Loving your curls means different things to different people.  I do not use direct heat and have not for years while using a modified version of the Curly Girl Method; that just means I have altered it to suit my needs, as most other curly girls have.   . While many see Curly Girl: The Handbook by Lorraine Massey and Michele Bender as the ultimate curly girl's Bible, not everyone subscribes to it or completely understands how to incorporate it into their personal hair care routine. SweetRellie  inquired in our Curly Q&A:


Are shampoos with silicones curly-girl method? I've been on the CG method for a year now and I've read the book cover to cover. Lorraine Massey states that you should avoid sulfates in shampoos and silicones in conditioners and styling products. I've perused this site for CG-friendly products and a lot of the shampoo and cowash suggestions contain Dimethicone and Amodimethicone, which are not water soluble. Does this mean that these products are not actually suitable for the curly girl method?


According to the Curly Girl Method (CGM), you should only use botanical conditioners or shampoos that do not have sulfates or silicones to cleanse and condition your hair.  So, in the strictest terms those shampoos, conditioners, and stylers you mention would not be part of the CGM, however, most curlies who adopt the CGM alter it to their liking.

The Curly Girl Method was created for all textures, and while our hair used to be deemed the ugly ducklings, curls have taken over the hair world and it’s all about us. Ok, maybe not entirely, but the love for our curls and our needs are influencing the market as we see more brands catering to our hair textures. No matter what various regimens and guides say, when it comes to finding the right products for our individual needs, our own hair and lifestyles should be the definitive guide. For some people that means finding products that adhere to the Curly Girl Method, and for others that means tweaking it to make it work for them.

The CGM can be altered

This needs to be addressed so you along with others understand the importance of tailoring a technique to your individual needs. While following the CGM or any method to the letter ensures the full benefit, it seems you have been following it for a long time (1 year) and most likely found what works for you and what may not. I too followed and love the CGM but have altered it to accommodate my needs, such as occasionally incorporating conditioners with silicones for a certain look I may be trying to achieve and then following up with the sulfate-free SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Shampoo.

What to do if using products that do not adhere to the CGM?

If using products containing non-water soluble silicones, you will need to use a clarifying or sulfate shampoo to remove them. I look at ingredients, but if I want to try something then I go ahead and do it, and if I experience buildup I use my clarifying shampoo. There are several aspects to the CGM so tweaking it is ok and done by many.

You always have the option to stick to only curly-girl friendly ingredients and brands but there are tons of brands that have stellar products that are not CGM friendly but are curly, wavy, and coily girl friendly. Through trial and error you will find what methods, products, and techniques that work for you.

What was your Curly Girl Method experience?
I followed it to the T, it worked for me
I customized it to work for me
I tried it, but it didn't work for me
I've never tried it

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