Why The Curly Girl Method is Outdated

Updated: 2 days ago

There are many roads to good hair, and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Different stylists and bloggers have different motivations for presenting you certain methods, so I’m going to break down why I don’t support the CG method as the bible, because it's not.

Straight Up CG - the original curly girl method, started by Lorraine Massey, the original creator of Devacurl. This method lives on in Facebook groups and has taken on a new life with consumers who purchase salon and drugstore products that are free of sulfates, silicones, and apply no heat to their hair. This method can work for many, but it was way too strict and didn't even yield the best results for most of my clients.

This method is good to understand as far as the theory behind it, but I never followed it or recommended to my clients to follow it to the letter.

When this method was originated, it was was based on not adding silicone to the hair, as silicone can build up on the hair and actually end up blocking the hair from absorbing moisture, and not using sulfates, which can dry the hair and cause a variety of other issues.

While this makes sense, there are also several - now TONS of silicone alternatives that absolutely ARE water soluble, will offer slip and glide to the hair to make detangling easier. And, omg, they might even end in "cone" on the ingredient list. GUESS WHAT? That's ok!

The curly girl method also says no heat, which is primarily meant to mean tension and high heat from blowdrying and straightening, but guess what? There are tons of curlies who absolutely will not get the same results they love from their curls without diffusing them. There are silicone free, non buildup causing products out there now that can protect the hair from heat all without comprimising it.

What prompted me to say “meh” to strict Curly Girl Method? Because, for one, I started using Ouidad almost a year before I even knew what Devacurl or the Curly Girl method was, and my clients were already getting fantastic results, especially from the styling products. When I introduced Devacurl, many of my clients made the switch to No Poo, but continued using the Ouidad styling products, which contained water soluble silicones, and their results got even better. Remember, this was….about 2010, it was no poo or bust at the time, even the Ouidad shampoos had sulfates in them! Granted, “gentler” on, but still straight up sulfates.

Over the years I saw literally hundreds of women in my chair who were following a straight CG method and had dull curly with buildup not only on their hair but scalp as well. This is why I can’t stress enough EVERYTHING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. EVERY METHOD DOESN’T WORK FOR EVERYONE. And guess what, that’s ok! Just beware of anyone that tells you it’s the ONLY way to good hair, because trust me, IT’S NOT.

It’s not a bad place to start for some people, and understanding the theory behind it can be helpful, The Curly Girl Handbook used to be my “start by reading this and then make an appointment” response to the “help me with my curls” dm’s from people I didn’t know.

Everyone has different hair, water, may be taking different medications, has a different diet, hormones, stress levels, and just plain has a different life from the next person, so to preach one blanket method what I was seeing so many different women, curl types and textures, daily routines, etc. seemed absurd - and it still does.

What actually angered me was something I saw way too often. Clients in my chair, who had spent a ton of time and money researching online about different methods, that were doing what they really thought was best and still weren’t getting results. Even sometimes those who followed other stylists who preached from a pulpit of absolute “this way or no way” which also doesn’t really help everyone. It’s a big reason why I preach from the pulpit of “do whatever works for you and who cares what anyone else says.”

Less than optimal results from “absolute” advice were:

Buildup from oils and butters that were not silicone, but were not also even CLOSE to water soluble.

Scalp damage, irritation and hair loss from not properly cleansing the scalp - no silicones or sulfates doesn't mean don’t wash your freaking hair.

More bad hair days than good, and generally being unhappy with the results.

I hate to say that “all natural” is an agenda, because it comes from a place of love, usually, from most people, but it never worked for me and it never worked for most of my clients. SURE, a few products were great, and there were some that fully embraced the entire philosophy for various reasons, all of which I support. However, everything is not for everyone. Some people literally don’t care what the ingredients are, as long as they work, some people can have massive allergic reactions to things that are 100% organic and all natural, so again, if you're into the all natural method, YOU DO YOU, BOO BOO! I support you!

What I don’t support is anyone who tries to make another person feel like shit about a method they’re using, that’s working for them. It’s not cool, and it’s not welcome in my world.

Here’s my method, as a veteran stylist and curl expert, who has seen thousands of heads in my chair.

DO what works for YOU. Understand your big picture as well as your hair. Is your desire to stick to an outdated method that, while works well for many, doesn’t work at all for equally as many plus more? Are you loyal to a specific brand, stylist, group who is not flexible in their own belief system, even if your hair isn’t at it’s best as a result? Do you feel hesitant to discuss with your stylist that the products they reccomend aren't working for you, that you don't like them? Anything from how they smell to how they product resutls on your hair? Do you feel like you'll be chastized for looking elsewhere for products that give you results you're happy with?

When I discovered Monat, I kicked myself for a while, because it fits in with what my personal belief system is as far a generating positive results and getting that good good not only hair, but scalp. I’m glad I didn’t let the opinions of other stylists who were hung up on their distribution method more than their quality ingredients and results get the better of me. I’m glad I shrugged off insults from even other curl stylists who not only have never personally researched, used, or even tried to learn how to use it. Because guess what? My clients are loving it. They’re replacing almost all of their old products, the ones I’d recommended for, some as long as ten plus years. I liked the results on my own hair so much, I took it to my clients and they liked it so much I decided to jump in with both feet (after researching the water for months).

If you’d like a consultation and a product prescription, email me @thecurlgirlsalon.com and tell me about you hair. I’ll need to see some pictures of your hair and I’d like to know what you’re currently using and what kind of results you’re getting, and where you’d like to see improvement. (form coming soon to make this process more streamlined).



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