What Is The Curly Girl Method, And How To Do It

What Is The Curly Girl Method, And How To Do It

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Got curly hair? Get frustrated by it frizzing, drying, and generally going wild? We know exactly where you are, and sometimes curly hair can be a nightmare to care for. It can take hours to detangle, and a huge heap of maintenance each day to keep it looking good.

You may even have had to resort to straightening your hair every day to keep it manageable. But, of course, that comes with heat damage. Maybe your hair’s out of shape from so much flat ironing and blow drying, and you want to go back to cherishing your natural curls.

Whatever your curly dilemma is, you’re in the right place!

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the Curly Girl method that can have you leaving your hair woes behind forever. Corkscrew curl goddess, enter here!

Will The Curly Girl Method Work For My Hair Type?

What Is The Curly Girl Method

Before we dive into the nitty gritty of the Curly Girl method, you may be wondering if the Curly Girl method is appropriate for your hair type. After all, you may describe your hair more as wavy or kinky, than curly.

Well, good news!

Whether you’re a 2A loose wave, a 4C super-tight kink, or anything in between, you can use the Curly Girl method! You may have to switch up the method a little, as your hair may respond differently depending on its curl pattern, but we’ll cover that later.

What Is The Curly Girl Method?

Mixed Race Girl With Curly Hair In Aqua Top

The Curly Girl method was created by Lorraine Massey. She wrote a book Curly Girl: The Handbook, which contained the method, and it spread in popularity from there.

The method is a healthy way to care for curly hair. It challenges our usual shampoo-conditioner-treatment-heat styling routine, and puts something totally different in its place! This method bans certain products and hair styling techniques, while promoting others.

Curious? Let’s dive in!

What Is Banned In The Curly Girl Method?

What Is Banned In The Curly Girl Method?

To put it bluntly – probably everything you use on your hair just now! That’s right, the Curly Girl method is a huge hair care regimen change.

If you take up the Curly Girl (or CG) method to the fullest, you won’t be using:

  • Shampoo
  • Heat styling tools – No curlers or flat irons to be found here!
  • Combs and brushes
  • Sulfates and non-water-soluble silicones – These are found in many hair products
  • Alcohol and fragrance – These nasties are also found in most hair products

These are all banned because they can cause damage to hair, in particular curly hair.

What, No Shampoo?!

Black Girl With Curly Hair In String Vest

That’s right, not a single drop of shampoo. Ever.

That might sound daunting. We’ve always been taught that we need shampoo to properly cleanse the hair of dirt, dust and grease, but that’s not actually the case.

When you first start out, you might find that your hair does get greasy for a while, especially if you have fine hair or a loose curl or wave pattern. But over time, your hair and scalp will balance out and the greasiness will be a thing of the past.

If you have fine hair or loose curls, you may want to go ‘low-poo’ first, which means cutting down over time, or switching to a sulfate-free shampoo and using less of it each time. Eventually you can cut it out for good, without the greasy transition.

How To Do The Curly Girl Method

How To Do The Curly Girl Method

In the next few sections, we’ll let you know how to use the CG method, whether you’ve got loose waves or very tight coils. We’ll go through each step in turn, giving you all the information you need to be able to start the method today!

Remember, though, that everyone’s hair is different. Not only do you have to account for the natural texture, but also its condition and any chemicals you may have used on it before, such as dyes and perms. You may have to tweak the CG method to get it to work best for you. However, we’d recommend starting with the full, orthodox method as per instructions, and modifying later.

Step 1 Of The Curly Girl Method: Cleanse
Black Woman Cleansing Her Curly Hair

First, do you have 2, 3 or 4 type hair? Type 2 is wavy, type 3 is curly, and type 4 is kinky.

If you’re type 2, you should cleanse once a week. Condition your hair first, then wash with sulfate-free shampoo. Only use a small amount, and rub it into your scalp in particular. Try not to tangle the hair.

If you’re type 3, you should cowash every week to 10 days. Co-washing is washing your hair with conditioner only. Wet your hair as normal, then massage conditioner into the scalp and hair, as you would with shampoo.

If you’re type 4, cowash from time to time. As little as possible is best.

Step 2 Of The Curly Girl Method: Condition

Black Girl Showering And Conditioning Her Hair

If you’re type 2, once you’ve washed all the shampoo out, apply some conditioner. Rinse the hair and leave a little of the conditioner in, to keep the hair moisturized.

If you’re type 3, rinse the conditioner out. If you have dry, thirsty hair, add some more conditioner to wet hair and leave it in.

If you’re type 4, leave the conditioner in. Wrap your hair and apply heat for 15 minutes, ideally using a bonnet dryer. Then rinse out all the conditioner.

Step 3 Of The Curly Girl Method: Dry & Style

Young Black Woman With Curly Hair

Next, you’ll want to style your hair and see those amazing curls flourish! First, blot dry your hair by scrunching the ends gently in a towel. Next, apply gel to the ends. Again, use a scrunching motion. Once the ends are covered, you can start to use gel further up the hair, at your discretion.

The best option is to leave it to airdry after that, but if you’re in a hurry you can use a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment.

Lorraine recommends that Type 4 hair types just wash and go, without styling. BUT you can style your hair however you want, as long as no flat irons or curlers are involved. A blow dry will ruin all your hard work, too.

What Products Should I Use For The Curly Girl Method?

What Products Should I Use For The Curly Girl Method?

So far we’ve only looked at what we can’t use in the CG method. But you might be wondering what you actually need.

Here’s your shopping list:

  • Sulfate-free shampoo – If you have wavy hair, you’ll want one of these. If you have type 3 or 4 hair, you can skip this.
  • Conditioner – Remember, try to avoid conditioners with alcohol, artificial fragrances, sulfates, and non-water-soluble silicones. Natural is best, if you can.
  • Styling gel – Again, try to avoid all the nasties when you’re purchasing your styling gel.

Where To Buy The Curly Girl Method Book

Black Woman Reading The Curly Girl Method Book Which She Bought

If you’re thinking of diving into the CG method, we highly recommend you purchase the book where it all started, Curly Girl: The Handbook. Along with the basic routine we’ve taught you here, there are numerous resources, tips and tricks you can use, to make sure your curls are forever gorgeous.

We’d recommend you purchase it from Amazon – here’s the link. You can thank us later!

Product Ideas For The Curly Girl Method

Cosmetics Bottles

In this section, we’ll check out a perfect example of a conditioner and a styling gel that would be suitable for the Curly Girl method. Maybe you’ll be adding both of them to your CG method shopping list!

Majestic Pure Argan Oil Conditioner

Argan Oil

This conditioner could just be perfect for the CG method! First of all, it ticks all our boxes in terms of being free from our banned ingredients. This conditioner has no parabens or sulfates. Even better, all the ingredients are organic, pure and natural.

Added to that, we have the superior benefits of both argan oil and coconut oil, which are infused into this conditioner to give your curls extra moisture and definition.

JASON Hi Shine Styling Gel

Jason Hi Shine Styling Gel

JASON is a brand that’s known for killing it when it comes to more natural products. This styling gel is free from sulfates and parabens. But don’t think it’s not high performance! This gel is great for holding curls together and giving a sleek, shiny, slightly wet look. If you want your curls shiny and defined, this is the product for you.

What Is The Curly Girl Method, And How To Do It Conclusion

Black Girl Learning What Is The Curly Girl Method Is, And How To Do It

So that’s it! We’ve come to the end of our Curly Girl method guide. We hope you’ve learned a ton about taking care of your waves, curls or coils with this method, and are ready to try it to find out just how amazing it is!

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