What’s the Curly Girl Method and How Can It Change Your Hair?

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If you have curly, unmanageable hair, the Curly Girl method can change your life for the better!

What is the Curly Girl Method?

The Curly Girl method of hair care was a routine invented by Lorraine Massey and published in her book, Curly Girl: The Handbook. It is a way to ensure that people with wavy, curly, and coily hair look their best and no longer have to deal with dry, frizzy hair. With some tweaking involving product choice and such, the routine works on different textures of hair and actually secures the shape of curls!

Check out this great guide to learn the basics of the Curly Girl method and to find out where you can learn more!

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Shopping List

Clarifying shampoo, such as VO5 Clarifying Shampoo

Shampoo without sulfates or silicone, such as Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo or Deva Curl Low Poo

Conditioner without sulfates or silicone, such as TRESemme Botanique Nourish & Replenish and Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Co-Wash

Hair gel, such as LA Looks Sport Gel or Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel

Other hair products, such as Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Deva Curl Wave Maker, and Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Mousse

The Routine

This brings us to the Curly Girl routine! The routine is what's really important to get the gorgeous results you want. Follow this step-by-step guide for the Curly Girl method and check out those results!

  1. Wash your hair with the clarifying shampoo. This shampoo must have sulfates in it to get ride of the silicone build up in your hair from past hair products and shampoo and conditioner. The clarifying shampoo will essentially "reset" your hair.

  2. During the same shower, you can move on to the next step. If you have curly or coily hair, you'll probably want to co-wash your hair (wash your hair with lots of condition instead of shampoo - don't worry, your hair will get clean!), while folks with wavy hair may want to try low-poo shampoos. Make sure you scrub your scalp with your fingernails to remove dirt and oil.

  3. While you still have conditioner in your hair, take the opportunity to either finger comb your hair or use a shower comb or wet hairbrush.

  4. Rinse the conditioner out. Many people [squish to condish] to get their curls as hydrated as possible while they rinse their hair.

  5. While your hair is soaking wet, begin applying large amounts of gel to it, along with other hair products you like. Make sure you scrunch it into your curls, or apply the gel to your hair and then scrunch.

  6. Next, you can either "plop" your hair in a T-shirt or microfiber towel (never use terry cloth!) or you can blow dry your hair with a diffuser.

  7. Once your hair is completely dry, you'll "scrunch out the crunch". After you do this, you hair will no longer have that wet look and your curls will be locked in place by the gel!

  8. For second day hair, you can use a spray bottle to wet your hair, scrunch, and then either plop and air dry or use your hair dryer. After that, you'll just scrunch out the crunch again and voila!

Every few weeks, you may want to wash your hair with the clarifying shampoo to reset your hair again if necessary. Because everyone's hair is different, you may find that certain aspects of the routine don't work very well for you and that you're better off skipping it or substituting it for something else. That's okay! You know your hair better than anyone. Once you find a routine that works for you, the routine will feel like second nature even if it is a little awkward at first.

Other Resources

Visual guide to the Curly Girl method

The Curl Revolution: Inspiring Stories and Practical Advice from the NaturallyCurly Community by Michelle Breyer

• The curly hair thread on Reddit

• Naturally Curly's website

• Tons of YouTube videos

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