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Curly Girl Method before and after photos and tips

My latest curly girl method results before and after with wavy hair


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My Curly Girl Method before and after transformation has been a journey of trial and error with good curly days and bad. I have learnt alot along the way about my wavy hair curls and how much moisture it really needs.

So you see people having really good curly hair evolution with their hair in just a few weeks. When you try for the first time your hair is stringy and greasy. Is following the curly girl method really worth it?

With that said I thought I would do an update to my original post with some tips on the curly girl method, my favourite curly girl approved products and my most recent curly girl method pictures. As you can see the change can be quite dramatic. Remember don’t give up with the curly girl method every curl is a good curl!

This is my personal experience with the Curly girl Method!

What is the no silicone method for curly hair called?

So what is the silicone free method of curling your hair? It is the Curly girl method that was founded originally by Lorraine Massey. The curly girl method is a way of managing your curly hair using natural products that are not full of chemicals that will build up or dry your hair.

If you have frizz and want to know how to manage curly hair take a look at my original curly girl quick start guide here.

You can then refer back to this as hopefully it will make more sense.

In this postal I be showing you my curly girl before and after photos which show you just what you can achieve with natural waves or curls. My hair improves with every wash day and I am sure I will go on to achieve more healthier natural curls in the future. The important thing with following the curly girl routine is do not give up, some days your hair may not play ball others you will love it. No two wash days are the same.

Some before and after pictures

These curly girl method before and after pictures show my hair before I started and now. My hair was brushed and left to dry in the first curly girl before photo. The second curly hair picture is my hair using my favourite products (listed below) 10 months into the process.

From begining to end curly girl method before and after picture

The process of learning the curly girl routine.

Before doing the curly girl method I used to use regular shampoo and conditioner, I also used to clarify with a clarifying shampoo ( I am a hairdresser and I used to notice my hair blowdrying not as well at times and feeling thick so I clarified regulary. However I was not treating my hair as kindly as I do now. Before doing CGM I got my hair cut every 6 to 8 weeks and used lots of colour treatments.

Below is my very first before picture of my wavy hair and again about 6 months in. In the second photo my hair was in need of a good cut but it was improving gradually. My hair had started to get a curl memory and many curls were forming straight back to where they had been before the wash.

Have a hair cut!

It is essential to get a good hair cut before starting curly girl, especially if you have over processed hair. I started by getting good trim of at least a couple of inches and taking my layers shorter. I have found that as my hair has improved I have not needed it cut as often. My ends are not splitting as much as when I was blowdrying they are not being brushed or combed dry or even ironed with straighteners. Therefore the condition has greatly improved. I could go a bit shorter to remove the colour damage but at the moment I am happy with it.

curly girl method before and after 1 year

Some of the things I have learnt along the way.

I have turned a corner with my curls and achieve much more good days than bad. My curly girl method before was often stringy and not shiny. My hair also didn’t last very long until it needed washing again. There are a few things I’ve changed whilst doing the wavy girl method and a few things I’ve stuck with.

Product application for the curly girl method.

I use less product now most of my problems were too much conditioner. Never apply conditioner to my root area ( in fact I never really have ) I still brush though my conditioner with a wet brush or a Denman brush when in the shower. Plopping still helps me massively and I do it before I apply gel and rarely after.

Things to bear in mind, lots of products cause build up even if they are natural. Too much coconut can be quite heavy and can also coat your hair and harden on your hair which in turn can cause buildup. My hair likes coconut but I don’t use it all the time. If your hair is light and in good condition and not porous try to use less coconut and shea butter.

Try changing one product at a time so you can see how your hair reacts to it. It is also not about pricey products you can pick up products for as little as 80 pence! You can see my UK chemist curly girl products in this post here.

This is my hair dry 1 month in and moisturised 9 months in.

curly girl method 6 months in wavy hair

Do not give up on Cowashing!

I stopped cowashing for a while as my hair was greasy.  So I shampooed again, my hair thought “oh I need more sebum its dry” My hair got greasy again. Let your natural oils adjust, gently extend the  washes for co washing your hair will get used to it. I now go days before I need a wash in fact I normally wash because my hair needs the opposite moisture! I still use a lo poo shampoo when I feel it is heavy.

See the guide on the Co washing and the transition phase here

No micro fibre towel? dont panic!

