The Curly Girl Method: Myth or Revelation?

Do you have wavy hair? Curly hair? Frizzy hair? Hair that changes from curly at the roots to straight at the ends, or vice-versa? Well the curly girl method could change your life forever, and may reveal that you’ve possessed bouncy curls all along without even knowing it. Alternatively, it may also be a complete waste of your time and a long-winded journey for nothing.

The curly girl method: before and after image
(Before and after using the CGM, image courtesy of Zakiyyah Peterson)

So, the ‘Curly Girl’ method. You may have heard of it or you may have not, but it was all the rage a couple of years ago across social media. I remember seeing before and afters all over tabloid websites of girls with unkept hair transforming into luscious-locked babes miraculously. It swept across the population, and even if it didn’t change your hair it was a sure way to make your hair a lot healthier in practically no time at all.

Those girls who have naturally curly hair know that it is a struggle to maintain their hair, let alone know how to maintain their hair successfully. Once the CGM trended online, it was a revelation to most of them. The method was developed by hairstylist Lorraine Massey, and has been altered by other curl enthusiasts to be more inclusive of all hair types and styles. It follows a simple set of rules and products to use (and avoid) to ensure your hair is able to live with its fullest bounce.

Step one is to ensure your hair is washed thoroughly with sulfate-filled shampoo to remove the silicone and wax buildup within your strands. Next is to wash your hair from then on out with a co-wash or sulfate-free shampoo and massage for at least 60 seconds. Then scrunch conditioner into your hair until thoroughly saturated and detangle with a wide tooth comb. Wash this out and then finally scrunch in some gel until fully coated and dry with a cotton t-shirt. Once dry it will feel like your hair has gone hard, but give it one final scrunch and it will become a soft bouncy beauty.

The curly girl method: step guide
(The CGM steps, image courtesy of Cosmopolitan)

This seems straightforward enough, but actually the fiddly part comes from the products you must avoid – otherwise your efforts will be ruined. The CGM requires you to avoid traditional shampoos, heat tools, sulfates, silicones, waxes, mineral oils, towel drying, and alcohol-bearing products – in short, a lot of your everyday products.

But does this really work? The answer is: yes. However, it takes a lot of time for your hair to fully adjust to the new products you’re using, we’re talking months to years here, and requires a lot of trial and error to find the specific routine that works with your hair type to see any real results. Moreover, the curly-girl method is expensive; it uses products that you can necessarily find in high street store and those which do cost significantly more than those we usually use. If budget and time is not an issue for you then trying this method out might be the ideal for you, however its okay to wait a little while until the right time to experiment with your hair.

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