My Curly Girl Method

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

Happy Sunday!

I have wanted curly hair for as long as I can remember. Once, at a very young age, I convinced my parents the best birthday present would be for them to allow me to get a perm. After much discussion they decided I could.

I honestly still remember the day because I had never felt more happier and sad within a couple of hours. After spending many hours at the hair salon, I left with beautiful curly hair that I had always wanted. Then within a couple hours I did exactly what my mom told me not to do! I got in the hot tub and ruined the perm. From that moment forward I basically gave up on the idea of having curly hair. I actually attempted another perm later in life and it worked for a while but quickly faded.

For years, my mom has told me I have curly hair. I just needed to stop applying heat, coloring it, and learn how to manage it better. That's a lot easier said than done. I had no clue where to even begin. You walk down a beauty hair aisle and they have about 100 different products claiming to enhance and help your curls. It wasn't until my mom joined a curly hair method support group on Facebook,, that made me start believing I might have a chance at bringing out my curly hair (I've always had somewhat wavy frizzy hair).

Now, I am dreaming and attempting to bring it back again:) So far I have been impressed with the results in just a couple of weeks! I'm excited and hopeful that there might be a chance for me after all. I wanted to share my journey and process with all of you, in case there is anyone out there in the same boat. Don't give up on your curls!

I want to begin by saying the curly girl method is still new to me and something I'm still learning through trial and error. I will be explaining my routine and the products I'm using right now, but want to give you all a heads up this routine or the products may change over time. As I learn new things and try new things I will let you all know and keep you updated so we can continue to grow our lion manes together.

Left Picture: Air Dried Hair before using Curly Girl Method

Middle Picture: Day 1 using Curly Girl Method

Right Picture: Day 12 using Curly Girl Method

What is the Curly Girl Method?

It is a method that teaches you about the do's and don'ts when it comes to creating healthy curly hair. There is no one specific way or products you need to use. It's all about learning what shampoos, conditioners, gels to use, the problems with heat styling, and how to best wash/style your hair to give your curls the bounce you want. Curly Girl Method 101:

  1. Do a final wash using a shampoo with sulfate (not silicone) to strip your hair and start from scratch. Shampoo recommended: Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo, or Suave clarifying shampoo. *** A final wash is only done once. You will use a different curly girl approved clarifying shampoo once a month or longer to remove build up: shampoos such as Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo with Peppermint, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Botanicals, or Purifying Solutions Hard Water Shampoo by Ion.

  2. Next condition hair with a curly girl approved conditioner. Run fingers through your hair or use a comb to detangle your hair. Then rise out.

  3. Co-Wash (washing with conditioner only as a cleanser or product labeled co-wash) your hair or use a curly hair approved shampoo (low-poo) and make sure to really scrub the scalp. Use the co-wash option in between low poo washes.

  4. If used a low-poo shampoo you should then apply conditioner and rinse hair.

  5. Next it's your preference and finding what works best with your hair. Either apply products to your hair soaking wet or dry hair using a cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel. As you dry your hair though be sure to flip your head upside down and scrunch your hair using your hands to squeeze the wet hair upwards toward the scalp to encourage the hair pattern.

  6. Next apply product: use either a gel, curl cream, or mousse (again your preference using trial and error). Apply the product to your hair by either using a method called raking (fingers gliding through the hair), praying hands (palms together gliding down the hair strands), or scrunch (taking the hair into clumps and scrunching them towards the scalp).

  7. Next, dry your hair either by diffusing on low-med heat and low speed or air dry.

  8. Once your hair is completely dry it may feel crunchy and this is completely normal. You will use the scrunching method listed above until you feel the crunchiness go away and your hair begin to feels soft. You may need to apply a little bit more hair product to help reshape some curls. That's it you're ready to go!

  9. If you chose to wash at night your next step will be to sleep in a pineapple (a ponytail on top of your head letting your hair fall around your head like a fountain, using a satin scrunchie) or in a silk bonnet, scarf, buff, or sleeping on a satin pillowcase. This process is also good to use if you styled it in the morning, and that night want to preserve your curls for the next day without restyling your hair. *** Never do this with hair wet, make sure hair is completely dry before doing the pineapple or bonnet. Your hair can start to grow mold if you wrap it up while it's wet.***

  10. In the morning you can refresh your curls by spraying with water and scrunching product in it again or use a refresher (spray bottle filled with water and conditioner and sometimes a little gel).

  11. It's very important to do a Deep Conditioner at least once every 2 weeks or more often depending on your hair. You can either use a deep conditioner product or use a homemade mix of about 3 tablespoons of your conditioner, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Wrap it up and leave on top of your head (you can also use a shower cap to help it stay in place on your head). Let it sit for about 30-40 minutes. After the deep condition continue the process by co-washing (conditioner) or low-poo (curly girl approved shampoo with conditioner after).

