The Curly Girl Routine | My Experience

curly girl method, this really works!  I hated my hair before and now I love my glory!I can't remember when I started getting so concerned about my appearance and interested in natural health and all that jazz; maybe it was 2010 or 2011ish. My family members reading this will laugh at me inwardly because of my obsession with and ability for remembering dates so keenly. It's a strange observation, but it makes me feel discomfited if I can't remember when something happened. Must be part of my personality type.

Anyway, since that has nothing to do with this post, in one of those years I just mentioned I got to the point where my freaky frizzy hair irritated me and I wanted to know how to better care for it. It was at this time that I searched the Internet and found out about something called the “Curly Girl routine.”

In this routine, I was told to ditch my shampoo, brush, comb, and terry-cloth towel, and instead embrace my conditioner, gel, old rotting t-shirts, and finger-combing. Whaaat?

To those who've never heard about the routine -- and trust me, you probably haven't if your hair doesn't drive you insane with its frizziness -- it might sound utterly bizarre. “No shampoo? How the heck are you supposed to clean your hair!?” Well, the Routine emphasizes something called “co-washing” (which legitimately does sound bizarre): using your conditioner, which is supposedly formulated with gentle cleansers, to wash your scalp, then finger-combing a generous amount through the rest of your hair and rinsing out only the bare minimum. Then, after this co-wash, the Routine dictates plenty of scrunching with a paper towel (I would like to know if any paper towel can actually even hold up under that much water [and conditioner] weight) or old t-shirt, after which more conditioner and then gel is applied.
For a do it yourself recipe try the Wrapunzel from Curly Girl: The Handbook. Put a ripe avocado in the blender along with three to four teaspoons of honey or agave and three to four teaspoons of olive oil. Blend until combined and spread on hair. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel wrapped turban style. After 20 – 30 minutes, rinse thoroughly.


All that and brushing or combing is absolutely forbidden.

Most ladies recommend keeping up with this routine religiously for three weeks -- to most of them, that's the cutoff point, the epiphanic moment.

Yeah right.

I think once I made it two weeks, then another time I made it almost or the full three weeks.

My results were unextraordinary. Yes, I have pretty Boticelli curls, but their shape is influenced more by the humidity percentage than by what product I put in. Yes, I learned that shampooing too often is detrimental to my hair's health. Yes, I learned to be picky with what I put in my hair if I don't want to risk an explosion of frizz.

But I also learned that sticky hair is no fun, that slimy hands from so much conditioner and mousse gets to the point of becoming a pet peeve, and that running a brush through my hair could never feel so good.

Sometimes, if you look at pictures of so-called “Curly Girls” on the Internet, you find they have unfrizzy but clumpy looking hair. Who wants that? If I want curls, I want them bouncy and full like the girl above -- not limp and greasy.

Have I discarded the Curly Girl routine? No, of course not! Why else do I use the Renpure Solutions Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner (which turns out to be the best I've ever used for a quarter of the price of its high-end inspiration, Wen by Chaz Dean)? Why else, when I'm lazy, do I just decide, “Well, I guess today's going to have to be a curly day.” But I have discarded it for lengthy periods of time, and I have discarded the mousse and lack of rinsing.

What have I learned? To work with my hair the way it wants to be worked with. Everyone is different, and this routine could be a miracle worker for you if you've pinned yourself to a flatiron like a burr. But it also might not be. Let me share, briefly, what has helped me:

1) I watched this video, and learned shampoo doesn't have to be the enemy. 
2) I realized that I didn't need to follow someone else's routine.
3) I sometimes use shampoo + conditioner, I sometimes use cleansing conditioner, I sometimes just rinse my hair.
4) I usually wide-tooth comb it at some point, whether that be in the shower with my conditioner or after I get out or both.
5) I scrunch my curls up with a light leave-in conditioner, coconut oil, or nothing, and I don't stress out about using a t-shirt or an old terry-cloth towel.
6) I like to run my fingers through the wet curls to separate them and prevent the lumpy, clumpy, greasy mess.
7) I avoid brushing my hair the rest of that day.
8) I accept, grumpily or contentedly, the curls the weather has decided to give me that day.

What are your thoughts on this routine?


  1. Great tips! I find that use a bit of oil (like argan oil) helps control and frizz and flyaways I might have. Plus it's super moisturizing!

    1. Hi, Jennifer! Nice of you to stop by :) I've never used argan oil before, though I'd love to! A lot of people around the World Wide Web seem to use it and love it :)


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