What is the Curly Girl Method?

The Curly Girl method is a curly hair maintenance routine movement that has won an enormous admiration and following by millions of women around the world.

The curly girl method is generally credited to Lorraine Massey. She wrote about this subject in her book entitled: “Curly Girl: The Handbook.” Lorraine is also the owner of the DevaCurl products, as well as Devachan Salon.

In this article, you’ll learn about the basics of the Curly Girl Method and some pros, dos, and don’ts of the Curly Girl Method as well as the Curly Girl Method Hair Types.

So that, like other women, you can start spending less time doing your hair on wash days and maintaining your coils’ hydration like you’ve never seen before.

But first, what is the curly girl method?

What is the Curly Girl Method?

What is the Curly Girl Method

The curly girl method is simply a set of some dos and don’ts, and some ingredients to avoid and some others to embrace to bring out the natural curl pattern in your hair.

Lorraine Massey believes that most women often go the wrong way in the cleansing and styling components of their hair regimen.

The purpose of the Curly Girl Method is to help women achieve and maintain healthy natural curly hair without resorting to the use of harmful methods like shampooing and heat styling techniques that can damage the hair and destroy their beautiful curl patterns.

So, basically, the Curly Girl Method outlines a hair regimen that doesn’t involve the use of traditional shampoos.

The Curly Girl Method Steps

According to Loraine Massey, the creator of the Curly Girl Method, below are the steps and processes women can follow for cleaning, conditioning, and styling their wavy, curly or straight hair the right way.

Read Also: How to Do Body Wave Perm

1. Clean Your Hair

Gently wash your hair with a sulfate-free product. Endeavor to say no to using clarifying shampoos with sulfates. It is best practice to avoid the use of clarifying shampoos as they tend to be extra harsh and drying.

It is recommended that you use your fingertips to gently massage and stimulate the scalp in the course of cleansing your hair.

As you continue to use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp, it will begin to loosen dirt, dried sweat, and oils from your hair.

2. Condition Your Hair

After cleaning your hair and applying conditioner to the different sections of your hair, it is recommended that you leave a bit of the conditioner on your hair rather than rinsing it all out.

‘Why do this?’ you may ask.

Well, this is simply because leaving a little conditioner in the hair will enable hair strands to trap hydration in for more extended periods. The goal is to keep your hair moisturized, frizz-free, and for more extended-lasting definition.

Read Also: Types of Hair Clips

3. Scrunch Your Curl to Absorb Extra Moisture

How do you remove excess water from your hair when you get out of the shower?

Most people use their bath towels, right? Yeah, but it is recommended you use a smooth, absorbent cloth or towel, not a conventional towel. Avoid harsh fabrics that can damage the hair cuticle and cause unwanted frizz.

Also, rubbing your hair very hard with towels is a big no as they cause frizz and disrupts curl clumping and definition.

4. Styling Your Hair

The Curly Girl Method recommends that you use alcohol and silicone-free hair gel to hold your curls while styling your hair.

Lorraine Massey in the Curly Girl Handbook refers to creating a curl cast or gel cast, which helps the hair maintain its natural curl formation until it dries completely.

Really, of all the steps, this is the trickiest part. This is because there are just too many styling methods out there as there are products.

So, try the different methods such as scrunching it in, raking it in, smoothing it over until you find what’s suitable for your hair type. However, be sure to apply styling products to wet hair before drying.

Use curl creams, custards, mousse, gel, and so on. And do not touch your hair at all while it is drying. Allow it to dry hard and crunchy, and then scrunch out the crunchy hard cast areas to get soft curls.

The Don’t of the Curly Girl Method

  • Don’t wash your hair every – aim for two or three times a week.
  • Don’t use towels, they roughen up the hair cuticle and cause lots of frizz – no matter how gentle you are.
  • Don’t use non-soluble silicones, mostly found in conditioners and styling products.
  • Don’t use heat; it severely damages the hair. The higher the heat, the greater the damage.
  • Don’t use drying alcohols, they dry out the hair, but not all alcohols are drying.
  • Don’t use anything containing sulfates, usually found in shampoo.
  • Don’t color your hair. Wearing a natural the whole essence of the curly girl method.
  • Don’t brush or comb your hair. This is because doing so will pull out the hair’s natural curl pattern.

The Dos of the Curly Girl Method

  • Use your fingers with the help of a shampoo/scalp brush to gently scrub your scalp to lift any build-up, oils or residue.
  • Use the following protein-rich sources such as egg and avocado, silk, wheat, and soy proteins.
  • Use natural oils such as coconut oil and shea for afro hair and lighter oils such as jojoba, olive, and grape seed for curly hair.
  • Use moisturizers such as aloe vera and flaxseed.
  • Use humectants such as honey and glycerin.
  • Use a microfiber towel, a cotton towel or a cotton t-shirt instead.
  • Scrunch products into your hair to enhance curl pattern rather than brushing products through your hair, which will pull the curl out.
  • If co-washing is too heavy for your hair, use a CG-approved shampoo, or “low poo” instead.

Benefits of the Curly Girl Method

curly girl method for natural hair

What is the benefit of the curly girl method? Why has it won the admiration and following of millions of women around the world, primarily the African-American?

