Frequently asked questions on the curly girl method with all of the answers
I get so many questions on the Curly girl method and how to look after curly hair so I thought I would do some questions and answers on the curly girl method. Some of the most frequently asked questions are really simple. I will update more questions on the curly girl method as I come across them. Most people know the basics no silicone, sulphates or heavy oils and waxes and if you have read the Curly girl book you are on to a good start.
Remember it is not all about the perfect product it is about looking after your hair and keeping it moisturised and happy see my other top tips on looking after curly hair here.
What are your top curly girl method products and essentials for starting out?
If you are starting out on the curly girl method try some budget products such as Cheap drugstore, chemist products or local supermarket products are perfect for starting out. Here are the top 5 essentials for starting the curly girl method and some suggestions.
You will need;
A Deep Conditioner
You could try Garnier hair food
A conditioner to use as a co-wash and or leave in conditioner.
You could try an Organics shop conditioner or a Superdrug extracts. This is one of my favourites.
A Lo poo shampoo
Such as the new version of Johnsons baby Shampoo.
A gel or a mousse for styling
Such as VO5 wet look gel or Pantene mousse
A micro fibre towel or old T shirt.
What recommendations of low poo’s please?
You do not necessarily need a lather to clean your hair these detergents cling to your hair remove dirt. A Low poo shampoo is a curly girl approved shampoo which has gentle cleansers in it rather than harsh sulphates that strip your hair. Low poos have less of a lather and a Co -wash which is a conditioner wash will have none but will gently cleanse your hair. Here are some examples of Low poo shampoos.
Shea moisture frizz defense shampoo. Gently cleanses without stripping.
The Johnson’s baby range of shampoos.
What is a cast?
A cast is the slightly crunchy feeling from product on your hair when dry. The crunchiness of a cast holds the curl, you create a cast by using a hair mousse, Gel or a curling custard. Not all products will create a cast some will be softer.
Do I have to have a cast on my hair?
Not everyones hair will need a cast. Lighter finer hair may benefit form less product weighing it down. You can experiment with a mousse or a gel gradually increasing amounts as it is all about trail an error.
If you don’t like the crunchy feel you can use something like a taming curl cream. Some curl gels don’t go crunchy either.
How do I remove a cast from my hair when doing the curly girl method?
To make your hair soft again gently scrunch your hair once it is fully dry with a t shirt or your hands. You can use a bit of light oil such as Righteous Roots Rx 4fl. Some people use a little bit of aloe vera gel or even lube!
If you don’t like the crunchy feel you can use something like a taming cream.
Can you sleep in a cast?
You can dry your curly hair and sleep in cast. This is a great way of preserving your hair over night and scrunching out the crunch in the morning.
Read this How to get a cast post here!
Can I go swimming with the curly girl method? If so how can i look after my hair?
You can go swimming when doing the curly girl method but the chlorine will dry out your hair. To help keep your hair moisturised saturate your hair with clean fresh water first. You can then put conditioner on your hair too before you swim. This will let less bad chemicals in to your hair such as chlorine and salts. After swimming rinse your hair in clean water co wash and deep condition and style as normal.
How do I check the porosity of my hair? Porosity tips don’t panic!
Do you really need to do a porosity test? and what is hair porosity?
If your hair is dry, coloured, permed, straightened, or in bad condition it is going to be porous.
Wavy hair in good condition will most likely curl easier as the cuticles are closed. Hair that is porous or over processed will be drier and not hold a curl as well. That’s not to say you won’t have good curls eventually.
Fine hair can be porous and thick hair can be porous it is normally a result of damage to the cuticle from colouring your hair, blowdrying your hair or using harsh products.
Use these tips to distinguish what your hair porosity is like and choose products accordingly.
The cuticle is the top layer of the hair strand which is formed of scales covering the hair shaft. A flat smooth cuticle means low porosity and is good. A raised rough cuticle means it is porous as the scales are sticking up.
To test your hair porosity take a few strands of hair and run your fingertips from POINT to ROOT ( against the scales) to see if feels rough.
Porous hair and the curly girl method
If your cuticle is rough is is most likely porous. Porous hair will soak up water quickly and absorb it like a sponge ( you may feel this when it is wet, it will feel “fat” compared to the rest of the hair ) Being porous also means as the cuticle is open and raised it will also lose the moisture just a quick.
High porosity or porous hair will need more deep conditioning with possibly slightly thicker treatments such as Shea butter or Olaplex ( olaplex is a bond repairer )
Low porosity hair is the opposite, The cuticles are smooth and closed thus not needing as much moisture. Your hair may have more shine but also look greasier. You may not need to use as much product or heavy products as they may sit on your hair and weigh it down.
My hair is low porosity roots and high porosity ends I have 2a to 3a curls which dry out on the ends over time causing it to go straighter. When my high porosity ends are freshly done the moisture helps it to curl.
