Curly Girl Method No More

Photo by Elle Hughes on

The actual Curly Girl Method of hair care was developed by Lorraine Massey.

I have been following the Curly Girl Method for three or more years.

No longer.

Before I go any further, I will not be teaching you the Curly Girl Method here. There are plenty of Facebook groups, YouTube videos, and all manner of other places — least of all the two books I know that Lorraine Massey wrote.

The Curly Girl system might be great for curly hair, but it has been wreaking havoc on my scalp.

For the record, I rarely if ever use any product on my hair other than shampoo and conditioner. So, even though the Curly Girl Method has gels, creams, and mousses –among other things, I am sure — I don’t bother with them. I tried out several different things when I started on my Curly Girl journey, but they never really did anything for me and I let them go. I say this so you understand that product build-up from things like mousse or hair gel, those aren’t my issue.

I have some form of psoriasis on my scalp. I do have a prescription shampoo that I use when the rashy bits flare up. It took me a bit to understand that the Curly Girl Method was doing my scalp no favors because I did work hard to keep my scalp cleaned, moisturized, and massaged during the time I followed the Curly Girl Method more strictly.

The prescription shampoo I use might be great for my scalp, but it’s horrible for my hair. I reached a point where I became tired of trying to fight for nice hair or a calm clear scalp.

I tossed the Curly Girl Method.

I start my week with an exfoliating invigorating scalp treatment. (I will not be giving the names of the exact products I use because 1 these products tend to change depending on how I feel and 2 what works for me may or may not work for you.)

I leave the scalp treatment on my scalp –not my hair– for an hour or so. That gets rinsed out moderately well before I shampoo and condition my hair.

First, I shampoo, using a shampoo my medical doctor suggested, outside of my prescription shampoo. I scrub my scalp. I do not always shampoo my hair from root to tip. I usually work the scalp area first and let that sit while I finish my shower. Yes, I let the shampoo sit on my scalp, not the conditioner.

Since I do not use other products in my hair, cleaning the entirety of my hair root to tip is unnecessary, especially since the issue is my scalp.

I rinse the shampoo out, working the shampoo through to my ends as I rinse and that’s it. Once I am certain I have every bit of shampoo rinsed away, I apply the conditioner, usually, a conditioner that is the companion to my husband’s shampoo, since he uses different products than I do–and he doesn’t use conditioner as often as I do, if ever. I work this in from the bottom of my hair upwards towards the roots. I use a wet/dry detangling brush to get the worst of the tangles out. After that, I use a detangling brush specific to curly hair, which reaches my scalp better, which is what I am after there. Only on Mondays, after the scalp treatment, usually, I use a small five-row Denman brush to really work on my scalp, as well as move conditioner from scalp to root.

I rinse as much of the conditioner from my scalp as possible, while not rinsing all the conditioner from the mid-lengths and ends of my hair. I then apply a leave-in conditioner and use the detangler for curly hair to work that through the lengths of my hair.

I plop my hair into a microfiber hair towel and leave it there until I feel like taking it off. Then I fix my hair for the day.

Tuesdays, if we are in a hurry to go somewhere, I may skip washing my hair or doing anything to my hair. Except maybe finger-brushing it to make it easier to braid or something.

If I don’t skip washing, I will use a conditioner only. This means I wet my hair, apply the conditioner, mostly to the mid-lengths and ends of my hair, and comb through as I normally do. First, I use the wet/dry detangler brush. Next, I use the detangler brush for curly hair. I rinse, making sure I leave little to no conditioner at the roots/scalp area, but leaving some in for the middle and ends. Next, again, is the leave-in conditioner, which is combed in as well.

The same routine afterward. I plop my hair in the towel and leave it alone until I am ready to do something with my hair.

Wednesdays I use shampoo and conditioner made specifically for curly hair, following the way I do things every other day of the week.

Thursdays can be a skip day or a conditioner-only day.

Fridays are for purple shampoo and conditioner as my hair is turning white. It took me quite a while to find a purple shampoo and conditioner that didn’t darken the rest of my hair but still kept my white hair white. I finally found one. I use the same methods I do the rest of the week.

On the weekends, I normally use curly hair shampoo and conditioner. The same routine,

I have been following this routine for about six months or so already.

It didn’t take long at all to feel a real difference in my scalp. The itchiness stopped. The flare-ups stopped. My hair started to grow better. I could feel new growth on my scalp as well.

My hair, using this methodology week after week, has no issues. My hair actually looks better now than it did over a year ago.

So, I have no complaints about my new system. It has been working so well for me. I am going to keep going using this method until I need to change it up again. If that happens.