What the Curly Girl Method gets Wrong!

What the Curly Girl Method gets Wrong!

Maybe you've often seen women on social media talking about the Curly Girl Method.

Don't know what it means or why there's so much talk about it? Continue reading to know why folks with wavy and curly hair all over the world use this method to achieve beautiful, healthy hair!

Before moving further, first, we will talk about what is Curly Girl Method.

The CG Method was developed by Loraine Massey. She also wrote a book on it, named Curly Girl: The Handbook.

What the Curly Girl Method gets wrong.

The AIM of Curly Girl Method -

It's a haircare strategy that aims to help women and men discover their genuine hair structure and maximize their natural waves and curls. It's basically training yourself and your hair to fall into their natural curl pattern.

The basic principles with Do’s and Don’ts for the Curly Girl Method are as follows:

  • Do not use shampoo to wash your hair.
  • Do co-wash your hair
  • Don't brush your hair (don't worry, it's okay! It isn't as bad as it sounds.)
  • Don’t use any heat styling products such as straighteners, curlers, or blowdryers, etc.
  • Do airdry your hair
  • Don’t use any product that contains silicones, sulphates, waxes, or drying alcohols.

Sounds pretty straightforward, but not so fast. Let’s look more closely at these do’s and don’ts and what you should actually be doing.

Do not use shampoo to wash your hair/Do co-wash your hair

When it comes to shampooing your hair under the curly girl method, the experts agree that we SHOULD be shampooing our hair on a regular basis.

Shampooing will rid your hair of any product build-up, remove hair of any debris and clean your scalp. This is also the best way to get moisture into your hair. As one stylist put it ‘moisture starts at the shampoo bowl”.

We don’t recommend using conditioner only or ‘co-washing’ to clean our hair since conditioners don’t actually clean your hair, but build up and can cause more problems. If you’re looking for a gentle solution to your hair, check out our Guide to Co-washing.

Detangle Curly Hair - curly girl method
Detangle Curly Hair

Don't brush your hair

Some of us will use our fingers to detangle our hair. However, while using your fingers can be a gentle way to detangle your curly hair, it doesn’t get the smaller tangles. For this reason, detangle your hair with a brush designed for curly hair while your hair is wet with conditioner in it.

Don’t use any heat/air dry hair instead

This is one of those myths that we always have to debunk that was popularized by the Curly Girl Method. While we should avoid extreme heat on our hair (extreme being temps 300f for fine hair and 400f for thick hair) all heat is not bad and can actually be good for us. We recommend drying hair either under a hooded dryer or using the diffuser on your blowdryer. This way, the heat is dispersed and more gentle on the hair. It helps your cuticle to absorb your products better while reducing damage to the CMC of your hair.

Don’t use any product that contains silicones, sulphates, waxes, or drying alcohols.

This type of statement doesn’t take into account that not all of these are bad for our hair. For example, not all silicones are the same and some help the hair with shine when needed. Some alcohols are necessary for a product’s formulation but is so low on the ingredient list that it doesn’t affect your hair overall. We say look at the full picture of the products’ ingredients and uses.

So, What Does the Curly Girl Method get right?

We like that it breaks down wash day into a 3-step method

Step 1: Cleanse first.

Using a naturally made shampoo to avoid over-bearing sulphates, gently massage your entire scalp to loosen dirt, sweat, and oil with your fingertips.

Step 2: Condition.

Then, divide your hair into parts, and start applying a natural conditioner to your hair. Continue to do this until each strand is completely covered in conditioner.

Step 3: Dry and Style.

Turn your head over and shake your curls with your fingers after. Dry your hair instead of rubbing it to keep the natural curl.


Ultimately, the CG Method is all about what not to do with your hair, i.e., avoiding the destructive hair practices that you are following for a long time.

Have you been following the Curly Girl Method? What has your experience been like with it? Do let us know by commenting below.

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