If you are one of us who has been blessed with curly hair then unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most likely heard about the Curly Girl Method. This method was originally conceived by hairdresser and fellow Curly Girl Lorraine Massey & the first edition released in print in 2001. 20 years on, this now world famous book is considered a ‘how-to bible’ on how to get your best curls ever.
As you can imagine though, a lot has changed in 20 years since the original Curly Girl Method was released, and even since the second edition was printed in 2010. And so after much research, trial, error & personal horrors, we present to you the Nourished Curly Girl Method:
Step 1: Avoid heat
Stop frying your curls with your blow-dryer and straightening iron. Heat to curly hair is like kryptonite to Superman, it takes away all of its powers leaving it dry and frizzy! Instead let your hair air dry (ideally without wind, fingers and brushes!), scrunching occasionally with a soft bamboo towel or t-shirt to ensure the hair retains moisture to assist with the curl formation. Alternatively you can use a diffuser with the hairdryer set to low/cool. We also recommend keeping your shower luke-warm when washing your hair to maintain your curl formation.
Step 2: Low Poo
The traditional Curly Girl Method called for all Shampoo to be thrown in the rubbish, and all sulfates were to be avoided as they can be harsh and act similarly to detergents, thus stripping the hair of its natural oils. But as hair formulations have become more and more sophisticated over the past 20 years, we have learnt that not all sulfates act as harsh detergents and some can actually be quite beneficial, when combined with the right formulation.
The Nourished Curly Girl Method recommends a No-Poo OR Low-Poo approach. Sulfates are the ingredients in shampoo that allow the product to foam and lather. The benefits of using mild, natural sulfates in a clean shampoo formulation, rather than no sulfates are improved foaming capability giving a more satisfying wash along with improved gentle yet effective cleansing of the hair roots & scalp. Read more about the benefits of natural sulfates in shampoo here.
And so rather than looking for a completely sulfate-free shampoo, we advise avoiding the most common harsh detergent-like sulfates used in shampoo: sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium laureth sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. These sulfates will strip the hair of their natural oils, damaging the hair cuticle and allowing a loss of essential moisture and lipids, leading to frizz & poorly defined curls.
Our go-to low-poo shampoo:
Some more no-poo alternatives:
Step 3: Condition, Condition, Condition - just make sure it’s silicone-free
In order to get frizz-free, defined curls, hair needs three primary things: Moisture, Lipids and Protein.
And this is where Conditioner comes in. A good natural conditioner will deliver moisture, lipids and some will even deliver proteins. Ingredients to look for include vegetable oils like broccoli & avocado oil, nut oils, shea butter, vitamin E, wheat protein, panthenol & argan oil. Slathering your locks with conditioner on a regular basis helps to restore the hair's structural health, allowing it to return to its glorious curly state once more.
NOTE: your conditioner MUST be free from silicones. These microplastics are often included in conventional conditioner formulations as they coat the hair, making it shiny and smooth. Unfortunately these silicones literally suffocate the hair shaft, depriving them of the ability to absorb their essential moisture, protein and lipids which over time results in limp, flat and fluffy hair.
Curly Girl Friendly - Silicone Free Conditioners:
Step 4: Avoid Brushing
Brushing and combing the hair can interfere with the natural curl pattern of the hair, especially when the hair is dry. The most curl-friendly way to brush is with your fingers, when hair is wet and drenched with conditioner. For those of us for whom finger brushing just doesn’t cut it, we suggest using a brush or comb with sparse bristles so as to minimise the interference to the curl formation, and brush only when hair is wet and conditioned. Oh, and don’t mind the loose hairs! Some daily hair loss is completely normal and is part of the process of getting healthy hair.
Step 5: Extra special treatment
For some of us who have abused our curls over the years with straightening irons, blow-dryers, keratin treatments & products containing silicones & harsh sulfates, our hair will need a little extra TLC to restore it back to its Boticelli curly status. That’s where extra moisture, lipids & proteins come in. If this sounds like you we know that the following treatments will help your hair & your curls back to life:
Nourished x Romy Luxurious Hair + Scalp Treatment Oil
Sans [ceuticals] pH + Shine Corrector
Sans [ceuticals] Moisture + Protein Infusion
Step 6: Reduce wash frequency
As your hair is becoming healthier and your curls are returning to their glory status, you will want to start reducing the amount you wash and instead focus on conditioning, or co-washing as it is also known. There is simply no better way to increase the space between washes than using Dry Shampoo. This miracle product remedies greasy roots in a flash whilst giving your hair volume and styling power. It is a product that every Curly Girl simply must have in their bathroom. Our long term love affair with Dry Shampoo led to us creating what we believe is the very best on the planet: the Nourished x Romy Dry Shampoo + Styling Powder + Scalp Treatment, a multifunctional miracle in a bottle!
Remember that being born with curls is a blessing and one that privilege in turn, requires a little bit of effort and TLC in return. As you become a pro at mastering your curls, this process will become easy and enjoyable and the compliments you receive daily will make it totally worthwhile.
Want to explore our entire range of natural hair care? Explore our clean hair care collection here.