How much product do I use for the curly girl method?
This is a bit easier to distinguish when you know how dry your hair is. If your hair is greasy or weighed down you may use less. It is totally trial and error.
Take a look at my before and after tips for how I changed my product accordingly.
I have curly hair how do I manage it?
Try the curly girl method! take a look at my quick start guide for more more information
Is it ok to sleep on your curly hair?
When you are doing the curly girl method it is best to sleep with your curls up in a scrunchy satin hair band. This will stop the top layer and the curls going frizzy. You can also try sleeping on a satin pillow to help stop frizzyness. If your hair is very long you may benefit from sleeping with your hair covered completely in a hair buff.
In what order should I wash/treat hair?
It really y is no different to styling your hair normally when doing the curly girl method it is wash condition and style.
If you feel like you want to Low Poo if your hair is particularly greasy do this first or Co wash to clean. Deep conditioner is next or a normal curl safe conditioner. Finally style with mousse, gel or curl cream.
How often should I treat or deep condition my hair?
Curl need moisture it is recommended to deep condition your hair once a week if you are doing the curly girl method. If you only wash your hair once a week you may get away with doing this every other week.
How frequently should I wash my hair when doing the curly girl method?
Wash your hair when you feel you need it. If it is greasy wash your hair or it feels particularly dry. Your hair will transition and adjust to less harsh sulphates being used. Your scalp will start to produce less sebum and your hair will become less greasy over time so you can adjust your hair washes accordingly.
How long should I plop for?
You can plop for as long as you want. If you plop with product on your hair may start to dry in a strange shape so maybe only for 10 minutes. If you are plopping with a leave in conditioner you could leave it wrapped up for much longer. Experiment with plopping your hair.
Should I squeeze the water out of my hair or leave it dripping wet?
This is total preference, some people create a great curl result from more water and moisture. I personally apply to not soaking wet hair and squeeze out access water with a towel or t shirt. If you soak up more water it will take less time to dry.
If I’m having a bad hair day and don’t have time to wash can I put it up?
Yes of course, keep your curls up and off your face with something soft such as scrunchy band or even a scarf or bandana.
If I get caught without a microfibre towel/products and have to wash my hair normally will it take it all back to square 1?
No using a normal towel may cause a bit more frizz. Gently smooth some conditioner or product with flat hands on your hair to reduce this.
For more tips take a look at my fellow curly girl friends tips here.
Sunday 19th of July 2020
Question.. I don’t go out much so when I wash or cowash should I always style as well? Or just style when needed?
Tuesday 21st of July 2020
Of course there is no need to add product if you do not need it. If you are at home the best thing would be to use some nice conditioner and even leave it to dry. The idea is to get your hair in as best possible condition to enable it to curl. So the less you fiddle with it and dry it out the better. You may want to use a curl cream to hold the style if you wish to stop a bit of frizz.
Tuesday 16th of June 2020
I’ve stumbled across your blog and I’ve already started the method but I wanted to ask a few questions If you wouldn’t mind.
So my hair is very greasy, almost greasy the day after I’ve washed it. Will I be able to slowly wean off washing every other day to maybe every 3/4 days with the method? Should I be opting for low-poo or cowashing? My hair is high porosity.
My hair is also very fine, so it holds curls really well but can look very messy and frizzy if I don’t sleep in a bonnet overnight. What I’m wondering is can I use a spritz of water and a leave in conditioner/ additional styling products like the Cantu Custard to tame it in the mornings when I wake up? Alternatively can I wet my entire head in the shower and then start the whole process over again, no shampoo or conditioner, just water and styling products?
Would really appreciate some advice on my new curly girl journey!
Wednesday 17th of June 2020
Hi, Yes your hair will gradually get less greasy as your hair produces less sebum to counteract for the drying. I would use a combination of co washing and lo poo then gradually decrease the lo poo. For refreshing absolutely your hair will love a little bit of water and conditioner to tame your hair. You can do either but you may find wetting your hair down a little bit will activate the product again and be just enough. Good luck with your curl journey
Friday 8th of May 2020
Is it necessary to apply product every time you wash your hair? On days when I am not leaving the house I don't need to do my hair and do not like to hair product in my hair if not necessary.
Tuesday 12th of May 2020
Of course, if you hair is conditioned its fine. You curls won't last as long but will be perfectly healthy.
Wednesday 5th of February 2020
I am fairly new to the curly girl method. I found your Q&A very helpful . Thank you.
Saturday 19th of September 2020
I just started the curly girl method within the past couple of weeks. I am struggling to create casting on my hair. I have extremely long and thick hair. I don’t know if I am not using enough product, too much, or what! My hair feels almost tacky/ waxy and get frizzy quickly. Any tips or tricks you can recommend?
Friday 7th of February 2020
That’s lovely to hear! Thank you 😊 good luck on your curl journey