Has anyone tried the Tightly Curly method?

I was doing a little reading this morning before work and I re-visited this site: www.tightlycurly.com.

I’m very intrigued by the author’s method of washing, conditioning and styling her curls (pretty much she only uses conditioner). And, boy, does she have a lot of curls to style! One thing that I’m not sure about is she says you don’t have to trim your hair.


She says if you don’t damage your hair, you shouldn’t have to trim your hair. I get that — but I’m still not sure if I believe it. I’ve heard too much about the importance of trimming… but, the author hasn’t trimmed her hair in 10 years and it’s in good shape. Interesting.

I’m thinking about trying this method out when the weather warms up — for now, I’m all abou the low manipulation and protective styles.

But, I’m curious… have any of you readers out there tried this method? Do you still use it? What do you think of it?


24 Comments Add yours

  1. ~Back to Curly~ says:

    I used to LIVE by the conditioner method a few years ago, but that was before I cam across her site. I used to leave a hunk of condish in my hair in the a.m. (summer time of course) and very lightly wash it out. Typically I’d follow up with a bit of moisturizer or styling creme (used to be addicted to Miss Jessie’s Curly Meringue) and head out the door! Last year when I tried her method of raking the condish through the hair bit by bit, then leaving it in to style…for some reason I ended up with some scalp issues. Not sure what caused it…but I stayed clear of conditioner only styling after that…my scalp is temperamental and I need to respect that…lol

    1. urbansista says:

      Temperamental scalp is exactly what’s concerning me with this method. I may try it out once it warms up, but I will watch my scalp very closely. I like the fact that it would save me a bundle of money — conditioner is pretty cheap 🙂

  2. Sharon says:

    Hi I just came along this site while researching the tightly curly method done by Teri Laflesh. I personally have never tried this method before, but to be honest, I don’t feel comfortable with leaving a lot of conditioner in my hair for days at a time. One lady on Amazon tried this method and she said it ruined her hair. She had to cut off almost 16 inches of hair. Most commercial store bought conditioners are not meant to be left in the hair for long periods of time. Also some of the products that Teri recommends are not really good for Afro textured hair due to some of the chemical ingredients. I have been natural for about 2 years and I find that the more natural plant based products work best on my hair. I use to use Suave naturals shampoo and Tresemme and it just made my hair very, very hard and tangly. Right now I am using Alba Botanica Hawaiian shampoo and conditioners. These work very well on my hair. I also like Organix products. Both Organix and Alba don’t contain SLS or ALS . Alba has more plant based ingredients than Organix though. Another good product for natural hair is the Curls line. The cleansing cream is very moisturizing and thick, almost like a conditioner.

    1. urbansista says:

      I was very curious about this method, but I was very scared about build-up. Like you said, many of the conditioners she recommends aren’t meant to be left in… For me, build-up is my greatest concern. My scalp gives me a lot of trouble and I have to ensure that it’s clean, ’cause when it’s not, all hell breaks loose. I haven’t had any bad effects from using Tresemme or Suave. I like Organix, mainly because of the scents — they’re great! As for Alba, I’m allergic to coconut. When I looked at some of their products they were heavy with coconut and coconut based ingredients. Same with Curls — I would love to use them, but there’s the coconut issue, so I can’t. I’m always looking for good products to use that are coconut-free.

      1. Tiffany says:

        For everyone that wants a SLS and ALS free product try Mastey
        Traite cream shampoo and traite Daily conditioner
        Great products I have naturally curly hair and I love this along with Organix, and Terax daily conditioner…

        Please try you will not be disappointed
        Oh yeah you can buy on line at Amazon, Mastey is hard to find but worth it.

      2. urbansista says:

        I’ve never heard of this product! I’ll definitely do some research on it. Thanks!

    2. SunshineFaceGirl says:

      Okay ladies, this is my first comment and this is 2 years later, but who cares. 🙂 I have tried the tightly curly method and it works wthout damaging your hair. Years ago when I 1st moved to Texas I went naturally curly. My 10 year old used to always say we should leave the conditioner in our hair b/c it was so much prettier than after we washed it out. Of course, me being the mother said we could never leave conditioner in our hair. Well mama was wrong!!! So wrong!!! It takes you from the 4 inch puff to gorgeous curls. It does not damage your hair. All 3 of my girls, my niece and my God-daughter are all curly heads and I leave conditioner in everybody’s head, from ages 2-20 or 41 for me. The method is time consuming so try it on a saturday or after work with enough time to allow it to dry before bed. You can use a diffuser or sit under a hood dryer, but do not touch til its dry. I also use Mixed Chicks leave-in (follow their instructions first, not using alot and get soft fluffy, bouncy defined curls-its a hit & miss with my hair), the shampoo dries my scalp (the creators are mixed with black and white, but both my parents are black, so it takes too much oil out my hair/scalp. The flaking was not cute, but I live by the leave-in.

