What is the Curly Girl Method?
First of all, it’s useful to know what the Curly Girl Method is. It’s a hair care method that trades harmful habits for a healthy curly hair regimen, using only nourishing products without sulfates, silicones and parabens. It promises to bring out your curls in the best way possible. The method was invented in 2007 by Lorraine Massey, who described it in her now famous book “Curly Girl: The Handbook‘
The golden rules of the Curly Girl Method
The CG Method is based on a number of basic rules, such as:
- Don’t wash your hair too often.
- Say no to sulfate shampoos.
- Banish hair products with harmful chemicals, like sulfates, parabens, silicones that are not water-soluble, wax, non-natural oils, harmful alcohols and odor or perfume.
- Don’t use a normal towel, but rather a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt.
- Omit brushes and combs.
- Stay away from heat and styling appliances such as blow dryers, hair straighteners and curling irons.
- Prefer not to color or dye your hair.
The Curly Girl Method for coily hair
Curly hair can be divided into different curl types: wavy, curly and coily. Coily hair is categorised in curl type 4, also described as dense, wiry, or kinky-coily. This type of curl seems robust, but it’s actually very fragile because it has the fewest cuticle layers to protect it from dryness. It therefore needs a lot of care. The challenges with coily hair are maintaining moisture, avoiding tangles and counteracting shrinkage.
Determining your curl type
In addition to the curl types, you can also subdivide your hair into A, B and C. These subcategories are based on the width or diameter of your wave, curl or afro pattern. A is wider, B is medium and C is the smallest of the three. It’s very helpful to know this, so you can adjust your routine, products and hairstyles accordingly. With this knowledge you can provide a more beautiful and healthier curl. It’s also possible to have a combination of two curl types that are close together.
Care for coily hair according to the CG-Method
Now that you know what curl type you have, it’s time for care. Maintaining healthy and hydrated hair is important for all hair types, but especially for tight-textured coily hair, as it’s naturally very dry and spongy in texture. So it’s important to use products that are made with hydrating ingredients that will nourish your strands.
Washing, conditioning and styling
How often you wash your hair is a personal decision, but try to wash it as little as possible. Many people find that washing type 4 hair once a week is sufficient. Preferably use a co-wash, and a CG-proof clarify once a month.
After this, use a deep conditioner. For coily hair types, deep conditioning is highly recommended to lock in moisture. Use a deep conditioner or hair mask made with hydrating ingredients such as cocoa butter, aloe vera juice and olive oil. Leave it on the hair for at least 15 minutes before washing it out. You can also sit under a warm dryer to optimize the effects of the conditioner.
According to Lorraine Massey, it’s best for coily hair textures to do a wash-and-go. But if that isn’t how you like to wear your hair, find our tips below.
Leave-in conditioner or moisturizer
Always use a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer to make sure your hair is getting as much nutrition as possible. Dry curls tend to expand in an attempt to absorb moisture, usually resulting in frizz. So give your hair what it needs from the start!
Heavy moisturizers often contain humectants such as glycerine. The substance is thicker, which keeps your hair well hydrated. You can recognize these products by terms such as cream or butter.
Styling products for coily hair
Always apply a styling product to wet hair and spread it evenly through your hair with your fingers. Using your fingers for this will help your curls to clump, which reduces frizz and increases stretchability. Clumps are curls that curl together or form one larger curl. You can take the clumps apart carefully so that they become loose curls, but you can also just leave them together.
A pomade generally has a thick substance, sometimes so thick that it’s difficult to apply to your hair. But it does give it a strong hold. A pomade is also known as a jelly or definer.
Don’t use a blow-dryer
We already mentioned it in this article, but a hair dryer is definitely a no-go for type 4 hair. Since coily hair is more prone to frizz, you want to decrease as much movement as possible as the hair sets. In addition, it depletes moisture from your hair, even when used on cool air and low speed! So rather let it air dry. When your hair is almost dry, you can shake your head for more volume.