Curly Girl Method

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The Curly Girl Method is a Hair Care treatment plan for Curly Hair and wavy hair. The Curly Girl Method gives those with curly hair the tools to have salon-quality curls from home, all by being very selective with how you treat your hair. By avoiding sulfates and detergents, specifically in shampoo, as well as drying methods that don’t damage your hair, the Curly Girl Method takes curls to the next level. Looking for other Hair Treatments? Try Olaplex for their patented bond-repairing formulas, or blonde-toning Shampoo and Hair Masks from Fanola. Try the Curly Girl Method today by finding all your products at Cosmetic Capital and pay later with Afterpay.


What is the Curly Girl Method?

The Curly Girl Method is a hair care method based on using and avoiding certain products to create healthy curly hair. The method was developed by hair stylist Lorraine Massey in her book Curly Girl: The Handbook in 2011.

The Method specifically works on avoiding shampoo, heat styling tools, combs and brushes, sulfates, non-water soluble silicones, alcohol and fragrances.

The Curly Girl Method has become the go-to method for stunning curls for people from all walks of life.


How do you do the Curly Girl Method?

The Curly Girl Method revolves around avoiding certain ‘traditional’ hair products, such as shampoo, blow dryers and hairbrushes. These products are damaging for curly hair.

Instead, the Curly Girl Method helps you find a cocktail of products that complement and improve your hair, while also accentuating your natural curls. You’ll be able to showcase your stunning curls while also reducing frizz, breakage and dryness.

If you are just starting, here are the steps for the Curly Girl Method.


Step 0: ‘Reset’ wash

Start the Curly Girl Method by saying one last goodbye to your sulfate shampoo. Wash your hair per normal with a clarifying shampoo to remove the wax and silicone build-up from your strands. This is crucial as you won’t see success from The Curly Girl Method without doing this ‘reset’ wash. This is the last time you’ll use this type of shampoo unless you need another ‘reset’ at a later time.


Step 1: Cleanse

Wash your hair with a co-wash or sulfate-free shampoo. Be sure to massage your scalp for at least a minute before rinsing.

A co-wash will clean your hair and scalp without weighing it down with a heavier shampoo.

A co-wash is often known as a ‘no-poo’ whereas a sulfate-free shampoo is known as a ‘low-poo’.


Step 2: Condition

Scrunch a handful of conditioner through your hair until it is fully saturated. You will know this is ready when it feels slimy. Detangle with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. Rinse out most of the conditioner, but not all.


Step 3: Style

Rake and scrunch a palmful of gel into your sopping-wet hair, from roots to tips. Use more than would feel normal.


Step 4: Dry

Cup and scrunch the excess water from your hair with a cotton t-shirt, then air dry. Once your hair is completely dry, scrunch it with your hands to get rid of the crunchy gel coating.


Repeat steps 1-4 every time you get your hair wet. Make sure to only use your ‘reset’ shampoo if you accidentally use a product with silicones or wax.


What is a co-wash?

A co-wash, also known as a ‘no-poo’ is when you use a conditioner to cleanse your hair instead of a shampoo. These lightweight cleansing conditioners are effective at cleaning your hair while also not weighing it down with lots of detergent.

Most curl types don’t benefit from shampoo detergents, instead only needing water, moisture and a thorough scalp massage for at least a minute to get clean when using a cleansing conditioner.

You should co-wash at least once a week, but up to three times a week if you have thicker, courser hair. If you have fine, oil-prone curls or waves, then co-wash every second day.


Can I use shampoo in the Curly Girl Method?

In short, no you can’t use traditional shampoo in the Curly Girl Method. Shampoo contains detergents that will weigh down your hair, which does not assist your curls.

Instead, you can use sulfate-free shampoos, also known as ‘low-poo’. These contain gentle detergents to break down scalp oils and build-up, without stripping hair.

However, the best option is to use cleansing conditioners, also known as ‘no-poo’ or co-washes. This is a lightweight conditioner that is used instead as a shampoo.

The only time to use a clarifying shampoo is in your first wash before starting the Curly Girl Method, as this will clean your scalp of all silicone and wax build-up. You won’t be able to achieve the results you want in the Curly Girl Method without first completing this wash.

