Curly Girl Method - Before and After

NOTE: Over the years, I've learned that many of the products I have listed here are NOT curly girl friendly. My most recent routine has cut all those sulfates and silicones out and DEFINITELY gets me better results -- which you can see down at the very bottom of this post.  And I'm still learning and figuring out what works best for my hair.

Thank you for those who have commented and shared their experiences to help me along the journey! Here's how I began and where I've ended up -- 

Curly Girl Method Before and AfterCurly Girl The Handbook

Several weeks ago, I borrowed this book from the library - The Curly Girl Handbook by Lorraine Massey.  I was in desperate need of a haircut, was wearing a lot of ponytails, the weather was humid and atrocious, and I had read about this "Curly Girl Method" and figured I'd see what it was all about.

The handbook convinced me to give it a try - for at least 6 weeks.  I mean, look how pretty those curls are! I was wearing my hair curly most days anyhow with all the insane Alabama humidity, so why not try to make it look better when I did wear it that way?  Plus, it looked like the process would be pretty easy...just a little odd, since you have to quit using shampoo. 

Okay, let me explain...

The Curly Girl Method

Here are the basics of what I did:

  1. Get a haircut.  I needed a trim, badly.  It had been about a year since my last haircut.
  2. Quit using shampoo - cold turkey. Evidently sulfates are a big no-no for curly girls.
  3. Use a light conditioner - I used Suave Naturals Conditioner - just on my fingertips, and vigorously massage my scalp with it.  This is supposed to remove all the oils, dirt, hair product, dead skin, etc.
  4. Rinse hair thoroughly, starting to detangle with my fingers.
  5. Apply a deeper moisturizing conditioner - I used Giovanni Conditioner - from the bottom up covering the ends first and moving upward in a scrunching motion.  
  6. Comb through with a wide-toothed comb to remove tangles and loose hairs.  
  7. Scrunch again and let conditioner sit on your hair for a couple of minutes.
  8. Rinse hair gently, but not completely, leaving much of the conditioner in it.
  9. Squeeze hair dry in the shower as much as possible, still using that scrunching motion.
  10. Use a t-shirt to scrunch the curls dry, squeezing out more water. According to the book, terry cloth towels can cause a lot of breakage, but cotton doesn't.
  11. Apply gel (lots of gel) from the bottom up in a scrunching motion (curly girls REALLY like the scrunching) - I started off using Suave Naturals Gel, but later switched to LA Looks (about week 4) and liked it much better.
  12. Let hair finish air drying.
  13. About an hour later, I would turn my head upside down and shake my hair out, scrunching the curls to "release the gel cast" from the gel.

So that's the method I used...and here's what I thought of it and how it worked:

Week By Week Results

First...this is the hair I was aiming for.  Realistic? Maybe not (especially since she has about a foot of length on me and is some sort of model). But we all start with a wish, right?

Girl with Curly Hair

Before: These photos were taken just after my haircut and my last shampooing, with just some mousse scrunched in my hair.  I let it air dry.   As you can see, it's kind of wavy, a little bit frizzy, but not so awful, the curl is just a little uneven.

Curly Girl Method - Before

1 Week:  Not liking this.  My hair feels a little greasy, my scalp itches, and I haven't figured out how to squeeze the water out of it very well after I wash it.  Curlier? Yeah, I guess...but it feels kind of icky.  And I felt like I was getting some odd looks from people who see me often.  My guess is, since they didn't say they liked it, they thought my hair looked crazy. :)

Curly Girl Method - Week 1 Results

2 Weeks:  I (and my hair) are more used to the process now - not using shampoo and using lots of conditioner and lots gel. I can see that my hair looks a little bit bouncier and the curl is more even.  I'm having a hard time not running my hands through it though, and feel like it's ALWAYS tangled.  Since I used to straighten my hair about once or twice a week, I'm really missing that smooth feeling - at least once in a while. This week I did get a couple of compliments though on my curls, which helped me press on.

Curly Girl Method - Week 2 Results

3 Weeks: This week I started noticing a little bit of dandruff and what looked like product buildup at my roots  Nothing major, but I switched up my conditioning routine to apply less of the deeper moisturizing conditioner to the top of my head, and concentrated mostly on the middle and ends.  That way the roots just got cleansed and massaged, but not overly conditioned.  That appeared to help.

Curly Girl Method - Week 3 Results

This photo (below) was taken at about 3 weeks into my experiment.  Seeing the photo was the first time I thought - Wow! My curls actually look pretty!

Curly Girl Method

4 Weeks: I would REALLY like to shampoo my hair this week (about this time I probably should have tried a warm water and baking soda rinse to remove some product buildup), and I'm dying to just brush it and wear it straight for a few days.  But, I don't.  A six week experiment is a six week experiement.  So, instead, I start shopping for a different gel since it still gets pretty frizzy by the end of the day.

Curly Girl Method - Week 4 Results

5 Weeks: I switched to LA Looks hair gel this week, and although it makes my curls a little crispier, I think it makes them much more definined, less frizzy, and a little "lighter" looking.   I did a one-day trial with some Suave Mousse (and no gel) - and it was Frizz City!  Back to the gel I went...

Curly Girl Method - Week 5 Results

6 weeks: I spent most of this week dreaming of straightening my hair and being able to run my fingers through it without them getting stuck.  No joke. I actually had a dream about using my flat-iron.  That said, I DO like the way my hair looks when it's curly now and I think experimenting with this haircare method has helped me cultivate my curls a little better.

Curly Girl Method - Week 6 Results

Additional Notes: 

While doing this exeriment, I always liked the way my hair looked better when I showered in the morning and let it air dry, rather than when I let it air dry at night and then slept on it.  On those days I would use a spray bottle with water to wet my hair and re-scrunch it, which worked fairly well, but since I couldn't really comb or brush through it first, it always felt more tangled on those days.

I still have a lot to learn, and there are lots of great recipes that I'd like to try - such as a lavender mist spray to revitalize your curl, or a brown sugar scrub to exfoliate your scalp, and a baking soda rinse to remove product buildup.  Maybe I'll try those sometime soon.  Here are some great recipes if you want to try them - Curly Concoctions.

VERDICT: Is it possible to be a partial curly girl?  I'm going to continue working on finding a formula that works for me.  Right now, I'm thinking it will include an occasional sulfate-free shampoo and occasional flat-ironing too -- even if the true curly girls think that's from the Devil!  However , I do have a renewed love for LA Looks hair gel - which is a major throwback to my junior high perm days. :)

But tomorrow - I'm straightening my hair and I can't WAIT to run my fingers through it again!

Curly Girl Products:

Update: Here are links to some curly girl products that have been mentioned and recommended in the comments below from fellow curly girls: 


This post has gotten WAY more attention than I ever would have imagined, so I think it deserves an update. :) After this experiment, I tried a few of the suggestions people have mentioned here.  Some things I liked:

  • I loved how a white distilled vinegar rinse & water solution made my scalp feel and how well it removed all the buildup from the conditioner and gel. 
  • In the same fashion, a sulfate free shampoo works really well too.  I've recently started washing with Nature's Gate - Tea Tree Calming Shampoo.  That seems to help with removing the product buildup and significanly reducing dandruff and itchiness I had started to notice when I began this experiment.
  • One commenter recommended the web site for great curly girl products and tutorials.  I checked it out and tried the "rake & shake" method they recommend as a way of detangling and applying gel while it's wet, and then "setting" the curls with a shaking method.  I tried that today and I've been SO pleased with the results of that very easy-to-do technique!  Here's a look at my hair today after trying it out for the first time (click images for larger pictures):

    Curly Girl Method Update - Rake and Shake Technique Curly Girl Method Update - Rake and Shake Technique Curly Girl Method Update - Rake and Shake Technique

    Rake & Shake Method -
    Section your wet hair (I did the bottom section, then middle section & finally the top section) and secure it with a clip.  

    Then put a dollop of gel in your hands and apply it to your hair in 2-3 inch sections using a raking motion to detangle the hair. 

    Rake to the ends of each section and then gently shake the hair.  This lets it set into it's own natural curl pattern.  Continue throughout the rest of your hair by section.

    When finished, scrunch the curls gently with your towel (or cotton t-shirt) to enhance the curl and remove excess moisture.  You can then diffuse dry or air dry.  It left my hair with un-frizzy ringlet curls all day long!  

Update #2:

Summer 2014

Being a curly girl is a constant trial-and-error process for me.  Here's what I'm liking currently:

Long Naturally Curly Brunette Ombre Hair

  1. L'Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo - I use shampoo about every 3rd shower.  Otherwise, I just co-wash with my conditioner.
  2. Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Shine Conditioner - Love this thick creamy conditioner!  It coats very well.
  3. Scrunch hair dry with a towel.
  4. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Extra Strength 6 Effects Serum - I use about 2 pumps of this serum and rake it through all of my hair, paying closer attention to the ends.
  5. Curly Sexy Hair Curling Creme Unisex by Sexy Hair - I use about a half-dollar size amount, and spread it all over my hair to coat it all.  I love that this is a creme, not a mousse or a gel. It keeps my curls soft and touchable all day without getting frizzy.
  6. Scrunch curls and let air dry without touching it.  When it's mostly dry, I will turn my head over and shake my hair to loosen up the cast. 

Update #3:

Fall 2015

Curly Girl Update - Bayalage Curls

The current routine:

  1. L'Oreal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Moisture Shampoo - I use shampoo about every 3rd shower.  Otherwise, I just co-wash with my conditioner.
  2. Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Shine Conditioner - Love this thick creamy conditioner!  It coats very well.
  3. Scrunch hair dry with a towel.
  4. Use a wide-tooth comb to untangle hair.
  5. Add Infusium 23 Leave in Conditioner and finger-comb through.
  6. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Extra Strength 6 Effects Serum - I use about 3-4 pumps of this serum in the palm of my hand, then I add a pump of TiGi Curlesque Curls Rock Amplifier creme and mix the two together before hand-combing it through my damp hair.
  7. I "plop" my hair by wrapping it up in an old long-sleeved t-shirt.  This really does make a difference in the end result, giving me much more defined curls -- especially since my hair is so long.  It looks silly, but I only do it for about 10 minutes while I'm getting dressed and putting on makeup. 
  8. Scrunch curls and let air dry without touching it.  When it's mostly dry, I will turn my head over and shake my hair to loosen up the cast.   OR - I'll use a diffuser to dry it 90% of the way (which gives it a little extra volume).

Update #4

February 2018

Current Routine: 

  • Wash scalp with Shea Moisture Curl & Shine shampoo.
  • Rinse.
  • Add Shea Moisture Curl & Shine Conditioner to the bottom 1/3 of my hair (it's a thicker conditioner and is good for the ends of my hair).
  • On top of that, add Suave Essentials Coconut Conditioner to the middle of my hair and spread through all of it, raking out tangles with my fingers.
  • Rinse hair and squeeze out as much excess water as I can with my hands.
  • Gently squeeze out extra water with a t-shirt.
  • Shake hair to create individual curls and rake in Maui Moisture Leave In Curl Milk.
  • Then slide Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie over all my hair, starting in the middle, working down, then back up with leftover product. 
  • Scrunch all the product in.  It'll squish!
  • With head upside down, scrunch with a t-shirt until most of the drippy moisture  is soaked up. 
  • Air dry!
  • About 2 hours later, flip my head over, scrunch and shake the curls out.

I sleep with my hair in a high bun on top of my head, which if I'm lucky, I can take down in the morning and shake out and it looks okay, although I often end up with it in a low ponytail because there's so much of it and it gets tangled so easily.  I have not figured out how to successfully "refresh" after a shampoo day (particularly if I work out and it gets sweaty), so I usually just re-wash it each time I shower.  Some days, I'll skip the shampoo step and go straight to a co-wash, but it never looks as good.  But spraying my hair wet and adding product from dry *never* goes well.  Still figuring that part out...

Update #5

September 2018

After 9 years of long hair, I decided it was time for something new.  With shorter hair, I had to change my process just a little bit, as "plopping" and sleeping in a bun were no longer as easy.  Also, since I cut it looking for more volume, I've started trying to use some lighter weight products to keep from weighing my hair down (which the Shea Moisture Curl Enhancer tends to do).  It's not perfect, and is a little frizzier sometimes, but I like the volume I embrace the fuzz. 

Current Routine: 

  • Wash scalp with Shea Moisture Curl & Shine shampoo. (about 1-2 times a week)
  • Rinse.
  • Add Shea Moisture Curl & Shine Conditioner to the bottom ends and middle of my hair in a scrunching motion with my head upside down in the shower.
  • Rinse hair (upside down) by scrunching it underneath the running water.  Then continue to scrunch to squeeze out as much excess water as I can with my hands.
  • Gently scrunch out extra water with a t-shirt.
  • Shake hair to create individual curls and use a praying hands and scrunching technique with the Shea Moisture Curl Milk Leave In Conditioner.
  • Spray 3-4 sprays of Shea Moisture Reconstructive Finishing Elixer oil over all of my hair.  Something about the order of a leave in conditioner, then oil, then your "gel" or hold agent locks the moisture into your hair.  Or so I've read -- and I like the way it's worked for me.
  • Then (with head still upside down) scrunch in Shea Moisture Frizz Free Curl Mousse over all my hair, using 2-3 pumps per scrunch in sections, starting on one side and working my way around my head, making sure to get the front and back well.
  • With head upside down, scrunch with a t-shirt until most of the drippy moisture  is soaked up. 
  • For extra volume, I'll add 3-4 metal clips to the roots of the top section of my hair, so it doesn't lay flat on my head.  I leave them in for about 10-20 minutes while I get dressed and do my makeup.
  • About an hour or so later, I flip my head over, scrunch and shake the curls out.
  • Often later in the day, to fluff it all up a little, I'll use a dry shampoo on the roots and even flip my head over and give it a good spray of Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Hair Spray for some extra hold and volume.

  • Also, since I can't put my hair in a bun anymore, I've gotten a satin pillowcase, that seems to reduce the amount of frizz in the morning after sleeping on it.  Often I can wear it as-is (though a little frizzy) when I wake up after just fluffing it a little bit.  
  • Tip: If all the curls aren't perfect, I use a curling iron to fix the top layer of curls.  There's no shame in it! ;) 

321 comments so far:

Katy said:


I want to start the curly girl method, but I also have a gluten intolerance. I've been using Living Proof Perfect Day Hair as it's gluten free. It's also silicone free, and paraben free, but it's not sulfate free. I used to use Davines, and loved this product, but they contain silicone. Any suggestions?

JV said:

I am soooooooo glad I stumbled upon this blog. I have been stressing for the last two weeks about figuring out this “curly girl method”. I bought the book but couldn’t find when or how how often to shampoo vs. co-wash, how to handle next day dry mess hair nests (lol), products, etc.
your info and photos are exactly what I was looking for. You’re hair is way thicker than mine so I’m hoping it works for me too. You look awesome!
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

DolleeDoree said:

I love your photos! My hair is exactly like yours (curl texture/pattern). I wash every other day with Bumble & bumble gentle shampoo, and use just a dab of Bumble quenching masque, a rinse-out masque, to detangle very wet hair (and do NOT rinse out) , head forward, raking hair with fingers. Then wrap in a t-shirt, and out of the shower put about a dime-nickel sized blob of Davines curl product, Love orone of their other serums or curl foam, they are all FAB -- I put the curl product in very wet hands to dilute a bit and run that through, scrunching everywhere, then throw my hair back and scrunch/arrange the top and front. Then air-dry or diffuse, upside down first. Davines products smell fantastic, have lots of moisture and botanicals, and I only use a bit, so the products last a very long time. Their shampoos are wonderful too, esp. Momo, and I sometimes use the Momo leave-in before putting on the curl product. I've tried EVERYTHING and Davines is the best. I've been using their products for about 4 years now -- lots of shine and just the right amount of control. I'd never use a pure silicone product again; the residue and greasy look and feel are not for me; although the Davines has a bit of Simethecone or something similar, as most products do, it doesn't build up like frizz ease or products like that. You might have to buy Davines online, and I'd order directly from them, as you can return the product if you don't like it. You can find places to buy on their website, too.

Natalia said:

DolleeDoree, the "curl product" that you refer to - is it Davines Love Curl Cream or Davines Curl Building Serum? Thank you! xx

Heather said:

I agree! Davines curl products are fantastic, and everything is sulfate free. Their curl creamy-gel and oi line are especially good, and they have a new curl primer. This goes against the method, but I love their curl mousse and dry texturizing spray ;-)

Nishka Nachappa said:

Hi Andrea!
Gorgeous hair. How many times in a week do you do your curly hair routine? As in, how often are your wash days?

Andrea said:

I think I wash more often than most "curly girls" do--I have not mastered a reasonable "refresh" process yet. I probably use the Shea Moisture Shampoo every other day and just co-wash with Suave Naturals Coconut Conditionaer every other day. I generally shower and completely wet my hair every day, though *occasionally* I'll be able to go 2-3 days without re-washing. Those days usually require a ponytail, braid or bun though. :)

Anonymous said:

Can we just not wash with ACC? Just discarding d shampoos completely?

Anonymous said:

Isn't John Frieda Frizz-Ease a total silicone?

Andrea said:

Yes, I think it is. "Against-the-rules", I know. :) But it works for me.

Rhea Jones said:

That is so damn cool. Your hair looks gorgeous- such healthy beautiful curls. Your technique definitely seems worth a try, though I am not sure how I will look with truly curly hair, i have wavy hair. But what the heck,you only live once.

