Natural Hair: My Method for the Curly Girl Method

I started the curly girl method because I was searching for a simpler way to do my hair. With the curly girl method, I am able to style my hair twice as fast and my hair is moisturized more than it's ever been. My hair feels soft, it looks shiny and it is predictable.

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The Creator and Her Misson

The curly girl method is a hair styling method that was specifically designed to help curly girl’s work with their curls instead of against them. It was created by Lorraine Massey, a fellow curly girl herself.

This is a method where you get rid of shampoo, and use conditioner as your cleansing aid. To use conditioner to cleanse your hair, you would have to use a silicone free conditioner and silicone free styling products. If you absolutely have to use shampoo, it is important that you use a sulfate free shampoo because shampoos with sulfates are extremely damaging to the hair. They dry the hair out and strip it of its natural moisture.

Conditioners and products with silicone are also no no’s because they coat the hair causing build up, which will prevent moisture from getting inside the hair.

If you want to start the curly girl method, I recommend you read Lorraine Massey’s book and also purchase the Deva Curly hair care products which were also created by Lorraine Massey. Her products are everything you need to start the curly girl method.

My Wash N Go in 2010
My Wash N Go in 2010
My Braid Out
My Braid Out

My Old Regimen, Before the Curly Girl Method

Previously in my hair journey, I would wash and condition my hair once a week, and then I would braid it or twist it in preparation for a braid out or twist out every day.

My hair would turn out great one day and then be horrible the next!

Also, because I would re-braid my hair every night, this caused my hair to be dry and brittle from manipulating it too much.

I later found out that my hair is highly porous and this cause my hair to loss moisture immediately. This is another reason I turned to the curly girl method.

I get to wet my hair everyday and I can tell my hair really appreciates the moisture!

Protective styling is supposed to be for low manipulation and I was doing the opposite. This was a cycle every week.

I thought protective styling was for me but because of the porosity, I can’t get the styles to work for my hair. I have now found something that works for me and I’m sticking with it.

I will not give up on protective styles just yet. I am constantly experimenting with styles that look flattering for me. You'll see more hubs about that in the future! =)

Now Back to the Curly Girl Method...

Starting the Curly Girl Method

When I first started the curly girl method, I remember being so disappointed because this method requires wash and go’s. Whenever I do a wash n go, my hair likes to shrink up as much as it can. I used to avoid them at all costs.

I get about 70% shrinkage, so with a wash and go, even though my hair is about bra strap length, it still looks like it doesn’t even touch my shoulders.

For whatever reason, I just didn't think that this short shrunken hair looked right on me! It would turn into this mushroom shape, that I felt looked heavy.

(Maybe I just needed a hair cut for a better shape?)

Regardless, I didn't like it!

My hair is 3c-4a, and very coily. It's also not very dense, which means I don't have a lot of it. This creates the perfect condition for.....shrinkage!

Now, I have come to terms with it...

And This is what I do...

  • Wash my hair with Conditioner/or Sulphate free shampoo
  • Detangle with Conditioner and fingers (or carefully with a denman brush)
  • Rinse with Cold Water
  • Apply Conditioner for hold and styling

(If you don't like to feel the cold water on your body after a nice hot shower. Just hop out of the shower while the water is still on, and lean just your head in. This makes it much more pleasant. You could even use a large kitchen sink.)

After I’m done in the shower, I get out and apply my conditioner all over my hair Smoothing downward and clumping the curls. Then I’m done! It’s that simple and that easy for me. And now, I don't mind the shrinkage.

My Hair Shrunken
My Hair Shrunken
Shrunken Hair
Shrunken Hair

Combating Shrinkage

Some of us mind the shrinkage and some of us don't .

For those of you who can't stand the shrinkage, there are options for you!

Diffuse and Stretch Your Hair with a Blow Dryer

I like to allow my hair to dry 60% of the way before I start with the blow dryer. This is because I feel it allows my hair to set better, therefore decreasing the amount of frizz.

I start with my diffuser attachment and blow dry my hair 100% dry. I make sure my hair is completely dry before I start with my actual stretching because it will prevent it from shrinking back.

