What is the Curly Girl Method?
H Hanane Bziker-El Fizazi

What is the Curly Girl Method?

May 12, 2022

The Curly Girl Method is a haircare routine designed to embrace and enhance the natural beauty of curly hair. It was created by Lorraine Massey and popularized through her book "Curly Girl: The Handbook." The method is particularly popular among individuals with curly, coily, and wavy hair types who have struggled with frizz, dryness, and damage from traditional haircare practices.

The Curly Girl Method has the following principles:

  1. Avoiding Sulfates: In the Curly Girl Method, people are encouraged to use sulfate-free or low-sulfate shampoos, or to forgo shampoo altogether in favor of co-washing (using conditioner to cleanse the scalp and hair).

  2. Avoiding Silicones: Silicones are often used in hair products to provide a temporary smoothing effect, but they can also build up on the hair over time and prevent moisture from penetrating. The Curly Girl Method suggests avoiding silicones in haircare products.

  3. Conditioning: Conditioning is a crucial part of this method. Individuals are encouraged to use a silicone-free, moisturizing conditioner to help hydrate and define their curls. Leave-in conditioners and deep conditioning treatments are also recommended to keep the hair well-hydrated.

  4. Drying Techniques: Traditional towel-drying can cause frizz in curly hair. The Curly Girl Method promotes using a microfiber towel, a cotton T-shirt, or even air-drying to gently scrunch and blot the hair to reduce frizz.

  5. Styling Products: Curl-enhancing styling products, such as gels, creams, and mousses, can be applied to wet or damp hair to help define and hold curls. These products are usually free of harmful ingredients like sulfates and silicones.

  6. Avoiding Heat Styling: Heat styling tools like flat irons and curling irons can damage curly hair, so the method recommends avoiding them whenever possible or using them sparingly with heat protectant products.

  7. Regular Trims: Getting regular trims can help maintain the health and shape of curly hair.

  8. Pineappling: To protect curls while sleeping, some people use a "pineapple" technique, where they gather their hair on top of their head and secure it with a loose scrunchie or silk/satin hair tie.

  9. Refresh and Revive: To extend the life of curls between washes, the Curly Girl Method encourages using a spray bottle with water and a little conditioner to refresh and reshape curls.

It's important to note that the Curly Girl Method is not a one-size-fits-all approach, as different individuals have different hair types and needs. Some variations and adaptations of the method exist to suit various hair textures and preferences. Additionally, while many people find success with this method, it may not work for everyone, and experimentation is often necessary to find the right products and routines for individual hair types.