Easy ways to start the Curly Girl Method

Thinking of starting the Curly Girl Method but feeling a little overwhelmed? Well, so was I. But if you have wavy, curly or kinky hair, it might be very well worth to try it out anyway. So here are some tips that helped me to simplify the method and get better hair without having to spend lots of time, energy, and money.

picture of some curly girl friendly products with the text "easy ways to start the curly girl method"

1. Don’t try the entire method at once

When you first come across the method you may feel as if you need to immediately change your entire hair care routine or you’re doing it wrong. Maybe you think you have to throw out all your old products, run to the store and buy everything that other curlies recommend. However, it’s much easier to change your routine if you do it step by step. Start with the things that are easy to incorporate into your life. For example, the first things I did were using a microfiber towel because I already had one lying around anyway and stop brushing my hair dry. I’d been doing that for a few months before I started researching the method more thoroughly and decided to buy new products too.

2. Figure out your hair type

Okay, I gotta admit, at first this takes a lot of time. Hair type, hair porosity, hair density, hair thickness, hair elasticity… it is a lot to figure out and honestly, I’m personally still not entirely sure of my density and thickness. But at the end of the day, having a general idea of where your hair falls within these categories will save you a lot of time and money. You can immediately buy products that will probably work for you instead of having to go through a long process of trial and error. Of course it might still take some time to find the products that work for you – but at least it gives you a starting point. My hair, for instance, is low porosity and protein sensitive, so I know to be careful with proteins and avoid products that are too heavy and won’t get absorbed by my hair.

3. Stick to one simple routine

I’ve noticed there are plenty of curly people who use at least 10 products every time they wash their hair… and then have the same results I do using only leave-in conditioner. This kind of relates to the step by step thing I mentioned before – but it’s much, much easier to incorporate products one by one and see what they do for your hair. It’s probably best to start out with one cleanser, one conditioner and one styling product. The routine that I often find recommended for beginners is co-wash, condition and then use gel, but you can easily use a (sulfate-free) shampoo instead if you prefer that or start out with a curl cream or mousse instead of a gel, or even only leave-in conditioner. Once you find a simple routine that you like, you can always start experimenting with more and/or other products to see if they give even better results.

4. Tweak the method to your personal needs

I think the most important thing when using the Curly Girl Method is finding a routine that works for you rather than sticking to some sort of rulebook. If you find your hair likes sulfates or silicones every now and then: go for it. If you don’t have the time or energy to spend an hour on your hair every time you wash it: then don’t. My personal current go-to routine is washing it with a mild sulfate shampoo and then leaving most of my conditioner in my hair after detangling it, and most days my curls look great! Could they be less frizzy and even more defined? Probably, but this is what currently works best for me on a day to day basis. It’s the easiest way to give me the results I want. Some days I have the energy to put in more effort, but most days, I don’t. And that’s fine. You don’t have to prioritize your hair over everything. Just take the parts of the method that work for you and your life, and skip the rest.


5 thoughts on “Easy ways to start the Curly Girl Method

  1. This is really heartening! I’ve just started to CGM (wavy more than curly hair, doing it to have less dry hair rather than curls) and I’ve been having a bit of trouble because I have CFS/ME. The bit that gets me is when people say you need to use low-poo shampoo or conditioner and really massage/scrub your scalp for 5 minutes. I’ve noticed that my arms and hands are tired after a wash day! It’s worse with cowashing but even low-poo shampoos don’t always lather very well so it requires more elbow grease than a sulfate shampoo. I’m still trying to find a system that works for me, but it’s interesting to hear that you still use a low-sulfate shampoo. How do you know it’s more gentle? Was that just trial and error or do you know from looking at the ingredients? Thanks for the post!


    1. I have ME/CFS as well so I totally get the arms getting tired thing! I use a shampoo with sodium coco sulfate, which is a little milder than SLS and SLES. For hair that’s on the wavier side using sulfates every now and then is usually better than just co-washing anyway, because wavy hair isn’t as dry.


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