After many months of research and testing, I am finally sharing Why I Stopped Following The Curly Girl Method.
I heard about the curly girl method years ago when I was just out of college and engrossed in my work at the time. It seemed very complicated and time-consuming and I just didn’t have the margin to fully research and implement it.
Fast forward nine years and after back to back pregnancies and severely damaged hair, I decided to give it a go. I was desperate to bring my curls back to life.
I ordered Loraine Massey’s book “Curly Girl Handbook” and read through it. Then I started an Instagram account to track my progress, stay accountable, and meet other curlies along the way. You can read about my 30-day curly girl update here.
Please note that this post is not meant to bash the curly girl method.
I have the utmost respect for Loraine Massey and have learned so much of what I know about curly hair from her. My intention in sharing Why I Stopped Following The Curly Girl Method is to give you a full perspective of the pros and cons.
If you are new to or confused by the curly girl method, I got you, curly friend.
You can get my FREE curly girl cheat sheet here that breaks down all the steps for you.
If you are new to the curly girl world, let me quickly tell you what it is
The curly girl method is a method developed by Loraine Massey that trades damaging hair care habits for healthy ones. You can read a more in-depth definition here.
Why I Stopped Following The Curly Girl Method
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It Super Restricting
The curly girl method according to the handbook is SUPER restricting. I’d say the majority of people who claim to follow the curly girl method follow a modified version of it because many people aren’t even aware of the “rules”.
It restricts the use of shampoo, brushes, heat tools, and even coloring your hair. And while I realize if not done the right way those things can damage your hair, I’m just not on board with ditching them entirely.
Too Many Rules
Along with the items listed above, the curly girl method also recommends staying away from sulphates, silicones, and parabens, primarily air-drying your hair, and discourage the use of brushing hair.
While it is true that using toxic products, heat, and brushes can cause damage to your hair, in my experience it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
There are multiple ways to use heat, brushes, and even curly hair products (that are not curly girl approved) without damaging your hair or curly pattern.
I take more of a balanced approach when it comes to all of the items listed above.
I Can’t Hang Without Shampoo (nor should you)
This was a huge deterrent for me. The curly girl method encourages you to ditch shampoo and opt for a co-wash instead.
Personally, if I don’t use shampoo at least once a week my scalp gets itchy and my hair gets oily. As everything with curly hair, it’s different for everyone. But a curl friendly gentle cleanser will always be a part of my curly routine.
When It Comes To Air Drying Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
Air drying is great. But for a busy mom of three, I just don’t always have time because my hair takes a very long time to dry.
I am very careful about using a quality diffuser and low heat to avoid damage, but I use my diffuser more often than not.
My favorite drying choice is what I like to call the hybrid method. Plop for 15 minutes, air dry until 80% dry, and finish with the diffuser. I use and love the DevaCurl diffuser. It’s worth every penny. You can get it here!
It’s Over Complicated
Between the multiple styling techniques and a plethora of curly hair products used, the curly girl method can easily become over complicated.
Don’t get me wrong, laying multiple products can yield gorgeous results. But my thoughts are that if you are using more than three products to style your hair, something is irrelevant.
Things I Learned From The Curly Girl Method
Now that I’ve told you the downside of the curly girl method, I want to share what I learned from the curly girl method because I think it’s important. As mentioned before, this post is not meant to bash the curly girl method. There are some key components to it that I am so grateful for.
How To Love My Curls
The first thing that drew me to the curly girl method was the emphasis on learning to love your curls. Loraine Massey has a passion for curly hair and the curly hair community. If you follow her for any amount of time she has a way of making curly girls feel seen and beautiful.
And it feels really good to have someone in your corner that can feel isolated sometimes
The Importance Of Healthy Habits
The curly girl method was the first time I was taught how to apply products and how to find out what worked for my specific curls.
Having gorgeous curls truly comes down to being consistent with healthy habits and learning about what your curls need to thrive.
The Emphasis On Techniques Over Products
I cannot tell you how many curly products I have purchased over the years hoping that it would magically give me gorgeous curls. But the truth is that there are no magical unicorn products.
Even the best product will only be as good as the user. Healthy hair habits combined with the right application technique is truly greater than any product on the market.
Learn about and experiment with your curls.
So Why Did I Stopped Following The Curly Girl Method?
I guess I never followed it, to begin with. I’m not someone who follows rules because rules are for suckers. I set out to bring my curls back to life and the curly girl method was a stepping stone that led me to develop a method that works for me. You can get a copy of all the details of the method I use to care for and style my curly hair here.
After all this time of “following the curly girl method,” I was just finding out what worked for my curls. I put together a little ebook called My Miracle Curls that detailed everything I did to bring dead curls back to life. You can read more about it here.
Because in the end, curls were not created to have restrictions or expectations put on them. Like us, they were meant to be loved and cared for and given the space to bloom in their unique beauty.
Have you tried the curly girl method? I’d love to hear about your experience below! <3