Anonymous said:

Trying to work up the courage to embrace my wavy, kinky, frizzy curls.
Thanks so much for all your information and tips. I just wanted to tell you that your hair looks great and I think you look 10 years younger in the last summer photo than you did when you started. Curly, long hair looks great on you!

Anonymous said:

Do it you'll look great and have fun playing with your curly and straight hair another day

Anonymous said:

Hi everyone! I am a curly girl and I have recently just started embracing my natural hair. I have long, black frizzy/curly hair and I discovered the plopping method which literally changed my whole life. Now I wash my hair twice a week in the evenings, run my fingers through it while still wet, flip my hair upside down and scrunch loads of curl mousse into it before wrapping it in a tshirt overnight. In the mornings I just take the t-shirt off my hair and it is ready to go. The curls become so defined and I have received so many compliments at school, with people not believing if it is my natural hair and asking if it is permed. It has made me so much more confident with myself. It's really easy and I just wanted to share it with all of you xx

Erin Dee said:

This post is so helpful!! I feel like I have a constant battle with my's sort of a cross between wavy and curly, but very thin. It always looks so full when I leave it curly, but to look somewhat put together I feel like I always have to use a diffuser. And not to mention I have extremely hard water so I have to use a strong cleansing shampoo at least 1-2 times a week or else it becomes so flat it's like I have no hair on my head.

Right now I use a mix of a Bed Head soft hold mousse, John Freida's dream curl spray, and some Taliah Waajid Waves & Naturals Curly Curl Cream once it's dry to help with the frizz...

Anyone else have thin curly hair or any tips on styling?

Anonymous said:

Your curl pattern is EXACTLY like mine. My hair is just thicker. You should try Shea moisture, the brand in general is more for 3c, 4a type of hair, but I use the Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil conditioner as a leave in and the Curl and Shine as a rinse out. They're a little bit more expensive then other drugstore options, but they're 100% natural and organic. My hair has gotten so much healthier and curlier :)

Anonymous said:

Plus Shea moisture is cruelty-free. Most of the hair products mentioned in this blog are not cruelty-free. No one seems to think about that when considering the products they buy.

Sue said:

Yes! I am so happy to have read this response. I try to comment on various posts that women who write or show that they use these hair products don't realize or care that a majority of them are tested on animals. They do not know the tremendous suffering animals go through to test these products for the sake of their beauty. This is totally unnecessary!There are products out there that do not perform animal testing! Please, curly girls and other hair type girls, look for the cruelty-free bunny logo on product bottles and just buy those.This printed logo is the assurance that they don't test on animals! Even if a product works well, but there is no indication on the bottle that they don't test-DON'T BUY THE PRODUCT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Animals have feelings just like people do!!!!!!!!!!!

CPego said:

I'm from Portugal and I'm on my second week trying this method... got a long way to go and still on a lot of "tryal and error"... but I feel more confortable this way than when I was trying to strainghten my hair!
Seeing your results, I think there is hope... ;)

Anonymous said:

Curious as I'm interested in starting this method. When you straighten your hair, do you still co-wash, etc? What does that process look like?

Andrea said:

If I know I'm going to straighten my hair, I do shampoo it--usually with a sulfate-free shampoo (I'm currently using Loreal Everpure). Next, I condition and rinse it, add a leave-in conditioner & frizz ease before I blow dry with a round brush to straighten it. Sometimes I'll use a flat-iron as well if the round-brush doesn't get it quite straight enough or if I've let it air dry instead.

But, I confess, about once a month I also like to use a regular lather-rich normal sulfate shampoo to get all the grime out of my hair. It feels much "fluffier" on those days and my scalp loves the clean feeling. I usually straighten it on those days.

ronni said:

I used the serum for years by frizz-ease. It works, but i found something better last year and have not gone back - its the Shielo Leave in Protector Spray. This Shielo Spray makes my hair do things I thought it could never achieve. I have silky full hair without ever having a flat head. It still keeps it full. It doesn't look greasy, it looks healthy! I have found hairsprays that I've been able to work with, but I still had to do so much manipulating. The Shielo Spray makes me feel like I have a professional hair stylist with me all the time.

Dépaysement said:

My hair is naturally curly too, but my routine is so simple as to be almost nonexistent. I couldn't handle that much work, and especially not washing it! I don't wear it as long as yours since that tends to straighten it; it's layered and more than shoulder length. I wash it with tea tree oil shampoo once or twice a week and brush it every morning. If I want it to curl properly, I wet and scrunch it, and might use Revitafoam on the length, but not near the roots. It grows about 1cm a month and gets a serious trim on the layers every 3 months. Extra curl is the only good thing about humid weather, though I don't have to deal with the sort of stuff Alabama hands out! :)

Katherine L said:

Your hair looks amazing i am so going to try this. i have very wavy hair and it always looks horrible i want to go straight or curly but the straight idea is not the safes for my hair . but this curly idea is BRILLIANT!!!!

Thanks For Sharing
Katherine L

Abigail Ross said:

Your hair looks great!

This definitely helped me as I was starting with the Curly Girl Method.

My haur has definitely gotten curlier and healthier!

Here are my results:


Cori said:

Abby your hair is gorgeous! Your hair went thru such an amazing transformation. What exactly did you do?

Becky said:

I got this book too! I've been using Diva Curl products for my hair for about 6 months now and I've found that my hair is soooo much more curly than I thought. Before it was just wavy but after starting to use Diva curl no poo cleanser and conditioner I've found that I have really defined curls. It's awesome!

Anonymous said:

This post speaks to so many of us curly/kinky girls. We are ALWAYS looking for another method, another product anything to show our curls some love. Thanks for taking one for the team and doing the 6 week trial. I know that must have been rough, but your fellow curlies thank u for it :)

Erin W. said:

You NEED to try "Curls Rock" creme by Catwalk--best product for curly hair! I've got naturally curly hair (never ever do I straighten it) & have been using this product for years. I encourage you to give it a shot :)

Anonymous said:

Curls Rock Curl Amplifier is the BEST! I have long hair and need about 5 pumps. :)

More of a Dead Wave at the Moment said:

I love this post! Currently I have no regime at all that works for my hair - if I wash every other day, it feels disgusting and greasy. If I wash every day it's too dry. No matter what I do, it's never quite curly (although it should be) and it never has the same sensible wave to it - it's just a total mystery every single day! The idea of not washing my hair ever again is gross (although I hear this everywhere!) so I think I may have to do what you do, and give in to a wash at least twice a month. I'm going to start this right away... Wish me luck!

Learn your hair properties! said:

I had this EXACT same issue for the longest time and finally figured out the problem: protein. My hair hates it. I only found this out by finally figuring out my hair properties: density, texture, porosity, and elasticity. With that knowledge, I realized my hair needed no protein and yes humectants. As soon as I made the change in my curly hair products, the flip flop of greasy or dry went away. Now I can use oils that I could never use before w/o being a grease ball, and I even have 2nd day curls!

So take the small bit of time to learn about your hair properties. That will narrow down your products and give you the ingredients to look out for. Of course this is assuming NO sulfates or silicones in any of your stuff! That's a given.

Good luck!

Anonymous said:

Can you name some of the products you use? My hair hates protein too.

Dana said:

Noodle Head curling creme by Beyond the Zone is my go to product. I get it at Sally's, and it's the best thing I've ever used. I do use shampoo and conditioner, and then after I blot my hair (no rubbing!) I apply the Noodle Head, concentrating on the ends, but making sure I get all of it covered well. Then I bend over at the waist and hang my head upside down and use my fingers to shake (almost like I'm scratching my head.) I usually let it air dry, unless I wash it at night before bed. If I do wash it at night and want to wear it down the next day, I completely re-wet it by sticking my head under the sink and re-apply the creme. Normally, though, after day one,I just pull it up into a...I just realized I don't know what to call it. Lol I start like I'm making a pony tail, but on the last time I would pull it through, I stop about halfway with the ends pointed up. I only wash my hair at most twice a week.

sheila said:

the noodle head curling cream has silicones in it so i thought it was not curly girl approved???

Nazy said:

To style my curls I just use conditioner, no gel. I do shampoo and condition my hair and rinse. Once I get out of the shower I grab a generous amount of conditioner, you can use the same one that you used in the shower and coat my hair with it. Then rake and scrunch and let it air dry. Once its dry I turn my head upside down and shake it...its frizz free and beautiful!

brandi said:

Hi there! I too am a curly girl! I just recently started leaving it naturally a few days ago. Have you ever heard of seacret direct? The products are infused with dead sea minerals and some made with the mud. They have a great mud shampoo and conditioner. Its SLS free. Gives a great clean feeling and heals damaged hair! They also have way more products to help with skin problems. I think I am going to look into using Gel instead of Mousse! If you'd like to chat some more you can reach me at

Shelli said:

So..... I embraced my curls last year. So far I think the thing that has helped my curls the most is the Deva Haircut... Not to many people cut hair this way but it truly makes a difference.. I have been using DevaCurl products which I do like but I too have an itchy scalp and am unsure how to get rid of it unless I use a dandruff shampoo which I don't want to do.. How do you do the apple cider and baking soda thing? What do you ladies use the Aloe Vera juice for? I'm still learning and love all the comments on this post :)

Morgan said:

Okay - I've been doing the Curly Girl Method for about 4.5 years now. I love it. But there are some things wrong with this post that other new Curly Girls are going to get frustrated with.

You can't cut out sulfate without cutting out silicones as well.

Sulfates blow up your hair cuticle and strip EVERYTHING (good and bad) from your hair. Silicones smooth your cuticle back down but also create a seal around your hair that doesn't allow that cutice to absorb and release moisture as it needs. But the only thing that can break down a silicone is a sulfate.

So if you want to switch to the Curly Girl Method you have to wash your hair with a sulfate shampoo to get all the silicones out of your hair - and then toss that bottle of shampoo away. Then you CANNOT use ANY silicone conditioners or hair products. If you do - you will get what author of this article got - flaky dandruff looking buildup on your hair.

Also when you wash with your conditioner you need to scrub your head with the pads of your fingers while you're washing AND rinsing to get all the dirt, grime, oils, and whatever else your hair gets out in the world.

Also - I don't advise you washing your hair in conditioner and then only rinsing half of it out. 1) how do you know when you've rinsed out enough? 2) you're trying to wash out all the bad stuff so you should rinse ALL of the conditioner out and then either scrunch a little conditioner back in or put some leave-in conditioner. That way you don't get that "my hair doesn't feel REALLY clean" feeling.

Then scrunch your hair with a tshirt but don't get ALL of the water out. leave a little bit - then scrunch your (silicone free) gel into your hair (the extra water helps it really cover ALL of your hair). I then use a long sleeve t shirt and tie my hair up while I get dressed.

The gel creates a cast around your hair as it dries. Which helps keep away frizz and fly-aways. Then when your hair is completely dry (and should feel kinda crunchy) scrunch your hair (I put just a tid bit of conditioner or curling cream on my hands) to get break the cast. You now should have soft defined curls.

Andrea said:

As I've gone on, I've learned that all you've said here is absolutely true and many of the products I have listed here are NOT curly girl friendly. My most recent routine has cut all those silicones out and DEFINITELY gets me better results! Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said:

That's exactly what I thought about the list of products she uses. What do you do if you put coconut oil as a pre-wash? Do you prep your hair to deep condition?

Kristy said:

Great info. Thanks. I will have to check my products for sulphates and silicones.

Can you suggest some common products to use for each step, including the initial wash with sulphates? I'm located in Australia so some products are not available here but interested to find some equivalents.


Irene Evans said:

try the Everescents range they are 100% natural and the entire product and bottle are made in Australia. For curly hair you should use the repair range for a while then switch to the moisture range - cinnamon and patchouli

Andrea said:

Thank you for your explanations! I think they'll be very helpful! Do you have particular shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioners & gels that you recommend?

anonymous said:

I noticed the shampoo you liked was for color treated hair? Is your hair colored or is there something in products designed for color treated hair that is good for curly hair?

Andrea said:

In these photos, my hair is NOT color-treated, but since then I have had it highlighted, so I do use a shampoo that is better for color-treated hair. Mainly, you want to use sulfate-free shampoos.

Ombre Hair:

Balayage Hair:

Curly Becky said:

I have extremely curly hair that I do the baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse instead of shampoo and conditioner. For my gel, I use coconut oil, a little goes a long way and leaves my hair super soft and easy to de-tangle by using my fingers. I absolutely love my curls now!

Terrapri said:

do you use the coconut oil on wet hair?

Cindy said:

I was born with wavy hair and as I get older, it just gets more curly. The problem I always had was frizzy hair. I used to use Loreal's "The Look" until they discontinued the product. It was a gel and worked really well although my hair got a bit crunchy when it dried. In recent years, I definitely went to sulfate-free products. My curls really popped after that. Still had the frizzy hair though. The only product I have found in my 56 years of having naturally curly hair to tame the curls and help keep them sleek and beautiful was Dreamcurls by Frizz Ease (John Frieda). It's a spray that I put on my hair when it's wet, comb it through to distribute evenly, and then use my fingers to loosen the curls and give them a slight scrunch. My daughter-in-law's niece has very thick, very curly hair and it's the only thing that will let her get a comb through it. Good luck!!!

Anonymous said:

What would you recommend for a toddler with curly hair? (from wash to finish and how often) Thanks!

DolleeDoree said:

Have you ever used Dr. Bronner's baby soap (it's unscented). It's great for babies and toddlers (and grown-ups!), you could even brush your teeth with it; I use it to wash my night-guard retainer. Anyway, The baby soap is gentle for toddler's hair and body, it has coconut oil. I use Bumble and bumble gentle shampoo on my curly hair and this is great for kids, too. You don't need much of either to clean well, so it makes for a faster rinse, which the little ones will appreciate. Johnson's baby shampoo is actually pretty harsh as a cleanser. You can get Dr. Bronner's at Whole Foods or Amazon, and they have scented versions at Trader Joe's. I then used just a dab of conditioner or the curl cream I use to detangle the baby's curls, use enough that there is no tugging. You can use your fingers or a detangle comb, which is an amazing tool on wet hair. Then if you scrunch the hair gently, in sections in a small towel or dry washcloth, that should be all you need to do to get ringlets -- don't rub, scrunch.

KurlygurlNYC said:

For a toddler I'd do just a conditioner & if it needs a shampoo then maybe a Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo or maybe a vinegar & water mix since u can tailor to her needs. Toddlers mostly sweat & really don't have dandruff or have product put in their hair so they don't need a really good shampooing. So a good conditioner would be good & maybe an oil for the ends. Many girls love the argan oil, my hair has a thicker curl so I use keratin oil, my best friend has really tight curls & she uses coconut oil. It really depends on curl texture & how much it dries out. Stay away from baby oil & gels unless u can find an aloe gel! I use this & it's really good but toddlers have what I like to call "virgin" hair. So putting any heavy duty stuff is kind of taboo for me! Good luck with ur girl! ;)

Anonymous said:

Raw apple cider vinegar is better than white vinegar in any application involving the body. It is also an excellent conditioning rinse when mixed with water. I use it to pre- poo and detangle mine and my children's hair prior to washing. It is anot ingredient in my home made hair refresher also. Works well in bentonite clay mask for hair and skin as well.

Also Aloe Vera juice is a must for curly girls.

Shelli said:

What do you use the Aloe Vera juice for?

Anonymous said:

I wonder how this works with someone who suffers with dandruff. A lot! My daughter's do and I have tried many things, but it comes back. I out know what to do anymore and am willing to try this method.

Sheryl said:

I had dandruff for years. Believe it or not, when I changed my diet it went away. For me gluten and dairy trigger all kinds of strange things, dandruff being one. Maybe you are having a food sensitivity too.

Anonymous said:

Hi, I had the same problem and to me, nettle infusion worked. I live in a place where nettle grows naturally, so it was easy. But it does work!

Annie said:

Hello! I came across this on Pinterest! Our hair is identical is the way your curls are more wavy and the greasy scalp! One thing Ive found that really works is curl keeper the original with bumble and bumble surf shampoo/conditioner (Sephora carries it, some salons, or their site online) The B&B makes my hair so light and fluffy wavy. Makes me wanna yell louder than a preteen at a boy band concert.

I see that they have a new version of curl keeper as well now! I haven't tried that one though. The original is very liquidy & water activated. I want to try the gel one now though!I hope this helps :o) Amazon has curl keeper too!

Anonymous said:

Im a huge fan of curl keeper though it is a bot expensive. The new cersion i was skeptical of but its hust a tad thicker then the original gel in my opinion much easier to apply because it dosnt seep out of my hands when applying it!! Also i have 3v curld and no matter what products i use i make sure to leave about a nickle sixe amount of leave in.when i need a break from the gel i use herbel essence tousle me softly moouse with treseme curl milk im telling u so ammazzing and inexpesive i can imagine it be even bettwr for looser curls. Its a light non crunch soft hold with 0 friszz!! Just wanted to share that!

Jacquie said:

I've been a curly girl all my life and have found that a great cream is much better than a gel or mousse for setting the curls. I don't own a blow dryer, only use old t-shirts to squeeze out water (never towels!) and love that I don't have to brush my hair :) I don't think I could ever go that long without a shampooo - 2 days is my max. And when I shower at night and sleep on my hair, I pull it into a super tight bun on top of my head with all product already in it. Then when it comes out in the morning, it's still pretty damp so it styles really well. Great post!

Anonymous said:

My mom and sister both have very curly hair. My sister has even had people ask her where she got her spiral perm! While I don't know the product brands they use, I know they both use shampoo, conditioner, mousse, and gel. My hair is much less curly (straight until I had kids), I do almost the same. I leave out the gel because I can't stand my hair feeling crispy!

