The Curly Girl Method (CG, CGM or CG Method) is a way of caring for Curly Hair that was brought into the mainstream by Lorraine Massey when she (along with Michele Bender) published 'Curly Girl The Handbook' in 2001. Since publication, the book has been revised and republished and the Method has taken on a life of it's own via Facebook groups, YouTubers, Instagram and other platforms.
The method involves removing certain ingredients - specifically sulphates & drying alcohols (which dry out the hair) and silicones & waxes (and other ingredients which build up on the hair without the benefit of sulphates to remove them); along with avoiding damaging actions such as heat styling & standard brushing and learning new techniques for caring for your hair (including detangling, washing, conditioning, drying, product application, styling & protecting techniques).
There are a myriad of techniques, product line ups and routines to be discovered and the method can be as complicated or as simple as you choose to make it.
For a start, I recommend keeping it simple - depending on routine/products you are switching from and how damaged your hair is - there will be a transition period whilst your hair and scalp adjusts to your new routine. During this period, it is unlikely that you will be happy with your hair, and even more unlikely that your hair will be happy with any routine or product line up! Consistency is key during the first weeks and months of the Curly Girl Method - focusing on getting moisture into your hair, learning different styling techniques and getting to know the feel of your hair should be priorities.
How Do I Start The Curly Girl Method?
Check out the sample routine below - and feel free to get in touch for any questions!
WARNING: Many curlies who have transitioned to their natural hair and/or the CG Method have found it is 'about more than just hair'. Finally accepting (and even coming to love) the way your hair naturally grows out of your head, can be an empowering experience of self love and self acceptance - one which can spread into other areas of your life. I believe that's why they call it a journey!
IMPORTANT: I love the Curly Girl Method and am thrilled daily by stories of my fellow curlies learning to love and care for their curls. I feel that it is important to note that the method is a guide and everyone should feel free to personalise it and make it their own. The structured method is a great way to start - and for many, a great way to continue. However once you have that foundation of understanding and knowledge, you should absolutely feel free to apologetically apply it accordingly - it's your hair after all! Strict Co-washing works for you? Great! Fancy a weekly low poo or regular clarifying wash? You do you! Colourist uses a non CG product but you love their work? Book that appointment!