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What is the Curly Girl Hair Method?

Dear team! I want to start the Curly Hair Method and don’t know where to start. So many products… I am confused. Thanks.

Could you recommend me hair products for the Curly Girl Method. Thank you!

A Curly Girl Method (or a curly men hair method) is a beauty solution for curly and wavy hair types aimed to make your curls smoother and stronger. It suggests altering your usual wavy hair routine and making a change in your approach to hair care. This method has been invented by Lorraine Massey (the author of the Curly Girl: The Handbook). By using and avoiding specific ingredients, products, and styling hacks, you get the healthy curly mane of your dream. Let’s review this method step by step.

The Main Curly Girl Method Steps

How to do the curly girl method? To start the curly girl method, you should consider buying some curly girl method products for wavy hair. You will need to get rid of the sulfate shampoo first. You will also have to reject any products containing silicones, sulfates, waxes, and alcohol. The following components make curls heavier and prevent them from curling properly.

While transitioning to the curly girl method you should say ‘no’ to heat-styling tools, improper combs, and regular terry towels, which is step two. Use oils and leave-in care to preserve all curls until the next wash without fluffing them.

Step three is getting a good hair conditioner and engaging in a co-washing technique, which means skipping shampoo and using only conditioner to clean your hair. The most important thing is to fill your curly hair with moisture. To do this, pour some conditioner into the palm of your hand and distribute it with your fingers through your curly hair, combing it at the same time (you can use a comb only at this stage) while gradually adding water. Wait two or three minutes. When you feel that your hair has become heavy and smooth, rinse it off. To do this, fill your palms with water and press your hair. A little amount of conditioner should stay on the hair, but it ought to feel comfortable.

An alternate way is to rinse each strand with a shower stream but do it carefully so as not to straighten the curl.

The final step is drying your hair. A proper way suggests that the water should flow from your hair after washing – do not squeeze it. If your curls aren’t that twisted, you can use a plopping technique: with a pressing motion, gently apply a special styling gel for curly hair. After that, carefully collect your hair in a microfiber hood and wait 10 to 15 minutes for the hair to dry and take the desired shape.

To sum up, you need to use a strong clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup from your hair (the last time!), to massage the scalp and hair with a sulfate-free shampoo or conditioner, rinse it out, use a conditioner and rinse most of it, use a styling gel if needed (on wet hair), and air-dry (as mentioned above) or diffuse (on low temperature). For finer hair types you may apply products upside-down to get a bit more volume.

Curly Girl Method Before and After

How long to wait for the curly girl method results? Usually, you can expect the first curly girl method results almost immediately after starting this routine. First of all, hair becomes more moisturized, less frizzy, and more voluminous. The full transformation is expected in approximately 6 weeks.

Yet, you will have to persist and experiment with your products. It is also advisable to check your curl and hair type from time to time as it may change after you start using the curly girl method. Your hair needs can also change as a result.

Finally, after 1-3 years, you will see the real and complete results of applying the curly girl method in your hair care routine – shiny, manageable, hydrated, and frizz-free curls.

Curly Girl Method Side Effects

Though it’s common to see changes after the first wash, everyone’s hair type is different, and you, probably, will have to overcome some challenges on the way. One of the most popular struggles is oily hair. This is a direct consequence of eliminating shampoo: if you are just getting started with the curly girl method, your scalp needs time to adjust the sebum production to get it back in balance as its previous production was adjusted to shampoo washing.

The next beginners’ struggle is more frizz. At the beginning of applying the curly girl method, some people suffer from frizz more than before. That is because your hair can finally breathe, and it is no longer burdened by silicone and heat. This should naturally disappear in a few weeks.

Mushy hair can also be an issue. If you feel your hair mushy, soft, and frizzy, you probably have over-conditioned hair. Although curly hair tends to be dry and needs a lot of moisture, some products can overload it, especially if your hair is very fine. If this happens, clean your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and use lighter conditioners and moisturizers. Do not use a deep conditioner too often.

Curly Girl Method Approved Products

What products for wavy hair and curls to choose if you want to start your curly hair method? The easiest way to find out if the product you consider buying is OK for the curly hair method is to use the Curly Girl ingredient analyzer.

– A clarifying shampoo is needed if you are going to reset the routine after using a product /products filled with bad ingredients and start your curly hair journey again. May contain sulfates and other chemicals.

– Curly girl method shampoo is made without harsh chemicals and is sulfate-free. You may need it if you have thin, flat curls / waves that become greasy really quickly. For coils and curls, you may use the no-poo washing method only and ditch all shampoos.

– Curly girl method conditioner is a lightweight cleansing conditioner for wavy-curly hair. Does not contain the above-mentioned chemicals either.

Leave-in conditioner is made to moisturize your curls. You don’t need to rinse it out.

– Curly girl method gel is recommended as the main styling product for your waves and curls.

– Curly girl method mousse can also be used for perfecting your curls, just be sure it is CG method approved.

Curly Hair Method Questions with Answers

Some more questions that may appear before trying the wavy hair method.

What do I need for the curly girl method?

A simple list for beginners: for care and styling your curly wavy hair, you will need four items, a cleanser (a shampoo or a conditioner), a mask, a leave-in moisturizer, and a styling gel.

How often can I shampoo my hair on the curly girl method?

Once a week. However, you need to train your hair to this schedule first.

Can you use the dry shampoo with the curly girl method?

The original method doesn’t prescribe a dry shampoo and, in fact, suggests fully eliminating it from usage. Nevertheless, there is a range of dry shampoos which seem very friendly to curly hair and/or not controversial with the curly girl hair method too much. For example, you can try out a NYM dry shampoo. It contains drying alcohol, but most of it evaporates when the product is expelled from the can. However, if you’re a purist and are used to strictly following the instructions, you might not want to use it.

How to dry hair according to the Curly Hair Method?

Air-dry it by plopping or scrunching it or use a diffuser at low temperatures.

Does the curly girl method work on straight hair?

It won’t work because straight and curly hair differs in texture. For instance, silicones in caring products only benefit straight hair, but, at the same time, they won’t be healthy for curls. There’s much more to the details, but it’s only worth concluding that different hair types require different approaches. Your hair should be at least 2a/2b to benefit from the curly hair method. The best results are for 2c-4a hair types. However, you need to be sure that your straight hair is not wavy! If it is frizzy, it may be not a straight hair type!

Does the Curly Hair Method change the hair texture?

No, the curly girl hair method just enhances your wavy or curly hair. However, if damaged, your natural hair texture may look different. The curly girl hair method will reveal your real curl type. That is why sometimes it looks like your hair texture is changing.

A curly girl method is not just a buzz or a trend that doesn’t last long. It is a real working solution for women who want to embrace their curls or waves. Yes, it needs patience and regular day-by-day work. It must become a lifestyle! However, millions of curly-haired gals have already confirmed that the curly hair method is worth the efforts.

Featured Image: cookie-studio – freepik.com

by Donna Sullivan
Donna is a hairstylist with 8 years of experience. Ask her about any hair-related problem (haircuts, hairstyles, colorings, hair care) and get a pro advice!