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The Curly Girl Method

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Curly hair can be difficult to take care of and sometimes, even harder to style.

Lorraine Massey’s The Curly Girl Method is one of the few hair care regiments that have a huge international following. The premise is simple: Less is more.

It’s common to think that we need a basket of products to keep our hair shiny, perfectly curled, frizz-free and actually on our heads. This method changes all of that. To start your curly hair journey, first, you’ll need to throw out a few things.

You won’t be allowed to use

  • Shampoo (If this is a deal breaker, you could always cry in the corner)
  • Heat styling tools (i.e. straighteners, curlers, hair dryers)
  • Combs or hair brushes
  • Sulfates – Read your hair product ingredient list and remove anything with sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium laureth sulfate
  • Non-water soluble silicones
  • Alcohol
  • Fragrances (Good-bye honeysuckle-smelling hair scent)

The list can be quite overwhelming. It’s always a good idea when trying out something new, to take it one step at a time. If you’ve got fine hair or a mix of wavy and curly hair, ditching the shampoo can mean very greasy hair in the beginning. Although this will eventually balance out when you get used to the routine, it’s not very pleasant to experience. Especially if you’ve got a hot date coming up or are a very active person. Instead of ‘cheat days’ or throwing in the towel, cut down on how much shampoo you use or trade it in for a sulfate-free option.

Make it stylish

How to clean your hair

This might seem like an obvious point, but I assure you that more people are incorrectly washing their hair than you might imagine. When cleansing, it’s important to gently massage your entire scalp with your fingertips and a mild conditioner. This is enough to get rid of the sweat, oil and dirt clogging up your follicles. Don’t use your fingernails because this will only rip out hair follicles.

The conditional cleanse

The Curly Girl method recommends that you only use conditioner to cleanse your hair. This is why it’s better to use a mild or organic conditioner whilst on this program. Coat all of your hair in conditioner and let the water run through. This will evenly distribute the conditioner while gently rinsing it out.

Curly hairstyles

Regardless of whatever hairstyle you want, it’s important to protect your curls. Therefore, when drying them out, blot dry your curls with a towel. Wringing them out or rubbing them with a towel can cause frizz and destroy those bouncy curls. Air-dry your hair, but if you must, use a diffuser instead of a hairdryer.

Wavy Curls

If you’ve got wavy hair, you can be on the Curly Girl method and still use your normal shampoo as long as you only wash it once a week. It also recommends that you use your conditioner before & after using your shampoo so that your hair is well moisturised. Lightly rinse out your hair after the second conditioning, making sure to leave just a bit of conditioner still in your hair. Because wavy curls aren’t well-defined, it’s possible to curl your way in the form you want by scrunching or creating pin curls.

Curly Curls

For those of us with curly hair, there is only one rule. Rinse out your hair with mild conditioner only once a week or every 10 days. Depending on what you prefer or your climate, you can either gently rinse or leave the conditioner in. Let your hair air-dry and when it’s completely dry, you can create hairstyles for your curly hair by boosting it from underneath to create lift. Move from the inside out, without disturbing your outer layer to avoid frizz.

Coiled Curls

This type of hair needs to be cleansed as little as possible to preserve the curl. Therefore, if it’s not a co-wash day, all you need to do is run water through your hair. When conditioning, take a 15-minute break to wrap and heat up your hair. Rinse out your conditioner completely or your tight curls will wind up looking greasy. After that, it’s up to you to style your hair however you please!

When it’s all said and done, in the end, it’s your hair and you can do what you please. Adapt or modify what you like from this hair care routine to suit your hair care needs.


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