The Curly Girl Method, de-mystified

My friend Emma (also the designer behind Khepri) is one of those girls who always looks effortlessly, naturally gorgeous.  If she were not so smart and witty it would be easy to hate her.  But she’s both of those things, so you just love her even more.  Anyway… recently her hair started to look even better than usual, so I asked her what was going on.  She immediately launched into this whole diatribe about The Curly Girl Method.  I had to learn more.

The first premise of the curly girl method is that you must eliminate sulfates.  Besides being bad for you, they strip hair of it’s natural moisture.  This is especially important for us curly-haired girls, as curls are more fragile.

Most of us use products with silicone in them as they make hair shiny!  The problem (that I didn’t know) is that the only way to remove silicones is with sulfates.  So, if you quit sulfates, you sadly must quit silicones too – or they will keep building up, resulting in dull, weighed-down hair.  (Who knew?)

Once you make the decision to go sulfate + silicone free, it’s important to do one last cleanse with a shampoo that has sulfates…  roots to ends, to get rid of any remnant silicone build-up!  And check out this site – an amazing resource… it explains how silicones end in cone, conal, or xane… which is how you will identify them in products.

I asked Emma to share her routine (she’s probably tried more organic hair products than anyone, so I trust her on this.)

Shampoo:  Beauty without Cruelty Shampoo – Rosemary Mint

Conditioner:  Everyday Shea Conditioner (her words:  It’s very rich, plus comes in a huge bottle which makes it really economical)

Styling:  SOMA Leave in Conditioner // Kevin Murphy Hair Resort // (sometimes) Deva Care’s Arc AnGell

PS – Check out these before & after photos… kinda crazy!

Leave a Comment


  1. alyson says 12.12.12

    Love this, Grace, as I was just trying to make my hair curly/wavy today and wasn’t sure what to do. I also felt like my hair looked so dry, which wasn’t helping (getting these ends chopped off today!). Thanks for sharing.

  2. Julie & Lauren says 12.12.12

    That Everyday Shea conditioner is legit!! Def works. XO

  3. Lauren says 12.12.12

    This is great to know – I feel like my hair is always weighed down… maybe I’ll give the shampoo and conditioner a try. P.S. the link to the shampoo goes to a David Yurman bracelet instead of the shampoo!

    • Grace Atwood says 12.12.12

      oops, so sorry about that… just fixed the post! 🙂

  4. Lisa // Elembee says 12.12.12

    I tried the Curly Girl Method a few years ago, and I had to quit after a couple of months. I used all DevaCurl products to keep things simple, and while things got better once I switched from No-Poo to Low-Poo, my hair, and my scalp in particular, never really adjusted. You’re supposed to go through a period where your hair is greasy as it adjusts, but I was at the point that I should have been past that and still wasn’t — my hair is on the fine side, and even normally I can’t go more than a couple of days without washing. Maybe I just wasn’t using the right products?

    I still love DevaCurl though — AnGel is amazing, and I LOVE Set it Free. I use it to smooth out any frizz (but I have to be careful with it — one squirt in my palm is all my hair can manage!).

  5. Sarah says 12.12.12

    I swear this line was made just for me! I have to try it. The before’s and after’s are amazing. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  6. ohhh! i will have to try! secret that not many people know about me is that i have insane curly hair… I just straighten it for any event that involves photos! hahah. pinning. xo.

  7. christin says 12.12.12

    That Rahua shampoo/conditioner is amazing.