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The Curly Girl Method: steps for a successful curly hair routine

Do you have coily, curly or wavy hair and are you looking for a new hair routine that will give you beautiful, healthy and more defined curls?

The Curly Girl Method might be just what you’ve been looking for.

Have you had a long battle with dry and damaged hair due to bleaching or coloring your hair and blow-drying on the highest setting?

In this article:

In this article:

Do you long for more defined curls and want to make frizz a thing of the past?

The Curly Girl Method is your answer and you’ve probably heard of it as it’s all over TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram.

In this article we share our steps on how to get started with the Curly Girl Method with all the information you need to start a successful curl journey.

What is the Curly Girl Method or CG method?

The Curly Girl Method, also known as the CG Method, is a mainly natural hair routine that promises to bring out your best curls.

It’s a hair care method that trades out harmful habits for a healthy curly hair regimen, by choosing nourishing products without sulphates, silicones and parabens.

The Curly Girl Method works for all different hair types. It is the ideal hair diet for textured hair, coils, waves or curls.

In short it involves cutting out everything that dries or disrupts your curl pattern and then making sure your hair can absorb nourishing ingredients.

That means banning out harmful chemicals and shampoo with suplhates as well as heat treatments and hair straighteners.

Basically the way it works is twofold:

  1. Stop using damaging products with sulphates and other ingredients that deprive your hair of moisture.


  1. Cut out silicones so your hair can better absorb moisture and nutrients.

It’s truly amazing how people can completely transform their hair by simply avoiding silicones and sulfates. Many happy curly’s have preceded you.

And guess what, the curly girl method will even make straight hair more beautiful and healthy.

Below is e-v-e-r-y-thing you need to know about the Curly Girl Method, including how to apply your hair products, how to brush and detangle your curls, how to wash (and dry) your hair, and more. 

So take deep breaths, nestle in for a long read, and get ready to screenshot. 

Got more questions as you read? Good, because I’ve got answers to quite literally everything you might think of later on. 

Trust me: You can do this.

Will the Curly Girl Method work on my hair?

Review by Isabelle: is the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer worth it?

If you’re not sure who the Curly Girl Method is best for, or if it work for your hair, I will say that type-3 curls tend to see the best results from CGM. 

Although tons of people with wavy hair and natural black hair have also had amazing success. 

So it doesn’t mean you can’t experiment if you have straighter or more coily hair, but just know your success may vary.

Curly Girl: the handbook

Curly Girl Handbook

In a nutshell, the Curly Girl Method—originally created by hairstylist and curl expert Lorraine Massey, who wrote Curly Girl: The Handbook—is a guide to getting excellent hair using specific products and styling techniques.

The Curly Girl Method was first described in 2007 by Lorraine Massey, who writes about it in her now famous book ‘’Curly Girl: The Handbook”.

“Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen.”
– Lorraine Massey

Curly Girl is the bible for those with naturally curly or wavy hair and a desire to celebrate. Its author Lorraine Massey is the owner of the Devacurl salons and Devacurl products. 

The book includes daily routines for all curl types, recipes for homemade lotions and potions for locking in moisture. It also provides expert tips on caring for African American hair and so much more.

The Curly Girl Method: 7 things to avoid

The Curly Girl Method is based on a number of basic guidelines, such as removing harmful ingredients and damaging hair habits. Then by discovering your curl type and hair characteristics, you will learn which nutrients your hair needs to thrive.

We will start you off with our overview of what you should avoid to ensure your full curl potential!

1 Say no to shampoos with sulphates

Shower, drying, protein

We strongly recommend avoiding shampoos that contain sulfates such as sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), as they are very harmful and drying.

That said, if you are not ready to ditch shampoo completely, there are many excellent sulphate-free shampoo options, which gently remove impurities from your hair without drying and damaging sulphates.

You can recognize shampoos containing sulfates by reading the ingredient list on your shampoo. Often sulfates end in: -sulfate, -sulfonate, -sulphate.

