Wavy hair isn’t the same as curly hair. Of course, we wavies do still have every right to say we’re wearing our hair in its ‘natural’ state. But because of the nature of our loose curls, aka waves, we have a separate set of needs from our curly sisters. The Curly Girl Method was all started with the famous Lorraine Massey’s “The Curly Girl Handbook”. Definitely read the book before starting,
or at the same time as starting at least. It gives great insight and will help you troubleshoot along the way.
Not only is this method a special way to care for wavy and curly hair to bring out its natural curl with less frizz, but it’s also a lifestyle and mindset change. It’s a journey and takes lots of patience and perseverance to stick with it through the bad wash days and products that flop.
- The curly girl method is basically a set of standards to follow, such as processes, key ingredients, and fine techniques.
- The Curly Girl Method is a process of styling and washing your wavy hair to get more defined softer, healthier curls and waves.
- It pretty much works for anyone who has frizzy, waves, and curls.
- It’s basically using silicone and sulfate-free products, washing less often, adding in lots of hydration, styling hair when it’s sopping wet in the shower, using a towel that is made up of microfiber, to squeeze out most of the water, letting it dry to count as “crunchy” the hard cast gel creates and then scrunching it out to get soft curls.
Check out this video for a tutorial
When applying the CG Method for wavy hair you just need to make a few changes.
- You will need to use a low-poo and clarifying shampoo more often than curly types. Some wavies don’t ever co-wash.
- Deep condition less often.
- Use more water during the styling process to get good clumps.
- Use very light products and even sometimes fewer products.
- Use a diffuser to help with volume and to for tighter curl pattern.
- Understand that your hair may never be curly and might stay wavy and learn to embrace how beautiful your waves are.
There are two common ingredients that CG Method followers avoid:
Sulfates are very harsh detergents that make your curls dry and frizzy. Sulfates are necessary for eliminating product build-up caused by non-water soluble silicones, which are polymers that wrap the hair making it appear shinier and helping in detangling.
Some curlies choose to eliminate sulfates completely, while others use them as little as possible for clarifying washes.
Silicones can be found in many detangling and styling products because they can provide slip and shine, however, while applying silicones to hairs frequently, it can lead to buildup that requires sulfates to be removed. This means that if you are avoiding sulfates, you will also need to ditch silicones.
Methods to Style and Wash on Curly Girl Method
1. Cleanse your hairs:
Depending on what your hair and scalp needs, you can wash with a co-wash, low-poo, or clarifying shampoo that is free of sulfates and non-water soluble silicones.
When you first start, you will need to do what is called a final wash. This is the last wash you will do with sulfates to remove all the buildup and silicones in the hair to start fresh.
2. Condition your hairs:
Again, depending on how much moisture your hair needs is the type of conditioner you will use. If your hair is really dry you’ll need a thicker, heavier conditioner than others.
There is also a leave-in conditioner, which pretty much everyone needs. Leave-in provides the lasting moisture in waves and curls to prevent frizzing and encourage the curl.
Once you’ve cleaned and conditioned your hair, it’s time for the styling products. When layering products, I always start from lightest to heaviest products. For low porosity curls that get easily weighed down, mousses and foams are great to curl enhancers.
I nearly always use a mousse! Other options are milk, lotions, and creams. None of which work particularly well on my hair, but that’s not to say it won’t work on yours.
4. Define & Hold:
The final step in a good curly hair routine is something to seal everything in, define your curls and hold them in place. For this, you can use a gel, jelly or custard. I often use custard and a gel, if I want great clumps and hold.
But again, this is where some people get confused because of a tricky ingredient called glycerin. This is a humectant usually high up on the ingredients lists of many gels, but it can cause frizz in humid environments.
5. Style your hairs:
This is the trickiest part. There are so many styling methods and products. Apply styling products to wet hair before drying. There are different ways to apply like scrunching it in, raking it in, smoothing it over, etc. You can try using different methods.
- You can use curl creams, custards, mousse, and/or gel. Make sure to not touch your hair at all while it is drying. You want it to dry hard and crunchy, then you can scrunch out the crunchy hard cast to get soft curls.
- Use a cotton t-shirt, microfiber towel, or flour sack towel to plop dry your hair.
- If you need to dry faster, use a diffuser on low heat.
- Use a hair buff or a silk pillowcase to help keep the look going longer and prevent friction or tangles.
Coloring Your Hair on – CURLY GIRL METHOD
Now at some point, you would like to quit coloring your hair but unfortunately, those pesky greys have started to grow. The first thing you need to do then-
- Understanding your hair condition, try to cut it back slightly so as not to take out all the good effort I’ve put in with the cgm method.
- If your hair is already colored from before then leave about one inch of your root colored as long as possible between colors.
- Colour only the top section and around the hairline if you do not have grey underneath.
- You can try putting the color that is a close match to your own natural hair color so that it lasts longer before you see the roots.
- You can use a purple conditioner that will gently neutralize any gold tones in your hair and there are some that are cgm friendly in the market.
- After rinsing out the colour try to get rid of as much of the silicone as possible and don’t be scared to shampoo this out.
- Use a sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate shampoo which is no more drying than what a color eventually does to your hair. Always immediately after coloring do an intensive conditioner.
The Do’s and Don’ts of the Curly Girl Method
There are several hair care techniques and common styling tools that people use on a daily basis that can cause their hair to quickly become damaged. Now If you’re an active user of the Curly Girl Method, you’ll know that the process often encourages protective styling for this very reason.
- The first thing that you should do is throw away your shampoos, hairbrushes, combs, picks, and stop using any heat styling tools. There is one exception to using heat styling, as the method allows the use of a hairdryer with a diffuser.
- Although, generally speaking, you should avoid heat styling tools and the following products:
- Traditional shampoos
- Flat irons, blow dryers, hair steamers, hot combs, and other heat styling tools.
- Hairbrushes and combs
- Sulfates, especially products containing sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate, and sodium Laureth sulfate.
- Products containing alcohol.
These products on the hair are harsh and can make it look dry and sluggish. If you have these products at home, donate them to someone else or toss them in the trash because you are not going to need them when following the Curly Girl Method for Wavy Hair.
Products You Should Start Using
- Gentle sulfate-free cleanser
- Botanical conditioner (should include high concentrations of plant-based ingredients, like mint, lemongrass, and rosemary)
- Alcohol, paraben, phthalates and silicone-free hair gel
- The goal is to create a hair care regimen that includes gentle products promoting healthy hair. These products are “compliant” with the Curly Girl Method for Wavy Hair.
The hair of everybody is different, but the results should be noticeable in 3 to 4 weeks in general. We encourage you to take at least weekly photos to track your results. Remember not to give up in the middle while trying the curly girl method.
The curly girl technique isn’t a cult that doesn’t have to be complicated and is just a guideline on how to take care of your hair. If you one day use a product that has silicone in it by mistake it won’t hurt. The main thing is you are aware and you are looking after your hair. Most of the wavy hair method is technique and results can differ depending on your hair type.