The Curly Girl Method is the brainchild of celebrated hair guru Lorraine Massey, who wrote the book—Curly Girl: The Handbook. If you have curly or natural hair, you have likely adopted practices from this method through your stylist’s education or your research. Before learning about the CG Method, my 4-type hair was chronically dry with minimal definition. This was largely due to the fact my hair was dehydrated even though I was using a wealth of products made with my hair type in mind.
The Curly Girl Method requires a few adjustments to your routine. Before I share the dos and don’ts, I want to let you all know that the method doesn’t only work for the 2 to 3 textured hair that is often the focus in the world of curly hair—4 type hair can also benefit from these practices. I can attest that these changes have kept my hair hydrated, healthy, and even shortened my once-lengthy wash-day process.
The CG Method has a few no-nos: No shampoo, no sulfates, no silicones, no hot tools (flat irons and curling irons), no waxes, no mineral oil, no towels, no alcohol, and no combs or brushes. We know. That is a long list of nos—but the CG Method, in my opinion, empowers us to use products and practices that don’t disrupt or damage our natural curls. Here are a few products to try if you’re looking to adopt some (or all) of the CG Method for your haircare routine.
CurlyWorld Sham-Free Hair & Scalp Cleanser
When you hear someone say, “Put down the shampoo,” that might make you give them a stern side-eye, because how else does one cleanse their scalp and hair? The world of hair care is always evolving, and one of the perks of the evolution are low-poo, sulfate-free cleansers that bust buildup without stripping your curls. CurlyWorld’s hair cleanser is formulated with all of that in mind allowing you to detangle, cleanse, and hydrate the hair and scalp.
Lush Avocado Co-Wash
Co-washing is like washing and conditioning at the same time (though I recommend conditioning afterward). When co-washing, some naturals and curly girls like to use a conditioner as their chosen co-wash, but there are now products on the market made specifically for this purpose. Lush’s co-wash bar is made with coiler textures in mind. Avocado, cupuaçu butter, fairtrade cocoa butter, and extra virgin olive oil nourish your coils while it rinses away buildup.
Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Quinoa Co-Wash
Made with quinoa extract, avocado oil, aloe vera, and shea butter, this multitasking co-wash cleanses, conditions, and hydrates the hair.
Pantene Gold Series Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Shampoo may be off limits in the Curl Girl Method, but because this cleanser is made sans sulfates, parabens, and silicones, it’s fair use when you need to bust excess buildup.
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner
Finding conditioners without silicones with slip is a challenge. But this conditioner is made with organic shea butter, Jamaican black castor oil to nourish dry, brittle hair to help reduce breakage (and create slip) while peppermint soothes the scalp.
DevaCurl One Condition Original Daily Cream Conditioner
DevaCurl’s One Condition Original Daily Cream Conditioner made with olive oil and botanicals is a beloved choice among the curly community. This formula is best suited for average to thick curls, while One Condition Decadence is formulated for thick, coily hair textures.
BounceCurl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner
We know curls thrive when they’re hydrated with H2O, but one of this conditioner’s first few ingredients is a hydrator that many curl types find equally useful: aloe vera. Not to mention, there are no parabens, silicones, preservatives, or sulfates.
NaturAll Club Nourishing Avocado Leave-In Conditioner
A leave-in conditioner is a must for any wash day, and this avocado and kiwi extract-based leave-in helps each curl receive the hydration and long-term moisture they deserve.
Briogeo Curl Charisma Rice Amino + Avocado Leave-in Defining Crème
No matter your curl texture, this curl defining leave-in will make you wonder why you hadn’t used it sooner. The rice amino acids, avocado oil, quinoa extract, and tomato fruit ferment extract infused defines curls and gives them lasting moisture.
What Our Testers Say
“My curls were not only soft to the touch but defined, and the moisture lasted all week.” — Bianca Lambert, Product Tester
BounceCurl Avocado & Rose Oil Clump and Define Cream
This dual cream boosts hundreds of five-star reviews. The Clump and Define Cream is infused with ten oils, including organic black seed oil, avocado, Egyptian Abyssinian oil, Moroccan rose oil, argan oil, and acts as both a leave-in conditioner and styler.
Melanin Twist-Elongating Style Cream
For naturals who enjoy twist-outs, Melanin Haircare’s twist-elongating styling cream was formulated just for you. The creamy formula is filled with hydrating and nutrient-rich ingredients like shea butter, mango butter, cocoa butter, kokum butter, cupuaçu butter, aloe vera, avocado, sweet almond oil, and argan oil.
Alikay Naturals Aloe Berry Styling Gel
Reviewers call this gel their “holy grail.” The alcohol-free gel is formulated with aloe, avocado oil, almond oil, essential oils, and botanicals to smooth the hair cuticle, seal in moisture, and improve curl elasticity for a range of curl types.
Adwoa Beauty Baomint Moisturizing Curl Defining Gel
Finding a gel that defines and hydrates without flakes and crunch isn’t as simple as it seems, especially when washing and going. Thankfully, Adwoa Beauty’s curl gel is infused with prickly pear oil, pumpkin seed oil, and sweet almond oil to keep your wash-n-gos hydrated and defined. If you add this gel to your routine, the brand recommends only using it on sopping wet hair for the best results.