Anonymous said:

My daughter has curly hair and found the best 'gel' was one she made from flax seed. She has allergies and could not use gels. see directions to make here:

J said: If I could scream it to from the mountain tops I definitely would! I tried Wen and Diva Curl and neither worked for me. Mop Top has been a complete game changer for my curl head! I stopped living in a ponytail and finally learned to love my curls. Go check out Kelly's website. Sign up for the blog updates and watch for her sales! I'll never ever use anything else on my hair! EVER!

Misty said:

I liked WEN but it was expensive. Currently use Pantene cowash. Used it for over a year and went back to shampoo. BIG mistake. Back with the Pantene and love it. Follow up with a light layer of leave in continuo bing treatment on the ends and some extra hold mouse or gel with the flip and shake and air dry. Pretty curls all day long. Also if you wash at night do all the same but go light on the mousse/gel and put in a loose skanky bun up high on your head. Wake up with great curl. Takes some trial and error but you will find a good combo.

Michelle J said:

I have found an amazing product for curly hair and I have tried them all. I am a hairdresser and have used every kind of curly hair product there is. I recently have had to replace my entire hair care collection because my husband suffers from a severe allergy to fragrance of any kind other than natural essence oils. I started looking for products that contain zero synthetic fragrance and petrochemicals. I came across a company called Andalou Naturals and with much skepticism gave it a shot. Their products are amazing! All of the shampoos are really good and the best product by far is the Sunflower and Citrus Medium Hold Hairspray it is so amazing. Just a few sprays on wet or dry hair will tame the frizz. I can wash my hair and get the soft smooth curls I like without having to wait the next day for my hair to calm down. Diva curl is pretty good but Andalou Naturals is even better as far as my curls go.

Anonymous said:

Great post. I must try this !

Chrissy said:

Love your curly hair! Just wanted to comment about that "model" at the beginning of your blog post. She is not a model but a very spiritual and beautiful yogi, her name is Seane Corn.

naim 001 said:

Thanks for the tips! They were really helpful!

Anonymous said: use John Frieda Frizz Ease even though it's not cg approved? I absolutely LOVE that stuff, but I have avoided it like the plague the past 4 weeks because I wanted to give the cg method an honest effort and Frizz Ease has all the "cones" that they disapprove of. I think I'm about to back-slide into the Frizz Ease...every morning I say I'm going to do it, but I keep trying to press on with this cg stuff...

Anonymousy said:

I use Jane Carter Solution for the frizz, it is amazing, smells wonderful, a tad pricey but a little goes a long way. I use it to decrunch after my hair is dry. It is like coconut oil, in that it melts at body temp.

Andrea said:

I do. I don't think I did during the Curly Girl 6-week experiment, but it just seems to work better than other things I've tried. Plus, it's easy to get locally. I'm definitely not a CG purist! I still straighten my hair and use regular shampoo every two weeks or so. :)

SarahLeePow said:

Hello!! I love that you have embraced your curls. I am a curly girl also. The most important thing you can do is keep them well hydrated. I use Moroccan oil every time I wash my hair. I also deep condition once weekly. I really like the Moroccan oil deep conditioner. It is quite expensive, but a little goes a long way. My favorite gels are Biolage gellee and Ouidad. The later especially in the summer. If you haven't already, check out or naturally there are some great product reviews and tips and trick. I am a new blogger and working on some curly hair stuffs for my blog.

Kristy said:

Your hair is so pretty! I've read Curly Girl, and gave the method a try a few years ago but didn't stick with it.

My hair is wavy (much like yours in the first photos), but super long and thick. I'm anxious to give this method a try again and see if it doesn't help define my curls!

Thanks for the post.

Drya said:

WOW, the after the leave-in conditioner is beautiful. I sure will use more leave-in. Thanks

Anonymous said:

How often did you wash? I am attempting this and find I need to wash 2-3 a week due to crazy oiliness.

Mom of an Extra Curly Girl said:

The more often you wash or cleanse your hair, the more you stimulate oil production. The less often you cleanse, the less oily it will be. Keep in mind that you can wet and rinse your hair in the shower, with a light scalp massage, without using shampoo or cleanser. But still, the more you massage it, them more oil that's produced. I have totally super straight hair and used to wash my hair 4 - 6 times a week. After everything I've learned about how to care for my daughters tight ringlets, neither of us use shampoo anymore (maybe once every couple of months I'll mix a little shampoo with the conditioner I'm applying to the scalp) and we don't cleanse more than twice a week.

BTW, Apple Cider Vinegar is even better to use as a rinse. It does not strip the hair the way White Vinegar may/will. Leave the scalp and hair feeling great and product residue free.

Andrea said:

During my 6-week experiment I *wet* my hair & conditioned it every day. I did not use any shampoo (sulfate free or otherwise) during that time...though I did do a vinegar rinse which serves a similar purpose.

Here's what I do NOW..I still wet & condition my hair every day. I've had NO luck with 2nd day curls. If for some reason I don't wet it on the 2nd day, I wear it braided. I use a sulfate free shampoo about every 4-5 days, and then every three weeks or so, I like to use a regular shampoo for a fresh start. It feels good on my scalp and gets rid of any extra gel or conditioning residue. That's just what *I* do..not based on science or even how my hair looks! I just still really like the feeling of regular shampoo every now an then! :)

reyna said:

recently found your site! i love your hair! i feel like we have the same hair type but mine is just stuck on week 1 or week 4 (depending on how my hair likes to frizz at that time i guess). my problem is that the bottom end of my hair tends to get poofy...and the top hair section gets frizzy. i'm not sure if it's the hair cut or i'm just not used to putting the gel on right. do you still use the same gel (LA looks)? any tips for second day hair?

Andrea said:

I just recently switched to Mop Top Light Hold gel, which I use after putting John Frieda Anti Frizz Serum on it first (all while my hair is wet after a shower). So far, I like it a lot. It doesn't make my hair crunchy like LA Looks does, and I don't feel like it gets all that product buildup that I kept having to deal with, and it still looks decent at the end of the day. I've used it about a far so good...but the air is dry right now, so we'll see how it does in the spring/summer!

Definitely try the rake & shake gel application method! I've found it works well to distribute the gel all over your hair & let the curls do their natural thing.

As for second day hair...I'm afraid I can't help much. I usually wear it up in a braid if I get to second day hair! I exercise almost daily, so I completely wet & at least condition my hair every day. I use a sulfate free shampoo about every 4-5 days.

Terri @ Childlike Fascination said:

I can't even begin to thank you for sharing this! Over the past few weeks I've decided to try and give in to my curls and it's been really challenging. I've resisted the urge to pull out the straightener and it's so hard. Your post is inspirational. I started thinking today that maybe I should document my products and how much I use to I can see what is and isn't working for my hair maybe I should!!

Andrea said:

You should document it! I've tried all sorts of things, and I wish I had been better about taking photos and writing down what I did so I could see what was working. The biggest test is how my hair looks at the END of the day! :)

Leslie Greer said:

I'm a so-cal curly girl and recently was lucky enough to get a haircut by a stylist named Shai Amiel, who is a curly girl specialist. He does what is called a devacut, or a dry curl cut, I went to him with my hair curled, with product in it, and he cut it curl by curl. It was an amazing experience to have someone actually understand the importance of a good curly girl cut. I also purchased a shampoo and conditioner from the line DevaCurl. I bought the DevaCare No-Poo shampoo and One Condition conditioner. I never shampooed my hair before but all the DevaCurl products are sulfate, paraben, and silicone free, and the No-Poo shampoo is a creamy no lather shampoo so it helps keep moisture in. Shai Amiel has worked with the author Lorraine Massey and anyone in the Southern California are should look him up and have him bless your curls with a fantastic haircut, or do research and see if someone in your area does a "devacut" (dry curl cut). Thanx for a great blog

Deborah said:

I have VERY curly (ringlet type curls) I hated it and have been straightening for 5 years, till breakage and dryness forced me back to natural. I went at curly this time with new excitement! I read about no shampooing,and started there, then I experimented with all the new products out since I was busy straightening these last years. I also asked anyone whose curls looked great. I really love it now, although I do miss the smooth look and still straighten for fancy occasions. The compliments have been daily!!! My boyfriend is crazy about it and all say I look better curly. My routine: shampoo once weekly, conditioner without washing it all out. The biggest, noticeable difference is: RINSE WITH COLD WATER, AND NOT A SINGLE HAIR FRIZZES! No more twisted towel, squeeze sections with cotton towel. Large tooth comb out, and mousse ( Herbal Essence curl) has been the best for me, not gels. I normally do all this with head upside down. I also hair spray it while wet and it has solved my worst problem yet: looked great wet with curls, but as it dries it GREW TO A BIG SALAD BOWL. using lite hair spray when wet has now kept it close to my head. For morning after, I spray a bit of water and it re-activate the mousse, and find this is when adding an Argon type oil helps lightly placed in Palm and scrunched in.
Thank you for this blog! Wish I had all these suggestions 5 years ago!

M said:

thanks for your methods on how you take care of your curls. Could you please tell me exactly what spray do you use ? What is it called ? Thank you very much

Mel Stevens said:

I have naturally hair too and to keep it nmoisturize I use argan oil. What I can recommend is to use a curling wand to enhance your curls sometimes. I do it pretty often with my karmin g3 clipless curling iron and my curls look even better!

Malin said:

This is wonderful . I stopped using shampoo about 4 weeks ago but never got any results . But this tutorial really helped . My curls looks way much bettrr . I only have one question though. Does anybody got any tips for how to stop your hair from getting frizzy in the morning after i nights sleep ? Whats best , to put it in a bun or just wrap a scarfs around the head ? Thank you : )

Anonymous said:

I put my hair into a loose pineapple with a scrunchy and cover it with a hairnet and then put a satin sleeping cap over it. I also use a satin pillowcase. Curls are usually in great shape on 2nd day. 3rd day I have to definitely spray with lavender to reset the get and a little fuzz starts but still better than I used to have before using the curly girl method.

Anonymous said:

Thank you for sharing this information. I found it very useful and interesting to read. Hope you could provide more similar content in the future


Anonymous said:

I keep my hair up and it frizzes out. I wear a shower cap with my hair up while I shower, then after I get out I wet my hair with a spray-bottle and re-scrunch. Wetting re-activates the products and will help with the frizz a lot.

Mercy said:

i want to share my testimony on how i gain my nature hair back in just three weeks: i had very thick curly hair.i straightened my hair 2 yr ago.they after some time started 2 fall out.i also having dandruff problem all d time, before i used shampoo called antidruf containing ketoconazole and tugain 2%(minoxidil) have stopped using chemical one year ago.but still i am loosing a lots of hair everyday and my hair has become so thin. when a friend of my visit me and i explain how i lose my hair every day, she told me she was having the same problem 3 months ago and he contacted DR OPINGO online, i please with grace and she gave me DR OPINGO email, i email him immediately and explain about my hair to him, he told me not to worry that he is going to help me out.After DR OPINGO have prepared the spell cream i use for good three weeks my hair grow fast and was very thick, all my girl friends love and cherish my hair thank you DR you can contact his email at: ( his cream will make your hair grow fast and thicker.

holland said:

Love your post, especially the pictures. You hair looks great, so shiny and curly.
I gave up sulfates and silicone about a year ago. My hair is fine and I have less of it than you do, so I shampoo with sulfate free shampoo (curl junkie / bee naturals)about twice a week. My co-wash (short for conditioner washing) is As I Am Co-Wash and it is AMAZING! For Co-washing it is very important that you only use water soluble products (you can search a list of water soluble vs non soluble silicone products unless you happen to be a chemist ;)). I also use Argan oil to seal my hair, only a few drops.

What is important to remember is what works for your hair in the fall and spring may not work for you in the summer or winter. I have separate products depending on the season. In the fall / spring (dew points between 35-50F) I use products with humectants: glycerin, propylene glycol, aloe, honey. They bring moisture to your hair and enhance curl. In winter, when the surrounding air is drier than your hair (dew point of 35F or lower)these humectants draw water from your hair leaving is dry and straight. In the humid summer (60F or higher dew point) humectants draw too much water to your hair causing frizz, so avoid them at this time. Here anti-humectants are your friend.

Good luck and thanks for the info!

p.s. Apple cider vinegar is better than white and Bragg brand is best!

Nicholaix said:

Thats pretty much my routine except I use the Loreal EverPure non sulfate shampoo and the Loreal damage erasing balm for deep conditioning. A few drops of argan oil and squeeze out the water with a tshirt towel.Ddepending on time of year I use a spray uv protecter/ detangler(summer) or a leave in cream(winter).

A vinegar rinse every couple weeks or so takes care of buildup and I definitely use cooler water to rinse rather than hot. Hot water makes my hair frizz horribly, go figure.

Caliali said:

Your haircut looks great, and that, combined with the rake and shake styling method gives you a beautiful look--better than straight, I bet ! But I'd like to know more about your haircut, which is the foundation for everything--is it layered? Does your hairdresser use Ouidad's carve and slice method? Is it ever thinned or texturized? Your hair cutter seems to cut it beautifully!

SarahBug said:

Easy peasy on the curls, girls (: I use Tresemme Flawless curls conditioner, it really is a miracle. Shampoo with your favorite shampoo, avoid moisturizing ones as they defeat the purpose! Make sure your shampoo cleans your scalp really really well. Add a palm full or two of the Tresemme conditioner and comb it through. Of course, don't pull too much and work from the ends of your hair up to avoid tangles and split ends along the way. Rinse it out and leave a bit in your hair. It should feel 40/60 conditioner-water when you step out of the shower, like a medium coat that works down the shaft to the ends on every curl. Do avoid the scalp to prevent oil build-up. To make it easy you can also buy a spray bottle and fill it with conditioner-water and get a consistency that works well for you. I use it often when I wake up with messed up hair, squirt it all through until your hair is dripping wet and brush it in. Be cautious while it air dries, making sure not to play with it even if it *looks* like it's starting to puff up a little. It'll be totally frizz-free in no time, you can use a scrunching gel if you want to, but my curls come out perfectly every time without it

Anonymous said:

I have been using the curly girl method for a year and I have 3b hair that is long. I tried using vo5 strawberry conditioner with water in a spray bottle and got white clumps I my hair. I just bought treasmme naturals silicone free conditioner nourishing moisture. Do you use it with40/60 or do you put jel with it?

Debi said:

30 years ago I had chemo and lost my straight hair. After that I would perm my hair to get it curly, not even realizing it had grown back curly. Who would have thought? Since then I have tried tons of different products in varying price ranges and they all feel far too heavy or sticky. The only time I ever use a wide tooth comb on my hair is when putting it into a high ponytail, but only at the roots and out a couple of inches. After shampoo/conditioning I do the rake way of detangling. I never ever wrap my hair in a towel (very bad for hair). I use a towel and dab it upside down o get extra water out. Then I use the only product I found that is light, keeps my hair from frizzing, and lets it curl naturally - Paul Mitchell's Zero. It is the lightest hairspray I have ever found, and it replaces all the serums, gels, mousse, etc. products and leaves the curls perfect - whether I let it air dry or dry my hair upside down and light scrunch.

kavya said:

I have been doing this for the past one and half months and my hair really loves it....I have seen great improvement ... no frizzes...and greater curl definition.... I am completely in love with this method...
and a small tip curlies..... add one table spoon of honey for two table spoons of conditioner... Hair gets cleansed like never before.... and woww... Hair shines better than when u have applied greatest of greatest hair serums.... and compliments.... u would receive them like i did from an absolute stranger day before yesterday and they keep on coming..
be sure to give it a try... u would love it too..

Michelle said:

I also use tons of conditioner and gel, but I use a diffuser to dry my hair holding my head upside down for more volume and scrunching as I go. Does anyone else do this? I can not go to work with wet hair and it takes hours for mine to dry so I have no option, it turns out really good this way.

Natasha said:

YES Michelle!! I do the same thing!! I think that for me, it locks my hair in the prettiest curls and volume. But I don't do it before I put in my gel and/or mousse(Tresseme perfect curls) poducts...followed by Aussie hairspray.... because like you if I let it air dry it takes for hours!!

Renae said:

I am a lifetime curly girl and have found that gel makes my hair too stiff and greasy looking after a few days. I have been using mousse for the last 20 years and have tried other products here and there, but nothing has ever worked better for me then mousse. And you do not need to go expensive. In addition to my curly locks I also have extremely thick hair so those tiny bottles of product that the hair salons try to sell would last me a week at best! My favorite over the counter mousse(s) has been Suave mousse no. 7, and I also like TRESeme Flawless Curls mousse. Both are super inexpensive! Since I do not have the time to allow my hair to air dry I ALWAYS use a diffuser. Not just the sock kind, use the ones that look like a big bowl that you literally place your hair within it. They fit right on the end of your hair dryer. And I dry to about 80%. Scrunch a little, of course, but not much since mousse doesn't leave your hair stiff like gel. Well, that is if you do not use too much. With that said, experiment with the amount you use until you find what works for you. If your hair feels really stiff or straw like you've used too much. If your curls look a little frizzy you either need to use more or you've handled/played with your hair too much. One last note, when drying, dry end too root. Try to avoid placing the diffuser at mid length and pushing it up to your roots. This will cause some fizzing, because the diffuser has little teeth that will separate curls. Hope something I have mentioned is useful to someone. I would be happy to share a picture when I'm not ready for bed!

Curly girl Deb said:

I also use tressame curly mouse because gels make my hair too stiff. My hair is 3b and I love it and no frizz.

