The curly girl method is a set of do’s, don’ts and ingredients to avoid and embrace. This will enhance and encourage the natural curl pattern in your hair. Many people who have wavy hair, start their curly hair journey only to discover they actually have really curly hair! My hair isn’t as curly as it used to be, before I damaged it so much with heat and colouring. But it’s the healthiest and curliest it’s been in years, and it’s getting curlier with every wash. The pictures in this post were taken when I was five months into my curly hair journey.
- Don’t wash your hair too much – aim for two or three times a week.
- Don’t use anything containing sulfates, usually found in shampoo.
- Don’t use non-soluble silicones, usually found in conditioners and styling products.
- Don’t use heat, it severely damages the hair. The higher the heat, the greater the damage.
- Don’t brush or comb your hair as this pulls out the hair’s natural curl pattern. Now, many curly girls use some kind of large tooth comb or modified Denman brush to work the conditioner through their hair in the shower. I personally use the Denman paddle brush – CURLMAVEN for 20% off, on my hair, and my daughters.
- Don’t use towels, they rough up the hair cuticle and cause lots of frizz – no matter how gentle you are.
- Don’t use drying alcohols, they dry out the hair, but not all alcohols are drying.
- Don’t colour your hair. Natural is best for your hair, and it’s the whole ethos behind the curly girl method. Colouring your hair often involves using ingredients that are on the “avoid” list, so it’s not advised. But many people do it and still maintain healthy curls.
- Co-wash. This is a cleansing conditioner, or you can use a CG-approved conditioner instead of shampoo, to wash your hair. Personally I use an actual co-wash (aka cleansing conditioner) which is lighter than a regular conditioner. It has all the cleansing benefits of a shampoo, without all the harsh, drying, stripping ingredients; and all the benefits of a conditioner without being too heavy. The one I use and recommend all the time is the cult-favourite As I Am Coconut Co-Wash.
- If you think a co-wash may be too heavy for your hair, use a CG-approved shampoo, or “low poo” instead. Whatever you choose, make sure they don’t have any of the ingredients listed above in the “Don’t” section.
- Use your fingers or a shampoo/scalp brush to gently scrub your scalp to lift any build up, oils or residue. I use a Tangle Teezer – CURLMAVEN for 20% off, which I already had.
- Use natural emollients such as coconut oil and shea (especially for afro hair), and lighter oils such as jojoba, olive and grapeseed (especially for curly hair).
- Use proteins such as egg and avocado, silk, wheat and soy proteins.
- Humectants such as honey and glycerin.Moisturisers such as aloe vera and flax seed.
- Scrunch products into your hair to encourage curl pattern rather than brushing products through your hair which will pull the curl out.Use an Aquis microfibre towel – CURLMAVEN for 20% off, a cotton towel like this one from Bouclème – CURLMAVEN for 20% off, or a cotton t-shirt instead.