What Is the Curly Girl Method?

Do you have wavy hair that falls flat or curls that aren’t as bouncy as they once were? This could be from not knowing how to manage your textured hair or adding too much heat or chemicals to it. The Curly Girl Method, a step-by-step hair routine designed to revive, maintain, and style your curly hair, could be the answer. Read on to learn more and if the Curly Girl Method is right for your mane.

Lorraine Massey, Curl Expert

If you’ve heard someone rave about the Curly Girl Method, they have Lorraine Massey to thank. Massey is the co-founder of NYC-based Devachan Salons, creator of CurlyWorld hair products, and co-author of Curly Girl: The Handbook. Massey promotes steering clear of heat, avoiding chemical treatments, and using a natural approach to haircare. In her book, she details the Curly Girl Method, a process to care for wavy, curly, and coiled hair under her overarching philosophy: “Curls are not a trend, curls are a lifestyle.”

The Curly Girl Method

With a bit of dedication and consistency, getting the curls you desire is within reach. Here are the steps you need to take.

Step 1: Wet your hair entirely while maintaining the waves, curls, or coils. Once it is completely wet, apply a cleansing conditioner (co-wash), not a shampoo. Spread it evenly on your hands and massage it directly into your scalp. Next, rinse your hair while scrunching it upward; this will keep it from tangling and knotting.

Step 2: Apply conditioner. Your hair’s thickness and texture will determine how much – and what type of –conditioner to use. The fuller and curlier your hair is, the more generous the amount of a creamy conditioner you will need to apply. If your hair is wavy, you can use a lesser amount of cream or apply a spray conditioner. If your hair is on the thinner side, a leave-in spray conditioner may work best.

You can use a regular conditioner, but make sure you cup the water into your hair when you rinse so that you leave some of it in, or use a leave-in conditioner if it works best with your hair type.

Step 3: Next, with your head tilted so that your hair falls naturally, use a microfiber towel or a cotton T-shirt to scrunch your hair upward with cupped hands. Doing this will encourage curl formation, help your hair absorb the conditioner, and release excess water.

Step 4: This final step is optional and depends on your hair texture preference. Apply your preferred gel product to your hair and scrunch it up from the tips. Once you’re done, let your hair air-dry. You can clip it at the top to create volume and help the drying process. If you don’t have time to air-dry, use a diffuser from the bottom up.

Give the Method a Try

There you have it: the Curly Girl Method in four easy steps. As time goes on, you will find which products work best for your hair, the appropriate amounts to apply, and your drying preference. Let us know in the comments if you have tried this method, if it worked for you, and any tips you’d like to share!

2 Comments
  1. Any suggestions about how those with fine, straight hair get some curl in their hair without getting a permanent?

  2. Hi Barbara! Unfortunately, if you have super straight hair, the only permanent option to get curls is to get a perm, but we prefer the more natural options anyway! Some of our favorite ways to get curls/bounce is by going to bed with your hair damp and using soft rollers, or, use this product and it’s an easy one and done! https://www.amazon.com/TikTok-Heatless-Curling-Headband-Pink/dp/B08VGHXRVQ/ref=asc_df_B08VGHXRVQ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=475689942928&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7692053057857620211&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9060351&hvtargid=pla-1186476145664&psc=1 – Rethink Beautiful

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