AJ's Corner / Ask A.J. / Random / The 'Do

The ‘Do: What Exactly Is The ‘Curly Girl Method’?

So, I initially began the new sub-category as a way of both fielding some hair questions and asking a few myself. I don’t claim to be this all-knowing and all-powerful kinky hair guru. That’s not me. I am not able to elaborate on everything that exists in the ‘hair universe’ as there is a lot of unknown stuff -like A LOT- but I can share what I’ve learned so far and how certain topics pertain to myself.

Some of the questions I got emailed to me (yes, I answer and respond to my emails) were run of the mill.

Why don’t you post some pics?” 

I don’t post because I don’t feel like it…plus that defeats the whole ‘identity’ thing. And just because I don’t share them doesn’t mean I don’t have them. I dunno, maybe when I have reached a legitimate milestone like one year in, I’ll post a slide show.

“Why don’t you do style tutorials?”

Well, besides general twist outs and my version of a wash and go, I’m not doing anything that spectacular.

And of course, “are you going to do product reviews?”

My answer, I can if that’s what you guys want but it would be, once again, who it pertains to my own hair. I’m not as skilled as some other naturals who take care of other naturals hair, I’m just not on that level.

But let’s start with the question for today: “What exactly is the curly girl method?”


Since I suck at explaining things I’m going to go with the Wikihow definition: “The curly girl method (also referred to as “no-poo”) is based on the book “Curly Girl” by Lorraine Massey. The nickname “no-poo” alludes to not using a sulfate shampoo, because sulfates tend to strip the hair of its natural oils. Once you take away the sulfates, your hair can retain its natural moisture.”

Since shampoos contain harsh, drying sulfates that are extremely damaging for curly hair (ammonium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc.),  many girls go without shampooing period, as it can strip the hair of moisture. Moisture is pretty much essential to any natural person, but especially so if you have a thicker grade of hair. In exchange, they take up “co-washing”, the practice of washing your hair with conditioner in place of shampoo.

While this can increase the amount of moisture your hair can retain, there is a catch. If you choose to forgo the use of sulfates (which are found in most budget-friendly market shampoos), you must also let go of using silicones. Silicones are present in most mainstream conditioners –keep in mind that in order to “co-wash”, you are using conditioner– and work to make the hair shaft slick and shiny. Though it sounds pretty good, know that the silicones provide a coating that keeps moisture (i.e. water, the best and cheapest moisturizer) from getting to the hair. And it causes that really gross, gunky build-up feeling on your scalp after a while.

I, instead, implemented my own “modified” version of the curly girl method. You know why? Because there is just something about not washing my hair with shampoo ever again that doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t know if it’s because the things that happen to me over the course of a week (intense sweating, product build up, and overall dryness) or it’s in the way I was raised. So I co-wash weekly and clarify once a month.

Sounds simple, right?

Nope. Shampoo wash days are a large, sometimes 24hr., undertaking. I “pre-poo” with an oil, like olive or coconut oil, but if I’m being lazy, I will use old faithful Garnier Fructis Marvelous Oils (I know shameless plug) and let it marinate for an hour. Then, I wash it out with Shea Moisture shampoo, which is free of sulfates and other horrifying things that are too scary to remember and repeat with oil and an awesome deep conditioner.

And that’s it.

No more, no less really.


Did this help? What do you guys do to help tame your tresses? Share and comment below?


Image(s): www.simplybritany.comwww.rainydaybooks.com


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