  3. Jayla says:

    If the tightly curly method works for you, then simply say that it does and elaborate. But if your hair is letting you know, in more ways than not, that it disapproves of what you are doing to it, then stop and simply say that the tightly curly method does not work for YOU and elaborate. Too many times folks want to speak for the mass to help support that it didn’t work for them (you have no idea if it really did or not unless you saw their routine every time they did it).

    It’s important to always remember that every BODY (or head) is different. No one can ever (nor should they even attempt to) speak for everyone. One should always speak from their own personal experiences. So always listen to what your body tells you regardless if the product is targeted or marketed to be used by those with naturally kinky or coily hair also known as afro-textured hair or those with naturally straight hair. Rule of thumb: just because it’s targeted or marketed towards people with kinky, curly, straight hair doesn’t mean that it is good for YOUR hair.

    There are several so-called afro-textured hair products that my hair loathes, but other people with hair like mine (naturally and extremely kinky hair) will beg to differ. My daughter’s hair and mine can’t stand StaSoftFro Hair & Scalp Spray, shea butter, Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream, coconut oil by itself (these make our hair dry, stripped, and somewhat sticky with build-up) and the list continues. I gave my mother the Cantu Shea Butter Leave In and StaSoftFro spray since it gives her hair excellent results. Again every BODY (or head) responds differently. What your body needs may not be what my body needs.

    Moreover my hair loves the conditioner that I leave on it; and it’s not that so-called leave-in conditioner either. I do not get build up with the two that I use and my head feels light and free. My hair is soft, manageable, strong, and my styles come out beautifully with a shine. For those who like body, it gives that too in combination with the styles I do.

    Now my daughter’s hair likes the routine, but I am still studying her hair to figure out what it will love versus just like. Her hair is no longer brittle or dry and dull looking; it’s like mine. Again, I am seeking the conditioner that her hair will just worship.

    Now, I do not put a whole lot of products in our hair. And I only use conditioner and an oil concoction I made to meet the needs of our hair and scalp which consists of almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil (sometimes I will switch out the olive oil with my homemade rosemary oil since that’s what it is only infused with rosemary).

    Well I’m going to bring this to a close: take the time to really learn the likes and dislikes of your hair if you really want healthy hair. Your hair may not flourish in the routines of, what seems to be, the mass. Remember, you know what your hair doesn’t like (for instance heat) then if the method calls for heat then don’t do that step in the method. Basically, eat the meat and spit out the bones. Always read the ingredients and learn about what they do.

    1. urbansista says:

      Hi Jayla, thanks for commenting. Is this the line you’re commenting on: “Most commercial store bought conditioners are not meant to be left in the hair for long periods of time. Also some of the products that Teri recommends are not really good for Afro textured hair due to some of the chemical ingredients”? Because from the rest of the comments, everyone seems to be speaking from their own experience.

      On this blog, I’ll tell readers what I’ve tried, liked or disliked, but the caveat is always: do what works best for you. I agree with you, you have to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. I do think that people in the natural hair community like to hear what other people have done — especially as a starting point for their own hair. I guess it’s because a lot of us really don’t have a lot of experience dealing with natural hair and other people’s experiences with certain routines/products can help you decide whether or not to try them out.

  4. Birdie M. Tynes says:

    Well, I have tried the tightly curly method by leaving conditioner in my hair and it works wonders for me. My curls are more defined and clump very well; I use the Aussie Moist conditioner. It smells great and is easy to wash out when I am ready to redo my twists. My hair is thick and long and is type 3c/4b. However, I cannot wear my hair with the conditioner only when it is totally loose; it makes a big puff ball with curls on the ends LOL !!! I have been natural all of my life only getting a press n curl on special occassions. Happy growing everyone and good luck with this method.

  5. Reil Henie says:

    I tried the tightly curly method although my hair is not natural and is permed. Since I live in hot and humid weather, I decided to give my hair a rest for the summer and wear it “wet”.

    I’ve been using it since and my hair is soft and i have defined curls. My hair is extremely think and very very curly and coarse even with my perm and after trying this method, its soft and very manageable. Before I had ridiculous split ends but keeping it moisturized from this method has worked wonders for my ends. I also use a hot oil treatment abt once a week with coconut oil.

    About the build up on the scalp and/or scalp irritation- Terri offers some products on her website made specifically for sensitive scalps. Additionally, I don’t understand why people don’t do some research on their own and instead try the method with a conditioner that works for their specific hair type- its not so much the products she uses as is the method she uses to comb and define curls.