Anonymous said:

I found this via pinterest. I don't know if I'm patient enough for the whole 6 week process but the rake and shake sounds good! Do you think it would work well for wavy hair? I have wavy hair, not curly or straight and it drives me crazy. I am also younger so I am thinking that the 6 week process would make my hair very greasy, I can't go a day without shampooing and my hair due to greasy hair. Do you have any tips to make my wavy hair go curlier without the whole 6 week no shampooing process? :) Thanks!

Erin said:

So I have been trying the Curly Girl method. I bought Deva Curl products, and I also have a couple of Wen knockoffs. I have very loose waves that lay flat against my scalp, so I do the clipping, which helps. Until it is dry. My hair looks HORRIBLE. Someone at work actually put a mirror on my desk the other day! I am determined not to blowdry or straighten my hair anymore, but my hair always looks like I just got out of bed. It has probably been about three weeks now. My hair is about shoulder length, so it may need to grow some more, but it is horrible right now. I'm still in the stage where nobody has said anything about my hair. I feel awkward and embarrassed - thankfully I don't deal with the public. I do NOT know what to do.

Ann E said:

I also have hair that is more wavy (and frizzy) than straight or curly. It's always seemed extraordinarily greasy if I went even one day without shampooing. I had been straightening if for several years, but I find that works best when I shower the night before and then straighten in the morning. A couple of years ago I started going to the gym in the morning, which means no straightening, so I've been letting my hair be wavy and hating it. I finally decided, shortly before finding this post, to see what I could do about making it actually curly. Between this method and a conversation I had with my hair dresser, I cut way back on shampooing about a month ago and am currently entering my second week without using any at all and my hair is actually way less greasy than it's ever been in my life. I'm sure it depends on the shampoo as well as the make up of your hair, but apparently while it does take out the grease immediately, shampoo actually contributes to long term greasiness. Not using it has helped immensely, so it may be worth trying for you, too.

Anonymous said:

Found via pinterest...just a note, and sorry if it was mentioned in other comments. I figured out (through much time and trials) that gel works in humidity and mousse works in drier weather. No mousse in a florida or alabama summer for sure! :)

Kate said:

Loved this blog :) still deciding whether I should try the experiment. I'm quite picky and a little bit obsessive over my hair and not sure if I could deal with no washes! I think my hair is 2c? I have thin hair but lots of it so it looks thick, but it is thin towards the scalp. My hair is all different curles as I had (completely) straight hair up till I was 11 then boom. Curly. It is soft waves underneath, then tight curls atthe back and front sides of my hair. the middle is more zigzag loose curles, but this all varies each day depending on how i treated my hair.I have blonde hair as well so am prone to my frizz and dryness. I have trouble growing my hair as it seems to take so long, and my hair becomes damaged so I need to trim 2 or 3 times a year. Just had a question for any curly head out there.......I like to have a shower at night so I can sleepin abit in the morning... I have trouble with styling my hair at night (half damp) so that I can wake up and it will still look nice. Any tips?? I currently French braid it. -I have shoulder length hair by the way- but I feel like that creates too much volume in the middle half of my hair, straight ish at the bottom, then no volume at the roots. But I have also tried leaving my hair out and sleeping on it, but the curls 'shrink up' and become very short and flat by morning. Thanks.

Lily said:

In the past, when I slept on the French braid, I would put just one sponge roller on the bottom, straight part of the braid with a little bit of gel. It made little ringlets at the bottom the next morning when I took the braid out. But my hair is wavy, not curly.

Anna Bananna said:

Well I never believed the shampoo fast worked. Seeing what it's done for your hair though i'm trying it! It's been 3 days....I feel proud though! I love straightening my hair and I have been doing it too often for 2 years now and my back of my hairs ok but the front of my hair is straight now UGH! I hope doing the six week fast is going to help my hair! I cant wait to use some of the sweetest strongest smelling shampoo at the end of it though! hah! you are very pretty and your hair looks amazing thank you very much for posting and keeping up to doing a photo each week and showing the progression. I hope mine looks as cool as yours in 6 weeks!

Leila said:

I'm a curly from Algeria (north africa) I precise this just to let you know that this post got attention from all over the world.
I love how your hair looks at the 4th week and all long.
the most difficult part is having curly hair produts in shops around my city (quite impossible).
once again I really love your hair in its curly form, and it would be a pleasure to be able to see your hair month after month.

Donna said:

Thanks for all of the great tips! I have curly type 2b hair (I think) which kind of has a mind of its own. It's about the same length and curl as yours but not as even. Tends to be more curly up front...but only on one side where it's thinner. :-( I have occasionally gotten the back to be like your hair after CG method, but w/o a lot of work it just tends drop or to hang more like your before pics only not as nice or even.

On a good day I can get it looking pretty good AT FIRST,...but here is the question that I CANNOT seem to find an answer to ANYWHERE, even on curly sites. Since trying to go natural I've been using Giovanni's light leave in conditioner, sparingly, and then Giovanni's LA gel, sparingly. Since my hair is 2b I HAVE to use a diffuser to blow dry (after nearly dry already) to get nice curls, but they always seem to fall out and no matter what I do I get the frizzies up top. But this is my biggest problem...if I follow all the curly hair "rules" for letting it dry natually, no touching, etc., my hair ALWAYS stays flat to my head and my curls are more like very uneven waves. I can't seem to get any answers on how to let my hair dry naturally and still have lift and bouncy curls. When I use a diffuser I can get some greeeeat curls, but it causes me to get frizz on top and my hair eventually falls. I can't use oils cause it just makes my hair stick flatter to my head. Pleeeeeease, if anyone has the same problem, I need advice!!!

Rachel said:

I feel your pain!! When I first switched to curly all the time, my hair was exactly the same way. I found a hairstylist in my area that is knowledgeable about curly hair - she has very curly hair herself. She gave me a haircut with TONS of layers. If I were to straighten my hair now, it would look horrible, but when curled, it's perfect. The top layers of hair were just too heavy, so they would dry flat to my head. Now, the top layers are shorter while she left the bottom layers alone. My hair now looks the same length it was before, but curly all over with volume on top! Try finding someone to cut your hair that knows how to shape it. They may be able to provide you with some volume! Hope that helps :)

Dianna k said:

Try using a big hair-clip at the roots, at the crown of your head, along the part & where ever you want a little lift. (This method is described in the Curly Girl book.) Put the clips close to the scalp, and it should be standing out & not flat against the head. This has worked great for me and helps my hair dry faster because it lets more air circulate under the hair. You can also put a little gel on the spot with th clip. This is a good method for redoing your hair the day after sleeping on it.

Anonymous said:

This is what i do. Hopefully it will work for you. But I do all those steps hanging upside-down. Like i wash it upside-down. And comb it in the shower upside-down. And even apply the gel and scrunch upside-down. I find it gives my roots the "lift" they need to not lay flat against my head. Another trick I use sometimes to avoid that curly at the end flat on top problem, is to wash my hair at night just before bed and follow my normal routine. But I lay a towel (or t-shirt) on my pillow, and sleep on my back with my hair not underneath my head but untucked and above my head on the pillow. I find this provides a "weightless" environment for my curls to dry. Hope that this helps!

Anonymous said:

I do the same thing with the towel and laying my hair above me (too bad I move around to much so most of my hair is crushed ^.^)

A product I use is Matrix Biolage smoothing shine milk. It's sorted as 'light hold' so mostly what it does is give it a nice shine and soft feel, but i'm sure you could use a stronger hold to define your curls.

Curly too said:

Love your blog. Your hair looks fabulous!! My curl (and cut) is similar but your texture looks much smoother. I just started using Wen a few weeks ago but have had to use a sulfate free shampoo a couple times. It's great to have a forum for discussing techniques. I get asked by people all the time what I use or how is style my hair And I consider myself kind of a curl evangelist haha.

I will share your site as well. I let my hair air dry now that I'm growing it out so its less damaged also have gotten a Ouidad haircut a couple times (including today) which I like- I get less bulky areas now and my hair seems to look best when I shake and rake also. Or twist a few curls to control size of curl and direction around my face where I get a lot of breakage and skinny curls... If my hair looked as good as yours I don't think I'd straighten ver often!!

Alinna said:

I started the curly girl method myself but I did not use a light conditioner and I did not feel my hair washed properly, I will go and buy one. The results for your hair are obvious.

Anonymous said:

Just found this curly girl blog post and was wondering if there were any tips for hair mor on the wavy side... My hair lost its body from dying it to much but now Ive stopped dying and putting hot irons to it. Its getting body back but its majority waves with a few curls up front and alot of poof. Any tips on making it managable or good products for wavy hair? I never seem to be able to find ones that work! would the curly girl method work on a more wavy hair type?

Anonymous said:

My hair goes from wavy to curly depending on the length and I've been using the Curly Girl method for over two years now. I really like the Tresemme Naturals conditioner and have used different gels, but the Herbal Essences ones are good - I tend to change with the seasons (I'm in Canada). I also shampoo when I feel like it needs it with a Live Clean non-sulfate shampoo. One of the thing that I find really important is using a microfibre towel - really helps with the fizziness.
Hope this helps.

sharlin said:

i just found the same inspiration picture as you yesterday. :) my hair is just below shoulder length so i have a long way to go, too.
i read the curly girl book a few years ago and trip the no poo thing too. couldn't stand it, but use devacurl low poo and love it. i also looked up pics of celebrity curlies and melina k. is a star who has medium length hair that looks good. just ordered her product of choice. hope it works miracles. :)
i love your week 3 photo, btw.

Anna said:

I have been battling my curly hair ALL my life!!! A couple of years ago I decided to stop fighting with it and decided to let it go curly. On my journey to figuring out what works and what doesn't I have discovered some things... I agree that regular shampoos containing sulfates are much harsher on curly hair. I tried the whole "no shampooing" trick and didn't care for it. My hair just never felt clean. However, they now have a lot of products out advertised as after care products if you have had a Brazilian blow out, reason being that sulfate and alcohol based products strip the keratin out of hair. That is what I use. And no, I haven't had a Brazilian blow out. But my hair is definitely less frizzy, my curls are more defined and my hair feels CLEAN! The trick is to pay attention to the label. "Low sulfate" and "sulfate free" are two different things. I recommend the "sulfate free" products. Sally's Beauty supply store has a nice range that is priced reasonably.

Lauren said:

I am a fellow curly girl, I love Lorraine Massey's book. I just recently did a post about naturally curly hair & used your picture. I linked back here to this website!!! Your results are incredible.
Please visit my blog post

Kathie said:

Interesting read, thanks for sharing your experience. I have naturally wavy hair and the only time I ever tried to wear it curly was on the weekends when I'm just lounging around the house (since it didn't look so great). It wasn't until I switched to Suave Professionals Almond & Shea Butter shampoo & conditioner that my hair started looking nice when I let it air dry. I then added a mixture of Vitamin E oil with Castor Oil hair & scalp conditioner to my hair and voila, no frizz curls. Despite what almost everyone else advises, I do wash my hair on a daily basis. My scalp and hair just feel disgusting if I don't and I tried the "no poo" method before and it destroyed my hair.

Anonymous said:

Hey I have HORRIBLY curly hair and I recently started using Deva Curl products. They are AMAZING. I had to get a hair appointment to learn how to use them but it was definitely worth it! It's mostly the same method as your plan but their products are water based. They have shampoos that are sulfate free and I don't EVER brush my hair anymore. I have used millions of gels and they leave my hair crunchy and with white flakes but the gel in the deva curl line has never done that. Just information for other troubled heads of hair! (:

Anonymous said:

Hello. I have a question. Please reply! I have been doing the CG method for a month or so and my curls are a lot better. But lately, I have had to shampoo about once a week because, for some reason, my scalp has been getting oily. I use the same conditioner as you said you use. I am starting to think it's my method of applying the conditioner and rinsing it. I usually section my hair and apply the conditioner to my roots. Then I have to rinse forever. And it still feels greasy. How do you do it? and how long does it take to rinse it all away from your scalp?
Thank you.

Anonymous said:

Hi, I know you posted this last year but please, please reply. I have started the CG method 2-3 weeks ago and noticed straight away my curls looked fantastic, however I'm now in the 3rd week of no shampoo and my roots are disgusting. I have been researching what other people have said about greasy roots but they have said they used a clarifying shampoo a few times a week, but I don't want to use a shampoo at all. What worked for you? if I stick it out just using the co-wash please tell me that my roots will start getting less greasy. I clarified my hair before starting CG and have been co-washing every few days since.



Andrea said:


I found that a vinegar rinse helped a lot with that greasy-roots feeling. If you just started the process, it's possible your hair is adapting and getting used to using mostly conditioner, and in that case the greasy feeling WILL improve over time. But, I do still have trouble with product buildup and my roots feeling kind of "heavy" after several days of co-washing, so I too use a sulfate-free shampoo once or twice a week, which helps with that. I even cheat and use a regular old normal shampoo about once a month--because it just FEELS so good on my scalp. Truly, you just have to play around with different combinations to see what you like and what works well for your hair. I still ask every curly girl I see what SHE uses. :) I'm always looking for improvement. Good luck!

Kathryn said:

Could u plz tell me how I should style it for the nighttime after I shower. Btw thnx alot for curly this review I tried the curly girl method but my halter doesn't seem to change u c I have thick thick wsvy ir vurly hair not sure it changes after it dries and is quite soft but when it does it turns into a lion and the curls kind off disappear :( anyways thnx and I hope u reply

Anonymous said:

That was a great blog! Love the curls you now have in your hair!
I naturally have bouncy curls and always dreaded going into the store to see which product would work best in my hair.

Over the years, I noticed that these combinations work best.
I shampoo only once a week since it dries out curly hair a lot. Conditioner wise-I switch off. I use Garnier Fructis, Pantene Pro-V, and Herbal Essences- None of your frizzness. Once one bottle of conditioner is gone, I switch to another bottle. This allows my hair to not get completely used to one conditioner. If it does...HELLO FRIZZ! :/ After my shower, I immediately put detangler it in, use a wide tooth comb to comb through it, and add Pantene Pro-V Curls Mousse and LA Looks Gel to my hair.

This works very well on my hair. Anyone reading this:
Experiment with different products just like this blog. :)

all8 said:

My DD has very curly hair and Jessicurl works the best for her. Most drug store hair products have silicones and other things that are bad for curly hair and make it look dirty and/or dry it out. We just found a stylist that specializes in curly hair (very rough to do here) anyway, she washed DD's head with Moptop (3 times) to get rid of the yucky build up and then used the Jessicurl Rockin' Ringlets and Confident Coils that we've tried and loved so much. She loves her hair again, and that's saying something for a 17 yr old. We're definitely going back to Jessicurl and quit wasting so much money on drug store stuff.

It's unbelievable how soft and manageable her curls are with Jessicurl. It was so dry, frizzy, and then greasy at the scalp, and now it's not. Highly recommended from a fellow curly girl.

Sue said:

Thanks for your inspirational post and all the wonderful, helpful comments above. I start today. I've bought my products--Tresemme, V05, and argan oil and claimed one of my husbands t-shirts. And I'm looking forward to using some of the Curly Girl home brews when I need to remove buildup later on. They sound fun! Some years ago I tried the Wen system, but was unimpressed with the results--and it was so expensive to keep it up.

I do wonder what my colorist/haircutter is going to say--do I tell her not to use shampoo when I go next week? I'll search the interwebs for some advice on that....

Anonymous said:

Help! I'm a wavy girl trying to go back to the curls I had when I was younger with this method, but my hair just feels GROSS. The no 'poo' is making the top 3-4 inches of my hair greasy from washing the roots with conditioner. I'm using Suave "captivating curls" conditioner and spray gel along with TRESemme spray conditioner. Am i doing something seriously wrong? Is this going to get better, or can I somehow make it better? Advice, please!!

Also, I have red hair, so the texture is different from most other hair types. That may be what is causing the problem, but I'll take any advice on how to fix it! And I'm a college student, so cheap products are really my only option!

Anonymous said:

suave captivating curls contains silicones which are coating your hair and making it feel icky like that. do another shampoo wash with a sulfer shampoo to rid of the silicone and try using suave NATURALS (not professionals) or VO5 conditioners. these are much lighter conditioners and do not contain all the heavy silicones :)

Curly girl Deb said:

There are plenty gels and mousses that have cones or para end. Read! The labels

Kary said:

I am a wavy girl and have been going curly for about 2 months and mostly I love it. I love reading all the comments here! I have used the Curly Girl book and the Deva Curl products. But, I'm still having frizz issues. My hair is short in length but layered all over with longer sides and short stacked in the back. I love the back but am still not satisfied with the front and sides. I have just this week decided to not use hairspray to set the style. If I use spray it leaves the hair with that product and it's not easy to just re-wet and re-style.

I read the other comments about the website and their products. I think I may try one or two of their products to tame the frizz but I am encouraged by all that I read here from so many followers of going completely "sulphate free" in their products.

I would LOVE to hear from more wavy haired girls about what is working for them. My husband absolutely loves my hair curly. I do to for the most part. It is an evolving process for sure!!

Yay go CURLY!!

proudmommy said:

I use argon oil and olive oil on my hair. To help with the frizz. Right after I take a shower a put a small amount of olive oil then argon oil. Hopefully this works :)

Curlydeb said:

I co-wash with suave cherry blossom conditioner and rinse with cold water. No frizz ever 3b hair

Jtye said:

I use a modified curly girl method and the difference in my curls is unbelievable! I tried more expensive products but have been happiest with Tresemme Naturals...low sulfate shampoo and silicone free conditioner. Alberto VO5 Tea Therapy conditioner as a leave in and LA Looks Nutra Curl gel. My curls look better than ever and ALL of my products cost under $15!!! I tried the no 'poo' and just couldn't hang in there to see it through! I also use a long sleeved cotton t shirt as a modified 'turban' after squeezing water and applying products, which I think makes all the difference! I rarely air dry...I diffuse on low setting, touching minimally, and I'm ready to go. Hope this helps others embrace their curls!

