Home Curly Hair Routine How to get started with the Curly Girl Method

How to get started with the Curly Girl Method

by Chelsea Castonguay
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Starting any new hair care routine can be feel daunting, but that anxiety often escalates when it's the Curly Girl Method. Many curly girls find themselves overwhelmed by the CGM, but it's not too hard! Here's how to get started with the Curly Girl Method. Give these suggestions a try, and let us know if it helps you get started on your CGM journey.

How to get started with the Curly Girl Method

Ditch old products:

This part can be painful, especially if you've invested time and money in your products, but you need to only use CGM approved products to get started. In particular, ditch all products containing sulfates, silicones, drying alcohols, parabens, or mineral oils. However, hang onto one shampoo with sulfates for step 2.

After this, you'll need to replace your products with Curly Girl Method approved products. This will ensure that once you get started, you'll have all the products you'll need.

Sulfate wash:

After today, you're going to be giving up sulfate shampoos, so enjoy this last lathery scrub! Wash your curls really well with a sulfate shampoo. Take time to scrub your scalp, and allow the shampoo to rinse through your curls to cleanse this. This allows you to start the CGM with a clean slate and product-free curls.


After washing your curls with the sulfate shampoo, you're going to do your very first cowash. This gentle cleanser is conditioner based, so it softly cleanses curls without removing oils or moisture. You won't need a lot, but use enough to give your curls a good wash. Going forward, this is what you'll use to cleanse your curls.


After cowashing, make sure you rinse your curls completely using a warm water, but not hot. Hot can damage your curls, so try to avoid blasting your strands with very hot water. Give yourself a palmful of a moisturizing conditioner, and apply it throughout your strands. Focus on the midshaft down, and make sure all your strands are completely covered. Allow it to sit for a few moments, and then use the slip created by the shampoo to detangle, using your fingertips.

After you've conditioned, rinse and gently squeeze out excess moisture to prepare your curls for product.

Product application:

First, apply a leave in conditioner throughout your strands. This will help bring back any moisture lost during the cleansing process, and will help minimize frizz. Do this by separating your hair into 2-4 sections (more depending on how much hair you have) and spritz the product into your hair. You want a light coverage without dousing your curls.

Next, apply a curl defining cream to the palm of your hands, and smooth into curls. Then, scrunch upwards, so the curl is evenly covered with curls, and the curls will form.

While some curly girls tend to skip gel, this is an essential piece of this puzzle. Gel will hold your curls in place. Continue to work with your curls in sections, and apply the gel by smoothing it through your strands. Scrunch upwards to let your curls get fully covered.

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