A beginner’s guide to the Curly Girl Method

I recently decided to try the Curly Girl Method and my hair looks ah-mazing. CGM is a technique for washing and styling your hair to enhance natural curls. I have a slight wave to my hair but typically use a curling wand to enhance it. Since starting CGM, I have no need for a curling wand because my natural waves look so defined! CGM is primarily for people who have hair with a natural wave or curl. However, I found several success stories of applying the CGM to straight hair. You might be surprised and find a secret natural wave! There are many different ways to follow CGM, but here is a beginners guide to get started...

Learn the basic rules of CGM.


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First things first, you have to follow the basic rules of CGM:

1. No products with sulfates, silicons, or parabans.

2. No heat tools, except for blow dryers if you use them on low with a diffuser.

3. No brushing your hair or wrapping wet hair in cloth towels.

Research. Research. Research.

You'll need to do some research to understand how to best apply CGM to your specific hair type. The CGM Reddit Page is a wonderful resource that posted an Ultimate Guide to the CGM

When I started CGM, I read tons of blog posts, watched way too many YouTube videos, and even joined a Facebook group for people following CGM. You can find product reccommendations, routine options and styling tips. There's a wide variety of CGM approved products ranging from affordable to expensive.

Start simple with a conditioner and gel. If you have straight/wavy or thin hair, you may also need a shampoo to use once a week. Don't forget to check products you already own! Some of them might be CGM approved. There is a website where you can type in the ingredients and easily find out. 

Start CGM to find out what works for you!


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Ultimately, CGM will require some trial and error. There are many different ways to follow the method, so you'll need to discover what works best for your hair. The very first step of CGM is the final wash. Use a clarifying shampoo (this one can have sulfates, but no silicons or parabans) and do a final wash to get rid of all the damaging products you were using. Then, follow CGM steps 2-5. Here are the basic steps of CGM to follow every time you wash your hair:

1. Co-wash, which is washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. Massage conditioner into scalp and rinse out.

2. Condition rest of hair and rinse most of it out. Leave a little bit in to give your curls moisture.

3. Apply gel or curling cream to soaking wet hair. 

4. "Plop" your hair in a t-shirt or microfiber towel (Plopping is just wrapping your hair to dry). If you're in a rush, you can also use a hair dryer with a diffuser.

5. Scrunch out the crunch! Once your hair is dry, it may feel a little crunchy from the gel. Scrunch your hair until the crunchy texture is gone. 

Have you tried CGM? Do you want to? Tell us all about it in the comments!

by Kylie Miller | 4/17/2020