Drugstore Products For The Curly Girl Method Routine

curly girl method wavy hair results

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I started the curly girl method in May of 2018, roughly 8 months ago. This was what my hair looked like before:

Frizzy hair before curly girl method

I was really tired of battling frizz and poofiness. I had grown my hair out really long because it seemed to reduce the poof a bit when it was weighed down. Yet having really long hair made my hair so heavy that it would give me headaches when I wore it up. No good!

Curly girl method after 6 months

Last spring I started googling terms related to frizzy hair. I kept coming up with results talking about how to address frizz in curly hair, but I thought my hair was straight. Eventually, I stumbled across the curly girl method. Many wavy-haired women discussed how they went their whole lives thinking their hair was straight, but after using the curly girl method they realized they had wavy hair. So I gave it a try and found that when I protect my hair by not brushing it after it’s wet, and by using gel – I have wavy hair.

Affordable curly girl products from the drugstore. The four products in this routine cost $25 total!

Curly girl method on a budget

Yes, it’s possible to do the curly girl method on a budget. I’ve tried a lot of products and methods in the past 8 months since I started the curly girl method. My hair is shorter now but is very thick so it absorbs a lot of product. I’ve avoided products that are more than $10 or so per bottle to keep costs low. I’m still experimenting just to see if I find products I like even better, and someday I would like to try higher end products. Still, for the price I’m really happy with my current drugstore curly girl method routine.

curly girl method wavy hair results

I use Not Your Mother’s Naturals Tahitian Gardenia Flower & Mango Butter Curl Defining Shampoo. These are $7.99 a bottle at my local Walmart and Meijer. I tried the coconut milk shampoo version of Not Your Mother’s before and I liked that as well. I prefer this curl defining shampoo because it seems a bit more moisturizing than other low-poo options that I have tried. I can finger-detangle my hair with just this, where usually I had to wait to finger-comb my hair until after I had conditioner in.

I really like Great Value Products conditioning balm which is about $6 for 12oz but it’s only available at Sally’s and there isn’t one very close to me. So I’ve switched to TRESemmé Expert Selection Conditioner, Botanique Nourish and Replenish. This is about $5.50-$6 at my local  Meijer and about the same price on Amazon. This bottle is 25oz so it’s about half hte price per oz of GVP conditioning balm! It doesn’t have quite as much slip but I just use a little more.

Wavy hair from the curly girl method

I use Garnier Fructis 1 minute hair masks. I’ve tried the avocado and papaya varieties and like both but the papaya smells great. I use a little bit (quarter size amount or so) as a leave-in. However, I also use this once a week by coating my whole head and leaving it on for 30 minutes as a deep conditioner. I like how it works as both! These are around $7 for the big 13oz containers or some variations are available in small 3oz tubes for about $3 both on Amazon and in my local stores. The smaller size is nice if you just want to sample it first. I used about 60% of the small container to deep condition so it’s enough to try out deep conditioning or using it as a leave-in.

For gel, LA looks does the trick at around $3 a bottle when purchased in store. For some reason it’s way overpriced on Amazon. I use a ton of this stuff and it lasts me about a month. It works well and is such a good value that I haven’t bothered experimenting with other gels yet. I’ve used blue, green and yellow versions and all work well for me.

Buying all four products that I use in my curly girl method routine add up to less than $25!

If you follow the curly girl method and have affordable curly girl approved hair care recommendations I’d love to hear them!

Hi there! I am Emily Evert, the owner of Emily Reviews. I am 25 and live in a small town in Michigan with my boyfriend Ryan and our two pugs. I have a large family and I adore my nieces and nephews. I am a calorie counter who loves soda. I budget to save money so I can spend it on my dogs. I love reading memoirs, and learning about child development and psychology. I love watching The Game of Thrones, Teen Mom, Sister Wives and Veep. I like listening to Jason Isbell, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson and Blue October. I created Emily Reviews as a creative outlet to share my life and the products that I love with others.

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This post currently has 12 responses.

  • Peggy Nunn

    You really have found what works for your hair. It looks really good.

  • Michelle S

    I have semi-curly hair and have found sea salt spray does wonder for my curls – John Frieda is the best but hard to find sometimes. I also find the less I touch it the better the curls look.

  • Dana Rodriguez

    Your hair looks fantastic! Looks like you have found the perfect products!

  • Melissa Storms

    It sounds like you have a great system working with these products and your hair looks fantastic. My hair was always pretty straight but it is now wavy and has some curls, I’ll take it even with the gray mixed in. I am going to give these products try and follow the cg method for a while and see how it goes.

  • gloria patterson

    I am going to share this with my niece because she is always always on the hunt for products for her curly hair. My hair is as straight as a stick

  • Sarah L

    Thanks for doing the experiments so others can learn from you. Your hair looks great.

  • John Smith

    These ideas will certainly help with my glorious mane of hair!

  • gala

    THanks for the recommendations, I’m going to try it on my hair

  • Peggy Nunn

    I told my niece about your post. She is trying your method so she can hair that looks as good as yours. Thank you for the post.

  • Terri

    Thanks for the recommendations, my hair is very much like yours. I found products that promote the curl and leave no frizz and my hair has never looked better (I’m 64). The brand is Elucence and you can find it online, just a bit higher in price than the drugstore brands, but I use so much less each time, it makes it affordable. The shampoo I use is called Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo and Moisture Balancing Conditioner. Love, love, love these products!

  • Emily, hi! Thank you for this post. I’d like to curb my CGM products expense a bit but my last two purchases were a fail cuz I’m super fragrance-sensitive. How “smelly” is the L.A. Looks gel? Thanks.

    • I am not fragrance sensitive but I do not notice any smell at all from the LA looks gels. It’s about $2 for a BIG bottle at most stores, so low risk financially. Also there is not a seal on the bottles so you would be able to open the top and sniff before buying. 🙂

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