What Is The Bowl Method For Curly Hair?

If you’ve ever wondered what the bowl method for curly hair is, I’ve got the answer for you! Curly hair can be a bit tricky to manage, but the bowl method is a game-changer. It’s a simple technique that involves using a bowl to shape and define your curls while you’re styling your hair. But does it really work? The answer is a resounding yes! The bowl method helps to enhance your natural curls, reduce frizz, and create a more uniform and defined look. Whether you’re a curly hair newbie or a seasoned curl expert, the bowl method is definitely worth giving a try. The bowl method is a popular technique for caring for curly hair. It involves using a bowl or similar object to cup the hair while applying products, conditioning, and styling. This method is designed to enhance moisture retention, reduce frizz, and define curls. By following the step-by-step guide and using the recommended products, individuals with curly hair can achieve beautiful, healthy, and well-defined curls.

Overview of the bowl method

The bowl method is a styling technique that aims to enhance the natural texture and shape of curly hair. It involves using a bowl or a cupped hand to hold the hair while applying products, conditioning, and styling. This technique is believed to promote optimal moisture retention and reduce frizz, resulting in well-defined and bouncy curls.

Benefits of the bowl method

There are several benefits to using the bowl method for curly hair.

Enhanced moisture retention

Curly hair tends to be more prone to dryness, as the natural oils produced by the scalp have a harder time making their way down the hair shaft. The bowl method helps to lock in moisture by allowing the hair to absorb and retain the conditioning products for a longer period of time.

Reduced frizz

Frizz is a common concern for individuals with curly hair. The bowl method helps to reduce frizz by applying products and styling techniques that enhance curl definition and minimize flyaways.

Defined curls

One of the main goals of the bowl method is to achieve well-defined curls. By using the bowl or cupped hand to hold the hair during the application of styling products, the curls are encouraged to form and retain their natural shape.

Gentle styling technique

The bowl method is known for its gentle approach to styling curly hair. By cupping the hair in a bowl or hand, it reduces the need for excessive manipulation, brushing, or combing, which can potentially cause damage or breakage to delicate curls.

Step-by-step guide to the bowl method

To achieve optimal results with the bowl method, follow these step-by-step instructions:

1. Preparation

Start by gathering all the necessary products and tools. This includes a shampoo or co-wash, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, styling gel or cream, and a diffuser or microfiber towel.

2. Cleansing

Begin by thoroughly wetting your hair. Apply a small amount of shampoo or co-wash to your scalp, gently massaging it in and working it through the hair. Rinse thoroughly.

3. Conditioning

Apply a generous amount of conditioner to your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends. Use the bowl or cupped hand to hold the hair while distributing the conditioner. Allow the conditioner to sit on the hair for a few minutes before rinsing.

4. Detangling

Using your fingers or a wide-toothed comb, carefully detangle the hair, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots. Be gentle to avoid causing any breakage or damage.

5. Applying styling products

While the hair is still wet, apply a leave-in conditioner to moisturize and protect the curls. Then, apply a styling gel or cream, using the bowl or cupped hand to hold the hair and encourage curl formation.

6. Drying and styling

There are two main methods for drying and styling with the bowl method. You can either use a diffuser attachment on a blow dryer or plop the hair with a microfiber towel. If using a diffuser, gently cup the curls with the bowl or hand while drying on a low heat setting. If plopping, place the microfiber towel on a flat surface, flip your hair onto the towel, and wrap it up. Leave it for approximately 20 minutes, then gently release the curls and let them air dry.

Recommended products for the bowl method

Here are some recommended products to enhance the effectiveness of the bowl method:


  • Curl-specific shampoos or co-washes that are sulfate-free and moisturizing.
  • Cleansing conditioners or cowashes that gently remove dirt and buildup without stripping the hair.


  • Moisturizing conditioners that provide hydration and nourishment to the curls.
  • Deep conditioners or hair masks for weekly or bi-weekly treatments to provide intense moisture and repair.

Leave-in conditioners

  • Lightweight leave-in conditioners that can be applied to damp hair to provide additional moisture and help with detangling.

Styling gels or creams

  • Curl-enhancing gels or creams to define and hold the curls in place.
  • Anti-frizz serums or oils to add shine and reduce flyaways.

Diffusers or microfiber towels

  • Diffuser attachments for blow dryers to gently dry the hair without causing frizz.
  • Microfiber towels to plop or wrap the hair, minimizing drying time and reducing frizz.

