1, ring true for kinky hair; Sebum doesn't travel easily down a kinky hair shaft; Kinky hair is dry and fragile by nature; Kinky hair knots and tangles easily. 

It makes sense therefore that CG practices like eliminating shampoos (or at least ones containing sulfates), cowashing with silicone-free conditioners and leaving conditioner in your hair would work for kinky hair. Same goes for not handling dry hair and eliminating combs. (Although many kinkies use combs and brushes for detangling.) 

But, in my opinion, there end the similarities.   

The CG method doesn't advocate the use of oils or butters in hair, particularly heavy ones, as these weigh down curls. Many naturals, however, benefit from using oils and/or butters to seal moisture in. In fact, for most, it is not only a beneficial practice, but also a crucial one at maintaining well moisturised hair. 

Shea Butter - Image courtesy of http://www.stylistaprilb.com

Shrinkage is another feature that, although also applicable to curly hair, factors high for naturals. Enter twists and braids. The CG method specifies that once a leave-in conditioner has been applied to the hair, hair must be left to dry naturally.  Many naturals, though, experience very high shrinkage when hair dries, which in turn causes tangling. In order to minimise tangling and knotting, it is common for naturals to twist or braid their hair to keep the hair strands from curling around each other as they dry. Personally, this is the main reason I wear my hair in twists to dry, not to stretch it or  wear it in a twist/braid/knot out. 

These are not hard and fast rules and everyone's hair is different but, in general,  they apply to most kinky haired naturals. This could also be used to explain why Wash n Gos act as they do on '4c' hair. I say 4c in quotes because hair typing is quite a controversial grouping method. 

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