For stretching, I attach my concentrator attachment and pull my hair at the ends. I run the blow dryer down the length of my hair and stretch it to the desired length.

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Weigh Your Hair Down With Clips

This is a weird method I just started doing. It's just simply taking hair clips and placing them on the ends of your hair.

It takes more time than defusing but it also causes much less frizz. I also don't think many of you would want to leave the house with the clips still attached but here's what it looks like...

See those clips? lol
See those clips? lol

Choose Your Favorite!

Which Stretching Method Would You Use?

See results without voting

The Products I Use

Just a heads up, Lorraine Massey’s product line is pretty expensive, but the great thing about this method is the fact that you can use any products that fit the criteria of: no silicones and no sulfates. The products I use and love are Vo5 conditioners and Eco Styler gel.

That’s it! Simple, right?

These products are also cheap and that’s another reason I love them. They make styling my hair quick and easy. It’s also fun because now I have more time to experiment with my hair styles.

MahoganyCurls is Great at Explaining the Curly Girl Method

Will it Work for You?

Unfortunately, the curly girl method won’t work for everyone. Just try it and see how it goes. You may have to modify it to fit your needs.

If you find that a conditioner only regimen is not the best for you, it’s ok. Just keep experimenting with different products to see what works for you.

My mom tried the curly girl method but she doesn’t like it because she has to wear hats at work. Her hair just ends up matted to her head by the time she leaves.She prefers styles such as, twists and braids rather than a wash and go.

If you can’t do wash and go’s daily or every other day, try washing your hair in the evening, twisting it or braiding it while it’s still wet, and then take it down them the morning for a nice braid out or twist out. You don’t have to do wash and go’s in order for the curly girl method to work for you.

If you use the curly girl method, how does it work for you and do you like it?

Thanks for reading!

KySmith =)

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Comments 38 comments

shaleace 4 years ago

I want to try the CG method but I'm not a fan of wash n go's...are you having to deal with more single strand knots due to the shrinkage?


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

Thanks for the comment and that's a great question. I actually had to modify the curly girl method because I had this problem. What I do now is co wash my hair and then do braid outs. It helps combat the single strand knots.


Leilani 4 years ago

Thanks for this article. I just bought the book and am on week one of my CG method journey.

Now that you've been doing the CG method for a month, do you find that your hair still shrinks up 70%, or has this changed? Also, has doing the CG method + brand-out benefited you? I know you had mentioned earlier that you wanted to get away from braid outs because they last only 1 day and your hair was drying out, so I'm wondering if any of these things have improved since you're combining it with cowashing.


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

Yes, my hair still shrinks up 70%. I love doing the curly girl method with braid outs because I get less single strand knots. I actually can go most of the week without redoing my braid outs now, which for me was a complete surprise. Co washing keeps my hair moisturized rather than using shampoo every week. At night I just spray my hair with a little water, seal it with olive oil and then I pineapple my hair. In the morning I just take it down and fluff and I'm good to go.

I enjoyed the wash n go's because they were easy but I got to many single strand knots from them.

I really hope this helps. Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting! :)


Twiggy281 4 years ago

I just started using the curly girl method this week. I have to say that I love it! LOL! I was referred to MohoganyCurls to get styling ideas for 3C hair. I found out what her regimen was, and that she does not do protective styling. I decided to see if the CG method works for me and it does-at least so far. My hair looks great and I've never had an easier time styling it!


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

That's great! Thanks for commenting!

I watch mahoganycurls all the time on youtube and I love her hair =). Everyone's hair is different. I still like the curly girl method but I have 3c/4a curls with fine hair. So it shrinks up as much as it can to the point where I get so many knots. So unfortunately, I can't do wash and go's as much as I used to.

The curly girl method still works for me even though sometimes I do braid outs and twist outs.

I wish I could style my hair like mahoganycurls all the time but the knots are too much lol. I'm glad you like the curly girl method and thanks for reading! =)


HarperDavis profile image

HarperDavis 4 years ago from Midwest

Great hub, I have mid-back length natural hair. I don't like hair typing, but if I had to guess it's 4a with some 3c corkscrews here and there. It's an balanced mix of my parent's hair (mom is 3cish, dad's is very 3c reminiscent of Ginuwine, lol!). I now primarily wear in twist outs now that it's gotten so long but I may try this and see what happens.