Erin @ Jax Beach said:

You're a goddess! Honestly, I think this is the most straightforward CurlyHair guidelines that I've ever read/seen. We'll be waiting for more updates.

Anonymous said:

I have been doing the no poo method for about 6 months and it has been life changing! A tip I do that may help others...

I de-tangle my curls in the shower wearing Powder-Free Vinyl Exam Gloves. Sounds crazy I know but my hands glide through my curls and tangles easily! They are cheap and last forever.

Ellie said:

I used WEN when my hair was relaxed and it worked great. I am doing the curly girl method, the one silicone in WEN is making my hair dry, and hard, and trying to hydrate and get curl definition is like going through a firewall. I tried to hang in there because I spent big bucks on something that no longer works for my current hair routine. I guess I will shower with it.

Anonymous said:

Use a car shammy to dry your hair, they are super absorbent. Be sure when you wash the shammy you use NOOOO fabric softner so the shammy stays absorbent. If not big enough sew them together. Gets all the water out of your hair so you can style and get out the door for work. Also i use a pick on my hair to evenly distribute all hair products in my hair, haven't used a comb or brush in 20 years.

Stacy said:

The shake and rake works good and I don't know if anyone has mentioned paper towels work really great getting moisture out of hair, and boosts my natural curlyness. (My hair is alot like yours in curl & length) I gently wrap my hair in a thin towel first out of the shower, and then I use 2 paper towels after every time I shampoo and condition it helps to get the final bit of water out so my hair isn't damp for hours. I also use the same damp paper towels after I scrunch Diva Curl gel into my hair. I think the damp paper towel helps to distribute the gel thru my hair. I think it keeps me from overloading my hair with my gel and that could help with the flakes & build up on yours? Good luck, your hair looks marvelous !

jy said:

I too battle the alabama weather and curls/frizz. I'm a licensed cosmetologist and even as that still can't find a wash & go method. Other than...I'm thinking about trying a smoothing treatment (much like the keratin) which I've heard does remove some of your natural curl but it also removes all the frizz and should cause you to be able to wash & go. When I do wear it curly I LOVE LOVE LOVE Deva Curl products. THey have a 'no poo' cleanser (no shampoo) that is awesome. I had to try all the products to figure out what combo worked for me but they're worth trying!

Amanda said:

I highly highly HIGHLY recommend Hawaiian Silky. It is the best thing I have ever ever found for my curly hair. It's a moisturizer and a detangler and a curl activator. It is hair crack. I love that it doesn't give me the wet look. Nor does it make my hair crunchy. I can run my finger through my hair all day and my curls stay pretty and defined. They have it is Sally's and on Amazon

Curly girl Deb said:

Just cut layers in my hair and now have to put jel in my hair because it is so soft

Anonymous said:

I agree with the person who recommends the Hawaian Silky Gel Activator. I have 4a natural hair, and so far it is the best. It moisturizes, curl activates, and "shines" your hair all at once, and it leaves your hair soft with no crunch. I have spent lots of money trying different products, Miss Jessie, Kinky Curl, etc. etc. and so far this product is my favorite. To top it off, it is DIRT cheap - around $4-$5.

Annie May said:

I noticed WEN was listed in your product tags, WEN has silicone in all the products and is not Curly Girl friendly. Silicone suffocates the hair from being able to absorb moisture and leaves hair limps and reluctant to create ringlets.
You have lovely hair and a beautiful curl pattern.
Thank you

Ashley Flores said:

Great blog! Very detailed, and I love that you had pics for each week. I have a YouTube channel and I am considering doing the Curly Girl Method during the winter months since I feel my hair will need the extra moisture anyway, so I'll come back and let you know how it goes! God bless <3

Willow Carver said:

I loved this article, I have long curly hair. I've been putting gel in and twisting it up on top of my head, held by a scrunchie, until it dries. I get great curls and they stay in for days. My big find though, is a brush called the knot genie ( ... it is AMAZING! So easy to brush out the tangles!! I highly recommend it ...

Baillie said:

My hair is so curly and frizzy. I don't even try to do anything any more. I get frustrated cause I use so many products and they all don't work. I would put hell, mouse, and hairspray in it and it would still be frizzy and poofy. I heard of the the mixed chicks products andbivwa using the deep conditioner. And that was no help at all. And the hard part about what you did without shampooing your hair that I have really bad dandruff and I have to use dandruff shampoo to help. I wear my hair straight in the winter cause in this Louisiana humidity is horrible. So during the summer I wear it curly. And I wanna start wearing it curly in the winter cause it's less time and I'm really starting to like my curls. So plllllllease give me some tips on products and what to do.

Curly girl Deb said:

I also live in south Louisiana and humidity today is 68%. It wrecks havoc on curly girl hair. This is what I do: co-wash, rinse in cool water, place in t shirt, then remove and place kinky curly knot today, ISO bouncy crime, then la looks mega hold 9 gel then plot for 25 minutes

Curly girl Deb said:

I also live in south Louisiana and humidity today is 68%. It wrecks havoc on curly girl hair. This is what I do: co-wash, rinse in cool water, place in t shirt, then remove and place kinky curly knot today, ISO bouncy crime, then la looks mega hold 9 gel then plot for 25 minutes

Apy said:

Try using egg in your hair. It worked for me.

Catherine said:

Love this post and the photos are very helpful week by week. Thank you!!! I knew I wasn't supposed to shampoo, but I didn't realize I had to give up shampoo 100%. Yeek! I will switch it up and try the products you suggested. Thank you so much!!!!!

CurlyGirlie74 said:

I have naturally curly hair which requires frequent battling in this Alabama weather. The spiral of my curls are about the width of my thumb, but are not tight, nor loose. Growing up, I looked like a human q-tip because my hair would grow out, not down. It wasn't till I had 2 relaxers put in my hair that I was actually able to have some sense of style. It seems, I have spent more money and went through more hair products than I can count. I don't want to even think of the staggering dollar amount. Curling products (shampoo, gels, etc.) frizzes my hair. So, naturally, I a stay away from such products. For years, my only product of choice was mousse. I would wet my hair in the mornings and apply mousse. This would set my hair, but had the "wet" look to it. Afterwards, during my trial and error period, I was willing to try anything. After a long and expensive search, I found a Whipped Wax defining cream (Wal-mart salon $12) an amazing and VERY convenient solution. Two pumps of the wax actually acted as a repellent to the Alabama humidity and my curls would stay defined and bouncy. I couldn't believe it. After I washed and conditioned my hair at night, I would thoroughly apply 2 pumps of the wax and let it set for about 30 minutes before I went to bed. In the morning, I would run wet fingers through my hair and let it air dry as I put on make-up and got dressed. Then, I would style it with a pick and go. Many times I would not use hairspray. If it was going to rain, I would use Garnier Ant-Humidity hair spray (slender, green, aerosol can) as an extra defense to the humidity. Like several others who posted, my curly hair dries out. I found that Dove Conditioner works best for me (the stronger the conditioner, the better). Eventually, conditioner was not enough. Currently, I am using a very intense conditioner every 2 weeks or when I notice the frizzies were coming back (not as frequent during winter). I purchased a 6.6 oz tub of Ojon Dry Recovery at Ulta for $25. Yes, this is expensive, but it has lasted for almost a year. The best investment I've made so far. I would definitely buy it again. Before I found the Ojon, I was using Hask Placenta (yes, you are reading that correctly). This came in a spray bottle that can be purchased at Sally's Beauty Supplies. The results were immediate for my dry, pine-straw hair. I hope this helps someone. I am glad to see a post for curly hair. I think we all share a mutual battle with curly hair and to share what works for me, may be the solution for someone else.

Shawna said:

I use baby shampoo every 2-3 days and once every week or two I use Ojon's damage repair or deep recovery conditioner. It makes my hair so incredibly soft and shiny! If it's humid outside (I live in Canada) I'll use some of Ojon's hair therapy oil. It's 28$ but it lasts forever and makes my hair extra glossy without looking or feeling oily or wet. And it smells nice!
Definitely recommend to anyone with thick, pouffy curls!

Mel said:

I have VERY curly hair and could never dream of not washing it . . .icky. But I don't wash every day. VERY important as curly hair is naturally dryer than straight hair. Also layers cut into your hair will help add spring to your curls instead of all on length which will weigh them down. I use a mousse specifically for curly hair, which is more light weight than gel. Most gels are made up of alcohol, which is more drying. Letting curls air dry will give you the most curl and is way less damaging and less frizz producing than a blow dryer. I straighten sometime and go curly sometimes. Straightening your hair with a flat iron once in a while isn't going to kill you curl for future curliness.

Anonymous said:

You are correct about the fact that many gels are comprised of alcohol among other ingredients, but many are not. GC method does not have any alcohol, sulfate or silicone ingredients in their products.

Shelly said:

After finding this blog accidentally, I bought the Curly Girl method book. The book convinced me to give up all products with sulfate and silicone and I started using DevaCurl products. That was about three months ago and the results are really nice. My curls have a lot more definition whereas before my hair was mainly just waves. I make the lavender spray (the recipe is in the CG book) and use that every other day to refresh my curls. One thing I want to mention is that I was using WEN products, but after reading the label carefully, I found that the products contain an ingredient which is basically a variation of silicone (anything that ends in "cone" is related to silicone). I quit using that and have seen an improvement in the texture and curl formation of my hair.

Ellie said:

Not using WEN with the CG method was a smart step, I wished I had THOUGHT again before I purchased it. WEN is a good product but just not good for curl definition and hydration.

Terri said:

Wow... I have been a curly girl for over a year now. I love the carefree way of embracing my curls and not dreading our humid South florida weather. I cant wait to try the "rake and shake". it took me about two months to figure out what worked with my curls. I still struggle with the front hairline being flat and hanging in my face. I use my sunglasses or a headband to keep it back. I occasionally -about 4 times in the past year- blow out my hair (which takes about 50 minutes and is a true shoulder work out) and it makes me appreciate the convenience of curly girl lifestyle. Thanks for your info!

Diane said:

I am definately interested in doing this. I think I'll start today. Must do some shopping, though. I have baby-fine curly hair. Most of my life I thought I had straight hair so I kept is short. Several years ago, I let it grow out. The longer it gets, the curlier and frizzier it gets. Add ANY amount of humidity (I live in the southwest, so our normal humidity is around 6%) and it gets worse. This sounds ideal for me! I do have an additional hitch in this, I have an allergy to citric any products so I now have to find haircare products that are sulfate-free, silicone-free, alchohol-free, as well as citric acid free. I think I'm going to be at the store a while today! :)

Diane said:

I'm replying to my own comment? :) Today is day 4 of my Curly Girl life and I'm SOOOOO happy! By day 2 I was getting compliments on my hair and each day gets a little faster and easier. I did find the Shea Moisture product line locally (which shocked me because this is a pretty small Target) and since they are certified organic, there's no citric acid. My hair has bounce and shine and NO frizz! I have learned that with my hair, I do have to comb it out before I go to bed. If I don't it is WAY tangled in the morning! I'm in the process of reading The Curly Girl book. Very glad that I stumbled onto this website! I'm embracing my curls and enjoying them for the first time! THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE! :)

Maggie said:

For his method you Must use Gel?

Anonymous said:

what if your hair isn't curly? will it still curl if your hair is more like a straight/barely wavy?

Kary said:

Yes it does work. Seems that I have to use some type of holding spray. Am working toward not using but right now the top of my head seems drier and doesn't hold the curl I have very thick hair and its in a short style. Layered all over. I use Curly Girl book & products but am considering the Ouidad products.

Sam said:

Hey :D I freakin' love your hair and the fact that you're sticking to your curls and the CG method:D
Your hair looks so shiny and helathy:D Your ringlets are bouncy, what else would a girl ask for? ^^
I have tight curls which don't really look like yours, but I still love them :)
I haven't started this method yet, but I wanna ask , are there some unwanted effects that might appear on the first week -maybe- ?
I have shoulder-lengh hair, and I used to blow dry it weekly, it tends to get frizzy and unmanagable, >< I hated it but I had to accept it this way .That was stupid xD And I was kind of not slef-confident.I hated those days,and I aim to start this method :D
Good luck ^^ and I hope it works :) <3 I believe that God has created us the best way we can ever look :D

Laurie said:

I love that I have found this Curly Girl page. I recently went sulfate free not because of wanting to be a Curly Girl but just to have healthier hair. Hark, I found out that I am a Curly Girl since going sulfate free. I use a cheaper version of WEN called Hair One. Hair One can be purchased at Sally Beauty Supply or online. This last bottle I purchased was around $12. I can't wait to try out the rest of the Curly Girl method to really enhance my curls.


Amanda said:

Awesome! Now the no shampoo I could see for a few days but not that long. Sulfates aren't good for colored hair and the lather really dries them out. So my hairdresser gave me deva curl. It's awesome! The shampoo is creamy and there are no suds to dry your hair out. It's almost like conditioner. Then there's the conditioner and you follow up with their gel. I've used a lot of mousse and creams but by the end of the day, your hair poofs out in spots. Gel is always crunchy and hard. But not this stuff. It's AMAZING. My curls are prettier than I've ever gotten them and it makes me feel beautiful. You want a lot on your hands and rub it through your ends. Once you have less on your hands, you work in into the rest of your hair. Not crunchy, or stiff, but controlled and frizz free. I'm in love and just wanted to share! Us curly girls need to stick together haha

Robyn said:

I've been doing "the curly girl method" for a couple of weeks now and found a great product line for my hair - Shea Moisture. It's at Target in the ethnic hair section and it's great. I use the sulfate free curl control shampoo about 2x week, the raw shea butter restorative conditioner and the curl & style conditioning milk to set. I don't even need gel. Smells great too! About 3x a week I just co-wash with Suave Naturals conditioner then use the conditioning milk.

Hayleigh said:

I really enjoyed reading this. I've seen the Curly Girl Method on a few different websites and had thought about trying it, but some of what it said didn't seem to make sense to me. I liked being able to see your experiences with it week by week.

I understand your dislike of abandoning shampoo altogether. I usually shampoo mine twice a week, and that seems to be enough to prevent it from getting greasy without ever drying it out. I also use a high quality conditioner (I use Organix moroccan argan oil conditioner) and focus on using it on the middle and tips of my hair, applying anything that's left after I do that to the top. I do that at the beginning of my shower and rinse it out at the end. I also do a deep-conditioning treatment twice a month.

I don't use a gel, because I don't like having crunchy curls, but have started using a texturizing putty. It's hard to find the perfect amount to use (too much leaves my hair feeling greasy), but when I mix that in with some leave-in conditioner, I find that it works well.

Adrienne said:

I also use Organix products. I use the Keratin conditioner and the argan shampoo. I also use the leave in oil. I also use Tresemme mouse for curly hair. I would like to try and wash my hair less but when I try to just put the conditioner in it, it is so hard to get ir to go through my hair without a lot of pulling. Any suggestions on how to get the conditioner to go through easier?

Monica Lynn said:

I use a wide tooth comb to distribute the conditioner. It only has like 8 teeth in the entire comb and it has a hooked handle so u can hang it in the shower. I have had it forever but I think I just got it at Walmart for a couple bucks. It works great!

Anonymous said:

I love what you're doing. I have curly hair and I think that it's great to wear it naturally. I'm a hairdresser and I've read the whole Curly Girl book. I also use Lorraine's product "DevaCurl" religiously. DevaCurl is awesome because it's a professional product, sulfate free, and especially for curly hair. Another favor to your hair would be to get it cut the curly girl way...dry. And not comb it out, but to take individual curls and trim them. So basically, your hair is a bunch of different lengths, but nobody notices because it's always curly. This method is excellent because curls "memorize" where to go and every time you brush them, they have to re-remember. I only run my fingers through my hair in the shower and them leave it. I don't even brush the gel through. And I get compliments on my hair at least once a day :) keep trying ladies!

Britta said:

Love your last pictures with the rake and shake thing- the curls look so beautiful!

Anonymous said:

I like the way your hair looks without the "Rake & Shake" method, I think you get nicer curls without it. I have very curly hair and have found that rubbing coconut oil in my hands and running it through my hair helps to eliminate frizz. Love your post, thank you.

Mika said:

Love the tips! I use natural olive oil soap (made locally in Turkey) for a "shampoo" and it makes soft bouncy curls. I love Frederick Fekkai's Glossing Cream but I can't get it in Turkey and ended up just using extra virgin olive oil: apply about a quarter-size amount onto wet hands and starting at the ends slowly scrunch up until you reach the roots. My hair is naturally baby fine but extra curly and most commercial products make it frizzy, fluffy or an afro/bouffant style. I also buy 100% pure apricot oil and use that occasionally if I don't have EEVO available. I will try the no shampoo method - in the past I've always just rinsed my hair after a sweaty/salty workout and reapplied EEVO at the ends so I'm almost there already! also for those with cowlicks... if you have a side part, try parting on the left side instead! when my hair is still damp, I apply a bit of product to the bangs, sweep them over to the side and fasten in place with a bobby pin - adjusting the pin slightly until dry.
Off Topic: Extra virgin olive oil is also (btw) excellent for your skin! I use it every night as a cleanser and face cream. As a cleanser: apply to DRY face with DRY hands and rub in a circular motion, then splash your face with warm water - it really cleans the pores. After your face is dry, apply the EEVO in 2 very light layers - the first all over the face and then the "trouble spots" for dryness (under the eyes, laugh lines, etc) and lightly massage in. I'm 46 and my skin is still baby smooth!

