The One Method That Changed My Curls For The Better
Beauty & Fashion

The One Method That Changed My Curls For The Better

I know you’ve heard of it before and probably had the question, “What is the Curly Girl Method?” If you’re new to getting your curls to where you want them to be, then you’re in the right place!

I remember when I would look at pictures of people with beautiful curls with the definition I wanted. It was 2013 when I realized my hair was far from where I wanted it to be. Imagine curly roots and straight ends or straight ends even when my hair was wet. I didn’t experience a relaxer, but I fried my hair over and over again from straightening it.

(L-R) My hair before the Curly Girl Method, during, and my hair at its longest (with shrinkage)


I remember dreaming about full luscious curls and healthy hair. So how did I get my hair to where I wanted to be? Years of practice and training my hair, yes. But ultimately, learning a version of the Curly Girl Method saved me!

The Curly Girl Method is a hair care approach that emphasizes the use of natural, sulfate-free, and silicone-free products to enhance and care for naturally curly hair.

The Curly Girl Method: In 4 Steps

  1. Cleanse
  2. Condition
  3. Style
  4. Maintain

The Benefits of the Curly Girl Method: 

  1. The Curly Girl Method encourages the use of gentle, natural haircare products that are free of harsh chemicals. This can help reduce hair damage, breakage, and dryness, leading to healthier and stronger curls.
  2. The Curly Girl Method emphasizes techniques like scrunching, plopping, and diffusing to enhance and define natural curls. This can result in more defined, bouncy curls with less frizz.
  3. By following the Curly Girl Method, people often find that their hair becomes more manageable, making it easier to style and maintain on a day-to-day basis.
  4. For people with naturally curly hair, the Curly Girl Method can be a way to embrace and celebrate their natural hair texture rather than feeling like they need to straighten or manipulate it to fit in with societal beauty standards.

So where to start?

A good place to start is to think about your full routine. And now would be the perfect time to take a look at the products you’re using on your hair because they could be doing more damage than good. What to look out for? When shopping for products, it's important to steer away from products that include sulfates, silicones, and parabens. Also, since water is one of the only ways to hydrate your hair, ensuring water is one of the first items listed in the ingredient list for your products is important.

Bonus Step: Prep your hair before you wash.

Trust me when I say this, detangling your hair in sections before washing will not only save you time but help you decide what products to use on your hair for cleansing and styling. Part your hair into four or six sections, then dampen your hair with a spray bottle that has water. Or sometimes I like to use a mix of conditioner and water. Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner with Peppermint and Eucalyptus is a product you didn't know you needed until you use it. The slip creates the perfect base for detangling. Once you've detangled, twist or braid the hair before cleansing.

1. Cleanse

In the shower or in your sink, wash your hair in sections, starting with one section at a time. Apply shampoo on the scalp to start. There is so much controversy about not using shampoo and using a co-wash-type product, and truthfully, a clean scalp and hair are how you’ll see the best results with styling and moisture. Additionally, you can use a shampoo that won’t strip your hair of its natural oils.

Products can only work properly if the base is prepared correctly! Every hairstyle lasts long with a good base. Ensure that the shampoo touches all of the hair shaft.

2. Condition

Replenishing the moisture after shampooing is key. Apply a deep conditioner for the time it says on the product label. I’ve tested it out and can confidently say that there are no additional benefits from keeping products in longer. On the contrary, doing so can sometimes do more harm than good. Unless the product suggests you can keep it overnight, I wouldn’t do it. After rinsing out your deep conditioner, be sure to condition your hair. Don’t skip this step, this step is the beginning of the styling product, believe it or not.

3. Style

DO THIS STEP WITH YOUR HAIR SOAKING WET. I'm not yelling, but I can ensure that you'll get the best results this way. Whether you're twisting your hair or preparing your hair for a wash 'n go, apply your product in sections using the praying hand method, gentle finger combing, or a Denman brush. Also note that leave-in, styling product, and mousse will be your best friend.

Oh, and if you've heard about the LOC (leave in, oil, cream) or LCO (leave in, oil, cream) method, skip the oil. Oil is not intended to go on wet hair. It creates a layer on the hair and makes any maintenance hard. Think about it, if you apply oil to water, what happens? They don't mix!

4. Maintain

How you maintain your hair is up to you because this part of the routine looks different for everyone. But my recommendation is to do low manipulation styles. The phrase “less is more” in this scenario is true. The most important part of maintaining length or preventing damage is ensuring your ends aren’t split, and your hair isn’t breaking off. If you find your hair is missing hydration or moisture, spritzing with water or a water and conditioner mix will do the job. If needed, massage your scalp with oil but not too much or too often because your hair grows from your scalp, and too much oil could clog your hair follicles.

Other key factors in achieving flourishing curls include little to no heat styling, taking your time, and being gentle with styling and detangling. Overall, the Curly Girl Method can help people with naturally curly hair achieve healthy, defined, and manageable curls while also embracing their natural hair texture. I would recommend the Curly Girl Method to anyone who is just getting started.

Ultimately, find what truly works well with your hair, experiment, and be patient!

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Featured image by Hector Pertuz/Getty Images

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