Read more about how to recognize and avoid sulfates

2 Stay away from heat and styling appliances such as blow dryers, hair straighteners and curling irons

If you use heat on your hair, you risk seriously damaging your hair. Loraine Massey jokingly calls blow-drying “frying your hair” because you are literally frying your locks. 

But don’t worry, if you don’t want to say goodbye just yet, there is a better way to blow-dry your hair. Consider using a hairdryer with a diffuser that spreads moderate heat evenly over your curls.

It is, however, strongly recommended that you let your hair air dry as much as possible. But that is of course easier done in summer months. If it is the middle of winter and freezing outside, going out with wet hair is definitely not recommended.

3 Limit usage of brushes and combs

Detangling your curls with your fingers is preferable to combing or brushing for a number of reasons. 
Using your fingers is much more intuitive than using a brush or comb. 

It allows you to feel exactly where your tangles and knots are. Instead of breaking through them forcefully, you can gently work them out.

Using your fingers prevents hair breakage and also prevents destroying your curl pattern, which can lead to frizzy hair or undefined curls.

In addition, if you detangle your hair using your fingers while you have a hair mask or deep treatment in your hair, you simultaneously massage moisture into your hair. 

You don’t just spray lotion on your body, hoping it will be absorbed, right? The same goes for conditioners. It must be massaged and squeezed into your curls for it to be most effective. 

And if you really can’t manage to say goodbye to your brush, make sure you don’t brush or comb dry hair. 

Brush your hair when you are in the shower and your hair is lathered with conditioner or a hair mask.

And we’re not going to lie… We do love a Denman brush for styling our hair!

4 Banish hair products with harmful chemicals

One of the most important elements of the Curly Girl Method is banishing products that contain sulfates, non water-soluble silicones, wax, non-natural oils, harmful alcohols and perfume from your hair regime.

All these ingredients are deemed damaging or overly drying.

Scared to ditch your shampoo just yet? It’s recommended that you only use curly girl approved shampoos like clarifying shampoos and sulfate free shampoos.

5 Don't wash your hair too often

How often should you wash your hair? It really depends on your hair type and personal preferences.

For curly hair, washing should take place once every 2 weeks with a co-wash (we will dive into this topic further down) once a week. 

For black, afro hair textures, Lorraine Massey recommends shampooing as little as possible and opting for only co-washes instead.

Wavy hair needs to be cleansed more frequently, we recommend that if you have wavy hair, shampooing should be done once a week.

Discover how often you should ideally wash your hair

6 Don't use terry cloth towels

Microfiber towel

Regular terry cloth towels roughen the cuticles of your hair and cause a lot of frizz and damage – no matter how gently you dry your hair.

Many websites recommend using a microfiber towel to dry wet hair, but we much prefer cotton t-shirt towels or muslin cloth.

A microfiber towel is more expensive while you can easily restore your natural curls and keep your hair healthy in a cheaper way by using an old cotton t-shirt.

7 Color, bleach or dye your hair with caution

When coloring, dying or bleaching your hair, the ingredients and process can be extremely harmful, that is why it is not recommended.

But it is definitely possible, albeit slightly harder, to color your hair and maintain healthy curls.

In any case, make sure you do a final wash after dyeing your hair to wash out any silicone.

Then moisturize very well with a hair mask that contains protein, we also love OLAPLEX for color treated hair! How much moisture you will need we will explain later on.

Curly Girl Method: our 8 steps for success

Curly Girl Routine for beginners

Once you have removed or limited the above mentioned products, ingredients, and habits from your hair routine, it’s time to move on to the steps that Lorraine Massey recommends in her curly girl handbook.

Before you start with the Curly Girl Method, it is important to remember that the ideal hair routine will be different for all curly people: what works for one person will not automatically work for your hair. Each curly girl or guy is unique.

Despite the incredible results that the Curly Girl Method has for many people with curly hair, we fully support adjusting these steps to fit in with your lifestyle, preferences and the needs of your unique hair characteristics.

