Curly Girl Method

If you have curly hair, you have most probably heard of the Curly Girl Method at least once in your life. Right?


When I started taking care of my hair, I didn’t know where to start, but I knew I wanted to use natural products. I remember my mom used to put olive oil on my hair when I was younger, she said it would nourish my hair and make it unbelievably beautiful. And we both shared love for natural products and DIY masks.

That’s why I recently started researching the best ways to take care of curly hair, and I found the Curly Girl Method. This article should help you understand the basis of the CGM.


The Curly Girl Method was invented by Lorraine Massey. It is simply a way to care for your hair, by using the right products and cutting out sulfates, silicones, and drying alcohols (in short). Basically, like a healthy diet but for your hair!

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

There are many ways to follow the Curly Girl Method, but in a nutshell:

  1. Use the right products, but keep it simple
  2. The techniques are as important as the products
  3. Clarify once a month (= restart button)
  4. Get some Curly Girl essentials

Which products should I get?

The first question I always get is ‘how do I know which products to get?’.

Well, there isn’t one set of products that I could recommend to achieve the perfect curls. The truth is, you will need to try products and experiment for a while before you find your Holy Grail. But, I can help you with that!

  • Sulfate Free Shampoo (optional)
A sulfate free shampoo is optional. Why? Because some of us still like to use shampoo to cleanse our hair, while others rely on co-washing only. Try both and see what you prefer!

You can use a shampoo at every wash day, or once in a while. It just has to be sulfate-free.

For instance, the As I Am Curl Clarity Shampoo or the Jessicurl Gentle Lather Shampoo.

  • Co-wash
Co-wash stands for Conditioner Wash, which means that you use conditioner to cleanse your hair. Yes, it does cleanse your hair! There are so many benefits of co-washing, which you can find on this Instagram post.

How to use: wet your hair completely, use a generous amount of conditioner and rub it on your scalp using your fingers or a scalp brush.

There are many popular co-washes such as the As I Am Coconut Co-wash, but you can also use any lightweight conditioner.

  • Conditioner
After cleansing your hair, you want to moisturize it. Conditioning also helps detangle hair and thus reduces breakage. The As I Am Detangling Conditioner is a great inexpensive conditioner to start out.
  • Deep Conditioner
This is probably the most important part of your Curly Hair routine. You can use this once a week. Deep conditioning strengthens hair, makes it less prone to breakage/damage, and deeply moisturizes it. 

My favorite deep conditioning treatment is the Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment which also exists with a fragrance

  • Leave-in Conditioner
If you want a light styling product you can use a leave-in. You can either use a conditioner or a specific ‘leave-in’ conditioner made as a styler. 

Here are a few options: Flora & Curl Rose & Honey Leave-In, Tropikal Bliss Banana Leave-In Smoothie,  As I Am Leave-In

  • Cream (Optional)
The Official Curly Girl handbook doesn’t have a cream, but a lot of curly girls like to use creams to add extra moisture in their hair. Depending on the thickness of the cream, you might or might need to use it with a leave-in. 

Creams to try: Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution which also exists with a fragrance
  • Gel
My favorite styling product (and yours too once you’ve tried).

Gel is what locks in moisture, keeps hair SUPER defined, and reduces frizz.

Apply gel on wet hair, let it dry; and once fully dry, scrunch out the cast (crystalized layer around each curl). That’s it! It can be used with a leave-in or on its own. 

Our favorite gels are the Ecoslay Orange Marmelade or Jello-shot (Jello-shot is best suited for thicker hair). You can also try: As I Am Curling Jelly.

Curly Girl Method Techniques

Using the right products for your hair is only 50% of the job done. 

If you want to get amazing natural curls, you’ll have to experiment with different Curly Girl Techniques and Methods, to see what works best for you. 

  • SOTC
Scrunch Out The Crunch. This means scrunching your hair when it has a cast. What’s a cast? You know when you put gel or mousse in your hair and it dries crispy. That’s a cast. 

SOTC should be done on 100% dried hair for best results. 

Directions: Simply bend your head down and grab your hair inside your palm, then scrunch scrunch scrunch! You have to break the cast with your hand by applying pressure on your curls. You can use a light oil to scrunch your hair (it helps with frizz!)

TADA! Soft bouncy curls. This technique is also called: ‘Squish to condish’ or ‘scrunching’.

  • Pineapple

We’re not talking about the fruit (well not entirely). Pineapple is a term used to describe the way you tie up your hair – usually for sleeping, in order to keep your curls intact overnight. 

Directions: Bend your head down, and grab all your hair in between your hands. Take a hair tie (either a scrunchie or an invisibobble that won’t cause friction) and tie around your hair once. It was to be loose so your curls aren’t damaged. 

That’s it! See? It looks like a pineapple. 

  • Plopping
Plopping is the art of using a towel or a t-shirt to secure your hair up over your head, after the shower when your hair is wet, and right before you air dry or diffuse.

It allows your curls to set, while getting rid of the extra water. Also, for those of us with long hair, it will help your curls form better because they wont be weighed down. 

Directions: Spread a t-shirt on your bed (or a clean surface) drop your wet hair on top of it and tie the t-shirt over your neck. I usually leave it on for about 20mn and then air dry.

  • Racking
This is a detangling technique. You simply run your fingers through your hair and shake at the roots. This method is used to apply conditioner and deep conditioner. It’s perfect for an even product distribution!

  • Praying hands
This technique is great to distribute product evenly on all your hair. I use this technique to distribute my styling products. Simply rub the products on your palms and grab your hair with your two hands, gliding from the roots to the ends. It looks like this: 🙏

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