If you accidentally use a sulfate product, you always need to reset with a clarifying shampoo wash before returning to the co-washes.


What products do I need to avoid in the Curly Girl Method?

In the Curly Girl Method, you will need to avoid a lot of ‘traditional’ hair products. This is because these products do not assist curly hair, which needs specific products to heal, hydrate and moisturise your hair.

The products you will need to avoid are:


  • Shampoo: Using a traditional shampoo will strip your hair. Instead you will need to use a co-wash or sulfate-free shampoo to clean your hair.
  • Heat tools: Blow dryers, curling irons, flat irons and other heat tools will damage your hair. Sparingly, you can use a diffuser on low heat.
  • Sulfates: These harsh detergents, often found in shampoos, will strip your hair of moisture and lead to damaged, dry hair.
  • Silicones: Polymers, or silicones, are found in most conditioners and styling products. They are used to give your hair a smooth, shiny look. However, most silicones don’t dissolve in water. This means you can only remove them with a sulfate shampoo, which is not healthy for your curly hair. If you don’t remove the silicones, they will leave your curls dry, flat and greasy.
  • Waxes and mineral oils: Similar to silicones, these can only be removed with sulfate shampoos, so they cannot be used in the Curly Girl Method.
  • Towel-drying your hair: Using towels can be too rough for your hair cuticles and will lead to tangles and frizz. Instead, use a cotton t-shirt to ‘plop’ your hair.
  • Alcohols: Although these aren’t all bad, most alcohols can degrade your hair cuticle and are mostly found in aerosol sprays like hairspray and dry shampoo. Instead, look for alcohol-free hairspray and dry shampoo.


How do I dry my hair in the Curly Girl Method?

Drying your hair in the Curly Girl Method is not as simple as traditional methods. The number one rule is to avoid using a towel to dry your hair. The roughness of towel-drying will damage your hair cuticles and leads to tangles and frizz.

Instead, use the ‘plop’ method to dry your hair. Here is how you do it:


1. After you get out of the shower, scrunch out excess water and apply any leave-in conditioner or styling products.

2. Then, lay an old, cotton, long-sleeve shirt down on a chair or counter with the sleeves at the end closest to you.

3. Stand above the shirt and flip your head forward, bending at the waist, so all of your hair is in the centre of the shirt.

4. Place the bottom of the shirt on the nape of your neck.

5. Tie the shirt sleeves in a knot behind your head.

6. Tuck any loose ends and tighten your knot until it feels secure.

7. After 10-20 minutes, either diffuse or air dry.


Plopping will allow the long-sleeved shirt to soak up the moisture without creating frizz while your hair dries. This will significantly cut down your drying time. The shirt will also absorb any excess product, which will avoid hard, crunchy curls.

You can also use a microfibre towel instead of a shirt, with similar results.


Where can I buy Curly Girl Method products?

You can buy Curly Girl Method products at Cosmetic Capital! Even better, you can pay later with Afterpay and zipPay, with free shipping also available.

Shop sulfate-free shampoo, conditioners, treatments for deep conditioning, styling products and more.

Marc Anthony and Cake are two favourites of curly girls around the world. Shop the range today.


What brands have Curly Girl Method products?

Marc Anthony’s Strictly Curls range is Curly Girl Method approved and has a huge following across the world. You can also shop curl specific products from other Marc Anthony ranges, or you can try brands such as Cake or Noughty Haircare.

If you are concerned a product may not be Curly Girl Method approved, always check the ingredients first.


How long does it take for the Curly Girl Method to work?

The Curly Girl Method works at different rates for different people. It all depends on your individual hair and how it responds to the new product choices. As a rough guide, it is recommended that you give yourself at least three months to see significant results.


Can anyone do the Curly Girl Method?

The Curly Girl Method can be used for straight or colour-treated hair, but it is primarily for those with curly or wavy hair. Curly hair is specifically dry, so curly hair needs moisture without being weighed down. Not all hair types respond like this, so it’s always best to research extensively if you are using the Curly Girl Method for non-curly hair.