Anonymous said:

I just bought and read the Curly Girl handbook--it's changed my life! I'v eonly been using the method for a few days, but I already love my new curly hair! I had curls when I was little but all the years of using sulfate shampoos left my hair bushy, frizzy, and uncooperative. I would lather it in silicone conditioners and try to blow dry it straight, never understanding why it always came out looking frizzier than before.
I've switched to using a sulfate-free product from Marc Anthony called Curl Defining Lotion, and am sticking to the conditioner I've been using for awhile, American Cream from Lush, which is natural and so leaves hair soft without becoming greasy. I did splurge for the DevaCurl spray gel, since I don't really like the crunchiness of most gels. If you are finding that your gel or other hair styling producst are leaving your hair gross and sticky like I was, make sure that you find a mousse or gel that doesn't contain alcohol. This dries hair out further and creates frizz.
In additon, read the labels on shampoos claiming to be "sulfate free"; L'Oreal for example still contains "Sulfoacetate" and I found others contained cocoasulfate or similar things!

Leslie said:

Beware, Anonymous - I was doing research on this method and thought Lush might be a great place to get natural, silicone-free conditioners. While they are indeed silicone-free, many, including American Cream, contain sulfates. I hear the Tresemme Natural Nourishing Conditioner is a great, cheap silicone and sulfate-free option!

Tiffanydbell said:

Yes! Tresemme Naturals is great. I began using the curly girl method about three months ago, and I am having great results. In fact, I have found that I do not even need gel. I use the conditioner as a gel when I wand to refresh the curls and my hair responds well. It is smoother and curlier that ever. I have gotten lots of compliments! I do need to use a light oil to seal in the moisture though.

Anonymous said:

your hair looks a lot better and less frizzy. more like salon hair vs. do it yourself. good job for hanging in there during experiment

Tonia said:

Amy (and whomever else), I use the WEN product (cleanser/conditioner all in one) from QVC and it works great for repairing split ends and my hair has grown longer than ever. It is very expensive but it lasts a long time). It also helps with curls and for me it takes away dandruff and dry scalp. But, it is called a daily wash. It makes my hair look great for a while and then it gets oily. It also does amazing things for color (like tones down brassy look). So, I use it now only once a week (or two) and use my old shampoo and conditioner in between. Everyone has complimented my hair sense I started using though.

andrea b. said:

She's not a model, that's Seanne Corne, a yoga teacher. I haven't tried this method yet.

Anonymous said:

can someone tell me how often curly hair girls should wash their hair with the conditioner? i go to the gym everyday and i am not sure it is healthy to wash it everyday.

Queen of the Universe said:

I think it depends on your preference. I would rinse after working out with just water and rub your scalp with your fingers to loosen the dirt. Then reapply your leave in conditioner. You don't really have to wash but once a week to once a month. Doing what I just described will not dry your hair and will keep your scalp clean, especially after a good sweat.

Lee said:

I have the same do you use conditioner every day? Not to "wash" it per say, but to help with tangles and dirt and such? So basically if you don't wash your scalp are you supposed to was the rest of your hair everyday?

Andrea said:

I don't know what others do...but I do wet & condition my hair almost every day. Since I work out regularly, I simply *have* to or it would be a greasy, sweaty mess. If I don't work out one day, then I may skip wetting my hair, but I'd probably wear it up instead of down & curly.

Sara said:

My friend sent this to me because I have curly hair and am a beauty addict and although I didn't read all your posts so I may be saying something another reader already has I'll go ahead and tell you that most of the drugstore brand leave in conditioners/gels are laden with silicone which leaves hair sticky and oily. If you've got the cash, I recommend using Kerastase Creme Oleo Curl Leave-In Conditioner:
Yes, it's $39 a pop, but I have tried all the major and minor leave-in conditioners, and only one eliminates frizz and leaves your hair touhable and curly. Plus I have had countless strangers tell me my hair smells amazing. They just did a promo of 20% off online, but I think it might be over. Anyway, I find after working tirelessly to tame my curls for 35 years, Kerastase is an investment that pays.
P.S. Beware of buying it anywhere but from the Kerastase USA site or a salon. Lots of fakes floating out there.

Queen of the Universe said:

This sounds but its not Curly Girl friendly. If I ever stop the cg method I may definitely try this.

Anonymous said:

Does anyone know of a mousse product that will not dry out my hair? Which brands work the best?

Natasha said:

I Like Tresseme for curly hair

Lisa Messmer said:

I use Paul Mitchell Sculoting Foam and Soft Spray and LOVE it... keeps my curls curly :)

Anonymous said:

I really like herbal essences totally twisted curl boosting mousse. I have it in strong 3 and it works really well for me. I have super think hair. And another bonus it comes with is no silicones. When you are using the curly girl method you stop using sulfate shampoo. Therefore, you cannot use silicones in your products because the only thing that removes silicone is sulfate. This may be a reason for product build up while on the method! Check your products for silicones and get products that don't contain silicones. You can get a list online of which silicones are ok and which aren't. Hope this helped! Also waterlily716 has some great videos on YouTube to help you with this method!:)

Anonymous said:

I love Aussie's Catch the Wave Mousse + Leave in Conditioner!

A-Non-Amous said:

My hair has large waves like your before picture... too short and it's straight with a "cowlick" in front. Mid-length and it's wavy. Long and it becomes less wavy due to weight. Hot dry summer and it's very loose waves to almost straight, while in our wet Seattle winters it becomes curly (and frizzy). It's also oily and NEEDS washing every other day. While I like your curls by week 6, I could never stand the oily look and feel; I can't even stand the feel of conditioner in my hair. I hate the greasy look and feel of gels. Is there a way of enhancing my curls, especially in summer heat, while still shampooing my hair? Incidentally, I try and mainly shampoo close to the scalp and just let the shampoo rinse out & thru through the rest of my hair.

Anonymous said:

your hair becomes greasy by taking the grease out everyday of stripping the oils out of your hair, your scalpp thinks sense there arent any oils in your hair anymore that it should make more, and youve trained your hair to make a lot of oils all of the time so i would go a week without using shampoo or washing it and it will stop producing so much grease if you only wash it like 2 times a week

Anonymous said:

when your hair is oily and you shampoo alot you are washing out the oil and your scalp thinks that it needs more, you need to UN train your scalp from producing all that oil, you can clean your hair with stripping it down so that your head is just producing MORE....

Rayne said:

Hi! Found your post in a google search on Curly girl. I just started and can totally relate...I miss being able to run my fingers through my hair. It feels so tangled and nappy that I keep thinking I need to wash it again. Uck! I'm hoping with time, it won't feel so bad. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Jess said:

What does the curly girl thing say about girls who are constantly in pools? if you don't use shampoo how do you get the chemicals and chlorine out of your hair?

Tiffanydbell said:

You can use baking soda to clarify your hair. It can be added to your conditioner during your wash routine. Add a small amount to your conditioner, wash, and rinse. Do a Google search to read more. It opens the cuticle of your hair, causing it to absorb more water, so be careful to rinse with cold water to close the cuticle. This also prevents frizz! Baking Soda is a far less expensive way to clean your hair. And it can be used in conjunction with CG method.

Anonymous said:

The book suggests putting a small amount of olive oil onto hair before diving in to prevent the hair shaft from opening causing excess drying.

Angel said:

Thanks soo much for this info! my daughters curls are starting to go limp... I am hoping this method will bring the life back! Thanks again!

tracey said:

Okayy i like the results butt i have straight hair & i wanna go curly SOOO Badley soo can i still use this meathod even though i have sraight hair

Amber said:

No, if you have straight hair using all the conditioner will just make your hair extremely greasy and heavy. Using products made for curly hair will not turn straight hair into curly hair.

Julie said:

I didn't read all the pages of comments but I wanted to throw in a couple things that work for me! I think we have very similar hair types and I have been done using shampoo for a few months now as well.

2 things I do differently:

Instead of leaving conditioner in, I use coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner after t-shirt drying while I scrunch. I don't even need gel (HUGE STATEMENT FOR ME) unless I'm going somewhere windy outdoors.

I use apple cider vinegar/water (3 TBLS to 1C) instead of white vinegar. I think it's more conditioning, less harsh.

Thanks again! Your pics look great :))

Lisadee said:

Thanks so very much for sharing your curly hair experience. I too am still experimenting on what routine works well for my locks, and I am getting slowly but shirley. Must run out and get the book you spoke of though!!!

PartiallyCurlyGirl said:

Try Argan Oil! My hair is more wavy than curly, but I went into sally beauty supply and asked the girl working what I could use that would smooth out my frizz without looking overly glossy(I have thinner hair so it can look oily very easily) that would boost my curls. It comes as a cream and I LOVE it. It smells great and does wonders. I usually go over the ends in the herbal essences curl gel very lightly just to add some more boost but not make it super crunchy. I shampoo regularly but I usually cycle though about 3 different products - head and shoulders ocean mineral to avoid dandruff, a clarifying shampoo for when my hair is feeling particularly dirty/heavy, and a treseme volumizer. I find that using multiple shampoos on rotation keeps my hair from adapting too much and feeling dirty or weighted down. I also condition every few days just the tips so that it doesn't weigh my thin/fine hair down. Thanks for sharing your tips!

Lisadee said:

I swtiched to Argan oil as well and love the way it brings out my curly locks! In addition using a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner has worked for me (L'Oreal)every other day, a diffuser when drying with my head upside and cupping my hair into the diffuser works wonders! I simply cannot, not wash my hair -- old habits die hard.

Anonymous said:

I used to LOVE coconut oil and used it for many years. However, when I started going to a new stylist and told her how I had a constant problem with a dry, flaky scalp, she told me that it was probably the coconut oil. I couldn't believe it but decided to experiment and stopped using it. After a few weeks of no coconut oil, I had, for the first time in eight years, a scalp that wasn't itching and flaking within two days of shampooing. Not sure what the problem was but I think she said it had to do with the oil clogging the pores in my scalp.

I also had the same success with Frizz Ease but also, unfortunately, had the same dandruff-type issues.

These days (although I long to return to the coconut oil), I use Carole's Daughter sulfate-free shampoos. I tried the Loreal brand but don't believe it is as sulfate-free as they claim because it lathers pretty easily and sulfates are what cause lathering. And for conditioner, I use my Grandmother's tried and true practice of rinsing with vinegar.

Aside from my bangs, I never blow dry my hair however I always knot it up in a bun and dry it with a bonnet cap dryer. THIS HAS BEEN A LIFE SAVER AND IS THE ONLY THING THAT HAS EVER GIVEN ME TRULY FRIZZ-LESS HAIR. A diffuser also works but it is a pain to spend so much time trying to dry thick hair and not touch it. If you touch it at all, you get frizz.

Anonymous said:


It is better if you do not apply the oils directly on your scalp but on your hair instead. Oils do tend to clog pores; cause product build up which results in dry scalp or dandruff.

What you can do though is to massage your scalp every night or as often as you so choose to assist in producing your own natural oils. That way you won't need to put oils on your scalp.

Hope this helps.

Cass said:

Great idea to photo journal your curl experiment! I have always had curly hair & have gone through phases of hating (mostly as a young teenager) & loving it. I've also spent years trying out all sorts of products.

For me I wash my hair every 3-4 days (any more often & my hair becomes too soft & fluffy); I shampoo, rinse then apply conditioner (Aussie, Dark & Lovely or Nivea Curls)& leave in while I shave, exfoliate etc. I then comb my hair through before rinsing out the rest of the conditioner.

After my shower I wrap my hair in a towel (although from reading these comments I will now be using a t-shirt!) & leave for about 10-15 mins. I then toussle out my curls with my fingers, scrunch some leave in conditioner & mousse (i don't like any gel i've ever tried) & a small bit of serum & leave to dry.

I don't tend to blow dry my hair but if I need to I always always turn my head upside down first (otherwise the blow drying causes frizz).

It is also really easy to create looser curls & beach waves from curly hair. I tie my hair back in different ways while wet & once it dry let it down, add some serum & /or hair spray & it's done. Some ideas...1, 2 & 4 tend to give a slightly straighter top that progresses into loose curls.

1. gather your hair at the nape of your neck as if you are about to tie a low pony tail, instead of securing in a band twist the hair all the way to the end & then pull up against your head & secure with a clip.

2. gather your hair at the nape of your neck as if you are about to tie a low pony tail, instead of securing in a band twist braid the hair & then secure with a band.

3. french braid your hair, tie with a small band at the end.

4. in the day i'll often pull my hair back, twist & then secure with a bull dog clip.

I think for most people with curly hair it is trial & error until you achieve a look that you like.

Anonymous said:

I have pretty curly hair and after trying a MILLION things I think John Frida Anti Frizz Dream Curls spray works perfect! its super light and doesn't make your hair crunchy or sticky. Its even perfect for second day curls or if you need a pick me up. Added bonus its also super cheap! :)

Anonymous said:

GREAT POST FOR CURLY HAIR. I went from beach wavy hair to curly curly hair when I stopped using sulphate shampoo. I get one that is sulphate free. I also use coconut oil in my hair and it makes my curls awesome :)

Anonymous said:

GREAT POST FOR CURLY HAIR. I went from beach wavy hair to curly curly hair when I stopped using sulphate shampoo. I get one that is sulphate free. I also use coconut oil in my hair and it makes my curls awesome :)

Jenn W said:

I am so thrilled to read this post on Pinterest, along with all of your replies about the various challenges and successful treatments for curly hair!

I am bi-racial and have very dry, kinky and curly hair (currently sported in an afro, thank you very much, LOL) and have had great difficulty with taming the frizz, major scalp dryness/irritation issues and maintenance of my curls.
I have been using WEN products for about 2 months now and am finding *some* help with their conditioning treatment, although I'm still having issues with my extremely dry scalp (itchy, dry and irritated) I may try that suggested combo of vinegar water for that to find relief.

And to you, Curly're curls are lovely and frame your face beautifully!

If anyone on here has more suggestions for my hair, my ears are wide open :)

Charlie said:

Have you tried Ouidad? I LOVE their products. I have super curly hair also. I'm not bi-racial, but I think my hair is :). I use Ouidad's Curl Quencher shampoo, conditioner and gel. Yes, it's a bit pricey, but I have never used anything better (and believe me, I've tried everything). But if something is able to make me actually LIKE my crazy curls, then I think it's worth it! Good luck! :)

CurlyGirl said:

I have a very oily scalp with regular dandruff, so going without shampoo doesn't work for me. But what DOES work--even in Southern humidity--is Dove Mousse--either Body&Lift or Curl&Sculpt. I love them both, though Body&Lift does tend to work a little better for me (especially in really humid weather). I use a wide tooth comb in the shower to make sure I am mostly detangled, and then when I get out I wrap my hair in a towel for about a minute so that the bulk of the drippy water is gone. Then I squeeze a health portion of mousse into my hand (size of a lemon?) and run it through my hair starting about three inches below my part. Once it's through the hair, I flip my head upside down and use the excess mousse on my hands (plus another squirt) to scrunch up my hair and make sure the ends are very moist with water and mousse. In the summer, I left this air dry and make sure to fluff my hair an hour later. In the winter, I blow dry my hair with a diffuser (curly girl's best friend:

Jessie Bairefoot said:

I use the same mousse I add a drop or two of serum ( my fav is paul mitchel skinny serum) right on top of the mousse rub hands together front and back so my hands are completely covered in the mix. really helps with the friz and keeps curls super soft. I also love organix hair products there mousse is super lightweight. all there stuff is great!

Angie said:

I can totally relate - figuring out what works is quite a journey. I found Curly Girl about a year ago when the author Lorraine Massey came to speak at a local author event. I bought a travel pack of her DevaCurl products that evening to try out, and had great results after the first use, though like you, I had to refine my process over time. I used DevaCurl products exclusively for several months, but it was a little pricey for me, so I tried some other options.

Now I use Queen Helene's Royal Curl Moisture Rich Conditioner, and Curl Shaping Creme (gel), which I can usually find at natural food stores, like Whole Foods. I haven't been able to find a replacement I like for a sulfate/phthalate/petroluem/paraben-free shampoo, so I still indulge in using the DevaCurl No-Poo. I order it through Amazon, which saves me a few bucks over buying it at Beauty Brands.

I hadn't heard of the Rake-n-Shake method - I'll have to give that a try!

Erin said:

I have curly hair, but I having been doing the same thing to it for the past 15 years and it seems to work for me. I can even get my friends who have straight/wavy hair to have some curls. I don't recommend any particular brand or product. I have had lots of success with many different shampoos, conditioner and styling products.
I never brush or comb my hair. (you should see the fluff if i do)
When I am in the shower I wash my hair first thing and put in the conditioner. This is when I get rid of my tangles. I work the conditioner through until there are none, then continue with my shower. For extra oomph I will sometimes rinse my hair out upside down...much curlier! I rinse my hair just before I get out of the shower. I use a thin towel for my hair - right now I have one of those twisty micro-fibre ones. I leave the towel on for 5-10 minutes, then shake it out a bit. If you like your hair parted a certain way this would be the time to do it. Carefully part your hair trying not to separate the curls from the way they have naturally formed. I don't always part...I just let it fall as it is. I personally use a curling mousse, but I have used sprays, creams, and gels. With your hair upside down, scrunch in your product. (Your part should stay relatively intact. Now you can choose to let it air dry and give it a good head toss to fluff up the curls when its dry or you can use a hair dryer..which I do. You have to dry your hair upside down for more curls.