Anita Neal 4 years ago

I tested wash and go's for a month before I started the method and I didn't get knots cause I trimmed first, used gel and I moisturized everyday with CG approved conditioner, water and olive oil as a spritzer. Im 6 days in now and its working well, I must say that my curls is poppn and before this I never new I was a curly girl.


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@anita neal, that sounds great! Thank you for commenting! =)@harperdavis, thank you for commenting also!


Marsha 4 years ago

I just big chopped! Hellllllp lol


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@Marsha lol, What do you need help with?


Marsha 4 years ago

Lol I have no idea how to take care of this or what to use


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@Marsha, if you want to do the curly girl method, I recommend you get a silicone free conditioner(such as Vo5), a styling gel(such as ecostyler), and a sulphate free shampoo to clarify your hair once a month. Also I would recommend getting an oil(such as olive oil) to seal in the moisture.

Depending on how long your hair is, you could try doing braid outs and twist outs for styling. Maybe get a regimen that is simple so that you con master your hair type.

Don't worry, in time you will find what works best for you. =)

I hope this helps and congrats on your big chop. Also good luck with your natural hair journey! If you have anymore concerns or questions, feel free to ask. I will try my best to help.


Marsha 4 years ago

Thanks love!!


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

Your welcome! =)


Angel 4 years ago

I'm began the CG method a couple of days ago, but am seeing a lot of friz. I haven't read the book and was not rinsing in cold water. Do you think that plus time will resolve this issue.


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@Angel, I definitely think that if you give it a little time you'll see a difference. Sometimes it takes a little time for the hair to get use to the change. Gel may also help with reducing the amount of frizz. Just give it some time and see how you like it later. Thanks for commenting! :)


Bless4ward profile image

Bless4ward 4 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

Great info amd great writing! Thanks!!!! I did my big chop 2 years ago, but had to get another mini chop because my ends got so dry. I have been doing the Curly Girl Method for about a month, and I love it. How often do you trim? The idea of going curl by curl seems difficult, but it makes more sense than to hack off moisturized hair just to make it the same length as the split ends. What do you suggest?


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@blessed4ward, thank you for the compliments and thanks for reading! :) I trim my hair about every 3 months currently. I usually just look for the damaged ends and single strand knots rather than just doing an all over trim. I really don't need my hair to be completely even because I wear it curly most of the time. I hope that helps and thanks again! :)


Angel 4 years ago

Thanks for your response, as well as the encouragement. I do plan to continue with GC. I have been natural since 2010 and did a second BC in Jan 2011, only because I wanted to. I really started taking care of my hair around Oct 11. After trying several different things and products (PJ I am), and some unsuccessful, I'm realizing that this is the best way to go. I was already using sulfate free shampoo & condish. I'm hoping that I will see changes soon, but I won't rush it. Hey it took me from Jan to Oct before I decided to really take care of my hair. I'll keep you posted. Again thanks!


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

Your welcome, and I'm glad your staying positive about it! :)


Angel 4 years ago

KySmith, This morning as I'm getting ready for work, I wanted to just pop in and say how great my hair is beginning to look. It has only been about 6 days since I started CGM and there is a significant change. Co-workers are even commenting on my hair. No more frizz and lots, lots of curls on this 4c hair. You know I'm converted and have others on that path as well. I must say but you already know NATURAL HAIR ROCKS!!


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@Angel, I am so glad to hear that! That's amazing and yes natural hair rocks lol! =) It's also cool that you have others on board too...keep up the great work!


Bernice 4 years ago

I'm trying the CG method and got my curls back! I've been using olive oil and organic conditioners and hairstyles and I'm about to try aloe gel to try to eliminate frizz, BUT, unless I apply olive oil my hair will frizz. I straightened it chemically for years and also dyed it, so I'm wondering if I I need to cut off even more of my chemically treated strands for this to really work?