Experiment freely and discover what works best for you. Everyone’s curl pattern is different, so your curly hair method routine will also be!

During your curly girl journey, keep experimenting with products and methods until you have found a routine that makes you and your curls happy. We’re not going to lie, you’re going to need more than a little bit of patience as you progress on your healthy curly journey.

A helpful tip is to keep a record of how your hair reacts to everything you do and try in a diary or notes on your phone: from washing and styling to how your hair reacts to various weather conditions and ingredients.

We strongly suggest you download our free Kurlify Curly Girl Diary to help you keep track of your Curly Girl Method journey.

Step 1: Discover your curl type and hair characteristics


What is my curly girl hair type, hair thickness and density

To be able to determine which hair products and methods are best for your unique hair characteristics you will have to do some tests.

Before continuing with the steps in this guide, first read our articles on curl type, hair thickness and density, elasticity and porosity, to learn more about your unique hair characteristics.

We have written 3 in depth articles to guide you through this process, you will find them below.

What is my Curly Girl curl type, hair thickness and density?

Curly hair is divided into several curl types: wavy hair, curly and coily.

In addition to your curl type, the density of your hair and hair thickness are also important.

If you know your curl type, hair thickness and density, you can adjust your routine, products and hairstyles accordingly to achieve your best curls.

With this knowledge you can make sure you have even more beautiful and healthy curls.

Read our article to discover your curl type, hair thickness and density.

Hair elasticity: what is it and how to test it?

The elasticity of your hair determines whether you should use products with or without protein.

Elasticity is measured by pulling out a curl and watching how quickly your curl bounces back.

Low hair elasticity

The hair does not stretch, or barely stretches. This is the case if your hair contains too much protein, which makes it feel straw-like and break quickly.

Remove all protein by washing your hair with a CG-friendly shampoo, and avoid protein until your hair is back in balance.

Use water-based, hydrating products, leave-in conditioners and deep conditioners without protein.

Normal hair elasticity

The hair stretches a little, but also bounces back to the original curl.

This means the balance between protein and moisture is good. Choose hair products with a good balance of protein and moisture.

High hair elasticity

The hair stretches too much and does not bounce back properly. It contains too little protein and too much moisture.

This makes your hair feel dry and lifeless. It can also be fluffy. We recommend using hair products that contain protein.

Read our article to discover your hair elasticity.

Discover the porosity of your hair


Another important hair characteristic to discover is your hair’s porosity. Hair porosity indicates the extent to which you absorb and retain moisture.

You can estimate your hair’s porosity by checking how quickly your hair dries after washing.

If your hair dries very slowly after washing (6 hours or more) you have low porosity hair. If your hair doesn’t absorb moisture easily and is prone to build up so avoid heavy hair products.

If your hair dries relatively quickly (2-6 hours) and absorbs hair products well, you most likely have normal porosity.

If your hair dries very quickly after washing (0-2 hours) you have high porosity hair. This type of hair can quickly absorb moisture but does not retain it well.

Read our article to discover your hair porosity.

Step 2: Choosing CG proof hair products for your unique curls

With the information you obtained about your hair characteristics in Step 1, the next step is to determine which nutrients and ingredients will benefit your hair and which ones to avoid.

We’re here to help you on this part of your curly journey which in our opinion is the most complicated, time consuming and an ongoing challenge within the Curly Girl Method.

Depending on your hair type you should use lighter or heavier products and your hair elasticity determines if you should use products with or without protein.

The most important nugget of information to remember in this process is that your curl type (for example 2a, 3b, 4c) does not influence your product choices.

Hair product choices should be based on your hair’s elasticity, porosity and how fine or coarse your hair is.

As this step is complicated and differs for everyone it is really worth investigating what hair care ingredients work best for your hair type.

We highly recommend keeping track of hair products you try and their effects on your hair in our free Kurlify Curly Girl Diary to help you keep track of your Curly Girl Method journey.

Step 3: The final wash

Final wash

To make sure you can start the Curly Girl Method with a – literally – clean slate, you’ll need to do a Final Wash.

