Curly Girl Method: The Healthy Hair Care Routine for Curly Hair

Curly hair comes in a beautiful variety of wavy, curly, kinky, and coily hair. Contrary to popular opinion, managing curly hair is relatively easy. You need to know what you are doing. Whichever type your hair is, choosing to care for it will give you a newfound love for its textures and complexities. You will fall deeply in love with your hair, and it will blossom in return.

The Curly Girl Method is accepted worldwide as one convenient way to get amazing-looking hair if done right. Although this method may not work for every curl texture, curl type and curl pattern, it is worth trying out!

What is the Curly Girl Method?

According to Lorraine Massey’s book “Curly Girl: The Handbook,” the curly girl method is a hair care method that trades in damaging habits (like shampooing and heat styling) for a healthy curly hair regimen using just conditioner and gel. This method is recommended by many as a significant contributor to the growth of healthy hair. Remember that your natural hair is uniquely yours, and you may have to adapt the curly girl method to what works best for your hair type.

How to follow the Curly Girl Method

For a long time, curly hair was not considered much when hair products and tools were being made. Curly girls had to make do with products and styling tools intended for relaxed or caucasian hair and were highly damaging to their curls. Curly hair is more likely to become dry and frizzy compared to straight hair.

The Curly Girl Method aims to provide enough moisture to keep curly hair hydrated, healthy, bouncy, and shiny.

Now let’s break it down.

What to avoid

Avoid Shampoo

  • The shampoo is excessively drying to curly hair as it strips off the oils and moisture from the hair strands. It may be initially challenging to quit shampoo cold turkey, so it is recommended that you wean yourself off it gradually by cutting down use with time or using a sulfate-free shampoo, also known as “low-poo.” Please find the best routine that works for you and stay consistent with it.

Avoid heat styling tools.

  • Heat, when used to straighten and style curly hair, will, over time, severely damage the hair strands and leave them limp and lifeless. In the Curly Girl Methodheat styling tools are avoided as much as possible.

Avoid Combs and Brushes

  • Using combs and brushes in naturally curly hair disturbs the hair shaft and causes breakage, especially when the hair is dry.

Avoid Sulfates (sodium lauryl sulfate & ammonium laureth sulfate), Non-water soluble silicones, alcohol, and fragrance.

  • These ingredients are drying and irritating to curly hair. They cause breakage and prevent growth retention.

What to use

Switch to cleansing and styling products that are gentle and better suited for your curly hair

·          Gentle cleansing ingredients – Cocamidopropyl betaine & decyl poly glucose

·          Emollients – Shea butter, olive & vegetable oils

·          Proteins – wheat, wheat germ or soy

·          Humectants – panthenol, vegetable glycerine, sorbitol

·          Moisturizers – amino acids & aloe vera

·          Styling gel ingredients – PVP and PVP/VA

Using the Curly Girl Method

The Curly Girl Method is pretty simple; all you need is a conditioner and gel that is great for your hair type. If you do decide to use shampoo, remember to use a gentle sulfate-free product. Let us take you through the curly girl method’s five-step process.

Here is what to do on washday.

STEP1: Cleanse/ Co-wash

·       When co-washing, wet your hair and apply conditioner or sulfate-free shampoo, then scrub your scalp with your fingertips to lift all product build-up, sweat, and oil. Do well to avoid using your fingernails.

·       If you do use shampoo, make sure to condition your hair before and after shampooing.

·       We advise that you cleanse your hair every 7 to 10 days.

STEP 2: Condition

·       Part your hair into four or more sections and smooth the conditioner over your hair. Go ahead and detangle your strands with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.

·       You can wash it out immediately or leave it in as a leave-in conditioner for about 15 minutes. It all depends on the level of moisture you need.

STEP 3: Dry and Style

·       Blot your hair dry using a microfiber towel or clean t-shirt – never wring, or rub, as it will disturb your curls. Then leave your hair to air-dry. If you’re in a rush, you can use a diffuser.

·       To style, scrunch gel from the ends of your hair toward your scalp, starting at the nape and working up, scrunch the top layer last. Clip the roots for lift.

·       For wavy hair – Encourage your natural waves and curls to form with extra scrunching or by doing pin curls.

·       For curly hair – When your hair is dry, bend forward and fluff from underneath to create lift. Do not touch the top layer to avoid frizz.

·       For coily hair – While the curly girl method recommends a wash & go, you can style your hair however way you like. Do make sure to avoid using heat tools such as flat iron to style your hair. You could use a good amount of curl cream to help define your kinks and curls.

Curly Girl Approved Products

Although the Curly Girl Method is minimalistic, there is a wide range of brands and products to select. You are free to choose whichever products suit your preference. Just make sure to avoid the below ingredients as much as possible;

·       Sulfates

–      Sodium lauryl sulfate

–      Ammonium laureth sulfate

·       Silicones

–      Dimethicone

–      Cyclomethicone

–      Amodimethicone

–      Phenyl Trimethicone

–      Cetearyl Methicone

–      Dimethiconol

–      Stearyl Dimethicone

–      Along with any ingredient ending with “cone.”

·       Drying Alcohols

–      Ethanol alcohol

–      Ethyl alcohol

–      Propanol alcohol

–      Alcohol denat

–      Isopropyl alcohol

–      Isopropanol alcohol

Whether your hair is kinky, wavy, curly, or tightly coiled, you can have fun caring for it. With the right products and a suitable routine, washing and styling will be a breeze. Dedicate yourself to achieving healthy, hydrated hair with a consistent hair routine, and soon you will not be able to get yourself away from the mirror.


1. Cleveland C. (2016, Jul 19), How to Follow the Curly Girl Method

2. Clever Curl, What Is The Curly Girl Method

3. Metzger C. (2020, Oct 7), How to Do the Curly Girl Method for Beginners,

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