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The Complete Curly Girl Method Guide: Perfect for Beginners

The Curly Girl Method has become popular here in the Philippines for the past few years, but what exactly does it mean? We know the term seems daunting and complicated. But the more you learn about it, and the more you understand your hair, the easier it becomes.

For starters, the Curly Girl Method (CGM) is a hair care method developed by Lorraine Massey in her book Curly Girl: The Handbook

Photo from Authority Magazine

It’s a method meant for natural wavy, curly, and coily hair. These types of textured hair are easily prone to frizz and dryness so the right care is needed. 

The 3 Steps of CGM

There are three main steps in the CGM routine, namely: cleansing, hydration/conditioning, and styling.

These steps vary in frequency and order depending on your hair type. If you still don’t know your curl type, try our quiz here.

If you are just starting with CGM, you may also want to do a final wash.  

Use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of the product build-up on your hair before you start with CGM. Some people also use a dishwashing liquid for their final wash and that’s fine too!

1. CLEANSE

Did you know that washing hair every day is not recommended? Doing so strips off the hair’s natural oil, causing even more dryness. Avoid traditional shampoos that contain sulfates, silicones, and drying alcohol.

To cleanse, you have three options: low poo, no poo, and co-wash.  

Low poo simply means you use a sulfate-free shampoo. Meanwhile, co-washing is using a cleansing conditioner to wash hair as an alternative to shampoo. The least popular type, the no-poo method, is completely getting rid of shampoo and using alternatives like baking soda. 

How you choose what cleansing method to use depends on your hair type and what works for you. 

For low poo, you can use our CGM-Approved  Avocado and Tea Tree Sulfate-Free Shampoo. And for co wash, you can use Avocado and Tea Tree Protein-Free Conditioner

 

2. CONDITION

Curls tend to be drier so hydration is still a must after cleansing your hair. For this step, you can use a conditioner and a deep conditioner. 

You don’t need to use both at the same time but make sure to use at least one in your routine.

What’s the difference between a conditioner and a deep conditioner?

From the name itself, the deep conditioner is more moisturizing than a regular one. Deep conditioner is a treatment for the hair so use it less often. It means that if you use the regular conditioner daily or every other day, you use the deep conditioner only at least once a week. 

For conditioner, you can try our Avocado and Tea Tree Conditioner and for deep conditioner, try our  Avocado and Tea Tree Protein-Free Deep Conditioner

TIP: Know what your hair porosity is! Find it out through this quiz and know what type of conditioner would work for you.  

 

3. DRY AND STYLE

To style, you have many different options. You can use a gel, a leave-in, or a mousse. Or you can also use a combination of these products.


Generally, we recommend applying a leave-in conditioner first. This helps maintain your curls moisturized even after your hair is dried. 


After the leave-in, you may use a gel of your choice. The only important thing is that it is Curly Girl Method approved and it does its job well of keeping your curls defined. 


After you’ve applied your stylers, you may now let your curls dry. In drying, there are also several methods. 


One is just letting your curls air dry and the other is using a diffuser. A diffuser is a kind of device attached to a blow dryer and it helps dry your curls evenly without disrupting the curl pattern. 


CGM: WHAT TO AVOID

  • Sulfates, non-soluble silicones, and drying alcohol
  • Styling tools that use heat
  • Using a regular towel to dry hair
  • Using a regular brush 

To make sure the products you are using are Curly Girl Method Approved, you can list the ingredients on a site called Curlsbot. It will show you if any of the ingredients could be harmful to your curls. 

 

REFRESHING CURLS

In between wash days, your hair is still prone to frizz, especially in our hot and humid weather, and curls may also start losing definition. To avoid this, you can do these extra steps:

  • Refresh your curls by using spray bottles to dampen your hair with water and Leave-In conditioner
  • Use silk or satin material on your curls to avoid frizz. Satin head caps or silk pillows are recommended when you sleep so your curls won’t get frizzy in the morning. 

JOIN CGM COMMUNITIES

If you’re still feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point, maybe a little support from your curl friends is what you need. There are several curl communities online and you can check it here.

 

REMINDER

Lorraine’s The Curly Girl Method is a guide on how to care for your textured hair, but remember that each hair is unique. Don’t give up if the process feels confusing or doesn’t work for you. Don’t be scared to try things differently too! If this method doesn’t work for you, you don’t have to force it! You can modify things here and there. If you're looking for a routine fit for kids, you might find this blog helpful! 

Interested in other curly hair routines? Check out The Laura Routine and Smaster’s Method!

Trust us, the journey is worth it! Wanna know how other girls discovered their confidence through loving their curls? Check out their stories here

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