A Beginner’s Guide to the Curly Girl Hair Method

Curly Girl Hair Method Aveda
Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Editor

Jun 10, 2024

The Curly Girl Hair Method (CGHM) was initially introduced to the world in the early 2000s, after Lorraine Massey published her book, “Curly Girl: The Handbook. But, it really gained popularity with its rise on social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, where curly-haired individuals shared their experiences, tips and transformations. However, proving this approach to hair care for those with coiled locks is here to stay is Aveda. The popular plant-powered, high-performance hair care brand, which recently announced its partnership with popular Netflix actress Antonia Gentry (Ginny & Georgia) for the new Aveda Be Curly Advanced Product Collection.

Here’s a crash course in all things curls for those who may be interested in experimenting with the Curly Girl Hair Method for the first time (or others who need a reminder).

Understanding the basics

The Curly Girl Hair Method revolves around a few core principles aimed at maintaining and enhancing the natural curl pattern. While minimising damage. Here are the foundational concepts.

  1. Avoid sulphates. Many shampoos contain harsh detergents like sulphates. However, they can strip the hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and frizz. Look for sulphate-free cleansers or co-washes (conditioner washes).
  2. Skip silicones. Silicones, often found in conditioners and styling products, can create build-up that is difficult to remove without sulphates. This can weigh down curls and hinder moisture absorption.
  3. Ditch heat styling. Heat styling tools like blow dryers, flat irons and curling wands can damage curly hair, causing it to lose its natural texture and shine. Air drying or using a diffuser on a low heat setting is recommended.
  4. Conditioning is cool. Curly hair tends to be drier than straight hair, so deep conditioning is crucial. Use a rich, moisturising conditioner regularly, and consider incorporating a weekly deep conditioning treatment.
  5. Gentle drying techniques. Instead of using a regular towel, which can cause frizz and breakage, opt for a microfibre towel or a cotton T-shirt to gently squeeze out excess water.

The routine

  1. Cleansing. Start with a sulphate-free cleanser or a co-wash. Massage your scalp gently to remove dirt and build-up, then rinse thoroughly.
  2. Conditioning. Apply a generous amount of conditioner to your hair, focusing on the ends. Use a wide tooth comb or your fingers to detangle your hair while it’s still wet. Leave the conditioner in for a few minutes before rinsing.
  3. Styling. Apply a leave-in conditioner or a curl-enhancing product to your wet hair. Scrunch your hair upwards to encourage curl formation. Avoid touching your hair too much while it dries to prevent frizz.
  4. Drying. Finally, allow your hair to air dry or use a diffuser on a low heat setting. Avoid touching your hair while it’s drying to maintain the curl pattern.

Curly Girl Hair Method product recommendations

Be Curly Advanced Coil Defined Gel, $51, by Aveda at Mecca. As with all products in this range, this gel, this product harnesses the power of vegan curl-strengthening peptides derived from hydrolysed pea protein and vegetable protein to increase the strength of each strand. Combined with responsibly sourced kokum seed butter wheat protein and organic aloe blend, it adds definition to curls while providing moisture and shine. Perfect for creating beautifully defined curls without stiffness or crunch.

No. 6 Bond Smoother, $54, by Olaplex at Sephora. The No. 6 is meticulously crafted with curls at the core. Its focus on hydration and moisture means it works to eradicate frizz and deliver sleek shine for 72 hours among even the curliest of queens.

Bleu Rebound Natural Texture and Curl Defining Creme, $92, by R+Co at Rogue Beauty. Made with a lightweight formula designed to define natural curls, this cream delivers smoother hair, reduced frizz, and effortless detangling. Key ingredients include the proprietary Bleu Molecule Complex, Chia and Flaxseed Polysaccharides for curl enhancement, Jamaican black castor seed oil to nourish, heat activating chia seed resins for curl definition, and a butter complex to replenish moisture.

Professionals Nutricurls Micellar Shampoo For Curls, $36.75, by Wella. This micellar shampoo gently removes impurities while providing definition, nourishment and anti-frizz for curly hair.

Moisturising Conditioner Bar for Curly and Coily Hair: Curliosity, $25, by Ethique. As the name suggests, this brand is all about ethical hair care products. Including this silicone-free conditioning bar. Instead, of nasties, castor oil is the hero hair ingredient here. Helping to dissolve oil to cleanse and remove dirt from curls without bubbles.

Olive Essence Squalane Shampoo and the Olive Essence Squalane Conditioner, $19.99 each, by Valanolia. Containing 360 cold pressed olives in each bottle, and extracted using proprietary centrifugal force technology, this duo contains a powerful blend of bioactive nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, to nourish and balance the scalp, neutralise free radicals, calm dermatological irritations, and increase blood flow. They also include a host of protective antioxidants and essential fatty acids, to add shine and dimension to hair while also smoothing and sealing the cuticle shaft, reducing frizz, increasing hair length and elasticity, and maximising volume. Making them perfect for curly-haired girls

Aloe Butter Scalp Moisture Shampoo, $23.50 by Shea Moisture. A sulphate-free formula rich in aloe butter and Vitamin B3 ensures this gentle shampoo effectively cleanses both hair and scalp. Eliminating buildup while maintaining crucial moisture levels.

Thick and Juicy Hair Treatment, $39.95, by Lil J. This transformative oil treatment is vegan and cruelty-free. Packed with nourishing nutrients and ingredients (such as jojoba, lavender and rosemary oils), it will tame flyways, reduce frizz and deeply nourish hair from the inside out.

Enchanted Island Vegan Curl Butter, $79.95, by Rahua at Clean Beauty Market. Like every brand stocked at this store, this product is all about clean, conscious, effective beauty. Infused with nourishing Rahua oil and plant-based biotin, it hydrates, strengthens, and enhances curl shine while providing a light hold. Perfect for all curl types, it fights frizz, nourishes the scalp, and transports you to an island paradise with its guava and coconut scent.

Uniq One All In One Curls Treatment, $29.95 by Revlon. This one step professional treatment offers 10 essential benefits for all curl types. These include deep nourishment, repair and curl definition. While while providing frizz control, elasticity and gentle hold. Additionally, it offers heat protection and detangling properties. And, helps prevent split ends, leaving your curls soft, manageable and beautifully styled.

Essentials Love Curl Shampoo, $45.95, by Davines. The moisturising formula of this creamy shampoo cleanses the hair, making it soft and light. And, enhancing its volume and shine without compromising texture.

Hair Cream, $49, by Bread at Sephora. Finally, this silky soft styling cream contains conditioning and repairing agents. Meaning that users can expect softly defined curls or waves with elasticity and pliability.


By Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Editor

Marie-Antoinette Issa is the Lifestyle Editor for The Carousel and Women Love Tech. She has worked across news and women's lifestyle magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Madison, Concrete Playground, The Urban List and Daily Mail, I Quit Sugar and Huffington Post.



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