Curly hair is almost always hard to control and take care of which is why most people with curly or wavy hair are constantly looking for new tips and solutions. It’s also why Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender wrote and published the Curly Girl: The Handbook – a unique and quick read that we’d definitely recommend.
Instead of just doing a book review, however, we thought we’d offer you our Curly Girl method steps and basics that you can use to get your curly hair under control. In this guide, we’ll go over the curly girl method ingredients and basics, we’ll explore the modified curly girl method for wavy hair and the curly girl method for straight hair, and we’ll go over all the Do’s and Don’ts you’ll want to keep in mind.
What is the Curly Girl Method?
In short, the Curly Girl Method (or CGM for short) is a way to take care of your curls by avoiding all the things that have a negative effect on hair curls. These include brushes and combs, standard towels, many shampoos and conditioners, hair dyes, waxes, heat hair-styling tools, and anything containing alcohol, sulfates, and silicones.
We’ll go over the detailed Do’s and Don’ts below but the CGM doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use anything on your hair – just that you should be more selective in what you use and how you use it. There are a lot of hairstyles and cleansing products that are designed for curly hair and exclude the products and ingredients that CGM avoids.
Curly Girl Method Do’s
- Use a CG-approved shampoo or a “low-poo”. In other words, don’t use any shampoo that contains alcohol, non-soluble silicones, or sulfates. Only use shampoos and hair products that are light on the hair.
- Co-wash. Instead of using shampoo you can switch to a co-wash cleansing conditioner or a CG-approved conditioner. Co-wash is a great option because cleansing conditioners have most of the benefits of a shampoo without the drying, stripping harsh ingredients. It’s also a perfectly sufficient conditioner that’s a bit lighter than a regular conditioner.
- Use a tangle teezer, a scalp brush or just your fingers to gently scrub your scalp and lift any of the residue, build up and oils that might have accumulated there.
- Use some of these curly girl method wavy hair ingredients for hair masks after washing your hair – jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, and olive oil for curlier hair, coconut and shea oils for afro hair, proteins such as eggs, avocado, soy, wheat, and silk, humectants like glycerin and honey, and moisturizers such as flax seed and Aloe Vera.
- When applying the above ingredients you should scrunch them into your hair instead of brushing them throughout it as the latter will pull your curls out.
- When towel-drying your hair always use a microfiber towel or a cotton towel as standard bathroom towels tend to rough up the hair’s cuticles and create frizz.
Curly Girl Method Don’ts
- Don’t wash your hair more than two or three times a week as it will straighten your curls. This means that you’ll have to make extra effort not to get your hair dirty in the meantime.
- Never use heat on your hair – it damages the hair cuticles which is a No-No for curly, wavy or afro hair.
- Avoid brushing or combing your hair. Doing so will pull out your curls. You can use your fingers instead to gently detangle your hair or, if need be, use a wide-tooth comb or a wide paddle brush to minimize the straightening of the curls.
- Don’t color your hair – ever. Dyeing your hair involves a lot of ingredients that are unsuitable for curly or wavy hair. Plus, the whole curly hair style is natural and un-dyed anyway.
- Speaking of ingredients to stay away from, here’s a list of the Curly Girl method ingredients to avoid – sulfates, waxes, non-soluble alcohols, and alcohols.
Do you find the Curly Girl method not working for you? Here’s what to do.
The Curly Girl Method has become so popular because it’s almost universal – it works wonders on almost all people and for almost all types of curly and wavy hair. However, no method is perfect and there are always exceptions.
So, if you have curly, wavy or afro hair and you find that the CGM isn’t working for you, here are a few suggestions:
- Try the different parts of the CGM separately. Maybe it’s just one or two particular steps of the Curly Girl Method that are giving you problems so try each of them on their own and see what works and what doesn’t.
- Experiment with additional methods. It may very well be that your curly hair fares well with the sulfates and silicones in most shampoos, for example.
- Try a whole different style. If your hair just doesn’t want to stay curly maybe it’s just not meant to be – there are other ways to make your hair look lovely too!
- Consult with your personal hairstylist. They will be able to take a look at your hair and determine what is best for its curls.
How to use the Curly Girl Method on straight hair?
You can very easily try the CGM on straight hair by just following the exact steps and tips above. How wavy or curly your straight hair becomes will depend entirely on its own personal characteristics as well as on how much and how well you apply the protein, moisturizing, and nourishing hair masks but there will most likely be noticeable effects within weeks.
Keeping your hair away from sun, heat, cold, and physical damage in the meantime is also strongly advisable.