After many months of reading, watching dozens of YouTube videos, spending hours testing, and experimenting with my hair, I finally stopped following the curly girl method.
My purpose in writing this article is to give those who are new to the curly girl method or wanting to start the curly girl method, a few things to think about before they go “all in”.
The first time I heard about the curly girl method was years ago when I was just out of college. At that time I was engrossed in my work and the CGM (curly girl method) seemed very complicated and time-consuming.
I just didn’t have the margin in my schedule to fully research and implement it.
Nine years and four pregnancies later, I experienced postpartum hair loss and significant damaged due to over processing.
My hair was pretty much a hot mess. You can read my full story here.
You can read about my 30-day curly girl update here.
Please understand that this post is not meant to bash the curly girl method in any way.
I have the utmost respect for Loraine Massey and have learned so much of what I know about curly hair from her and her method.
My intention in sharing Why I Stopped Following The Curly Girl Method is to give you a full perspective of the pros and cons and give you a better understanding of the method in general.
If you are new to or confused by the curly girl method, or curly hair care in general, I have a special gift for you!
After spending A LOT of time trying to understand curly/wavy haircare, I put together a process that allows you to care for your hair in 5-simple steps.
To help you implement these 5 steps, I’ve put together a workbook that outlines the process. You can get for FREE by clicking here.
You’ll also have the option to join my private Facebook Community where we talk about this simplified process and share our journey along the way! It’s a great place to connect with curls/waves from around the world!
The Curly/Wavy Masterclass Includes…
- Free printables – Curl assessment, weekly schedule, curl tracker
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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 had no idea how many rule were involved and to be honest 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.
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 way.
Have you tried the curly girl method? I’d love to hear about your experience below! <3