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@Bernice, hi and thank you for commenting! I think eventually once you get rid of all of the straight ends you will be able to see your true texture and get rid of some frizz. If not you may need to get a product with more hold.

If your not completely ready to cut off the straight ends, the aloe gel might help but you could also try making flax seed gel. It might give you more hold as well and eliminate some frizz.. Also you could try whipping up some shea butter with your olive oil to make a cream. That might eliminate frizz also. It sound like you use a lot of organic products so these things would be good to try.

I hope this helps! =)


Claudia Marie profile image

Claudia Marie 4 years ago

A friend of mine told me about TightlyCurly.com, this method is working for me. It is so easy and inexpensive. All you need is a special brush and hair conditioner.


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@ Claudia Marie, Thanks for commenting! I have actually tried the tightly curly method but it was too much work for me. I'm glad you like it! =)


thecoffeewrite profile image

thecoffeewrite 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

I'm pretty sure with the texture of my hair, the curly girl method won't work well for me, but I'm not against trying it. I'm tightly coiled and have major shrinkage as well. Before doing my second big chop I tried Ouidad, which is another natural curl enhancing product. That was a bust and I was so disappointed. I also have not had the success with ECO style as other people have, now I've been getting away with cheap gels like La Bella and Clear Ice to help with twists. There is no such thing as a wash and go for me and at times that makes me a little disappointed, but I'm really loving my hair as it is and I'm developing a real relationship with it now.


Bless4ward profile image

Bless4ward 4 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

@thecoffeewrite - Don't give up. I have the finest coils ever. I started using tresseme naturals conditioner for my co-wash (no shampoo) and Paul Mitchell The Conditioner as my leave in along with Eko styler jell. But because I have major shrinkage I divide my hair into four section with 2 twists per section (8 twists). Try putting the jell on your hair when you section your twists. Just enough to smooth in from root to tip. This has changed everything. I can usually last 3 days to 1 week between wash and goes. I am like you and I have tightly coiled hair.


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@thecoffeewrite Yeah, as of right now, wash n go's are ruled out for me as well. The curly girl method works even if you can't do wash n go's, which is great. I find that I get way too many single strand knots with wash n gos. I'm glad your loving your hair and getting to know what works best for it! Thanks for reading and commenting! =)


KySmith profile image

KySmith 4 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@bless4ward, thanks for commenting! =)


cwv 3 years ago

Hi Ky!

Just started CG method tonight, and I think I will also need to modify it using twists or braids, because I can't sleep on loose wet hair, and it takes my hair literally more than 24 hours to air dry. Thanks for your guidance with the CG method.


ebony 3 years ago

Hello I just read your article about the CG method, great job! Im considering going natural (really soon) but im a little nervous bc there arent many different styles and I don't know how to get it cut. Anyway, my biggest concern is my extra dry scalp and after the BC I don't want my hair to be dry brittle damaged and etc. Can someone do the CG method after getting the BC? I just need some advice. Thanks


KySmith profile image

KySmith 3 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@cwv thank you for commenting! Good luck to you in your hair journey. I think you could also benefit from having a defuser. It will help dry your hair without messing up your curls. That way when you wash your hair you won't have to wait until it air dries.


KySmith profile image

KySmith 3 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@ebony, thank you for commenting. Yes it is possible to do the curly girl method right after getting the bc. It's actually best to do it that way because as your hair grows out you will become an expert on what your hair likes and dislikes. With the dry scalp I totally understand. I have the same problem. What works for me is constant moisturizing everyday. I spray my scalp with water and then apply olive oil. Some people even recommend tea tree oil or peppermint oil treatments but I don't know a lot about these. I hope this helps and if you have anymore questions feel free to ask! :)


tina03w profile image

tina03w 3 years ago from Texas

This is a great article? I am thinking about trying this method. Did you have to BC in order to use this method?


KySmith profile image

KySmith 3 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@tina03w you don't have to BC to do the curly girl method. Having relaxed ends may make it difficult to wear your hair curly so it may be a good idea to do the BC before doing this method.


KySmith profile image

KySmith 3 years ago from Milwaukee Author

@tina03w you can also do braid outs, twist outs, and rod sets with this method if you want to transition.

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