The Curly Girl Method

The Curly Girl Method has helped me rethink my curl care from the ground up and find the right care for my hair. As a result, my hair has more strength again and just looks healthier. Here I’ll tell you the “secret” of the Curly Girl Method (CGM) and show you how you too can get to know your hair in a new way.

Are you always asking yourself “What hair care suits me?”. I too have asked myself this question for a long time without getting an answer. I trusted the advertising, accepted every product recommendation, only to be even more desperate because my hair first became beautiful and after a few washes only drier. In this post, you’ll learn not only how to best care for your hair, but also which Curly Girl Method products are suitable for your curls.

What is the Curly Girl method?

Curly Girl Method

With the Curly Girl Method, which many also call the Curly Hair Method, you will learn in just a few steps how to take care of your natural curls or waves with the right technique and suitable products and get the best out of them. The Curly Girl Method is a grooming method originally developed by Lorraine Massey. While the method has been around in the English-speaking world for a while, I’ll show you the Curly Girl method in German here.

The Curly Girl Method Secret

The secret to beautiful hair is to get to know your hair and understand what it really needs. Your curls will grow perfectly if they have a sufficient amount of moisture and enough proteins. Hair changes, however, depending on the products you use to care for it. You can compare it with your skin, which is sometimes dry and sometimes supple, depending on the care and weather. So it all depends on how well you can read your hair. 

By the way, there is no secret recipe for the right hair care routine that is the same for everyone. My experience has shown that you do not buy THE product and then your hair grows perfectly forever. Each Curly Girl has her own grooming routine, however, you can learn a lot from others.

Get to know your curls

In order to find the right care for your hair, you should first get to know your curls properly. You can assign your “hair” to different categories – according to the hair texture. This way you can quickly illustrate to other curly girls how curly your hair is approximately. As Curly Girl hair types there are

  • Straight hair
  • Wavy hair
  • Curly hair
  • Frizzy hair

Can’t you be specific about which hair type to count yours as? Does not matter at all! I feel the same way. My hair is 3a – 3b hair, but that basically makes no difference to my choice of products. You’ll find out why in the next step.

Hair porosity

Curly Girl Method

Much more crucial is to know how porous your hair is. This means determining how open or closed your hair cuticle is. This is quite crucial to match hair care products to your hair.

You can imagine your hair like here in the picture. Above you see a hair with a closed cuticle – a little porous hair – Low Porosity. The lower hair has a permeable cuticle, a porous hair – High Porosity.

There are a few ways to find out if your hair is porous. The tear test is very practical: You take a hair in both hands and pull it apart. If the hair tears quickly, it is porous! Why it is important to know if your hair is porous? Quite simply, porous hair requires more proteins in hair care products. Learn more about hair porosity here.

Hair thickness

Hair thickness is also crucial when choosing the right care products for your natural curls. While thick hair needs rich care with oils (e.g. argan oil) and butters (e.g. shea butter), curly girls with thin hair make the best decision with non-weighting (light) products.

1. Curly Girl Method: Final Wash

To begin with, you should wash your hair with a so-called deep cleansing shampoo , which can also be a clarifying shampoo. It contains surfactants that thoroughly remove the deposits that accumulate in the hair over time (e.g. grease, care product residues, dandruff and environmental factors such as dust). This step will make your hair so “pure” that it will be more receptive to the new hair care method.

Curly Girl Method

Deep cleansing shampoo

You should repeat the shampooing with Clarifying Shampoo every few weeks, especially if your curls have been exposed to harmful influences such as chlorinated water.

All time favorite

Looks like this

Clarifying Shampoo Curly Girl Method

Bounce Curl Gentle Clarifying Shampoo

Eden Clarifying Shampoo Curly Girl Method


Kinky Curly

Bounce Curl



236 ml

236 ml

235 ml

Short description

Kinky Curly is an absolute perennial favorite among curly girl method products.

Great deep cleansing shampoo that does not dry out your hair. Also suitable for fine hair.

Price-performance ratio can be seen.

Buy here

Here I tell you more about deep cleansing shampoo.

2. Washing hair with the Curly Girl method

You can’t do anything with co-wash, no-poo and low-poo? Don’t worry, we all felt that way once. I’ll show you how to properly wash your hair using the Curly Girl method.

Curly Girl Method

Co-Wash: With the Curly Girl method, you do not clean your hair with a shampoo. Instead, from now on, wash your curls only with a conditioner – this is called co-wash. This will take some getting used to at first, because you won’t have the lather you’re used to when washing your hair. However, after a short period of getting used to it, this will quickly become a habit. Co-wash means washing with conditioner.

No-poo means you don’t use shampoo at all.

