Everything You Need To Know About The Curly Girl Method

The Curly Girl Method is when you substitute hair products that contain sulfates, silicones, parabens, and certain alcohols with products that don’t. The Curly Girl Method was created by fellow curly girl, Lorraine Massey. In her book, Curly Girl: The Handbook, she goes into detail about the Curly Girl Method and how to use it. 

all about the curly girl method

The purpose of the curly girl method is to stay away from hair products that may strip your hair of its natural oils, causing frizz and breakage. There are a lot of different opinions on which hair products are okay, and which are not. Some people who follow the curly girl method faithfully won’t use shampoo. Others see no problem in using shampoos free of sulfates. Below is a list of ingredients you should avoid, according to The Curly Girl Method. 

  • Sulfates
  • Fragrances
  • Silicones
  • Certain Alcohols
  • Waxes
  • Parabens
  • Phthalates

I know you’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to know if your products contain any of these ingredients listed. Most hair products free of certain ingredients will advertise it on the front of the bottle. If not, all the ingredients will be listed on the back of the bottle. I personally look for three things when choosing hair products; sulfate free, paraben free, and silicone free. Sulfates dry your hair out, parabens cause cancer, and silicone is just a plastic coating that makes it harder for moisture to get through. Pro tip: The ingredients listed first are the ingredients that the product contains the most of. 

Curly Girl Method

On top of avoiding certain ingredients, following the curly girl method also requires you to avoid using heat, combs, and detangling brushes. I don’t know about you, but I’m not giving up my denman brush for anyone.

reasons I don't follow the curly girl method

I love my denman brush and wide tooth combs.
While finger detangling is probably best, I don’t have the time or the patience to finger detangle my entire head.

I definitely use shampoo.
My hair just feels and looks better when my scalp is clean. All of my shampoos are sulfate free, but it’s still shampoo.

I straighten and blow dry my hair.
I don’t do it often, but I definitely do it in the fall/winter.

I get some of my best results using gels and waxes on my hair.

I don’t always check products for alcohols.

Honestly, I do believe that the Curly Girl Method works. Following all of Lorraine’s steps will definitely help with the overall health of your hair. However, I have my own routine that works for me and my hair. If you’re just starting out, I definitely recommend grabbing a copy of Curly Girl. There are some really great tips in the book, and it’s a good starting point for anyone wanting to make the transition.

Have you purchased your copy of Growing Girls With Curls yet? If not, you can click here!


Hi, I’m Chantal. I’m a mom of two, self proclaimed naturalista, and Author of Growing Girls With Curls: Short Stories For Girls of Color. Being a mom is hard. Pair that with being a single, black, millennial in America and it’s a whole different monster. Feel free to join my mailing list and follow along as I blog through this crazy thing called life.

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