Below are a few reasons worth mentioning:

Curls will save you time

Once you have your curly hair in place, maintaining isn’t time-consuming.

Whether you blow-dry, round-brush, and flatiron your hair or pay a professional to do the heavy lifting, hair maintenance can be time-consuming. But with curls, you begin to spend less time tugging at your hair in front of the mirror.

Curls are convenient

Wearing your hair curly and giving your hair tools a break gives you a whole lot of convenience.

Curls are healthier for your hair

Heating your hair consistently fries it and over time, resulting in dryness and split ends. But you can simply load your curls with treatment hybrids like oils and butter, which both help control your curls and act as a conditioning treat.

Read Also: Products for High Porosity Hair

Curls help you stand out

Curls represent personality, youth, and self-confidence. Just try it. See what happens. Curls give you the ability to wear two hairstyles instead of being locked to just one.

Curls act as a free accessory

Curly hair gives a finishing touch to any outfit. Pair them with a maxi, and you’re completely a bohemian goddess.

Wear them with jeans and a white tee, and you look sensationally sexy. The low-maintenance involved is a huge advantage of it. Plus, you can skip a few washes.

You can embrace any weather

Whether your hair gets wet or not, it’s no issue. Washing and styling your curl isn’t a tedious process.

Also, you can easily revive damp curls with just a little beach spray or whipping them up into a textured topknot.

Curly Girl Method Hair Types

curly girl method for wavy hair

Many people want to know their curly girl method hair type so that they can be able to choose befitting products that work well for their peculiar hair.

So, here are the different hairs types there are. Read the descriptions to enable you to figure out your hair type.

Type 2-Wavy

There are three types of wavy curly hair types ranging from a slight bump to a very visible S-pattern throughout your strands.

Women with wavy hair generally use lightweight products (such as mousse, foam, lightweight gels, and serums) to hydrate, boost and hold their waves in place.

Type 2A

If you have hair that has a slight bend but still lays pretty close to the head, you will identify as 2A. This type of wave can be easily manipulated to straighten or given more waves with the proper product.

Read Also: The Hair Cuticle

Many people with type 2A may not even know they have wavy hair as the slight bump is often weighed down. To style your delicate curls, you will find it useful to use a curl amplifier or volumizing product and drying with a diffuser to keep the wave intact.

Type 2B

This curl pattern also lays close to the head, but this time you’ll see a consistent S-shaped pattern throughout the hair. Only use lightweight products to add a definition for a soft, touchable hold.

Type 2C

This is the waviest of the types of hair in this category. The S-shaped pattern in this hair is very apparent and may start closer to the scalp.

Now, the large waves usually in this type of hair can often appear as ringlets throughout their head, too. Be careful when choosing a product and ensure it is frizz-protection

Type 3-Curly

Curly hair ranges from loose ringlets to tight spirals. It is usually drier than wavy hair and often needs heavier products that hydrate and hold the curls in place.

If you have curly hair, it is advisable not to wash more than twice a week to ensure your hair retains its moisture levels.

Deep conditioning is recommended every fourth or fifth wash, so strands don’t get frizzy and parched. Even though moisture is key to treating and styling type 3 curls, try to avoid heavy products that can weigh them down.

Type 3A

This curl type is wavy when it is wet, but becomes curls as it dries. Your curls can get easily weighed down if you use heavy products.

Try to avoid anything that has butter in it. Whatever styling product you decide to settle for, don’t overdo it.

Type 3B

This curl shape has been compared to the size of a Sharpie. Though tighter than 3A curls, it still is a relatively large ringlet. 3B curls tend to get dry quickly and need a hold product to make it stay in place in-between washes. Use a styling cream for moisture before a defining gel.

Type 3C

These curls types are often referred to as corkscrews, and they are the size of a pencil. For this curl type, it is recommended to use more cream than gel when styling and refreshing with conditioner and water as needed.

Type 4-Coily

Coily or kinky hair is the tightest of the curl types with the curls springing straight from the scalp. Keeping your curls moisturized is vital for this hair type.

Also, go for styling methods that stretch the curl to avoid significant shrinkage. It is recommended you lay on the conditioner thick and only wash your type 4 coils a maximum of once a week to lock moisture in.

Type 4A

Similar to 3C, this curl pattern looks like a corkscrew, but it’s about the size of a chopstick. Think super tight coil. You’ll want to focus on hydration and fighting frizz, so we suggest a high-hold gel that will lock-in your curl pattern without drying out strands.

Type 4B

4B strands are usually so tight that they can sometimes be hard to see the curl definition. They’re more of a zigzag and need a product to weigh down the curl to get more length. Because the hair is so dense, try using a shine spray.

Type 4C

This is the tightest of all curls and which makes the pattern difficult to see. This curl doesn’t easily retain moisture or absorb product.

Therefore applying too much can leave a white substance. For this texture, we recommend a heavy styling cream that’s full of hydrating ingredients and finishing with a shine spray or oil.


So, whatever hair type you have, if you are head bent on following the Curly Girl Method, the key to seeing desired results is simply by adhering to the dos and don’ts, as mentioned in this article.

The Curly Girl Method tips work for folks with curly hairs as well as those with straight hair and other hair types in-between.


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