Low-Poo: If you can’t handle the co-wash at all, you can use the low-poo version of the Curly Girl method. Low-poo means that you may use a mild shampoo to wash your hair every few days. The shampoo must be mild and must not contain water-insoluble silicones. Especially if you have rather thin hair or a quickly greasy hairline, this variant is a good choice.

Now you’re probably asking, what good is that going to do you now? Don’t panic – to start your Curly Girl journey, I recommend finding the right conditioner first. I’ll tell you more about that in the next step.

Here I have written down many more tips on the subject of shampoo. My opinion: even if shampoos are not used in the original variant of the Curly Girl Method, cleansing your scalp is very important. Meanwhile, there are many great shampoos for curls that I can absolutely recommend to you. Of course, this always depends on your hair structure.

3. Detagle your hair with a conditioner for curls

First of all, look for a nourishing conditioner – that’s a conditioner – for your curls, so that your hair is detangled and provided with adequate nutrients. When choosing your conditioner, it’s important to know what your hair needs. You can find this out by using the porosity test (I showed you above) and classifying your hair by hair types. Frizzy hair usually requires much richer products than wavy hair.

Curly Girl Method – Conditioner

My recommendation

Looks like this

Curlsmith Curl Quenching Conditioning Wash

Curly girl method conditioner

Curly Girl Method Conditioner

Zotos_All about curls conditioner

Short description

One of the best Conditioner for curly hair

enthält keine Proteine
sehr ergiebig

contains proteins

Lightweight moisturizing conditioner





All about curls


355 ml

250 ml

250 ml

443 ml

Buy here

The conditioner is an important component in your care routine, with which you can moisturize your hair and also proteins. My tip: Rinse your hair with as cold water as possible after working in the conditioner. This will give your hair extra shine.

You can read more helpful tips about Curly Girl Method Conditioner here.

4. Nourishing Curls with Leave-in Conditioner, Curl Cream & co.

This step is different for many curly girls, because here you have to test what your hair likes or what it really needs, especially in the beginning. Leave in conditioners make your hair super smooth and you can comb it better. They are thus very well supplied with moisture. Be sure to check that there are no silicones, sulfates or drying alcohols. I only comb my hair (with a Denman Brush, for example) after I’ve incorporated Leave in Conditioner. The Curl Cream ensures that your curl structure is activated. So they are two complementary products, but they can quickly become too much in your hair. My tip: In order for the products to be absorbed very well into your hair, wet plopping is an absolute game changer. This reduces frizz.

I can recommend these products to you:


Looks like this

Curl Cream

Curly Girl Methode

Curly Girl Method Leave-In Conditioner

Curly Girl Methode

My opinion

This Curl Cream is very rich, so you only need a small amount.

Very good product to moisturize the curls

A very popular Curly Girl Method Leave-In Conditioner for highly porous hair.

Perfectly suited for curls that need rich care.



Mixed Chicks


Kinky Curly


237 ml

198 ml

473 ml

236 ml

Buy online

5. Styling your Curls with a Gel

After you’ve worked in the Leave In Conditioner, coat your hair with a gel. This is important to protect your hair structure and moisturize your hair. Pay attention to whether you should knead the gel into your curls if you have a lot of water in your hair or if you have already dried them with a towel. Each curly hair reacts differently in this regard.

Curly Girl Method

When you have worked the gel in generously – your hair should feel like algae – it’s called: Hands off! Let your hair dry and don’t touch it if possible. Because that can lead to frizz and we don’t want that.

I recommend this gel to you:


Looks like this

Boucleme Super Hold Styler Haargel

Innersense I Create Hold

The Curly Girl MethodThe Curly Girl Method

Curly Girl Method

Curly Girl Methode





As I Am

Eco Style


250 ml

295 ml

236 ml

227 ml
710 ml
My opinion

This hair gel does not bear its name for nothing. It provides strong hold.

A great hair gel without proteins that gives a good hold.

Very good hair gel without proteins. It does not weigh down.

Light styling gel with wheat protein and aloe vera.

This gel is very thick and perfect for dry curls. Very good value for money!

Laura von Loving Curls
My recommendation for starting your journey

Curly Girl Methode Products

I know the desire for beautiful curls all too well – after all, I myself once started with the Curly Girl Method. And you know what I was missing? Someone to take me by the hand and tell me what “initial equipment” I really need. Little by little I then used Curly Girl Method products which were really useful and “game changers”. So that you already know what is really useful, I have written down my product recommendations for curly heads in the following post.

Oh, by the way – whether you call this healthy form of hair care the Curly Girl Method or the Curly Hair Method: It’s important to me that you learn to understand your curls – your Curly Hair – the way I do. It just makes you happy and satisfied when the hair no longer looks straw-like, but falls soft and well-groomed. And by the way, it’s just terrific to see how the curls really curl.

