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The Curly Girl Method: Our Full Guide

If you have wavy or curly hair, I’m sure you’ve spent some time trying to figure out the best way to bring out your natural hair’s beauty. It can be exhausting to try and keep up with straightening it or getting the waves and curls to bend to your whim. What if there were a way you could optimize your natural hair without harming it or spending a lot of money?

There is a method called “the curly girl method,” and its sole purpose is to bring out the best that your natural hair has to offer. It takes dedication and patience, but if you can hold out until the end, the results are more than worth the work you have to put in. There are pros and cons to the method, but most agree that it does work in the end.

The Method

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When looking into the curly girl method, the first order of business is to educate yourself on what it is and what it requires of you. There is a list of things you’ll want to avoid. You’re supposed to use as little shampoo as possible. This is one of the trickiest parts because we’re conditioned to think that we need to wash our hair every 1 – 2 days, but the truth is that shampooing your hair too often can dry your scalp out, stripping your hair of important natural oils. You want to avoid heat as much as possible – this means you need to put away your hairdryers, straighteners, curling irons, etc. They may make your hair look the way you want for a while, but you’re ultimately doing more harm than good.

Try to comb and brush your hair as little as possible. This will cause excess stress to your hair and create breakage and shedding. Try to avoid products with perfumes in them as the chemicals aren’t good for your hair follicles. Alcohol, sulfates, and non-water-soluble silicones are also to be avoided.

You may be panicking about not using shampoo. Don’t worry – you’re not expected to quit cold turkey. What you should do is ween your hair off of it over time. Wash your hair every other day for a couple of weeks. Then cut down to every three days for a couple of weeks. Then cut down to once a week. When you slowly ween your hair off shampoo, you’ll save yourself a bit of stress with greasy hair.

Cutting back on shampooing doesn’t mean you should stop conditioning. In fact, if you have wavy hair, you should be conditioning before and after you shampoo. If you have curly hair, you’ll want to wash your hair once a week or once every ten days. Wash with water and conditioner. If you’ve got coily hair, wash as little as possible.

After you’ve washed your hair, you need to condition. While you may normally rinse all your conditioner out after a shower, if you have wavy hair and you’re trying the curly girl method, you should leave a little bit in. If you’ve got curly hair, you can either leave a bit of conditioner in your hair or rinse it the whole way out. If you’ve got coily hair, you should condition your hair, wrap it up, and apply heat for as long as 15 minutes to give your hair the moisture boost that it needs.

When you’re ready to dry and style your hair, you will want to avoid blow dryers as much as possible. The best method is to bend forward and blot your hair dry with a towel. No, this won’t get it completely dry, but it will keep it from dripping all over you while you wait for it to dry. If you’re in a hurry and need to use heat, try a diffuser.

When it’s time to style, use mousse or scrunching gel and work it in from the ends to the roots. If you have wavy hair, you’ll want to put extra work into scrunching or pinning your waves. If you have curly hair, all you need to do is fluff your hair for some lift. If you have coily hair, the best advice is to dry and go. But if you need to use a little heat to perfect your style, it’s not a huge deal.

Cons of The Curly Girl Method

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As with all things in life – there are pros and cons to using the curly girl method. One of the biggest cons of using this method is the transition period. You’re not going to hop on this bandwagon and instantly have the beautiful, bouncing waves or curls you’ve always dreamed of achieving. Like all things worth having, it doesn’t come that easily.

For the first few months (as long as six months and even longer for some), you’re going to have a hard time dealing with the fact that your hair is going to be greasier than you’re used to. This won’t last forever. Eventually, your hair balances itself out and will stop looking greasy in between washes. It just has to get used to a new norm.

One of the hardest parts of this method is having the patience to do your hair without a blow dryer or curling iron. If you’re someone who only showers in the morning and is in a huge rush to get to work, this method will prove to be pretty daunting to you. However, if you shower in the evening and leave your hair plenty of time to dry before bed, your hair will be ready to go before you sleep. To protect your style, you can wrap it in a scarf or towel to sleep. Otherwise, wake up earlier so that you have time to shower, wait for your hair to dry, and style before you need to clock into work.

It’s difficult to make sure you’re choosing products that will support this new method because if you choose the wrong shampoo, even just one time, your progress will be set back. You can’t cut corners every week and expect to achieve the same results as somebody who diligently follows the instructions.

Some people say one of the worst things about the curly girl method is the price of the products, but they don’t stop to think that you’re using the products way less than the normal person. While others use their products every day, or even every other day, you’re only using them on wash day – once a week or once every ten days. It’s clear to see that your hair products would last you longer.

Pros of The Curly Girl Method

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If you commit yourself to the curly girl method and follow the instructions, you’ll find that you do get great results from it. You’ll deal with less frizz and get the beautiful, bouncing curls with less effort than ever. Your hair will be so healthy that you’ll be able to sleep, work, exercise, and be in the elements without needing to pamper it as often. You can get great hair with minimal effort.

It may be a daunting task when you first take this method on. Once you have a routine and know what your hair needs, you’ll find that it’s much simpler than the method that had you washing and styling your hair every day with harmful chemicals and unnecessary heat damage.

When your hair is used to the new method, you’ll find that you will have fewer bad hair days. Your hair will be pretty consistent. You won’t have to panic over having a bad hair day on the day of your date, interview, etc.


Whether you have wavy, curly, coily hair, or want to stop using harmful chemicals and heat, the curly girl method could be the perfect option for you. After all, what bad can come from keeping your hair out of harm’s way? The idea behind the method is rather simple – stop applying heat every day, stop stripping your hair’s natural oils every day, and stop using products with harmful chemicals. In taking better care of your hair, it will be easier to style it to your liking, and it will stay that way.

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