Amber said:

Thanks for the info! I read the curly girls aren't supposed to wash their hair, but I have a predicament: I have "wavy" hair. This means that when I air dry, it is wavy and frizzy. When I scrunch it, it curls well. It also straightens nicely. I only have curly hair when it is shorter. Any longer and my thick hair gets pulled straight by the weight but retains frizz. Ugh.

I used to have a long pixie, which I loved. I gelled the back and straightened the front. I could spike it, wave it, sleep on it, and it was always perfect. :3 But I'm letting it grow longer again and it is finally to my shoulders. Unable to do much else than scrunch it during the annoying growing out phase, I've been looking for better ways to do my curls.

I have a sulfate free shampoo I will use. I did this once, and it really does work, but it drives me crazy!!! I love the feeling of having my hair stripped of all product. Your post has inspired me to keep up the good fight! Thanks!

Leanne said:

So happy I found this post on Pinterest! I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair for a lifetime. Like you, I would often straighten my hair a few times per week. Primarily I lived with the rule of straightening it anytime the moisture in the air wasn't to high. Then of course I would just opt for curly. I was using the line of styling products from Amway and loved the way my curls looked (and got TONS of compliments) but then I developed an allergy to gluten and had to kiss all those products goodbye. Even worse, many of the so-called great products for curls contain some form of wheat extract or oats. Last year I chemically straightened my hair for the summer (it was amazing, I can't lie. No tangles. Fast air drying time. Always looked great) but then when I went to do it again in the fall, my hair wouldn't hold the processing.

I gave this system you tested a try. First I got a haircut, then I washed and colored my hair with a protein filler (to undo the damage from chemical straightening). I followed your washing routine and loved the results. I'm not a fan of gel but I do love the Suave Mousse. I found that using KY Jelly (as per recommendation from a friend) works the best at keeping things frizz free and even enhances the bounce of my curls. I run some of it through my hair followed by the suave curl mousse and spritz on some heat protectant spray. Blow dry on low using the diffuser and in 20 minutes I have soft, dry, bouncy curls that are for 2 days at least! Definitely a great post! thanks again!

Jess said:

I really appreciate this comment! I like the premise of this challenge and maybe the "no shampoo" deal would make a difference, but I just love using mousse. Gel just doesn't look good on my hair. anyways, i am definitely going to try the ky gel and Amway products. So thanks for sharing!

LisaLouise said:

I, too, have curly hair and I have tried for years to make myself love it. Here's what I FINALLY found that works for me and my curls. My hair gets REALLY frizzy easily, so it was very hard to find something that would keep my curls. I use Hair One's Cleanser Conditioner...and you have to use a lot of it to wash your hair. If you use less, you will not wash out all your oily build up and your hair will feel greasy. Believe me, I've tried and at first I HATED it and then found out I needed to use more. After I've washed it, I use One 'n Only Argan Oil Styling Cream...I do not like the Curling Cream they have, it makes my hair frizzy and that stuff is greasy. My curls now look great and I now love my curly hair. Oh, and I've tried Hair One's Leave In Conditioning Spray...and I do not like it....made my hair lose all curl and it was beyond frizzy!!! Hope all you Curly Haired girls find something that works for you!!! =o)

Joanne said:

Great experiment.... check out

The products are great and the technique is very helpful! Look at the gallery of curly hair transformations and the how to videos!

I have been a happy customer for 3 years now. I used to have to switch up products all the time because either my hair was getting used to them or they stopped working but their Curl Keeper product is great and reactivates with water in a spray bottle so I don't have to wash my hair everyday.

My other secret is to sleep on a satin pillowcase, no more frizzy bed head!
Good luck,

Lizz said:

Agreed. It's the only product I use now. It's been so much more successful than all the other gels, leave in conditioners etc. Highly recommend it.

christie said:

My hair has been like a roller coaster ride. Following a hysterectomy it has curled more than ever. I remembered a tip from another curly time that helps with the tangled look after sleeping on curls. Mix condotioner with the water in your spray bottle. Spray it in the morning and run your fingers through it. I use herbal essence totally twisted mousse before drying part way with a dryer. I use their gel after spraying in the morning. Seems to be working. I'm been shocked at the number of people who comment and compliment. Loving my curls!

Vicky said:

I use liquid castile soap (Dr. Bronner's) to wash my curly hair. Because it is soap, not shampoo, it doesn't strip the hair of its natural oils. When I style my hair, I use a mixture of gel and mousse, then hair spray. I find that I have to then be hands-off until my hair is dry, then I can turn it upside down and shake it all out to loosen it up a bit.

Anonymous said:

I started using DevaCurl a couple years ago when I also learned how to do my curly hair correctly. After changing to no poo & conditioner I realized that my hair is no longer frizzy. I don't use any gel. I no longer wrap my hair in a towel but instead scrunch with a microfiber towel. After I've get my curls the way I want I scrunch with the towel again then scrunch with a little conditioner on my hands & let dry. After it's almost dry I turn over & shake. My hair is now the softest & frizz free than it's been since I was a kid.

Anonymous said:

Great post that all curly girls can relate too!! I'm glad to hear you tried & liked Ouidad's rake & shake method! I discovered their products over a decade ago, and use nothing else!! Any time I have ventured out and tried something else, I am disappointed and go back to the tried & true. You should consider trying them, they were life changing for me!

Anonymous said:

I have had the privelege of having two completely different hair types in one lifetime. I used to have straight, smooth hair that I still miss. Now, 8 months after chemo, I have extremely curly, frizzy hair. After reading the Curly Girl book and trying a bunch of products, I have the curly girl technique down. I use a generic WEN conditioning cleanser from Sally called Hair One for curly hair and condition with Kinky Curly Knot Today(the scent is wonerful). After blotting my wet hair with a t-shirt, I run a dime size amount of 100% pure argan oil and use a small amount of Kinky Curly Custard gel and air dry. In the morning I revive my curls with Ouidad Botanical Boost spray (a wonderful product). I have tried numerous gels and Kinky Curly Custard is definately the best for me. It is all natural. It is concentrated so one small jar will last me for a year.

Nic said:

Interesting experiment. I always want my hair curlier, but on a daily basis mine looks like yours did at Week 5 so I guess I'm doin' pretty good. My only suggestion is to try Curl CREAM instead of calms the frizz well and you don't get that overly wet look.

Melissa Oliver said:

May I also recommend They have a great shampoo that doesn't strip the oils from your hair, but helps scalp feel CLEAN! Using it, and the Curly Girl book, I love my curls for the first time in my life!

Kary said:

I just looked at Jessicurl website. Liked what I read of her products. I'm thankful for your comments. I have wavy and thick hair. Plan to try now. Am doing Curly Girl too.

Jessica said:

I've recently started my Curly girl Journey.... check it out here....

Anonymous said:

I have VERY frizzy and thick hair, and my hair is like half curly and half crimped, the way I look at it. I consider my hair "its own entity", due to how much it almost seems to break through ANY frizz pruduct I use. Let alone it's only about at my shoulders length since I cut it: ( I can honestly say I've tried EVERYTHING, except this. I'm nervous to leave my straightener, but I'm going to attempt this, possibly starting Saturday. Wish me luck!!

Joliluja said:

I just saw your post! I am happy for you. I am on the same journey as well. Please check out my blog post!

Therese said:

I am so happy I found this blog! Now I have a question for all of you! I have straight hair but my 2 year old daughter has beautiful curly hair and I have no clue what to do with it! I recently started putting some conditioner in her hair after shampooing with Aveno baby shampoo. After her bath I lightly towel dry and comb using a wide toothed comb. Just recently I starting putting Avedas be curly on after I comb it and while it is still wet which really helps with the frizzynss. Then ijust let her hair airdry and it always looks beautiful. But my question for everyone is how can I help keep the curls as she gets older? I love her hair and I don't want the curls to go away as she gets older! Any tricks or things I should avoid to help the curls stay? Please let me know if you guys have any suggestions for me! Thank you!

Anonymous said:

I'm not sure if this will help but my son has fine curly hair. After washing his hair with a sulfate free conditioner very lightly. I apply coconut oil while hair is still wet,and leave to dry naturally. This works wonders, not only does the coconut oil appear to really nourish and add shine but it also leaves it non greasy.

Grace said:

Curls don't normally go away just because a child gets older. There is no way for you to keep them,or get rid of them. Her hair type is in her DNA and if she is meant to have curls then you can only attempt to control them. Read the blog,and use the curly girl method. Teach your daughter how to make her curls look good.

Ange said:


Just wondering what the result of using your flat iron was? Did your hair bounce back the next day...or did it take a few days to recover?

Jana said:

Have you tried the Deva products....they have been great without the build-up that you talk about.

Anonymous said:

my daughter has natural curly hair and we use basically the same method. once you get your hair growing back curly it will continue to grow in spirals until you become bored and dumb and try to wear it straight for a week. We also are firm believers in Rave Hairspray and LA Looks, but also olive oil protein treatments (VO5) and the VO5 stuff your grandpa uses for frizzy days. One other thing we do (her hair is to her waist) at night she does the conditioner thing like you and uses scrunchies, sections her hair on top of her head and scruches it into balls then puts a sock over it. In the morning before she takes it down she uses a hair dryer on low to heat it up and make sure it's dry. Lastly on days when she's in a hurry and has to wash that day, scrunch it up and dry with the dryer for 5-10 minutes, then drop them carefully, flip head over put a cloth in your hand or better get one of those hot gloves for the oven and scrunch with your hand holding the dryer (with a diffuser if you have it) on low until each section is dry, spray lightly with hairspray, and then scrunch/squeeze until dry. do this for 6 months and you will have perfect tight spirals.

Emma said:

Giving up shampoo was nearly impossible for me, and as a competitive swimmer I was constantly worrying about chlorine lingering in my hair. My DevaCurl hairdresser recommended that I mix lemon juice with my conditioner once or twice a week to remove buildup from products and the pool, as well as leaving a mixture of baking soda and conditioner in my hair every other week or so. Before I discovered the DevaCurl method, my curls were frizzy and HUGE - but now they're virtually free of frizz and volume. My every-other-day routine is to "wash" my hair with drug store conditioner and leave in while I shave my legs, then rinse with COOL water to seal the cuticle. While its still soaking wet, I finger comb about a palm full of DevaCurl%20One%20Condition&url=search-alias%3Daps">DevaCurl One Condition and another palm full of DevaCurl Arc Angel clear gel through my hair. You can also finish up with a quarter-sized amount of light oil if your hair is dry. This may seem like a ton of product, but its the sheer volume that makes the difference between frizzy and bouncy, shiny curls. Blot your hair will paper towels or an old t-shirt (a regular towel take out too much moisture and leads to "fuzzy" curls). Let it air dry or use a diffuser. Now, the most important step: when your hair is completely dry, use your hands to scrunch it up towards your scalp. The amount of product you used will make it very crunchy feeling, so this step eliminates that feelings. However, it won't make it frizzy or break up the curls because you used so much product! I don't know how many of you will really take the time to read or try this, but trust me -- its life changing :)

Smartladyinct said:

I read your post and found it very helpful. I have thick, curly blonde hair. However, its fine and I'm afraid the weight of all this product week after week will cause my hair to look lifeless.

Sk said:

It's trial an error until you get it the way you like.

Micah said:

I used The Curly Girl Handbook for probably 5 years. My hair was much better than it had been through high school and college, but then I found Ouidad  ( How you wash and condition your hair if very similar to the Curly Girl Method, but how you finish/style your hair is completely different. I used the product for close to two years before there was a Ouidad certified hairstylist in my area. The carve and slice cut along with a professional demonstration of the Rake and Shake styling method CHANGED my hair's life. It has never looked better! I get compliments every time I'm out. There is something about curly hair that makes complete strangers want to touch it. It's very strange, but I just have to remember that it's a compliment, I think. Definitely check it out!

Anonymous said:

I have extremely curly hair, and my curls are very defined, what I learend...the hard way was to wash my hair first thing in the morning, I use very little shampoo and rinse very well then a ton of conditioner and, this sounds silly, I was my hair upside down running my fingers through with the conditioner to get the knots out, then let is sit (not upside down, you may get dizzy) and finish the rest of my shower, I then rinse (upside down) and don't touch,I shake my head real hard to get my curls to separate while my hair is still sopping wet I scrunch in

Biolage gelee

and then scrunch with towel to get extra moisture out. I then flip may hair back and don't touch until dry (frizz) and voila, curly, crunchy free hair. I am going to try going with out shampoo and see how much more defined it gets. Thanks for the post!

April said:

Love the post. I have naturally curly as well. I never ever blow dry my curls. If I find that I am in a rush and need my hair dry then I turn on the heat in car and turn the vents so they are pointed at my head. I have tried many products to control frizz. The product that I find maintains the shape of my curls and controls frizz is Aveda's Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade. Plus it doesn't have the stiffness of a gel. I put it on my hair once I have towel dried it and brushed out the knots (so many knots). I turn my head upside down. I put the pomade on the tips of my fingers/palm and individually wrap the curls around my fingers. Once I have do all my curls then scrunch.

Anonymous said:

Try DIVACURL products its the BEST product line for curls!

Anonymous said:

This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your experiment. My sister has recently switched to washing her hair with baking soda and not using shampoo as well. I may have to give it a try! Your hair is beautiful, btw! :)

Elolynn said:

I was just wondering if this works for a relaxed wave hair? I recently choppoed 14 inches to donate to Locks of Love and how now lots my wavey hair! :( I would love to bring it back to life!

Kary said:

I too have wavy short hair. I've been on the mission to use the Curly Girl method. It's always evolving! Still don't have it down to a science yet! I've always blown my hair dry & used the Chi iron. But now am trying the naturally wavy look. My hairdresser still uses the sulphate shampoos & alcohol mousse though. Salon sells the Deva Curl products so I'm going to ask her to use them when I go. I've also looked into the website but have not seen their videos on short hair with layers. Any help would be appreciated!

Dana said:

I'm also working on my curls - thanks for the post and comments.

And your inspiration photo is of Seane Corn - she's a well-known yoga instructor. I've been in one workshop with her and she was fantastic, and obviously also has amazing hair.

Anonymous said:

You NEED to go to!! There is an entire community of us curly girls there. You can read about different methods and products and good heat protectant stuff for your hair for when you do decide to use heat to style. That way, you aren't putting silicones back in your hair... :)

VC said:

I have ridiculously long thick curly hair. I also swear by LA Looks and have been using it for 10 years now. BUT I only use a very small amount of gel, because I use Tresemme mousse - the flawless curls extra hold. I do my hair starting from the bottom up, in sections, putting mousse in each section. Once I have pretty much lathered it, then I go back over sections with a little bit of gel - helps with the frizzyness. Using mousse - particularly Tresmme (it is the best hands down) - gives my hair a softer feel yet very defined look without the gel crunchy feeling. Then I set my hair with a small amount of hairspray. I find the cheaper, most generic, hair sprays works the best. Lastly I diffuse my hair, upside down (it adds volume) for about 10 mins. And then I, hair spray or mousse, any fly away or frizzy hair, and finish blow drying without the diffuser. Finishing without the diffuser gives a more natural look, you know, not perfectly perfect curls and adds volume for a more fierce look.

I only wash my hair 2-3 time a week. I know it sounds terrible, but it's not. I style it like this and then leave it alone, every morning I don't wash I re-style with a spritz water bottle to reactivate the hair product already in my hair and hair spray and do like a quick 5 mins of blow drying to re-set the look. I get compliments and request on how I do my hair practically every day. And I really don't spend that much time on it. If you have curly hair try this, I promise it will work.

If I was on a stranded island I would only need bottles of water and Tresemme to survive.

I hope this helps someone! :)

christine said:

just reading your comments, i am laughing because it sounds like i wrote it....tresemme flawless curls is hands down the best product for curly hair and perfect curls...great post!

Alexa said:

I, too, have very curly hair. I have found that gel actually doesn't work well, as many gel-based products contain alcohol. I think Tigi's Curls Rock is by far the best product for curly hair... but make sure not to use too much as it may leave your hair greasy. As far as straightening my hair, I actually will deep condition (the 3 min Aussie deep conditioner is great!) my hair on those days instead, as it will take more of a beating.

Michelle P. said:

I've had naturally CURLY hair since I was 13 (puberty is a mysterious thing) but I've noticed my hair goes through phases of being wavy vs curly. I did a LOT of research looking for a truly sulfate free shampoo and found that there are honestly only about 3 of them out there and that a lot of the products that say they are sulfate free really aren't. Including the sulfate shampoos from Loreal...they contain sulfoacetate which is a sulfate. Just consider that if it starts with sul...and ends in's not good for the hair.

I thought I would share the products that I have found to be totally natural and curly hair safe/friendly. I use Hugo Naturals Vanilla and Sweet Orange Shampoo (truly no sulfates only a lot of extracts, oils and a little bit of glycerin to make this shampoo). I only shampoo every third evening as well (pony tails are my friend on day three). I do not use conditioner...instead after shampooing I use Pooka Pure and Simple Nectar Hair Oil and Treatment. I scrunch a very small amount into my hair as soon as I rinse the shampoo out then I gently squeeze the excess water from my hair and then use a towel or tshirt to wrap my hair in. The heat from your hair after the shower will work nearly like a hot oil treatment on the curls. I release the hair then after 20 minutes of drying or so and then scrunch with fingers and air dry from there. You want to be careful to not use anything with alcohol in it as it can actually dry the hair out more. Most gels have alcohol in them. If you are willing to try something else...I highly recommend these. I found both of the items at our Whole Foods market and the great thing about their company is if you don't like the products after using them, return to Whole Foods for a refund.

