The Curly Girl Method: A Comprehensive Guide for Curly Hair Care

Written by: Michael



Time to read 6 min

What is the Curly Girl Method

The Curly Girl Method (CGM) is a hair care approach specifically created for individuals with naturally curly or wavy hair. Lorraine Massey popularized this method through her book "Curly Girl: The Handbook." The primary goal of the technique is to embrace and enhance the natural texture of curly hair by avoiding certain hair care practices and products that can be damaging to it. Understanding the Basics

Understanding the CGM Basics

No Sulfates

Sulfates are harsh chemicals commonly found in many shampoos that can strip away the natural oils from hair, leaving curls dry, damaged, and vulnerable to frizz. 

Curly Girl Method (CGM) recommends avoiding sulfates and opting for sulfate-free shampoos or co-washing. In co-washing, you only use conditioner to cleanse your hair, which helps to maintain natural oils and moisture in your curls. 

This method is particularly beneficial for people with curly and oily hair types, as it helps to retain the natural texture and softness of your hair while maintaining healthy scalp and hair.

No Silicones

Silicones are commonly used in hair products as they help to create a protective layer around the hair shaft, making it appear smoother and shinier. However, this layer can also create a barrier hindering moisture absorption. This can lead to dryness, dullness, and hair brittleness over time. 

The Curly Girl Method (CGM) is a hair care routine that encourages individuals to avoid using silicones in their hair products or opt for water-soluble silicones that can be easily washed out. This is because CGM followers believe that a silicone-free hair care routine helps maintain the hair's natural moisture balance, which is essential for healthy-looking curls.

No Heat Styling

If you have curly hair, you might be aware that excessive heat styling can cause damage to your hair, leading to the disruption of your natural curl pattern. The Curly Girl Method (CGM) recommends avoiding using flat irons, curling irons, or other heat-styling tools to prevent heat damage to your hair. Instead, the CGM encourages air-drying your hair and allowing natural curls to form. 

Heat styling tools can strip your hair of natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to breakage. Therefore, embracing your natural curls and using styling products that nourish and enhance them rather than relying on heat to achieve a particular look is better.

No Brushes, Only Wide-Toothed Combs

According to the Curly Girl Method (CGM), using traditional brushes can lead to hair breakage and disrupt the natural curl pattern. To maintain healthy and well-defined curls, it is recommended to use wide-toothed combs or your fingers for detangling instead. 

These tools help to minimize damage by reducing the amount of pulling and tugging on your hair, which can cause split ends and breakage over time. A wide-toothed comb or fingers can help distribute natural oils throughout your hair, promoting healthy growth and shine.

Embracing Healthy Hair Habits

Regular Deep Conditioning

The unique structure of curly hair can often lead to dryness, making regular deep conditioning an essential part of any curly hair care routine. Deep conditioning helps to restore moisture levels, nourish curls, and prevent dryness and breakage. 

Those with curly hair need to use products that contain natural ingredients such as coconut oil, shea butter, or avocado oil, as these are well-known for their moisturizing properties. Additionally, it is recommended to avoid using harsh styling tools or products that can strip the hair of its natural oils, as this can further exacerbate dryness and cause damage to the hair.


By incorporating regular deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine, you can help keep your curls healthy, hydrated, and beautiful.

Scrunching and Plopping

Many people with curly hair prefer to enhance their natural curls using techniques such as scrunching and plopping. Scrunching involves gently squeezing curls upwards in the palm of your hand to help improve their natural shape and bounce. 

Plopping involves wrapping your hair in a cloth or T-shirt and allowing it to air dry to help define and enhance curls. Both of these techniques are popular because they encourage the formation of well-defined and bouncy curls, making it easier for people to embrace their natural hair texture.

Techniques like scrunching (gently squeezing curls upwards) and plopping (wrapping hair in a cloth or T-shirt to enhance curls) are favored to enhance natural curls. These methods encourage the formation of well-defined, bouncy curls.

Refresh and Second-Day Hair

If you have curly hair, you might be aware that it doesn't necessarily need to be washed every day. Following the Curly Girl Method (CGM) suggests you refresh your curls between washes using water or a water-based spray. 

This helps rejuvenate and maintain your curls while allowing your natural oils to nourish and strengthen your hair. Additionally, embracing second-day hair can prevent unnecessary over-manipulation that can damage and weaken your curls over time. 

Adopting these simple techniques lets you keep your curly hair healthy, vibrant, and well-nourished.

Building Your Curly Hair Routine

Determine Your Hair Porosity

It's essential to clearly understand your hair porosity levels as it can help you pick the right hair products for your hair type. Hair porosity measures the ability of your hair to absorb and retain moisture. 

  • Low porosity hair has a tightly bound cuticle layer, making it difficult for moisture to penetrate. 
  • Normal porosity hair is the most common type, and it's easier to manage as it can absorb and retain moisture easily. 
  • High porosity hair has gaps and holes in the cuticle layer, making it prone to frizz and tangling. 

Knowing your hair porosity can guide you in selecting the appropriate hair care products. For instance, if you have low-porosity hair, you may benefit from lightweight products that won't weigh down your hair. Alternatively, if you have high porosity hair, you may want to opt for more intensive hair care formulas that can penetrate deeply to moisturize and repair your hair. 

By understanding your hair porosity, you can improve the overall health of your hair and achieve your desired hair goals.

Experiment with Products

When it comes to finding the right hair products, the process can be daunting and often involves a fair bit of trial and error. However, you can keep a few things in mind to make the process easier. For starters, look for sulfate-free shampoos, as sulfates can strip your hair of natural oils and leave it feeling dry and brittle. 

Similarly, try to find silicone-free conditioners, as silicones can build up on your hair and make it look dull and lifeless. When styling products, choose ones tailored to your specific hair type. 

For those with curly hair, curl creams, gels, and leave-in conditioners are popular choices that can help define and enhance your curls. Remember these tips, and you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect hair products!

Regular Trimming

If you have curly hair, it is essential to take care of it to keep it looking healthy and beautiful. One of the best ways to maintain the health of your curls is by getting regular trims. Trimming your hair regularly will prevent split ends and promote even growth, which is crucial for maintaining the shape and bounce of your curls.

Visiting a stylist who is experienced with curly hair is essential to get the best results. A good stylist can analyze your hair type and texture and recommend the right products and treatments to enhance your curls' natural beauty. They can also give you tips on caring for your hair at home, such as which products to use and how often to wash it.

By taking care of your curly hair and getting regular trims from an experienced stylist, you can maintain the health and vibrancy of your curls and enjoy beautiful, bouncy locks that make you feel confident and gorgeous.

Let's Curl it Up

The Curly Girl Method is a comprehensive hair care routine that aims to promote and enhance the natural beauty of curly and wavy hair. By embracing the method's principles and customizing them to your hair type and needs, you can embark on a journey to discover the true potential of your curls. Whether new to the method or seeking to refine your existing routine, the Curly Girl Method provides a holistic approach to curly hair care that promotes healthier, more vibrant curls that you'll love to showcase.