There is just one time that you will need to use a sulfate based shampoo, which is when you are doing a final wash.

A final wash removes silicones and build-up and prepares your hair for the Curly Girl Method and absorbing all your new nutrient rich hair products.

This requires you to wash your hair one last time with a shampoo with sulfates, which is an aggressive cleansing agent.

Make sure the shampoo contains sulfate but does not contain silicones. Because your final wash is intended to wash the build-up of silicones out of your hair.

Build-up is an accumulation of hair products and even dirt, which has built up in your hair over time. You will definitely want to get rid of that before starting your new hair diet. It will help your hair to absorb all the nutrients from your new hair products.

Even though you are adopting a new hair regime you may notice that build up still forms over time. Wavy hair and fine hair is especially prone to build up. If this is the case you could consider repeating the final wash once every few months.

Because you are going to use a fairly aggressive product for your hair for the final wash, it can cause your hair to dry out considerably. We therefore advise you to pay extra attention to moisturizing and nourishing your hair after your final wash, by using a deep conditioner or hair mask.

Step 4: Detangling

Deep condition hair

Before you wash your hair, it is best to first remove any tangles from your hair. This is called detangling. Preferably this is not done with a regular brush or comb, but with your fingers.

The Curly Girl Method teaches that the only time you really want to detangle your hair is in the shower when it’s loaded with conditioner or a hair mask. You can use a wide-tooth comb or a wet brush if you really want to, but we recommend trying to use just your fingertips.

Another option is using a Denman Brush, a brush that is famous among many CG Method fans.

You can also take a look at detanglers; hair products that are made to make your hair easier to detangle by giving your hair more slip.

Check whether the product you want to buy is curly girl friendly. For example, you could use castor oil if you have coily hair or a leave-in conditioner that provides slip.

However you detangle your hair, make sure you do it very carefully. If you work too roughly, your hair may be more prone to breaking and frizz.

Step 5: Co-washing: using conditioner to wash your hair

Co-washing (Conditioner-washing) simply means using a conditioner to wash and cleanse your hair.

The reason that we recommend you stop using regular shampoos is that they are harmful to your hair.

Regular shampoos contain aggressive cleansers that do their job of cleaning so well that they wash away the natural oils from your hair and thereby affect the texture of your hair.

Loraine Massey instead recommends washing your hair with a conditioner: co-washing. Co-washing is short for conditioner washing.

A co-wash is the use of a conditioner or a specially formulated cream cleanser to remove buildup and cleanse your hair without harsh ingredients, such as sulfates or parabens, which are typically used in shampoos.

On your future wash days after your final wash, you no longer need to wash your hair with a sulfate based shampoo.

However, here at Kurlify we also love using CG-Proof clarifying shampoos and cleaning creams, these are especially suitable for wavy and fine hair.

Ingredients to look out for are sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), make sure you steer clear of them.

Co-washing is much milder and gentler for your hair and scalp. Your hair will take some time getting used to this new method, so you may experience greasy hair in the beginning. But please do not give up, we promise that your patience will be rewarded.

Read more: Our in depth article about co-washing includes tips on which products to use.

Step 6: Deep conditioning treatment


When following the Curly Girl Method, deep conditioning is an important part of your hair routine.

Perhaps you already use a hair mask, that’s great! You can see it as a much needed treatment to restore dry and damaged hair.

A hair mask is an extra concentrated and nutritious conditioning treatment that penetrates deeper into the hair and is extra nourishing.

How to love your curls? Wash less & condition more!

You may be wondering if you need such a treatment after already having co-washed your curls with a conditioner. Yes, you definitely do! 

After co-washing you also need to use a deep conditioner. 

Deep conditioning is a treatment method that focuses on nourishing your hair with a specially formulated treatment. 

Curls are naturally drier than straight hair and therefore need much more hydration.

And deep conditioners are made for just that! You will see, this step is paramount in helping you get beautiful, healthy and shiny curls that are more defined.