It is not all about product ,some times it is about less product and how you style your hair. 

I have often hopped out of the shower and either wanted to take a lot of moisture out of my hair for a fast dry or simply didn’t have my towel handy. Do not panic, your hair will not automatically revert back to a frizz ball it can always be rectified. You can use a water spray with leave in conditioner and a Denman brush to rectify your frizzy ends. You can also smooth a little bit of curl cream though with wet hands and scrunch again. Your hair will be drier at the root and most likely dry quicker too as its not so saturated. Never rub your towel in your hair though and bear in mind that everybody’s hair is different.

I use both methods of saturating and scrunching in conditioner and sometimes using less water and product. I do get different results but I make sure the top section is smooth before scrunching to prevent  frizz.

Sleep well!

One thing I always do is pineapple my hair at night using a soft scrunchies hair band. This stops it all separating and frizzing up when I sleep. You can also use a silk pillowcase as this can help with frizz too.

Colouring hair when you do the curly girl method

Now I did think at one point I would quit colouring it but unfortunately those pesky greys have started to grow. I now am more aware of my hairs condition and try to cut it back slightly so as not to take out all the good effort I’ve put in with the cgm method. About one inch of my root is coloured and I leave it as long as possible between colours. I only colour the top section and around the hairline as I do not have grey underneath. The colour I put on is a close match to my own therefore it last longer before I see roots.

This time I did tone my ends with a Wella colour fresh toner that contains no peroxide however this does not last long. You can use a purple conditioner which will gently neutralise any gold tones in your hair and there are some that are cgm friendly such as Pro voke touch of silver colour care conditioner for blonde hair.

After rinsing out my colour I like to get rid of as much of the silicone as possible and I shampoo this out. I used a sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate shampoo which is no more drying than what a colour eventually does to your hair. I always immediately after colouring do an intensive conditioner.

Dont give up, these photos of the curly girl method prove it can be achieved.

Remember dont give up with the curly girl method. You can see in my wavy hair before and after pictures it can be achieved. I have never had curly hair I had what hairdresser call a kink! I have ringlets now!

The curly girl method is not a cult it does not need to be hard and is only a recommendation of how to look after your hair. If you one day use a product that has silicone in it by mistake it won’t hurt. The main thing is you are aware and you are looking after your hair.

Most of the wavy hair method is technique and results can differ depending on your hair type. Hair that is light will curl easier hair that is dry will need extra moisture to curl.

My favourite products I am using right now

I buy almost all of my products from UK stores other than the odd bit from Amazon. I have some products that I have purchased in the US but they are more expensive to buy in the UK. Some curly girl products I was using before I still use now but in moderation.

I often get good results from using all of the same brand together at once such as Only Curls or As I am.

I still chop and change and try new things, as you can tell on my blog. These ones below give my thick wavy multi porosity type hair plenty of moisture and a good degree of hold.


Co wash,  As I am Co-wash conditioner is still my favourite but the Co-wash by Keracare is close second.

Shampoo, Shea Moisture clarifying shampoo leaves my hair crispy clean as does Cantu curl cleansing shampoo.

ConditionerAvocado and honey organic conditioner, is super moisturising ( each one is different and I also use it as a leave in) As I am leave in conditioner is marvellous and smells amazing!

Favourite styling creamsCantu curl moisturiser (the most tiny amount) Noughty taming creamOnly curls cream

Favourite deep treatments, Shea moisture shea butter deep treatment mask

Favourite gels; Fave cheap gel VO5 wet look gel, Cantu curling custard can be heavy on fine hair,  Biologe raw gel ( like curl custard ) is fantastic but pricier. Only Curls gel is amazing and also not drying this can be an expensive option especially if you use quite a bit. As I am smoothing gel is great too and and not too hard.

Extensive UK product list

Curly girl method Co Wash and transitioning, curly hair. You may find the curly girl method is not working for you or your scalp may be itching. In this guide to Co washing we will cover all the questions that regularly arise about the Curly Girl Method Co washing and transitioning phase.
My hair now!

Thank you for reading my Curly Girl Method before and after photos and tips I hope you enjoy your curly girl journey.

Take a look at my Curly Girl archives here!

