Shout-out to all the curly-haired girls, this is your time! If you’ve been blessed with bounce, then you’ve probably experienced a few of the following woes: frizz, damage, uneven texture, and even a loss of curl over time. But, to these annoyances, we say “no, more!” ‘The Curly Girl Method,’ is kinda like a hair lifestyle that gives you the perfectly defined curls you’ve always wanted. If you’ve never heard of it or are still a little unsure of how it works, let’s break it down.
What is the Curly Girl Method?
‘The Curly Girl Method’ is all about loving and treating your curls with the ultimate respect. This means totally ruling out heat, silicon, brushes, combs, and anything that messes with your natural curl pattern. The Curly Girl Method has also taken on the term of ‘co-washing,’ which means that rather than using shampoos that could be drying out your luscious locks, you just stick to conditioner for super hydrated bounce.
We called up one of the world’s leading hairstylists, Eduardo Bravo, to give us the 411 on how the Curly Girl Method works. But before we get to his top tips, here’s a quick breakdown on the method that’ll change the way you treat your curls, forever!
How the Curly Girl Method works:
The reason why the Curly Girl Method is so effective is it allows your hair to retain all of its natural oils. Harsh shampoos and constant heat exposure strip the natural oils from the hair leaving it dry, frizzy and damaged. By avoiding these and only using conditioners and oils to cleanse the hair, you’ll keep all the natural oils and add an extra surge of moisture. For straight hair, this isn’t as much of an issue as the sebum from the scalp can travel along the hair shaft, but with curly hair, the coil will prevent the sebum reaching the ends, leaving your hair dry and unprotected.
Will the Curly Girl Method work on all curl types?
Between afro hair and waves, there are a whole number of different curl patterns. But, the Curly Girl Method works on just about all of them, it’s just about finding the techniques that work for you! Eduardo explains that “The curly girl method works on all curls. The guidelines are based on wavy, curly or afro hair textures, but if you have a mix of textures, you can also personalize the treatment accordingly. For example, if your wavy on the front or top of your head, and curly on the back of your head, you will not wash your hair on the back as often as you do the front of your head. Basically, the method avoids over shampooing hair so that your natural oils can moisturize and nourish dry ends.”
The Curly Girl Method step-by-step guide:
Depending on your curl type, you should tweak the Curly Girl Method slightly. Everyone should follow the regime of cleansing, conditioning, and styling, but there are some additional tips for you curl. Check them out:
If you skip shampoo, will your hair be greasy?
The thought of ditching shampoo may be a little scary at first, but again, it’s all about customizing your routine. Eduardo says, “What I love about this method is that you get to personalize it. What’s important to consider is that if your hair is oily, you may believe you have to wash it to remove the oil. The thing is, the more you wash it, the more oil you produce! If your hair is coily or damaged, then a good scalp massage with the balls of your fingers under the shower helps distribute the oils to your ends.”
Curly Girl Method-approved products
Eduardo says, “For shampoo, I recommend finding a shampoo that’ll cleanse, stimulate, and nourish the scalp. Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp, so make sure your shampoo is sulfate, paraben, and fragrance-free. You just need a practical shampoo that works. I like using the Rahua Classic Shampoo, $41; it’s 100% natural – restorative shampoo formulated with rare Amazonian ingredients to help revitalize the scalp. Eduardo says that “For conditioning, I use Balmain Hair Couture Repair Mask, $50. I use it in the shower as well as a styling cream after showering.”
Do a weekly treatment: “Oils are essential for this styling method, I use the Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil, $8, which you can use directly on your scalp and massage in for blood stimulation. I then recommend following with a cold-pressed virgin coconut oil on the ends, which you can buy from any health store or on Amazon here, $14. Depending on how curly or damaged your hair is, you can additionally add some of the Balmain Hair Mask as a styling cream.”
Eduardo adds, “If you find the castor oil too dense you can add some coconut oil to dilute. Personally, I love the density of the castor oil, but I don’t use too much, as when the oil makes contact with the heat from your scalp it thins out and can spread easily. I use the coconut oil as my “serum” after I shower. Having two essential oils gives you the flexibility to mix to your own product density.”
One of our fave brands for textured hair is Cantu, as they encourage people to embrace their natural hair. All of the products are packed with natural hydrators like shea butter, and of course, they’re sulfate, paraben, and silicone-free. We’re obsessed with Define and Shine Custard, $7, which helps shape the curl, reduce frizz, and it smells delicious. All you have to do is apply it to wet hair and leave it to air dry.
If you have type 3 or 4 hair and are therefore looking for a slightly heavier formula, both the Holy Curls Cream, $23, and Holy Curls Gel, $23, are amazing. Of course, they’re curly girl-approved and will instantly add definition to your curls. Both formulas contain nutrient-rich baobab oil that’s full of essential omegas, and super hydrating coconut oil. Apply both to wet hair, working the formula through in sections to ensure it coats each curl. Use the cream followed by the gel for maximum impact.
For more product recommendations, we’ve heard there’s even a secret Curly Girl Society on Facebook – if you find it, let us know!
If you have damaged hair, you need the Curly Girl Method
Psst, we’ve got news for you. If you don’t have curly hair but want to give your hair a damage-free lifestyle this method is totally great for you too! According to Eduardo, “Because the system nurtures hair ends with oils from your scalp, I would also recommend the curly girl method for damaged hair. There are three simple steps involving cleansing, conditioning and styling curls that can also be applied to chemically damaged hair, respectively.”
Eduardo explains “The three main types of hair are wavy and/or slightly damaged, curly and/or moderately damaged and afro textures and/or extremely damaged hair. One of the most important aspects of the curly girl method is not only in the care steps but in the styling. You want to use as little heat as possible by either air-drying hair and/or wet setting with styling cream and conditioner. This is essential for damaged hair. The less heat you use, the faster your hair will recover and start looking healthy again.”
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We tried the Curly Girl Method and we LOVED it…
We couldn’t recommend a styling method without putting it to the test ourselves. One of the Huda Beauty babes tried the method on her curly hair, and OMG the results were amazing! She has wavy S-curls, and she also colors her hair: it’s naturally a light brown, bronde color and she dyes it to beachy blonde, so it’s safe to say it’s seen its fair share of damage! Within a week, her curls were more pronounced, and her hair was a lot less frizzy. Plus, it looked a lot healthier from the regular hair oil!
Not ready to commit to the Curly Girl Method? Check our celeb hairstylist Vernon François’s guide to looking after and styling your hair for your curl type.
Let us know if you have or are now going to try the curly girl method, in the comments below.