Choose a quality deep conditioner that is curly girl friendly, apply a decent amount to your hair and leave it on for about twenty minutes. Then rinse the conditioner out well.

Do you have very dry hair or would you like to truly pamper yourself? Then you can leave it on for an hour or even overnight! We recommend using a deep conditioner hair mask once a week.

Read more: 5 Tips for Deep Conditioning your Hair

Step 7: Styling your curls

After washing and caring for your hair, you naturally want your curls to get and keep their beautiful shape. For this you use hair products that are suitable for your hair and curl type according to the previous steps.

Rinse your hair with cool water to close your hair cuticles, turn the shower off and throw your head forward so your head and hair is upside down. 

Scrunch your curls to maximize your deep conditioning

Squeeze a little water from your hair and apply some leave-in conditioner using the praying hands technique.

Then scrunch your curls well. Then apply a styling product, such as a mousse, gel or pomade, in the same way. This keeps your curls in good shape and seals hydration in the hair.

If you follow these Curly Girl Method steps, you will only have to style your curls 1-2 times a week or however often you wash your hair. 

Refreshing your curls between washes

In between wash days you can refresh your hair by filling a spray bottle with water and a little leave-in conditioner. Spray this through your curls, apply a little styling product such as a gel, scrunch this in your hair and your curls will look like new again! 

Read more: Curly Girl Method Techniques

At night, you can protect your hair by putting it up into a pineapple and sleeping on a silk pillowcase. 

Read more: 6 Ways to Sleep with your Curls

Step 8: Drying your curls

Microfiber towel

How do you dry your hair? We recommend starting with plopping your hair: that is a technique to dry your hair without damaging it.

It provides definition, makes your hair less frizzy and helps your hair dry faster.

To plop your hair you gently wrap your curls in a cotton t-shirt or microfibre towel and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.

If you have the time, another great option is to let your hair air dry. A great way to dry your hair if you are spending a Sunday at home.

Another option is to dry your hair with a blow dryer with a diffuser, on a cool setting. Preferably do this for a maximum of 20 minutes to protect your hair.

Has your hair completely dried? And has the gel in your hair set into a hard gel cast?

It’s time to apply the scrunch out the crunch technique.

To do this, hang your head upside down, grab parts of your hair and squeeze gently until you feel the hard layer break. You work from the ends of your hair towards your roots.

Read more: How to Dry your Curls the Right Way

Our 6 top tips for Curly Girl Method success

Kurlify Curly Girl Routine for Beginners
  1. The most important thing to remember is that the Curly Girl Method takes time and patience.
    And we don’t mean weeks, but months and sometimes years to get your hair to its fullest curly potential.

  2. If your hair has endured straightening, blow drying, bleaching or other damage, you’re going to need extra patience…

    But don’t give up hope, you will be rewarded if you keep with it!
  3. Application and techniques are just as important as choosing the right hair products for your hair to help reduce frizz and enhance curl definition.

    How you apply products to your hair can often make a bigger difference to your hair and how your curls form and settle, than the product itself.

  4. Wash your hair and apply all your products with your hair upside down.

    This helps reduce frizz and encourages curl definition on the top layers of your hair, and especially at the roots.

  5. Take regular selfies and remember to make notes of what products and techniques you used.

    This will help you see how far you’ve come on your curly hair journey. See how much your hair has grown, how shiny it is, how much more curly it is and how healthy it looks and feels.

    You’ll soon realize that what you’re doing is working.

  6. Download our download our free Curly Diary to make keeping track of your progress much easier!

Curly Girl Method: when will you see results?

curly girl braids

If you follow these steps and use the right products for your hair, you should see a change immediately after the first time you follow the curly girl routine. Many people immediately experience less frizz and more defined curls.

If you keep it up consistently, you should be able to see really good results after six weeks.

However, you will have to persist and experiment with your products.

We also recommend you check your curl and hair type from time to time as this may change after you start following the Curly Girl Method.

Your hair needs will change as a result of nourishing your hair.