D x


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  1. Hi, I’m still in my first week of cgm and my hair feels very dirty after just 2 days. I’m assuming it’s both the transition and using too much product. You mention that you plop before you add gel – what difference have you found this makes? And how long do you plop for?!
    Thank you for this site – it has been so valuable as I’ve started this process..

    1. Hi there,

      I find that plopping before gel removes some of the crunch and also defines my curls more. Plopping also reduces air drying time, so i am not commuting to work with soaking wet hair

        1. Hi! I have wavy hair that is layered and I am wondering why my bottom layers are part curly at the top and the bottom have is stick straight. How can I fix this?

  2. Hi D

    I’m just at week 3 of the journey and I am currently a 2b waves with long highlighted blond hair.

    Can you tell me which shampoo you use and if there are any other option after colouring/or what you’d recommend following highlights with bleach.

    1. Hi, I really like the cantu cleansing shampoo as clarifying shampoo. Noughty is a good lo poo. But for co washing the As I am is really moisturising and will be kinder to coloure3d hair. Bleach is quite damaging to hair and curls the best thing you can do it to do plenty of deep conditioning treatments. If you find roots greasy just apply to mid lengths and ends x

      1. Thank you just spotted your reply. I’ve decided to go longer between highlight and try to only have them done two maybe three times a year as I really want to look after my hair.
        I’ve tried the silk cap at night once and have silk pillow cases. How do you pineapple your hair please?
        Thanks D xx

  3. Can I ask how you style your fringe please? 🙂

    I’m used to a full fringe and not sure I’m willing to give it up!

  4. Hi

    I have wavy hair and as I progress with the cgm ringlets are appearing and stronger waves. I would class my hair as fine/medium.

    I would love advice on how often to use a lo poo shampoo and how often to clarify? and which products you find the best?

    my current routine is as i am co wash, garnier banana hair food to condition then pantene curl mousse.

    look forward to your reply, thanks ever so much

    1. I would try and alternate lo poo with cowashing. Maybe clarify once a month to start with. It really is trial an error and be guided by your how your hair feels.I alternate between co wash and Lo poo. I do not not put conditioner on roots either. Your hair may start to not curl as much so I would clarify then. If your hair is fine and wavy I would steer clear of heavy butters and oils which to looks like you are doing. Good luck

  5. Hi,

    I am only just starting on my curly girl journey, i have pretty healthy hair as I rarely use any heat to dry or curl/straighten my hair. I am finding that m hair is very dry and frizzy but greasy at the roots do you have any tips?

    I am currently using the Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex 10 in 1 shampoo and conditioner to wash my hair.

    I am applying the Shea Moisture Raw Shea & Cupuacu Frizz Defense Gel Cream whilst my hair wet.

    I then plop my hair for 30 minutes before letting my hair air dry.

    1. Hi, the more you wash your hair the more sebum your scalp will produce. May be try laving it longer inbetween washes. When you wash, wash at least twice. Maybe try alternating with co washing. That way your scalp will get used to not having to produce so much sebum. It will take a while to change. Do not apply your deep conditioner or conditioner to the root area. Good luck

  6. Hi there, have you come across anyone who has had a semi permanent keratin (Straightening) treatment and still had success with the CG method? I did a keratin treatment which has really dried out my hair and flattened my curls which I’m hoping is temporary. Any tips for me just starting out with the method? Also do you use clips or use your fingers to coil/curl your hair or does it naturally curl like that?


    1. Hi, unfortunately you may not have much luck until it grows out. Even though it is semi permanent you may not get your natural curl result. A good trim (when we are allowed) and deep treatments to get it in better condition in the mean time. Finger coiling may help too. I sometimes coil mine but roughly. I dont use clips x

  7. Hey, can I ask what you changed to get your hair to become shiny? I’ve been doing CGM for nearly 6 months now and my hair looks like your mid-way pictures! I’ve tried all sorts and I just think I’m doomed to having non-shiny hair that everyone else seems to get on their first week in CGM! I’m wondering if it’s over-moisturized and I should try a rice water rinse and stop conditioning?!

    1. Hi I find smoothing it through with a wet brush when applying products works for me although not strictly curly girl. I find canti curl custard is a good one for shine as well

  8. Hi there,
    how do you dry your hair?
    I have wavy hair (when wet) but the curls hold only at the back of my head. On top the hair turns straight.
    Help, how should I dry my hair?

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