For those of you starting a hair care journey free of chemicals, you may be wanting to compare the Curly Girl Method vs No Poo Method to determine which approach is best suited to you.
Keep reading to discover the key similarities and differences of these two haircare approaches, and which hair wash method is best suited to your individual hair type.
There are several differences between the Curly Girl Method and the No Poo Method. The Curly Girl Method was developed by individuals with curly hair, whereas the No Poo method embraces all hair types. The Curly Girl method removes traditional shampoos and also dictates additional rules, such as the complete ban of hair straighteners.
The major points that set these two haircare movements apart are just as important as the smaller less well-known ones.
Read on to discover the key differences between the Curly Girl Method and the No Poo Method.
Curly Girl Method Vs No Poo
So what is the Curly Girl Method?
The Curly Girl Method is a way to improve and then maintain the health of your curls. It requires the user to follow a variety of Dos and Don’ts though, so it might not be the easiest haircare route for you to try.
For starters, you should not use any shampoo that contains:
Hair dye is also not permitted within the Curly Girl Method.
Traditional shampoos and commercial shampoos are permitted as long as they do not contain any of the chemicals listed above.
The Curly Girl method also asks its followers to forgo the following methods of hair care (source 1):
- Traditional Towels
Now you understand a little more about what the Curly Girl Method is, let’s see how it compares to the No Poo Method.
So what is the No Poo Method?
The No Poo Method grew from the Curly Girl method as individuals wanted to improve their hair health and remove traditional chemicals from their daily hair care regime.
Similar to the Curly Girl Method, the No Poo method also encourages those starting out on their No Poo journey to avoid traditional shampoos and any products that contain the following ingredients:
Rather than completely removing all methods for drying your hair, the No Poo Method suggests you use cotton t-shirts, instead of using your towel.
No Poo’ers advocate that heated stylers should be kept to an absolute minimum.
The No Poo method actively encourages the use of boar bristle brushes to move the natural oils down the hair shaft. These are my favorite boar bristle brushes.
Which Method Is Best For You?
The best method for you will always be the one that you can follow long-term and one that helps to make your hair as healthy and manageable as possible.
Below are the pros and cons of the No Poo method vs Curly Girl Method:
Curly Girl Method
There are many pros to the Curly Girl Method, here are just a few:
- Great for curly hair
- Natural method
- More time each day
Below are a few of the downsides to this particular method:
- Very Restrictive
- Takes time to find the best method for your hair
Let’s now take a look at the No Poo method, and what its pros and cons are:
No Poo Method
There are many pros to the No Poo method, here are just a few:
- Great for all hair types
- Natural method
- A multitude of different options
- Can save time
- Saves money
As with everything though, there are a few downsides to consider before embarking upon your No Poo journey:
- Takes time to find the best method
- Transition period can be awkward
- Smelly hair!
Having read the pros and cons of both hair care methods, it is natural to ask should I follow No Poo method or the Curly Girl method?
As with everything, the answer to this will be personal to:
- Your hair type
- Your lifestyle
Just keep in mind that the Curly Girl method was specifically designed for those with curly hair, so if you have straight hair, the No Poo method is likely to be the method that improves your hair the most.
In addition, the Curly Girl method is considered way more restrictive than the No Poo method.
Is The Curly Girl Method Good For Hair?
The Curly Girl Method removes potentially damaging chemicals and heat from your hair care routine.
This method is beneficial for certain hair types, for the following reasons:
1. No Damaging Chemicals
Chemicals like sulfates and silicons are not used.
2. No Heat Styling
Heat can damage hair, so once removed, heat damage is also removed.
3. No Brushes And Combs
Removing brushes and combs helps to reduce the amount of hair breakage.
4. Promotes Increased Moisture
Often lacking in those with curly hair.
Cons Of The Curly Girly Method
There are however both pros and cons of the Curly Girl Method.
Just remember that every individual, and their hair, is different. This means that what works for one person won’t necessarily work as well for someone else (source 1).
The following downsides to the Curly Girl Method have been recorded:
Weighed Down Hair
Without regular clarifying shampooing, the rich oils and butter can remain on the hair, weighing down your curls.
The Curly Girl method conditioner plan can result in a huge build-up of the product.
Less Defined Curls
The Curly Girl Method rejects brushes and combs and suggests only using fingers to de-tangle hair.
Whilst this may reduce brushing-related breakage, it often fails to remove shed hairs effectively which can lead to your hair being even more tangled in the long term.
With no diffused hair-drying your curls may end up less defined and tangled.
There are many reports that following the Curly Girl method has resulted in poor scalp health.