After a year you will see the full result of applying the Curly Girl Method in your hair routine: shiny, manageable, hydrated and frizz-free curls!

Possible issues during the transition phase

Unfortunately, not everyone will experience a ‘Hallelujah moment’ right from the beginning once starting the Curly Girl Method. Your hair may have to get used to your new hair routine.

How long will it take for your hair to adapt and what hair challenges will you encounter on your curly journey?

The transition phase is different for everyone. To give you an idea of what you could possibly run into, we have listed a number of frequently occurring issues.

Oily hair

Using shampoo causes your scalp to produce too much sebum. Your scalp reacts to the drying effects that sulfates have on the sebum on your scalp.

If you are just getting started with the Curly Girl Method, your scalp needs time to adjust its sebum production before it reaches its new balance.

This could result in your scalp producing too much sebum, causing oily hair.

Frizzy hair

At the beginning of their Curly Girl Method journey, some people suffer from more from frizzy hair than before.

That is because your hair can finally breathe, and is no longer burdened by build-up of silicone and the damaging effects of heat treatments.

By sticking to co-washing, moisturizing treatments and silicone-free products, this should resolve itself in a few weeks. Hang in there!

Also read: How to treat frizzy hair

Mushy hair

If you feel hair mushy, soft and frizzy, you probably have over-conditioned hair. Although curly hair tends to be dry and needs a lot of moisture, some products can overload your hair.

Especially if your hair is very fine. If this happens, clean your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and use lighter water-based conditioners and moisturizers on your hair.

Do not use a deep conditioner too often until the problem has resolved.

Changing seasons affect your curls

The different seasons of the year require different care. In summer, use lighter products so you don’t suffocate your hair.

Use less leave-in conditioner in your hair to prevent frizz and get more curl definition.

In winter this applies exactly the other way around. Use heavier products and more leave-in conditioner to combat the dry, winter air.

How do you proceed with the challenges described above? First of all, give your hair time to adjust to your new hair routine.

Fight the – understandable – urge to return to blow dryers, hair straighteners and products with sulfates. Believe us: curlies who persist are really rewarded!

You can choose to gradually remove sulfates from your hair routine and gradually reduce their usage.

The CG Method actually prescribes that you stop completely at once, but we can imagine that this is difficult.

Take it at your own pace. However, keep in mind that it will probably take longer before you will see full results from the Curly Girl Method.

Start simple! You have noticed that there are many different product types and brands.

The point is not that you buy and use as many products as possible for your curls, but that you find which ones work and master and apply new techniques and habits.

Curly Girl modifications

Curly hair afro female - Kurlify

Not everyone follows the Curly Girl Method 100%, which is also known as ‘mod CG’.

Mod CG means that you use the Curly Girl Method as a foundation for your routine, but deviate from the rules wherever it serves you better. Because it feels right for your hair.

You may like products with water-soluble silicone. That’s completely okay.

The longer you follow the CG Method, the more you will learn if your hair is happy following the CG Method as closely as possible or if you want to take some liberties.

Many people see the most benefit in avoiding sulfates, because they dehydrate your hair so terribly.

Each hair type and hair texture is different.

Coily hair has a different type of textured hair than wavy hair. And we want you to experience the best of your naturally curly hair.

Explore our favorite Curly Girl Method variations

Save this article to Pinterest:

Top 20 questions about curls & the Curly Girl Method

The Curly Girl Method is a hair routine to take care of curly hair as naturally as possible. The method is based on the following basic principles: cut out harmful ingredients (as example:  sulfates) and products (as example: dryers and brushes), learn your curl and hair type and embrace new habits such as drying your curls with a cotton T-shirt instead of a towel. The Curly girl Method was invented by Lorraine Massey and described in her now famous book ‘Curly Girl: The Handbook ‘.

We are happy to explain this to you in detail via our Curly Girl Method step-by-step plan. Summarized, you start with a final wash, where you remove the build-up of silicone on your hair and scalp. This is also the last time you use a shampoo that contains sulfates. Then you determine your curl and hair type, so you can determine what your hair’s needs. From that moment on, you only wash, care for and style your curls with CG proof products and techniques.

