Curly Girl Method #CGM

The Curly Girl Method, from Lorraine Massey’s book "Curly Girl: The Handbook"  is a hair care method that trades in damaging habits (like shampooing and heat styling) for a healthy curly hair regimen using just conditioner and gel. 

The first step to starting the Curly Girl Method is knowing what NOT to do. There are many common, everyday hair care practices that many of us have been using all of our lives that are actually damaging to curly hair. Here are 7 things to avoid when following the CG Method;

  • Heat styling tools
  • Combs & brushes
  • Sulfates – namely sodium lauryl sulfate & ammonium sulfate
  • Non-water-soluble silicones
  • Alcohol
  • Fragrance

STEP 1 Final Wash

If you’re just starting the curly girl method, you need to do a final wash to get rid of product build up and those pesky silicones out of your hair. For this, you’ll need a silicone-free, sulfate shampoo. If you live in a hard water area, or swim in the pool or ocean regularly, hold onto your final wash shampoo, as you can also use it to clarify your hair once a month. 

Recommendations: Ultra Doux - with Camomile and Flower Honey - Illuminating ShampooUltra Doux - Children - with Apricot and Cotton Flower - Shampoo 2 in 1Johnson's Baby Shampoo


Gently scrub and stimulate the entire scalp with fingertips (no nails!) and conditioner.
The friction will lift residue, sweat & oil to be rinsed out.
Wash with either a conditioner, a sulfate free shampoo, or a co-wash (a cleansing conditioner).

Wavy - You may use regular shampoo, but only once a week. Always condition before & after using shampoo.
Curly - Cowash with water and conditioner once a week or every 10 days.
Coily - In between cowash days, wet your hair and go straight to Step 2.


Smooth conditioner over hair in sections, until all hair has been coated with conditioner. Let the water distribute the product evenly.

Wavy - Rinse your hair for just a few seconds, if a little bit of conditioner is left on the hair that’s ok.
Curly - You can either rinse or leave the conditioner in at this point, depending on how much moisture you need.
Coily - If you have time when conditioning, wrap your hair and apply heat for 15 minutes for a moisture boost. Rinse completely to avoid a visible film. 


Style with a silicone free gel, mousse, or cream, or create a cocktail of all of them.
Bend forward & blot dry by cupping curls in a towel - never wring or disturb your curls. Then air-dry. If you’re in a hurry, use a diffuser.
Scrunch gel from ends toward the scalp, starting at the nape and working up, scrunch the top layer last. Clip the roots for lift.

Wavy – Encourage your curls to form with extra scrunching or by doing pin curls.
Curly – When hair is completely dry, bend forward and fluff from underneath to create lift. Don’t touch the top layer to avoid frizz.
Coily – While Lorraine recommends a wash & go, you can style your hair however you like. Just try to avoid heat


  • If you’re more of a wavy than a curly, try some finger coiling while wet. Simply section a small piece (you’ll find your hair wants to “clump” into curl sections all on its own) and twirl around your finger.
  • Deep condition once a week or so, or at least a couple times a month. You can use any deep conditioner or mask that is silicone free, or mix some warm oils together (I like coconut, extra virgin olive, and Vitamin E).
  • Use an old tshirt or a microfiber towel to scrunch out the water after showering and applying products. They create less frizz than your typical terrycloth towel.
  • Pineapple your hair at night, and/or sleep on a satin pillowcase. Pineappling is simply putting all your curls up in a very high ponytail so they don’t get squashed as you toss and turn all night.
  • Refresh in the morning without fully washing your hair again. Most curly girls like a spray bottle with water and conditioner.
  • Try a Denman brush, or other curl utensils. The Denman is all the rage right now, for creating spirals and ringlets. It works by separating your clumps smoothly, and for distributing your products evenly.
  • Invest in a dryer with a diffuser.


Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.