Dandruff, itching, and irritation are caused if you focus only on your hair, and not the health of your scalp too.
Poor scalp health can lead to hair loss and extra breakage.
The Curly Girl Method is time-consuming to complete, and not being able to use heat to dry your hair can be more than a little inconvenient.
Can The Curly Girl Method Ruin Your Hair?
Whilst many people swear by the Curly Girl method, there are umpteen cases of people who have tried this hair care routine and found that their hair has suffered along with their scalp health.
If you rely on co-washing and avoid using a clarifying shampoo, the build-up can leave your hair prone to:
- Looking Bad
The Curly Girl Method requires curls to be detangled when wet only, and only with fingertips. This can lead to old, shed hair, remaining in your hair which results in further tangling making your hair a total mess, rather than nicely defined curls.
Not shampooing regularly removes the regular cleansing of both hair and scalp that would normally take place. This means that not only are you trying unsuccessfully to moisturize on top of dirty, oily hair, but your scalp is not receiving the stimulation and cleaning it requires to stay healthy.
Whilst there are many devotees of the Curly Girl Method, there are many who have tried and ultimately chosen to either move away from Curly Girl Method altogether, or who have altered the routine to work better for them and their curls.
Is The No Poo Method Good For Curly Hair?
The No Poo method uses a broad range of natural ingredients and methods to choose from, so there will likely be a method and recipe ideal for your curls.
Make sure you read my article How To No Poo Curly Hair as it explains in detail the most popular No Poo recipes for your hair type. Which method will you try?
Before starting your No Poo journey, just remember that curly hair tends to be lacking in moisture.
Many No-Poo recipes are therefore ideal for this particular hair type as this method of haircare often uses honey, aloe vera, amongst others in their recipes. These ingredients are renowned for holding in moisture.
Clay masks for moisturizing are also very popular.
One of the best moisturizing No Poo curly hair products is made from yogurt and honey (source 1):
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2tbs honey
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2no vitamin E gel capsules
- Mix together the ingredients.
- Apply the mixture to your hair.
- Wrap your hair in a warm towel, or under a shower cap.
- Wait 30 minutes.
- Wash mixture out of hair as usual.
The No Poo method allows you to use heat stylers, and actively encourages the use of boar bristle brushes to move the natural oils down the hair shaft.
Find a DIY No Poo shampoo for curly hair recipe ideal for your hair, from the wide range of recipes listed in my article on how to No Poo curly hair.
For curly hair, pre-pooing is considered the best way to manage your curls and keep them thoroughly hydrated at all times.
Is No Poo Bad For Your Hair?
There are so many methods and ingredients under the No Poo umbrella, that when one method or ingredient does not suit your hair type, there will always be another to try.
Sometimes though the method simply does not work because you are using too much of the ingredient in your hair. For example, using too much baking soda with an ACV rinse can actually cause hair breakage/loss.
Furthermore, if you use too much baking soda or do not dilute the ACV sufficiently, then your hair might suffer.
Before writing this method off, please keep in mind that this does not mean that the No Poo method is bad for your hair, simply that the way in which you are following the method needs alteration.
Does No Poo Make Your Hair Curly?
If you were born with straight hair, then going No Poo will not make your hair curly.
There is no product that will change the natural growth patterns of your hair.
However, if you have curly or wavy hair that has been damaged or weighed down by traditional methods and products, then No Poo will show how incredible your natural hair can look. This might mean that you find your hair is actually naturally curly when you always thought it was straight!
My article Does No Poo Make Hair Curly is well worth a read at this point.
What Is The Low Poo Method?
The Low Poo Method permits shampoos without sulfates, etc, whereas strictly speaking No Poo means using all-natural ingredients like baking soda and ACV.
Low Poo, to some individuals, means that you reduce the wash frequency and the amount of shampoo that is used.
Low Poo advocates that your hair wash routine should contain:
- No Sulphates
- No Silicons
- No Parabens
- Draw out washes to 1 wash every 7 days.
- Aim to reduce the amount of product used by half.
My article No Poo vs Low Poo gives you all the information that you need to know, to select which wash method works best for you.
The Curly Girl method vs No Poo shows that whilst there are many similarities, there are huge chasms between the ideologies.
Curly Girl has a very strict regime, whereas No Poo is far more relaxed by comparison.
Curly Girl Low Poo Shampoo
The Curly Girl method removes sulfates, silicons, alcohol, and perfumes from its permitted shampoo ranges. It also often advocates the use of co-washing rather than shampooing.
No Poo Wavy Hair
Wavy hair needs different treatment from curly hair; No Poo could be the answer. If your hair is porous and dry which is often the case for those with wavy hair, more moisture is often the key.