Products to Avoid

Avoid hair products with Silicones, Waxes/Hair coating ingredients (dodecane, mineral oil, cera, paraffin... etc.), soap, and sulfates. This was the hardest part for me because I had no clue what to look for and what things to avoid as I walking up and down the aisle. There are so many products, shampoos, and conditioners that claim to work wonders for curly hair, but I have recently discovered that might not be true. My tip for finding products Curly Girl Method Approved is by using the following link. If there is anything you use from this post it will be this link! This link will allow you to input the ingredients listed on the product and will then let you know if it's curly girl method approved.

My Personal Routine and the Products I Use

Again this is something I'm still experimenting with and what works for me may not work for you. It's all about trial and error.

  1. First, I started off by doing my final wash with Suave clarifying shampoo. ** you will only do the final wash one time**

  2. Next, I did a deep condition using 3 Tablespoons of Not Your Mothers Naturals: Linseed Chia Blend & French Plum Seed Oil Volume Boost Conditioner, 1 tablespoon of raw honey, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I scrunched the conditioner into my hair (applying all of it until my whole head was covered and all of it was used). Twisted my hair to sit on top of my head for 30-40 minutes.

  3. I then low-poo washed my hair with Not Your Mothers Naturals: Linseed, Chia Blend & French Plum Seed Oil Volume Boost Shampoo.

  4. I follow up my wash with the Conditioner listed above. To apply the conditioner I flip my head upside down in the shower and apply the conditioner by scrunching it into my hair. Then I part my hair where I like my hair parted and brush my hair with the conditioner in my hair using my wet original hairbrush (this is the only time I will brush my hair is while in the shower with the conditioner). ** Side note the conditioner does get foamy as you brush, that's okay and normal** Next, I rinsed it out with my head flipped upside again (this may not be necessary for most people I just found it helped my curls develop better and helps with leaving a little conditioner in my hair to keep the moisture).

  5. I then dried my hair using a cotton T-shirt by flipping my head over and use the shirt by scrunching the hair towards my scalp and squeezing out as much water as possible.

  6. Next, I immediately apply my Pantene Curl Defining Mousse and Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray. First I apply the Mousse. I use 1 big pump and 2 smaller pumps. I flip my head over and apply the first big pump in my hair by scrunching towards the scalp while my face is towards my stomach, for the second little pump I flip my head over and let my hair hang on the left side again scrunching towards the scalp, the third small pump is applied with my hair flipped to the right side. Next I stand up and spray very little sea salt all over my hair and scrunch as I feel needed.

  7. I let my hair air dry until it's completely dry (if I'm in a rush to go to bed, I will diffuse my hair on low and cool).

  8. I put on my satin bonnet and wear it until I go to bed. I do sleep in it.

  9. In the morning I will spray a tad bit of water and apply a small amount of mousse and sea salt spray depending on the frizz and curl pattern. I will use this method again in the evening as my hair loses curls if I have plans.

  10. I also have not used any heat (besides diffusing, very rare occasions) on my hair since starting this process. I found that diffusing my hair makes it frizzier so I only do it when absolute necessary.

  11. I deep condition my hair every 2 weeks or once a week depending on how frizzy and flat my curls are looking. I take turns with co- washing (conditioner only) and low-poo washing (using the Curly Girl Approved Shampoo) every 2-3 days. Example Sunday's I add the deep conditioner step and do steps 2-9, then in 2 days I will co-wash (do not use the shampoo, only rinse my hair and then follow up with step 4-9), then in 2-3 days after the co wash I low- poo wash by following steps 3-9. Repeat this process only adding the deep conditioner step every 2 weeks.

  12. Once a month I will be using a Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo with Peppermint, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Botanicals shampoo, to remove build up. I have not yet used this as I have not yet needed to use a clarifying shampoo.

  13. For days my hair looks a little greasy, and I don't have time to wash I will be trying Beauty By Earth: Dry Shampoo & Volume Powder. I have not yet tried this product, but I will keep you updated on how it works. Another dry shampoo recommended is Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo.

This process is long and can be very defeating as you start but hang in there, they say it can take up to 7 months before you start to see a definitive difference! Once you get into a routine it gets easier and once you start seeing curls it will make it worth it! Good luck everyone. I would love for you to keep me updated and let me know how it's going and what products you end up using and liking. Remember what works for me might not work for you so please allow yourself to try new things. The most important part is to avoid heat and use only curly girl approved products. Please use the curlsbot link (linked in the avoid product section) to make sure the products you are using or wanting to use are curly girl approved. I started using the Not Your Mothers brand for shampoo, conditioner, and sea salt spray so I assumed the dry shampoo would approved too, but it is not! My next shampoo and conditioner I will be trying is the Lus Brand Love Your Curls for wavy hair. Also

Much Love, Reba Faye