Curly hair is naturally gorgeous, but there’s no denying it can be hard work. Whether you struggle with volume or frizz, curls can get out of control fast. The Curly Girl Method is the brainchild of Lorraine Massey. Her number one best-selling book, Curly Girl, champions all types of curls and how to get the best from them, and for them. Her method has been a lifesaver for those who’ve struggled with curly hair. One of the startling epiphanies she describes is realising just how bad some shampoos were for curly hair, particularly those with sulphates. Sulphates cleanse hair thoroughly, stripping each hair of the natural oils that actually help keep hair in great condition. Once you stop using these types of shampoos, hair starts to retain more moisture the natural way. This makes it softer, more manageable, and lets your natural curls shine through.

Curly Girl: The Basics

Here are the basic rules of the Curly Girl method: • No shampoos with sulphates in • No heat treatments or styling equipment • No brushes or fine combs • No styling products with silicon in • No alcohol-based treatments or products

Curly Girl Method: Step by Step

It might seem drastic to suddenly stop using shampoo, or to not brush your hair! However, our step by step guide to incorporating the Curly Girl method into your daily beauty routine will help you make sense of it all.

1. Wash Your Hair

Whilst following the Curly Girl method, you should only wash your hair once a week, unless there’s a desperate need. Before you get started on the Curly Girl method, give your hair one final wash in whatever shampoo you’ve been using. This will ensure any traces of silicon or other nasties are totally gone from your hair. Once you’ve had this final wash, throw your shampoo out! There, wasn’t that liberating? You are now well on your way to healthy, luscious, curly hair.

2. Condition Your Hair

Although shampoo is a no-no, conditioner actually really helps your curls. Wet your hair and work a moisturising conditioner into your scalp. Use your fingertips to really massage it in. This helps dislodge any dead skin and hairs, plus any dust and dirt. Rinse really well, massaging all the while. Leave in conditioners are fine, but rinse thoroughly first to get rid of dirt. Then apply the silicon-free conditioner.

3. Dry Your Hair

Do not blow dry! Heat is the enemy of curls, and a friend to frizz. If you need to detangle, do it with a wide tooth comb while hair is still wet. This helps to avoid broken hair. Then pat or scrunch dry, or if you have time, simply air dry. For longer hair, “plop” your hair into a towel or old t-shirt and clip it so the hair is completely covered. Leave for 15 minutes or so, and your hair will be nicely scrunched and touch dry.

4. Style Your Hair

If you are planning to use a product, make sure it has absolutely no silicon in. See below for a list of ingredients that help nourish your hair. You can apply gels and mousses while hair is still wet but if you decide to do this, air-drying afterwards is a must. If you’re going product free, simply flipping your hair forwards and backwards should be enough to bring your curls to life. Style anyway you like, as long as there’s no heat involved.

5. Trim Hair Regularly

The Curly Girl book details how to trim your hair yourself. If you’re not ready for that step, speak to your hairdresser about only taking off the split ends as and when necessary. This helps keep curls tidy and looking healthy.

Ingredients That Work With Curly Girl

• Proteins including soy, wheat and wheat germ • Panthenol • Sorbitol • Vegetable Glycerine • PVP and PVP/VA, ingredients found in some styling products • Amino acids • Aloe Vera • Shea Butter • Olive oil • Decyl polyglucose • Cocamidopropyl betaine

You Don’t Quite Have To Throw Out All Your Products!

In fact, many of them will be great for replenishing and rejuvenating your curly hair. Stay away from heated styling and over-brushing and really, anything that can damage and break your hair. Keep hair nicely moisturised, and don’t get tempted back by nice-smelling shampoos.