The Curly Girl Method is just as applicable to men’s hair as it’s to women’s hair. It’s certainly not girly to take good care of your hair as a man (unless that’s your thing – then it’s cool). We love men and boys who embrace their natural curls. We didn’t come up with the name of the method, guys… All hair care tips on our website are  also 100% applicable to men’s hair.

Simplified, the Curly Girl routine is as follows (for the extended version you can read our blog Curly Girl step-by-step plan): remove your curls from the burdock, co-wash, care with a deep conditioner, style with your favorite products and, finally, dry your curls. Depending on your hair type, repeat this routine a few times a week. In between you can refresh your curls.

Do you like to freshen up your curls between your (co)washes? Of course, no problem! Fill a spray bottle with water and a bit of leave-in conditioner for extra hydration, and spray this through your curls. Then apply your styling products, scrunch it into your hair and your curls will look refreshed and like new.

After you start with the Curly Girl Method, how long does it take for your beautiful and healthy curls to appear? That is different for everyone. Yet, count for at least six weeks before you see the real result of your hard work. To reassure you: because your hair will respond well to your new mild products due to the final wash, you will often start seeing differences immediately after your first full CG routine.

Is the Curly Girl Method suitable for coily or kinky hair? Yes of course! Coily hair falls under curl type 4 (coily: coarse), thick hair with spiral-shaped curls that are close together. This type of curl seems robust, but is very fragile and often dries out quickly. Your biggest challenges? The fight against endless tangles and maintaining the moisture level in your curls. Knowing more? Then read our article about the different curl and hair types.

Unfortunately, there is not one simple answer to this question. First, it’s important to properly analyze your hair. Yet, also the products you use for your curls and your lifestyle affect the number of washes required. Fortunately, this also means that you can have some influence on this. Interested in more? We wrote an article on how often to wash your hair.

One of the basic principles of the Curly Girl Method is to eliminate shampoos that contain aggressive cleansers such as sulfates and ingredients such as silicones. We hear you thinking: how should I clean my hair and scalp then? With a co-wash, also called a conditioner-wash. If you want to know exactly how co-washing works and which suitable products you can use, read our blog!

That’s the big secret of the Curly Girl Method! Basically, you treat your hair gently and don’t damage it with blow dryers, chemical treatments, and brushes. This improves your hair and the condition of your scalp and for the lucky few among us, will result in a luscious bunch of curls.

It’s a healthier way of taking care of your hair. You delete hair products that damage your hair or cause build-up. This allows your hair to absorb more moisture and nutrients. This leads to healthier hair and healthier hair is shinier and more beautiful. For some, it even leads to discovering that they actually have wavy or curly hair. So yes, definitely worth a try!

Do you suffer from a dry, itchy or flaky scalp, greasy hair (even after you just used your co-wash), products that suddenly stop working properly or lifeless curls? Then it’s likely your curls could use a clarify. It could be that layers of dirt, oil, product or minerals (such as calcium) have built up on your hair. You can easily remove them by giving your hair a clarifying treatment, which actually is just a CG-proof shampooing treatment. There are even special CG-proof clarifying shampoos for sale.

According to the Curly Girl method, it is better to avoid hair dryers, or actually any styling tools that use heat. Can you really not live without? Do you otherwise get unwise fluffy hair? Do you simply not have time to let your curls air dry? Then try drying your hair with a diffuser! It’s best to use a diffuser as follows: apply your favorite styling product and light up your curls with clips, put your hair dryer on medium or even better on cold, whip your hair: throw your curls forward or to the side, move the diffuser through your hair to blow air at your roots, continue until your curls are about 70-90% dry, scrunch out the (gel) crunch until your hair is dry, shake out your curls.. and that’s it!

We think only one answer is right here: stick with the Curly Girl Method! With patience, good habits and the use of products suitable for your hair, we promise that over time, soft, healthy and vibrant curls will appear. Just look at all your predecessors!

