Style Icon Casey
Check out part 2 of this series: Defin­ing Type 3 Curls with the Tight­ly Curly Method
Note : Although I have titled this as a curl defin­ing method for type 3 hair, it can be used by any hair type which clumps. Hair typ­ing is not a sci­ence, so if you con­sid­er your hair to be type 4 and it nat­u­ral­ly clumps, this method can work for you too. If your hair does not nat­u­ral­ly clump, this method is not for you.

The Curly Girl Method to achieve defined curl is based on rec­om­men­da­tions by Lor­raine Massey’s book Curly Girl. The book has since been updat­ed with addi­tion­al rec­om­men­da­tions and fur­ther tech­nique infor­ma­tion. Here is the basic infor­ma­tion on how to achieve a very defined curl using this method.

1. In gen­er­al sham­poo is dis­cour­aged by the curly girl method although some very mild cleansers are accept­able. Co wash­ing is encour­aged and addi­tion­al­ly only water sol­uble sil­i­cones can be present in the con­di­tion­er.
2. After co wash­ing, more con­di­tion­er is added to hair and hair can now be fin­ger detan­gled. It is then rec­om­mend­ed that not all the hair con­di­tion­er is rinsed from the hair as some will act as a leave-in.
3. The excess water in the hair is then squeezed out with a tow­el and a sil­i­cone free hair gel is used to define the curls on damp hair. This should be done in sec­tions appro­pri­ate to hair den­si­ty and curl tight­ness.

Here is a video tuto­ri­al.

Curly Girl Tech­niques

-Heat­less styling is encour­aged but you can use a dif­fuser on a blow dry­er at low heat.
-Sham­poo­ing is dis­cour­aged unless using a very mild cleanser
-Combs and brush­es are dis­cour­aged

Curly Girl Prod­ucts
-The biggest demand of the curly girl method is to know the ingre­di­ents in your hair prod­ucts. Notably, you must look either for sil­i­cone free or water sol­uble sil­i­cones in all prod­ucts.
-Very mild sham­poo or none at all
-No leave ins, your hair con­di­tion­er is used as the leave in.
-Sil­i­cone free hair gel for styling

To refresh the curls in the morn­ing, wet hair slight­ly and use a lit­tle gel to reduce frizz. The actu­al wash is repeat­ed once every 1–2 weeks.

Ladies, have you tried the Curly Girl Method? What were your results?

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8 Comments on "Defining Type 3 Curls with the Curly Girl Method"

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God bless this method! I just tried this and it was just what my hair need­ed! This method help me to com­bat major frizz and poof­ing : )
Thanks so much for the post and video!


[…] Icon SashaCheck out part 1 of this series: Defin­ing Type 3 Curls with the Curly Girl Method Note : Although I have titled this as a curl defin­ing method for type 3 hair, it can be used by […]


this method will work for 4a hair as well. I do it every week haha…But it worked for me only once I grew out ALL of my dam­age and stoped over­stretch­ing my hair with con­stant braid­ing, twist­ing, and heatset…ladies just enjoy your hair the way it grows…beware of over stretch­ing!!!! It does hap­pen!! Fin­ger detan­gling is a must


this looks inter­est­ing, but her hair is already nat­u­ral­ly curly… with tight ringlets… can this be demon­strat­ed on some­one whose hair isn’t already a nat­u­ral tight curl pat­tern?


I think when the author talks about it work­ing best for hair that “nat­u­ral­ly clumps” she means for hair that has a nat­u­ral ten­den­cy (when wet, say) to form into curls/ringlets. So, as she says, for hair that doesn’t already have that ten­den­cy, then this method prob­a­bly won’t work/give the curly result. 

I may be wrong on this, and if I am, I’m sure some­one will set me straight.

The Natural Haven

T you are right this is what I am talk­ing about

Kenya if your hair does not nat­u­ral­ly clump and form spi­rals, you can get the same look from a set (i.e rollers, flexi rods, straw set.

I won­der does this method most­ly work for nor­mal poros­i­ty hair? I don’t know if I will try again some day but I could not get this to work and it’s weird because I think my hair looks a lot like waterlily716, except a lot dark­er in col­or. The loc method seems to be the only thing that keeps my hair mois­tur­ized. I tried tight­ly curly too, and the brush, and only using con­di­tion­er real­ly dam­aged my hair, it was dry. The Den­mam does not do well with my hair. It’s sad that I per­sist­ed so long, espe­cial­ly with tight­ly… Read more »
Mine is the same way, Char­lot­te! I nev­er ful­ly did the Curly­Girl Method because all of the ingre­di­ents and vari­a­tions of ingre­di­ents that you are sup­posed to avoid was con­fus­ing and time consuming..but i DID try co- wash­ing exclu­sive­ly as it sug­gests and it was a major #FAIL. I NEED sham­poo to real­ly cleanse my pro­duct build up- i dont even real­ly use that many prod­ucts and very rarely use oil, but because my hair has low poros­i­ty (i think) after a while every­thing just sits on my strands leav­ing it brit­tle and dry and just a mess… i do… Read more »