Tips for maintaining curly hair with the bowl method

To maintain your curly hair and make the most of the bowl method, consider the following tips:

Avoiding heat styling tools

Excessive use of heat styling tools can cause damage to curly hair. Embrace your natural curls and limit the use of flat irons, curling irons, and hot rollers.

Regular deep conditioning

Curly hair tends to be dry, so incorporating regular deep conditioning treatments can help restore moisture and prevent damage. Aim for weekly or bi-weekly deep conditioning sessions.

Protective nighttime routines

Before going to bed, consider wrapping your hair in a silk or satin scarf or using a silk or satin pillowcase. This helps to minimize friction and prevent frizz while you sleep.

Avoiding brushing when dry

Curly hair is susceptible to breakage, so avoid brushing or combing your hair when it is dry. If you need to detangle, use your fingers or a wide-toothed comb while the hair is damp and coated with conditioner.

Refreshing curls between washes

To keep your curls looking fresh and defined between washes, consider using a spray bottle filled with water and a small amount of leave-in conditioner. Lightly mist your hair and scrunch it to reactivate the curls and reduce frizz.

Alternatives to the bowl method

While the bowl method is highly effective for many curly-haired individuals, it’s important to know that there are alternative methods that can achieve similar results. Some popular alternatives include:

Plopping method

Plopping involves using a T-shirt or microfiber towel to wrap and secure your hair on top of your head, allowing it to air dry and enhance natural curl formation.

Scrunching method

The scrunching method involves using your hands to scrunch and squeeze the hair, enhancing curl definition and encouraging the hair to dry in its natural shape without excessive manipulation.

Wet or dry styling

Some individuals prefer to style their hair when it’s wet, while others prefer to style it when it’s dry. Experiment with both methods to see which one produces the best results for your curls.

Finger coiling method

The finger coiling method involves separating small sections of hair with your fingers and twisting them around your finger to enhance curl definition and shape.

Common misconceptions about the bowl method

There are a few common misconceptions about the bowl method that we would like to address:

The bowl method works for all curly hair types

While the bowl method can be effective for many curly hair types, it may not work equally well for everyone. Different hair types and textures may require slight adjustments to the method or different techniques altogether.

The bowl method elongates curls

The bowl method is primarily aimed at enhancing curl definition, rather than elongating the curls. However, by reducing frizz and adding moisture, it can make the curls appear longer and more elongated.

The bowl method is time-consuming

While the bowl method does require some time and effort, it doesn’t necessarily have to be time-consuming. With practice and finding a routine that works for you, the bowl method can become a seamless part of your hair care routine.

Frequently asked questions about the bowl method

Here are some frequently asked questions about the bowl method:

Can I use any bowl for the bowl method?

Yes, you can use any bowl or cupped hand for the bowl method. The purpose is to hold and cup the hair while applying products, so as long as the bowl or hand is large enough to hold your hair comfortably, it will work.

How often should I use the bowl method?

The frequency of the bowl method can vary depending on individual preferences and hair type. Some individuals may choose to use the bowl method every wash day, while others may incorporate it into their routine only on occasion. Experiment and find a frequency that works best for your hair.

Can I skip some of the steps in the bowl method?

While it’s typically recommended to follow all the steps of the bowl method for optimal results, you can tailor the method to your specific needs. For example, if you have very fine hair, you may choose to skip the leave-in conditioner or use a lighter styling product.

Is the bowl method suitable for short hair?

The bowl method can be adapted for different hair lengths, including short hair. You may need to adjust the amount of product used and the drying technique to suit your specific hair length.

Can the bowl method be used on chemically treated hair?

Yes, the bowl method can be used on chemically treated hair. It can help enhance the curls and reduce frizz, regardless of whether the hair has been permed, relaxed, or colored.

Final thoughts on the bowl method

The bowl method is a wonderful technique for caring for and styling curly hair. It offers several benefits, including enhanced moisture retention, reduced frizz, defined curls, and a gentle approach to styling. By following the step-by-step guide, using the recommended products, and incorporating the maintenance tips, individuals with curly hair can achieve their desired results and embrace their natural curls.


In conclusion, the bowl method is a popular and effective technique for styling and maintaining curly hair. It provides numerous benefits, such as enhanced moisture retention, reduced frizz, and well-defined curls. By following the step-by-step guide, using the recommended products, and implementing the maintenance tips, individuals with curly hair can achieve beautiful and healthy curls. Remember to experiment and tailor the method to your specific hair needs, and always embrace and celebrate your natural curls.

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