There is no quick cut-off route to healthy and shiny curls. At least, not CG proof. The ingredient that is often added to hair products to make your hair shine is silicone. Silicones leave a layer on your hair that provides the shine. This makes it look like this ingredient nourishes your hair. However, you are better off avoiding silicones because they seal your hair: they leave a film on your hair that will seal your hair. Due to frequent use of products with silicone, these thin layers build up. Ultimately, this build up can lead to dry and brittle hair. Silicones are a no-go. How do you get shine? With the Curly Girl Method, with a little patience and persistence, you will see your curls shine on their own: the sign of healthy and bouncy hair.

If you’ve just washed your curls, squeeze out the excess moisture in a cotton T-shirt. After you’ve applied your styling product, gently wrap your hair back into that same T-shirt and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Then you let your curls air dry. How quickly your hair dries depends on the porosity of your hair. If you have hair with low porosity it will take a long time for your curls to dry, while hair with a high porosity dries very quickly.

Not all alcohols are bad for your hair. You also have so-called ‘fatty’ alcohols that feed your hair. You can find them on product packaging under the following names: behenyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, myristyl alcohol, lauryl alcohol, propylene glycol, stearyl alcohol, isocetyl alcohol, isostearyl alcohol, C30-50 alcohol, lanolin alcohol.

Porosity is about the degree to which your hair can absorb and retain moisture. It’s useful to know how porous your hair is so that you can use the most suitable hair products. You have low, medium and high porosity. Do you want to test which porosity your hair has? We wrote a blog with useful tips and tests!

Deep conditioning is a treatment method for your hair that focuses on nourishing your hair through the use of a good hair mask. Curls are naturally drier, this because the path that the natural oils on your scalp must travel to your hair ends is simply longer than that of straight hair. Therefor, deep conditioning is an essential part of your curly hair routine. Find a selection of fine deep conditioning hair masks with protein here.

As you now know, the Curly Girl Method is, to say the least, not a fan of brushes and combs. As a curly girl you often suffer more from tangles than women with straight hair. After your co-wash, you can try to detangle your wet hair by gently going through it with your fingers (otherwise you will experience hair loss). Isn’t that enough for you? Then consider purchasing a Denman Brush. Knowing more? We wrote a blog about the different types of Denman Brushes.

We are curious how you like the Curly Girl Method and what your experience is. Will you let us know in the comments below? And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!


  1. How do you sleep? Like what should I do to my hair before I sleep? My hair gets super tangled when I sleep and destroys my curls

    • Hi Emily,

      I like to use a silk or satin pillowcase, a cotton fabric can me a little rough for your hair. I also like to softly put my hair in a loose knot on top of my head, like a pineapple. This keeps the hair in place while sleeping and it prevents tangled hair. I also like to use a silk hair band for this, but you can also use a soft ribbon or a loose high elastic.

      I hope this information helps you,


      Team Kurlify

  2. What protective hairstyles do you recommend for when i need my hair out of my face?

    • I have chin length coils, and just clip one side back with a pretty barrette. If you know how, a “dairy maid” or french braid is great to gather everyone together and get it back. A head band might leave dents or might not hold thicker hair, but a scarf can be tied over your hair on windy or rainy days, give a scrunch and fluff once you get back inside. Braids are nice for curls, you can even sleep in them.

  3. Very knowledgeable article. I really appreciate the effort which the author has put in. Thanks for sharing. I would like to suggest Natural Infusions hair products. they are organic,harmless & really worth it. please check Natural Infusions

  4. Thank you for sharing a very meaningful article, I think it will be very helpful for me and everyone.

    • So great to hear, you’re welcome!!

      – Team Kurlify💜

  5. It’s recommended to only wash your hair once a week so when I get my hair wet or have a shower should I put in any product or anything?

    • Hi Heidi,

      I would recommend using a leave in conditioner/spray to put in back some moisture.


      Team Kurlify💜

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