curly girl method for wavy hair

Curly Girl Method for Wavy Hair: The Unexpected Happened

Wavy hair is a dream for some but it also can be a real pain in the neck. It’s not wavy, nor curly so how should I style my hair then?! One day your hair has amazing ringlets and the next, it is straight. Moreover, your hair might be curly AND straight at the same time. If you are having problems with your hair, I present to you an awesome curly girl method for a wavy hair guide!

Say goodbye to frizz, dullness, and dryness. It’s easy to achieve great results with this method, you just need a little bit of time and patience.

Also, I have one secret about CGM and I’m going to share it with you, bestie! Keep reading.

What is the curly girl method (CGM)?

Have you ever noticed three mystical letters – C, G, and M and wondered what they meant? 

This method is for those who are not sure what to do with their frizzy, unruly hair. It’s a simple routine without any false promises: the creator of CGM, Lorraine Massey, says that following this method will get you the best looking waves, curls, or coils in your life and it is 100% true.

curly girl method for wavy hair for beginners seven steps

First, you have to find your curl type. If you are not familiar with the concept, let me explain. There are 4 different hair types: 1- straight hair, 2 – wavy hair, 3 – curly hair, and 4 – coily hair. You should also know your hair porosity, density, and, preferably, condition. 

There are a few rules to follow: you have to avoid the heat, stop brushing your hair, and thoroughly check the hair product labels as you must avoid sulfates, silicones, harsh alcohols, and parabens.

If your hair is very damaged or color-treated, use protein-rich products as they help to nourish and repair hair. Also, it’s important to look for moisturizing ingredients as waves, curls, and coils tend to be drier than straight hair.

When following the curly girl method, you have to clarify your scalp and hair from time to time to avoid product build-up. You can do it with apple cider vinegar or use a clarifying shampoo.

This method is all about treating your hair with love: scalp massages, hair oiling, quality products, and all that jazz. 

Your hair condition can worsen in the first month or two but it’s only because you are washing off silicone buildup and your hair is adapting. Give it some time!

How to start the curly girl method?

First of all, start with reading the labels of your hair care products. Some of them might be suitable for CGM! I have a guide about how to pick the right products and there is also an amazing tool called CurlsBot. Just drop the ingredients list and you will know if the product is CGM-approved.

#1 Clarifying wash

The journey to healthy wavy hair begins with clarifying wash. You have to wash your hair with a shampoo that has sulfate but NO SILICONES as we are trying to remove silicone buildup here. 

We are doing it ONCE when starting to follow CGM and we are not going to use shampoo with SLS, SLES, or other harsh sulfates often.

#2 Deep conditioning

We are going to deep condition our waves frequently, bestie. 

Deep conditioning means using a special mask (or your regular one!) after washing your hair. Leave it for 30 minutes and then rinse it out. You can create a “greenhouse” effect: put on a shower cap as it helps hair to absorb deep conditioner better.

We have to deep condition after clarifying as sulfates dry out scalp and hair. If you are new here, read this best deep conditioner guide to pick the right one for you!

Do this once a week to achieve the best results. 

#3 Use a hair conditioner

You have to look for a conditioner without silicones and drying alcohols first.

Conditioning is an important step as it helps to close the hair cuticles and locks moisture in. It also helps to detangle your hair without brushing it.

#4 Time for a leave-in conditioner

Squeeze excess moisture out of your waves and add a leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioner hydrates and nourishes your hair. 

It can seem like CGM followers use a thousand different hair products but it’s not true! Besides, every product has its function.

#5 Style style style

I was skipping this step for YEARS because I was thinking that a hair gel or mousse will leave my hair crunchy and dry. I couldn’t be more wrong!

Use lightweight products and avoid shea butter, coconut, castor, and olive oils. These oils are heavyweight and will totally weigh your waves down.

Wavy hair tends to be low porosity and this hair type doesn’t easily retain moisture, especially from heavy weighed products.

Just note that you have to style your hair when it’s wet, otherwise you will have a terrible hair day.

Styling is important but don’t forget to protect your hair before going to bed!

protect your hair before going to bed

#6 Air dry or diffuse

Air drying is good but we all know that it takes YEARS for thick hair to dry. Therefore, use a diffuser but only do it with cold air. 

Remember, the whole point of CGM is to keep your waves healthy and heat is enemy number one.

#7 Scrunch your hair with a drop of oil

Using a lightweight oil, such as argan or jojoba, gently scrunch the gel cast. Voila! 

The drop of oil when scrunching is my little CGM secret to shiny hair. It also helps to protect hair from external factors.

Difference between wavy and curly hair

Scientifically speaking, the main difference is in the hair follicle. Curly hair has oval-shaped follicles while follicles of wavy hair are disk-shaped.

In my opinion, the biggest difference is the tightness of the curl and texture:

  • The curly hair pattern usually starts from the roots while the wavy pattern starts lower.
  • Wavy hair can be very easily weighed down therefore you have to choose lightweight products.
  • Curls are way drier than waves.
  • If you want to define waves, you have to use strong hold products while 3B-3C curls require minimal to no styling products.
  • Waves should be clarified more frequently than curls because wavy hair tends to be low porosity.

How to make wavy hair curly?

If your hair was curly some time ago but now it’s more on a wavy side there is a chance that your hair is just damaged and with the time (and patience) you can have perfect ringlets.

If that’s not the case, your hair will probably stay wavy even with the CGM. However, I’ve noticed that during years of following CGM  my 2C hair became 3A hair even without any products!

Tips to make wavy hair curly:

how to make wavy hair curly
  • Waves can be tighter when instead of air drying you decide to diffuse. 
  • Avoid curl creams, use a hair mousse instead as it is way lighter and won’t flatten your hair.
  • Clarifying is important and do it at least once a month. I have a hair clarifying guide if you need some help!
  • Stop damaging your hair: avoid any heat and harsh ingredients.
  • Repair your hair. If you are using heat appliances on a daily basis, color treating your hair constantly, or maybe doing both of these things, start repairing your waves ASAP. Many people swear by Olaplex No 3 but it is pricey so you can start by deep conditioning your hair regularly.
  • Start following CGM. You don’t have to do it religiously, just use the core principles and that should be enough to start noticing positive changes.
  • Protein/moisture balance is a real thing. If you overmoisturize your hair it will be flat, without shape, and very soft to touch. On the other hand, too much protein can cause frizz and breakage. When the protein/moisture balance is intact you can SEE how great your hair looks and how well it holds any style.

How to enhance wavy hair? 4 tips for defined waves

  • The key is to use water-based, lightweight products and pay attention to your roots when drying hair. 
  • Diffusing waves would help to get a tighter pattern but don’t forget to apply styling products before. Hair mousse provides great hold without weighing waves down!
  • Heat styling is a big NO so only diffuse with cold air. It takes more time but the result is frizz-free waves and it’s totally worth your time!
  • Protect your hair before going to sleep: use protective hairstyles (such as pineapple) and a satin/silk pillowcase.

Curly girl method for wavy hair: The bottom line

With a few modifications, the curly girl method would work wonders on wavy hair and I recommend at least giving it a try.

Following CGM doesn’t mean spending 3 hours styling your hair, it’s about using the products without harsh ingredients and concentrating on the overall health of your waves, curls, or coils.

Get the hair you deserve!

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