I get tons of compliments any time I fix my hair curly and oddly have people asking to touch it because it comes out looking so silky and soft.

JenniferC said:

Wow, quite a transformation! I've struggled with finding the right products for my curls since junior high. A fellow curly gave me that book a few years back. We both went shampoo free. I found a couple of good conditioners and styling products and was happy for a while. Then I moved to another state and the change in water and stress really did a number on my hair, it was very dried out. I did some more reading online and found that silicone and other kinds of "cones" in hair products was bad too. I switched to Jessicurl products and have really liked them! The deep conditioner is especially good! If you're still getting itchy scalp and flaking, you could be using something that isn't agreeing with your body, either irritation or over drying. Thanks for posting your experiment, it was interesting to see!

Callie said:

Can I just say Thank you for finally someone having an awesome curly hair blog post! It was nice to read about someone who has hair just like mine but needed some help because the normal process just isn't cutting it anymore!
Thank You!

ruth said:

I saw your blog post on Pinterest, and I had to comment. I've tried this method too and it does work great. I am really interested in some of those scalp treatments! I haven't seen those before! Most people I know with curly hair who follow this have beautiful curls. And I swear I'm not a spam person, but my sister-in-law created these cute curling cloths just for people who follow the curly girl method and they're so cute and they work very well. They look a heck of a lot better than having wet t-shirts in the bathroom too! Her curling cloth company is called "Curls Like Us" and I HIGHLY recommend them.

I think when you're not shampooing it feels worse than it looks and it just takes some getting used to. Your curls look totally defined and beautiful and not at all crunchy! I say, keep it up!

Robyn said:

It took me 30 years to stop fighting my curl and just let it be. When I fight it, it gets angry! LOL I'm 41 now, and here's what has helped me the last 10+ years:

• sleep on a satin pillow case: cotton dries out your hair but satin doesn't
• I do shampoo once or twice a week, but otherwise just condition--basically following the method you describe (combing while conditioner is still in my hair, with a wide tooth comb)
• I apply gel when my hair is still dripping wet, then scrunch, then wrap in a MICROFIBER towel

I think your curls are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your experiment.

Em said:

Someone may have mentioned this already, but buying a simple chlorine filtering shower head at Lowes worked wonders for my curls and for the rest of my body! No more lotion after shaving, my skin (and hair) are much softer and healthier.

Shelly said:

I've been no-poo for about a year, I have no issues running my fingers through my hair. In fact, it's hard for me NOT to,because my curls are so soft and smooth. You mention at the beginning to go "cold turkey" pretty much immediately, but that's not true. I'm wondering if this is why you had issues with greasiness and buildup.

The first thing you're supposed to do is a final wash with the shampoo. The reason is because most people wash with sulfate shampoo and use silicone-based conditioner to put back the stuff the sulfates stripped away. The bad thing is, the only way you can remove the silicones (and thus, the potential buildup) is by using sulfate shampoo, thus beginning a cycle.

So you wash one final time with the sulfate shampoo, and DO NOT use the silicone based conditioner. It sounds like you didn't do that. (basically, because if you didn't, you'd have the issues you mentioned: greasiness,itchy scalp, "dandruff" that's not really dandruff, because you didn't get rid of the 'cones)

You also might want to go to YouTube and look up some videos on "plopping", which makes the "squeezing out the water" issue dead-easy. I never squeeze out water...curly hair LOVES moisture. I retain as much as I can by plopping.

Hope that helps!

MommyofaCurlieGirlie said:

What a difference 6 weeks made! I'm thinking about buying this book. I'm not the one with curly hair, it's always been as straight as a board. My 4 year daughter, however, is a different story. I have no clue what products to use on her hair or what I can use. She has beautiful curly hair, but it gets frizzy & tangled easily. I try to only shampoo it every other day. Someone suggested noodlehead? Any feedback would be great!

Lori Hodges said:

Try using WEN conditioning shampoo. When I want to wear my hair curly, I use WEN, comb out while in shower and do not comb again. Hair is cleaned, conditioned and curly.

Terra said:

You would LOVE LOVE LOVE WEN.... It is all you are looking for and more! I will never use shampoo again, I've used WEN for over a year... my curls came back, that I didn't even know I had! So I totally agree with you, NO shampoo! EVER! lol Your hair is gorgeous!

Anonymous said:

Excellent tutorial. I would add: Yes, sulfates are bad for curls, but there are several sulfate-free shampoos out there. Look for one for curly hair. And get a diffuser with 'fingers'. That will save you all the scrunching. Your hair look beautiful! :) I didn't read all of the posts (my 1.5 year old is tugging on my pant leg as I type) but wanted to make sure you knew about the curly hair shampoos available! I use TiGi's. It used to be called Foxy Curls and they've changed it... I think it's HiDef curls now. Thanks! : )

Kelly said:

Since my hair is wavy I wonder if the curly girl method would give my curls more bounce...I've got really oily hair (and if I wear my bangs anywhere near my face they are awful by the end of the day), so I've toyed with the idea of not washing for a few weeks to try to let my oil level balance out but I just don't know if I could do it!

Jazzy J said:

I didn't get a chance to read all the posts on the site. But I did want to add my two cents in. :) I have wavy hair, not curly. However, I've always idolized the girl in the Michael Jackson video, The Way You Make Me Feel, for her beautiful curly hair. Anyhow, I experimented in high school and found that using gel and hairspray with a diffuser works best in making my hair super curly. Now, I typically spray gel evenly into my hair and spray with a little hairspray before diffusing. When dry, I scrunch it with a little water and add a little more gel and hairspray. Especially on the sections that didn't get enough product before. I like doing it twice because I noticed it makes my hair pretty curly. I typically don't wash it for a few days but revamp it up by scrunching with water and adding a little more gel. I straighten my hair in between and found that it doesn't really affect my curl. I think it's because the diffuser really helps in bringing out or creating a curl. Anyhow, I hope this helps someone. I've been doing this for so many years now and think it's a pretty effective method. Enjoy!

Annie said:

I have incredibly thick, curly, and frizzy hair. It's a disaster zone most days. When it's super short, the curls work no matter what. But now I am growing it longer and it gets very frizzy about half way through my day. Excited to try out some of your methods!

Barb said:

So I also have REALLY curly hair and am addicted to my flat iron. But owning the curls is something that I have to do all summer long due to the humidity as well. I have done some research on different styling products that are paraben, silicone, and dye free. (These are the things that destroy curls!) I used to spend TONS of money on salon products. Then Garnier Frutis saved my wallet. They have an entire line of earth/wallet friendly products that are designed for curly hair. I swear by their styling cream. It leaves my curls bouncy, soft and most importantly NOT CRUNCHY! There is no product build-up because it doesn't have the parabens or silicone.
I shampoo my hair every other day. I use a brush, flat iron and blow dryer. Though when I scrunch in the curl cream into to wet hair you would never guess the torture that my hair goes through. I figure if we are going to rock the curls we were given we might as well do it as gently to our head and the environment as possible.

Jo said:

I loved reading about your experiment. I am 44 and have very very curly hair, which I fought for way too long. Turns out my hubby likes wild curly hair, and the straightening gets old....though with some of the new products and the flat iron, it is nice to run my fingers through it after all of these years....I even did bioionic straighhtening for a was straight! even out of the shower....however, what on earth do you do with straight hair? so i am back to the curls, frequent trimming of the ends, and good hair products. I would love to try this method. thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiment!

Anonymous said:

You are right in the statement that Sulfates in your shampoos are not good for curly hair, but there are sulfate FREE shampoos that are amazing and ideal for curly hair.

Your curls did improve in the pictures, but but you saying you had itchy scalps and your head felt icky, that is because conditioners are oils, and they over produce when you apply them directly to the scalp.

I would defiantly recommend trying a sulfate free shampoo. If you're still doing this process try it maybe once a week, once ever two weeks. I can guarantee that you will feel an improvement in your scalp and hair.

-a Paul Mitchell Hairstylist, and a girl with lots of natural curls of her own.

cubanita28 said:

Thanks for the great advice. I ]have curly hair and it always seems to e dry. Would you recommend that I only wash it every other day using a sulfate free shampoo? Also, do you recommend mousse or gel? Thanks.

Amanda said:

I found the curly girl book about six or seven years ago and had a similar shocked reaction about no shampoo and I'm selective about whom I tell that to since some people have given me REALLY funny looks, including my husband. I do think your curls look GREAT. I am anti-flat iron for many of the same reasons as the Curly Girl book, but also just don't want to take the time. :)

This was great info and I thank you for sharing your experiment!


Kira =] said:

I found the Curly Girl method 2 years ago and it helped me to cultivate and love my curls. I did all the recipes in the book and the lavender spray is essential! However, I live in Lower Alabama and fight humidity and nasty sweat daily and found I was having to do more and more maintenance to keep them frizz free and clean.

At that time I stumbled upon Mixed Chicks. Their shampoo is good, but I use a different one that I personally prefer. I love how silky and thick the deep conditioner feels. But the one item I can't live without is the leave-in conditioner. Works much better than the LA gel did (also the best one I found with the Curly Girl program). My hair isn't crunchy at all and my kids can run their hands through my hair without it getting tangled.

I still use some of the tips from Curly Girl- lavender mist & drying my hair with an old t-shirt. Somedays though I just can't leave my hair down because of our plans for the day. And that's why I love Mixed Chicks- it allowed me to have gorgeous curls when it works for me.

Sharon said:

Hi - LOVE your curls!!! Another great product line to try for beautiful curls is MOP TOP "unruly haircare"... A good friend of mine happens to be the creator, and she has gorgeous curls (you'll see her pics on the site, and I think she just started selling it on amazon too).

Rachelle said:

Fantastic post - your hair looks great!! I have been doing the curly girl method for about a year, and HANDS DOWN, Deva Curl products work the best with this method. I have tried almost every product out there, and since switching to Deva Curl, my hair has never looked or felt better. They have a "no-poo" shampoo that really cleans your scalp, and does not leave it feeling itchy or greasy. It is soooo worth the money to give these products a try. Thanks for posting!!

Jenn said:

LA Looks is the only way to go! I have incredibly curly hair and LA Looks is a KEY component to keeping it tame. I had never heard of this book, but found your post on Pinterest. I am definitely going to look into it, my curls have been disappointing me lately! Thank you for this great experiment!

Mel the Crafty Scientist said:

I'm so crazy impressed that you actually did this for 6 weeks! I think I would have gone absolutely crazy not being able to shampoo or run my fingers through it... I love my naturally curly hair sometimes and wish it would look better, but I'm not sure I can handle that intense process! : )

-Mel the Crafty Scientist

Ashley @ Design Build Love said:

OMG! This post is hilarious! I have naturally curly hair and almost never straighten it (but I love running my fingers through it when I do), so I will definitely have to look into this book. BUT, I've had amazing results with Tigi "Curls Rock" cream. It is the absolute ONLY product I use on my hair. My hair is never frizzy and never dry. For shampoo/conditioner, I use the Dove Moisturizing line. Hair stylists always comment on the health of my hair... but I've also never dyed my hair either... that helps!

Honestly, you're results are absolutely stunning! Your curls look so soft and beautiful! Rock on curly girl!

JennH said:

Hi :) I ran across this post on Tip Junkie. I too live in Alabama (Mobile) and have curly hair that I straighten or throw up into what I like to call a doodoo ball. The humidity makes it impossible to wear my hair straight some days so I definitely feel your pain. I love that you did this experiment. And you are so brave to go cold turkey off shampoo.

Laura said:

Enjoyed reading about your experiment! I have curly hair too and have sworn by Ouidad products and her "rake and shake" method. In the past I tried not using shampoo but found the build-up on my scalp to be unbearable. I have also tried the Deva products but found it made my curl crunchy and a bit 80s-ish looking. Good luck on your curl-journey and congrats for embracing the natural you!

Meli said:

Wow, your hair looks great! I will suggest a softer approach to LA Looks. Try Kinky Curly....Knot Today. It is a leave in conditioner and detangler in one.!!!!

Chelsea @ two twenty one said:

Great post! Your hair looks amazing! Good for you for sticking to it and not shampooing your hair (that would drive me nuts). I have naturally curly hair, too. I'm tempted to try this to see if my curls would turn out differently. Right now I wash my hair every 2-3 days with Paul Mitchell extra body shampoo and conditioner. I've used Redken 08 contouring lotion for 12 years (since I was 14), but they discontinued it this summer. Not gonna lie-- I'm heart broken. I've tried endless brands of gel, but Redken has always done the job for me. I'll have to try the LA Looks gel when I run out of my stash of Redken. After I put on the gel, I flip my head over, scrunch my hair, and blow dry with a diffuser. I know heat isn't the best for curly hair, but it's what I've always done. Thanks for the inspiration to try something new!

Anonymous said:

I'm a hair stylist and was incredibly disappointed to see Countour go away, Redken is notorious for discontinuing products. We've been experimenting and trying things at the salon to try and find a replacement for Contour, the closest we've gotten is Paul Mitchell's Super Sculpt. I hope that helps, good luck!

DIYbyDesign said:

I saw you featured over at Ginger Snap Crafts and had to stop by and read about your "experiment". I give you so much credit for following through with it. I have such similar hair to you and I have given up on the curl working for me. When I was in my twenties curly hair was very in and so I wore it curly and totally embraced it. That was twenty years ago and my hair is so much drier and frizzier. In fact Friday I am getting my first keratin treatment. Now I'm thinking I should try your method first. Definitely food for thought. I'd love for you to link up to my party. I bet my viewers would love to read about this as well.

Terry said:

I have always had curly hair and have used LA Looks for probably 20 years. Used to use the pink, but they quit making it so now use the blue. Another trick I learned about 2 years ago, spray hair lightly with hair spray (I use Aussie in the pump) and let air dry for about 5 minutes before drying with hair dryer. Diffusers give more curls but take too much time for me. Use regular hair dryer on high at first then use on low near end of drying to prevent frizzies. The more scrunching, the more curls!! Another mist of Aussie hair spray to set the curls.

Chris said:

I am speechless. This post is so incredible! I don't have curly hair (frizz/wave/straight is mine), but I have some friends who would pay GOOD money for this information! It's brilliant! If there was any doubt that this is working, let there be none. I think it has made an incredible difference. Thank you for sharing!

Ginger said:

Hi! Featuring YOU tonight over on my blog! This was the most viewed link at last week's {wow me} wednesday party. Thank you so much for linking up! Hope you link up this week, too! :)

Ginger @

Christy, The Simple Homemaker said:

You hair is beautiful! Love the experiment. I might have to give it a try, although I won't TOUCH gel. It clashes with the PB&J my kiddos mash into my hair.

Mindie said:

You have great hair. This makes sense why my hair is sometimes more curly then others since I don't shampoo only condition most days. Thanks for sharing at Bacon Time.

shirley said:

My hair is wavy. I am impressed with how great your curls look. I think it is they way we all think the grass is greener on the other side. Those who have curls want straight and vice versa. :) I tried the no poo method by using baking soda and apple cider vinegar, but didn't like how the baking soda made my scalp feel. I had been thinking of trying WEN, but now since I just happen to have a bottle of Suave Naturals Conditioner that someone gave to me, I think I might give it a try. Thank you for doing a week by week picture. You do have beautiful curls!

Corynne said:

I have been using the curly method for about 2 years. Love it! No - I don't run my fingers through my hair (my hair is way curlier than yours and it is very tight corkscrews so that would just make it more tangled but my growth has been exponential. I would try some of the other products people have recommended but also think about an apple cider vinegar rinse. I do one after everytime I co-wash (I use VO5 Moisture Milks conditioner to co wash) Simply mix about 3 or so tablespoons of ACV in a old cool whip container and fill the rest of the way with water to dilute. When you are finished showering, hold your head back and pour over your whole head. It will not only make your curls pop, your hair will be more shiny and the ACV will get rid of that build up you were speaking of. Baking soda is not good for you to use on your hair or scalp because it is alkaline/base and will knock your hair out of PH balance and actually dry it out. You can use either white or ACV but I use the ACV because it is less harsh and the smell only stays with you a little while - if you blow dry you will be all good. Trader Joes Nourish Spa and Giovanni products are also sulfate free and are a good alternative when you feel the need to shampoo. I also use Herbal Essence Totally Twisted as a leave in conditioner and it work great for me. I just refresh with water from a spray bottle each morning.

Debbie said:

I have exactly like yours, and I have found the BEST product! It's Paul Sebastian's Potion 9. I get the generic at Sally's (the one in the white tube with black lettering -- very generic looking). It's not as crunchy as gel and works even better. Give it a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Allison said:

I second the Sebastian Poition #9 treatment. I have wavy hair and it leaves my hair so soft and keeps the Florida humidity at bay. I used the original for years but I now use the generic from Sally's and I get the same results.

Debbie said:

WOW! I have curly hair like you...and I am currently STRUGGLING with the frizzed out (i call) "dog hair" look. Every once in a while I straighten it but THAT process is SO time consuming. I don't know if I could not shampoo my hair for 6've got me thinking though! Your hair looks awesome! If it helps make my hair look healthy again maybe I could give it a go....maybe. ;)

BTW - is that a BEARS jersey you are wearing in week 4? ;)

andiejaye said:

i LOVE your hair! kudos to you for sticking to that for 6 weeks. i would've freaked after the first few days. but your curls look sooooo amazing!! thanks so much for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday last week! hope to see you again this week!

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