Woman laying down with light brown curly hair
Hair Care | Curly Hair

Curly girl method: Is the hype justified?


Curly hair is often anything but easy to care for. Its naturally dry, unruly structure needs a tailor-made care routine. That’s where the curly girl method comes in: it promises smooth, bouncy curls. Let’s take a closer look at what this method entails.


What makes the curly girl method so special?

Woman with ombré curly hair

Curls deserve the best care!

Styling curls can be a real challenge. Depending on your hair’s condition, the humidity, and your usual care routine, curly hair can look amazing – or drive you to despair. The hair stylist Lorraine Massey has had her fair share of bad hair days. The naturally curly American fought a bitter battle with straighteners for years, attempting to tame her curls, but finally learned to love her locks and then went on to develop the curly girl method to help others.


So what is the curly girl method? The care concept is based on treating curls as carefully as possible: aggressive ingredients, heat, and other harmful factors aren’t welcome in this haircare regime. Instead, curls should be allowed to just be themselves…

Which products do you need for the curly girl method?

Woman with dark curly hair

Do you know your hair's structure?

It’s a good idea to search through your bathroom cabinet beforehand, as it may already contain a few hair care products that are suitable for the curly girl method. Make sure that these products don’t contain any alcohol, sulfates, or silicone. Look out for moisturizing, intensively caring conditioner such as repair conditioner, a leave-in product like a balm as well as a mild shampoo. Many leave-in products contain silicone, but the curly girl method isn’t super strict, as long as the other products are silicone-free.


In order for the curly girl method to be effective, you should take a close look at the structure of your hair. The more porous it is, the more protein it needs. Usually curly or frizzy hair is much more porous than wavy hair and therefore needs more care.

Curly girl method: The instructions

Woman shampooing her curly hair in the shower

Co-wash or low-poo - which method is best for you?


Carefully untangle your hair

Since brushing or combing can stress the hair and cause breakages, it is better to untangle it strand by strand before washing it. You can use a coarse-pronged comb or simply your fingers to get rid of any unwelcome knots.


Co-washing or low-poo?

Before you find and start to use the washing method that is right for you, it’s a good idea to remove any product residues from your hair by using a special deep cleansing shampoo.


Co-washing means only washing your hair with conditioner from now on. This may be a bit unusual at first, since no suds form, but hair that is especially curly and frizzy will benefit from this gentler and richer washing regime.


Low poo is a good alternative if co-washing isn’t cutting it for you. For this method, wash your locks every few days with a mild, silicone-free shampoo. It works best on wavy, less stressed hair.


The right conditioner for the curly girl method

A nutrient-rich, silicone-free product that pampers curly hair is ideal. It’s best to wash your hair every two days with conditioner to provide it with the valuable moisture it needs. If you’re trying out the low-poo option, first wash with a mild shampoo and then use conditioner.


Our tip: Rinse the product out of your hair with cold water to seal your hair’s cuticle layer and lock the products in. This will also give your curls a healthier shine.


Post-treatment with tailor-made leave-in products

Since curly hair tends to frizz, we recommend taming it with a leave-in product, massaging it into wet hair to give it more definition and bounce. It is important that you avoid using a hair dryer or curling iron: heat dries out the cuticle layer and damages it. It’s better to pat your wet curls dry with an old cotton shirt or treat yourself to a microfiber towel. These are much gentler than regular towels. Now let your hair fully dry in a towel turban; this make take longer, but increases curl formation.


If you let curly hair air-dry, make sure you touch it as little as possible. Otherwise, you may find yourself with lots of unwanted curls. And if you are in a hurry and have to rely on your hair dryer, use the diffuser attachment to help give your curls more shape. The important thing is that you use the cold setting - even though it prolongs the drying process. Your curls will thank you for it.

The basics of the curly girl method

In addition to the maintenance steps described above, there are a few rules you should follow to ensure that the curly girl method gives you perfect results:


  1. You shouldn’t comb or brush dry hair.
  2. Use super-soft hair elastics to avoid hair breakage or broken curls.
  3. Whether you opt for co-washing or low-poo: test out which care steps are best for your hair and which ones aren’t. Everyone’s hair is different and this needs to be understood before you can begin.
  4. Last but not least: Love your curls - even if they can be a bit rebellious at times!