How to do the Curly Girl Method

The Curly Girl method is not witchcraft. You can learn it in just a few steps. Read here how to get started with the new hair care method step by step.

All the steps of the Curly Hair Method can be quite irritating at first, but once you get to know it and tailor it to your hair, it will quickly become much easier – I promise! Here I tell you the steps in the overview. After that I will present each step of the Curly Girl method in detail.

  1. Analyze your hair: you should know how porous and thick your hair is. This is crucial for the choice of care and styling products.
  2. Final Wash: Use a strong shampoo to remove hair residue (buid-up) and prepare your curls for the new, healthy hair care.
  3. Shampoo or Co-Wash. Depending on what the analysis of your hair revealed, wash your hair with a mild shampoo, a co-wash or quite possibly you can skip this step.
  4. Now comes the conditioner, which closes the cuticle of your curls and makes them easier to detangle. At this stage, you can gently comb or brush and detangle your curls.
  5. A leave-in conditioner provides your hair especially in moisture. Depending on what your hair needs, you can also knead a curl cream into your curls to enhance your curls. In this step, you should wet your hair very strongly with water.
  6. You want to make your curls last? For this, you use a hair gel or curling mousse.
  7. The best way to dry your hair is with a microfiber towel and air dry. Alternatively, you can dry your curls with a blow dryer with diffuser.

My tip for you: Take before and after photos at the beginning of the Curly Girl method. I can assure you that you will see really great results in no time!

FAQ about the Curly Girl Method

Here I answer the most frequently asked questions about the Curly Girl Method.

What is the Curly Girl method?

The Curly Girl method is a hair care method that gently cares for your natural curls and activates the curl structure through the appropriate ingredients in the care products.

What are the steps of the Curly Girl Method?

The steps of the original Curly Girl Method are:

  1. Final Wash (with a deep cleansing shampoo).
  2. Co-Wash (with a conditioner)
  3. Styling (with gel)
  4. Air dry

However, you should adapt these to the needs of your hair. This means that I definitely recommend you take the necessary care such as hair conditioner, leave-in conditioner and curl cream to provide your curls with the important care they need. Don’t be afraid to deviate from the original Curly Girl Method photm if this is the right way for your hair.

What products are suitable for the Curly Girl method?

The products that are suitable for the Curly Girl method are those that do not contain dehydrating alcohols, water-insoluble silicones and harmful sulfates. Above you will find an overview of the most popular products, in my individual posts about shampoo, conditioner, curl cream, leave-in conditioner and hair gel as well as curling mousse you will find many more Curly Girl Method products.

How long does the Curly Girl method take?

As you change your hair care, you apply the Curly Hair Method indefinitely. However, the changeover phase may take some time. The hair will have to get used to the new hair care and you will get to know and understand what your curls need and how they react to certain products. All of this can take a few weeks. Please do not despair at this stage. The changeover is quite normal.

Why doesn’t the Curly Girl method work?

There are many different reasons why the method does not work for you. Because there are many very different reasons, I’ve written it all down for you in my post about Curly Girl Method mistakes – with tips on how to fix them. My tip: Many curlies with curly hair complain of frizz – this is because there is too little moisture in the hair.

Is the Curly Girl method harmful?

No, the Curly Girl Method is not harmful, because you avoid the ingredients that are rather harmful for curls. In addition, this method will help you become much more familiar with your hair care ingredients and learn how your hair and scalp react to certain products. Since you also avoid heat with the method, it’s very gentle on curly hair.

How should I start with the Curly Girl Method?

I recommend you analyze your hair first so you know what to look for in hair care. For this I can recommend my hair care test, with which you can quickly assess your curls yourself. After that, you should choose the products that suit your hair. For starters, the most common are conditioner, leave-in conditioner, curl cream as well as hair gel. A hair mask is also a useful purchase to provide your hair with all the necessary nutrients. By the way, with my 30 Day Curl Challenge I show you all the requirements, how to also analyze your existing products and see if the ingredients are suitable.

What does Co Washing mean?

Co Wash is the abbreviation for Conditioner Washing. This means that you clean your curls exclusively with conditioner and not with shampoo. This method was developed so that already dry curls are not additionally dried out by the use of a shampoo. By the way, there are also co wash conditioners that contain some mild cleansing ingredients. But be careful: co-washing is not recommended for everyone, because you need to manually loosen the dirt that accumulates from your scalp by massaging it sufficiently, otherwise it can cause scalp irritation.

Profilbild Laura
About the author

I've been a curly girl since I was little. 💝 But it wasn't until I discovered the right curl care for me that I learned to understand my curls. I'm happy to pass all this on to you - so that you too can learn to love your curls.

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