What Is The Curly Girl Method? Is Free Curls CGM Friendly?

The following scenario might sound like a familiar situation, especially if you have curly hair. After years of straightening your curls, you’ve decided to embrace them and wear your hair naturally. Then the excitement of that liberating decision slowly turns into frustration and feeling overwhelmed. What products should you use? How should you style your hair? How do you deal with frizz? These are the questions that led Lorraine Massey, a pioneer stylist and expert in the curly hair movement, to create the Curly Girl Method (CGM). Keep reading to learn more about the iconic method and how to use our products to achieve it. 



The method is a great starting point for someone new to curly hair styling and it's even easier to maintain. The CGM provides a set of simple steps and strategies to style curly hair. There are 3 basic steps: cleansing, conditioning, and styling. There is more to the method in terms of ingredients and application techniques, but cleansing, conditioning, and styling creates the foundation of the CGM. 


In the first step, cleansing, the CGM avoids using traditional shampoos containing harsh chemicals. It’s best to use ‘no-poo’ shampoos that don’t contain detergent-like chemicals known as sulphates which strip hair of its moisture. ‘No-poo’ shampoos generally don’t lather or foam, as foaming shampoos usually rely on sulphates. Using a conditioner to cleanse hair is also an option, commonly referred to as co-washing. The second step in the CGM is all about conditioning. This adds moisture and hydration to curls. Styling is the third step in the method and uses products such as a leave-in conditioner or a gel. The CGM uses products that are free from sulphates, silicones, parabens, alcohols, and mineral oils. Styling with combs is not recommended to prevent breakage. Heat styling with flat irons and other tools should also be avoided but drying with a diffuser on low heat is fine. 

 Is Free Curls CGM Approved?

The beauty of the CGM is that it gives guidelines you can use to decide which ingredients and products are right for your hair. With these guidelines, you can make informed decisions about your hair products and styling. Our products fit the CGM guidelines because they are free from sulphates, silicones, and parabens. The Free Curls Haircare range is also cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and made right here in New Zealand. Some people ask if our products are Curly Girl Method-Approved. Massey hasn’t specifically approved our products. Instead, we prefer the term Curly Girl Method-Friendly because our range follows the CGM guidelines. Here are some tips for how to use our CGM-Friendly products: 


The Free Curls Cleanser is a great substitute for a traditional shampoo. This sulphate-free formula gently and effectively cleanses your curls. Free Curls Cleanser does lather slightly, which is not technically CGM-Friendly but it’s still a fantastic option if you’re looking for a foaming shampoo that’s free from sulphates, silicones, and other harsh chemicals. After applying the cleanser to wet hair, gently massage your scalp for at least 60 seconds before rinsing to get the most out of this cleanser. Repeat the process if you need to. 


You could also use the Free Curls Conditioner as a lather-free co-wash or conditioner. This product moisturises and nurtures your hair without the use of silicones. The paraben and sulphate-free formula makes it a perfect co-wash or conditioning option. If using it as a co-wash, follow the same process of massaging your scalp for 1-2 minutes before finger detangling and rinsing out. To use as a conditioner after cleansing, apply a generous amount to your damp hair. Use your fingers to detangle before gently scrunching the product into your hair for more definition. Leave the conditioner in your hair for a couple of minutes and then rinse out. 

Use our Leave-In Moisturiser in the styling step of the CGM. This light-weight formula doesn’t contain any silicones or other harsh and heavy products that weigh hair down. Apply the leave-in to clean, damp, hair. You could even apply it before you leave the shower. Use your fingers to rake the product through your hair, evenly distributing it. Then shape your curls and carefully scrunch for added definition.  

We’d love for you to join our community of curly kiwis so give these CGM-Friendly products a try and let us know what you think. We’re also happy to answer any questions you might have.


Set your curls free,

Free Curls Crew

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  • Raiha on

    Kia ora! I’ve been using Free Curls on my own and my children’s hair for 3 weeks now and I am hooked! What an amazing product! We all have different types of curls, my sons are tight ringlets, my daughters are more loose and wavy and mine are a mixture of both. These products work for all of us. The leave-in moisturiser does wonders for in-between washes and I love that we can send the bottles back to save our planet some grief!
    The rest of my family have already ordered their own.
    I highly recommend this product! Mīharo!

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