7 Things You Need To Know About The ‘Curly Girl Method’.

Do you have curly hair that you don’t know how to manage? Or are you confused on what products you should be using? Then you’ve come to the right place. By the end of this article you will know all the deets to help you release your inner curl.

1. No shampoo 

Yes, you read that right. Most shampoos contain sulphates and surfactants that are too harsh for curly hair, resulting in a loss of moisture. A loss of moisture leads to dry, brittle and frizzy hair– everything you don’t want! Curly hair is more porous than straight and because of this, it is practically impossible to rinse out all the shampoo, causing that unwanted frizz. 

So, what should you use to wash your hair instead? You should replace your shampoo with a conditioner. This is known as co-washing. When picking a conditioner, it is essential to choose the right one. There are 3 main ingredients that you should look for. They are:

  1. Humectants. They are vital in a conditioner for curly hair. This is because they absorb water and hold in moisture. Honey and panthenol are two popular humectants.
  2. Emollients. These help to soften and smooth the hair and also add shine. Mostly used emollients include glycerides and liposomes.
  3. Proteins. To repair and protect your hair, proteins are needed. But be careful- sometimes they can build up, particularly on healthier hair. If this happens, alternate with a protein-free conditioner. When checking the products label, look out for silk, soy, wheat and keratin as these are great proteins for your hair.

A few of the best conditioners include the ‘As I Am Coconut CoWash’ or a cheaper alternative is the ‘Alberto Balsam Sun-Kissed Raspberry – Silicone Free Conditioner‘.

Although it is advised not to use shampoo, if you desire that ‘clean’ feeling it gives, then a sulphate-free shampoo should be used, also known as a low-poo. The ‘Shea Moisture coconut and hibiscus curl & shine shampoo’ has great reviews. 

2. Deep conditioning 

hair mask

An intensive treatment once a week can be beneficial for your locks as it will help to add more hydration. You can use a hair mask such as the ‘Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food Banana Hair Mask’ or alternatively you can leave your favourite conditioner on for longer (around 30 mins). 

3. No silicones, sulphates or alcohol 

Silicones are not water-soluble which cause build up by coating the hair. This weighs down the curls and leads to a loss of definition. If the product’s ingredients include sodium lauryl sulphate (SLF) or sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) STAY CLEAR! Sulphates are known for stripping the hair of all its natural oils and moisture, potentially leading to breakage caused by brittle hair. 

It is crucial to use products that compliment your curls and alcohol is not one of them! They damage the hair by also stripping the moisture which causes frizz. 

4. Drying your locks 

microfibre towel

A regular cotton towel roughens the hair cuticle, resulting in frizz, so to avoid this, always use a microfibre towel or cotton t-shirt. This way you can remove excess moisture whilst being gentle to your curls. Your hair is in its most fragile state when wet so it is important to take good care of it. A good towel to invest in is the ‘Only Curls Microfibre Towel’. 

5. No dry brushing 

Do not brush your curls when they are dry! You will disturb your curl pattern and be left with some major frizz- no thanks! It is best to brush your hair whilst in the shower with a wide tooth comb or the ‘Denman D3 brush’, starting from the ends and working upwards. 

6. Minimal heat use

girl diffusing hair

Using heat whilst following the curly girl method is not recommended unless you are using a hairdryer, but hair straighteners and curling tongs are an absolute no go!

 When blow-drying your hair, you should always use a diffuser. This way the heat is spread evenly, causing less damage to your hair. 

7. Styling 

It is advised to use a leave in conditioner such as ‘Cantu Leave in Conditioning Repair Cream’ or the ‘Lee Stafford for The Love of Curls Custard Cream’ between washes to retain moisture. The product should be applied with praying hands.

This means to rub the product between the palms of your hands then gliding the hands down the hair with the hair in between so your hands end up coming together like ‘praying hands’.

before and after

To help your curls hold their shape and definition, you should apply a hair mousse or gel. ‘Wella Shockwaves Ultra Strong Hold Mousse’ , ‘Ecostyler Olive Oil Styling Gel’ and ‘Giovanni Natural Mousse’ are all curly girl method approved. 

If you’re ever unsure if a product is curly girl approved, curlscan.com is a great way to check.

So now you know all the basics to follow the curly girl method. Remember to have patience, try different products to see what works for you and don’t give up.

Good luck! 

Written by Bryony Ghai