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Learn all about the final wash

You have done your homework, bought new Curly Girl approved products and are ready to apply the Curly Girl Method in your hair routine. Before you start, it is recommended to wash your hair one more time with an aggressive cleanser called a final wash. In this blog you can read how to do that and which products you can best use for it.

Also read: How to start the curly girl method: steps for beginners

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Why a final wash when you are just starting out?

Since you probably not long ago washed and treated your hair regularly with hair products containing silicone, you may be experiencing build up. That is an accumulation of hair products on your hair. It closes off your hair, so it cannot breathe. To start with a clean slate with the Curly Girl Method, you do a final wash: a wash with which you remove the the build up of products and especially silicone from your hair. In addition, the final wash ensures that your hair can absorb more moisture and nourishing ingredients from your new CG-friendly products.

Which shampoo is best to use for a final wash?

For this wash you need a silicone-free shampoo with sulfates. This may sound strange, as sulfates are stubborn cleansers that cause your scalp and hair to dry out. But it is precisely because sulfates do their job so well that they remove your silicone build up, and are therefore very suitable if you are just starting the CGM hair routine. Then you can start using and testing Curly Girl-proof products on your hair. Below is a list of silicone-free final wash shampoos that do contain sulfates:
  • Europrofit baby shampoo from Kruidvat and Trekpleister
  • Daily Mild Shampoo from Kruidvat, own brand
  • Jumbo every day shampoo from Jumbo
Own brand shampoos for every day and for babies are often very suitable as a final wash. We recommend that you check the label of all final wash shampoos that you buy, including those from the list above, to make sure that the product does contain sulfates but no silicones. Are you really unable to figure it out? Then Dreft is recommended, the detergent yes. It’s a pretty harmful, but therefore effective, remedy. Keep in mind that you only use a final wash shampoo once.

Other tips for a perfect and effective final wash

After you wash your hair with a final wash shampoo, your hair may feel dry and damaged, and it probably is. Therefore, care for and treat your hair with Curly Girl Method-friendly products. Do you accidentally use a non-CG-proof product after this phase? For example, if you sleep with a friend and you have to wash your hair, or you go to a hairdresser who does not use CG-proof products? Then we recommend to do the final wash again for a new reset.

Why a final wash is not a must

Although most people say it is wise to start with a final wash, not everyone agrees. For example, you would not be able to remove all the silicone that you have – probably – been using all your life, in one go with a final wash. Therefore, if you start with the CG Method and switch to co-washing, you will likely find that your hair feels worse at first. That is the transition phase, and it is because you have used silicone on your hair for years. These chemicals take a while to really get out of your hair, so be patient!

Also read: Everything you want to know about co-washing

But, if you don’t start your Curly Girl Method routine with a final wash, how? You just skip this step, so immediately switch to co-washing. Isn’t your hair getting better over time? Then try a clarify, for example an apple cider vinegar rinse. This removes build up, makes your hair softer, calms your scalp and closes your hair cuticles, making your hair shine again.

Other option: low poo final wash

Another option is a low poo final wash. This is a shampoo with mainly natural ingredients and less harmful sulfates. It foams much less or even not, but it does clean your hair. Shampoos that comply with this are:

  • Aleppo shampoo
  • Cantu
  • Dr. Bronners
  • Dr. Organic
  • Less is more
  • Petal Fresh
  • Pure Nuff stuff
  • Shea Moisture
  • Yes to …

Most of these low poo shampoos are available at Kruidvat, Etos, Action and Holland & Barrett.

What are you going to do: a final wash or immediately co-washing? And, if you have any questions about this, let us know in the comments below! We like to think along.

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