    Furthermore, the conditioner should NOT irritate your scalp- if anyone knows anything about haircare, one should know that you should never use any type of conditioner on your scalp. Its made specifically for your hair. Again putting any type of conditioner on your scalp with cause buil up and blockage of pores, leading to slow hair growth, breakage etc…what you use on your scalp is shampoo not conditioner.

    Try using her method with products you know work for you and as a reviewer said above do some more research on products and really get to know what your hair likes and what it doesn’t.

    FYI- for the person who mentioned the negative review abt Terri’s book on amazon.com. That commenter obviously had personal vendetta- first of all, she posted that comment before the book was even released. Second, how is it possible that her hair was damaged 16 inches in one week as she claimed just from conditioner? If her hair was strong and healthy before, why did she even feel the need to try Terri’s method? The entire comment just seems like a load of nonsense to me and most others who left reviews on Terri’s book.

    1. urbansista says:

      I never said I was an expert on haircare, but I do know what works and doesn’t work on my hair/scalp. Conditioner can and does irritate my scalp — the reason I stopped co-washing regularly. It may not bother yours and that’s great, but for me, it can be a problem. And thanks for the update, but I did know that shampoo is used on your scalp. Everyone has to do what works best for their scalp and I know that conditioner can be a problem for me, that’s why I was asking questions about the method.

  6. Curlygirl says:

    I’ve been doing the tightlycurly method for several months now and it’s been going great! No split ends, and I used to have lots of them. I think the thing most of you all are concerned with is scalp problems. You don’t put the conditioner on your scalp. Only an inch or so away on your hair. : ) The methods not going to work for everyone. I’m 4a/4b. Plus, the ingredients are fine. Terri is thinking like a scientist, and I know because I’m a science major. She recommends certain conditioners and several conditioners. What I mean is, if you rub the same conditioner on your arm every day of your life, or even every week, what do you think is going to happen? You are likely to get things like cancer, or problems where you’re cells will not divide properly due to the ingredients. Terri says she likes to alternate between several conditioners to avoid it having an overrall affect on you. She knows what she’s talking about. ; ) I say give it a try. Sometimes you have to try and try. And, one thing to realize, all products contain ingredients that you have to watch out for… please pay attention to these ingredients — http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-toxic-12-beauty-ingredients.html# — Terri does. And take care ; )

    1. urbansista says:

      I don’t know about getting cancer from rubbing conditioner on your arm every day — some people co-wash every day and they aren’t getting cancer of the scalp… I’ll have to do some more reading about that. So far, my regimen is working pretty well and I’m a bit scared to change it up. We’ll see… I’m always up for trying something new.

  7. maria j says:

    before trying the leave in conditioner my hair & scalp were very dry & damaged. I now wash my hair twice weekly –rinse out conditioner during my shower and daily smooth my hair w/leave in condtioner-WONDERFUL-my hair & scalp are in great shape and I’m not losing handsful of hair–my hair naturally curly more biracial than natural thou I’m not biracial–Make sure yr shampoo & conditioner are moisturizing (that’s the trick)

    1. urbansista says:

      Thanks for the tips, Maria!

  8. lisa brown says:

    problem, EXCEPT when I used Aussie Moist…My scalp itched like crazy. The only conditioner that I use with this method is Herbal Essence, or Organix Coconut milk…I’ve done this to my hair for so long, the conditioner just absorbs into my hair..Never leaving a white or dull film…I just leave in the conditoner and proceed with a two strand twist and that’s it…..The method does work but you can’t put too much on the scalp….

    1. lisa brown says:

      Sorry that was cut off…I ment to say I never had a problem

  9. Tabitha says:

    Since, I have learned of Teri’s method a few months ago, I have implemented it into my hair regimen and it does wonders for my hair. However, I only use a product that does not contain harsh chemicals. My go to conditioner is Giovanni’s Triple Treat Tea Tree ‘Invigorating Conditioner’ … my hair loves this stuff and it absorbs it and leaves my curls looking fabulous.

    I do want to comment to those who said that certain conditioners agitates their scalp. My question to you is “why are you putting conditioner on your scalp?” I never put conditioner on my scalp only my hair with emphasizes on the lower half of my hair. In addition, if your hair is truly curly and you’re doing the “tightly curly” method, I don’t believe you are even suppose to apply conditioner anywhere near your scalp.

    Lastly, I want to comment that while I love Teri’s method, I agree that I would not leave a lot of the conditioners she mentions in my hair. Again, I think it is best to use an all natural (or at least one that’s close to being all natural) if you’re going to leave conditioner in your hair and you especially want to avoid leaving a conditioner in your hair that contains sulfates and silicones in my opinion. Nevertheless, what works for one person as a few of you stated, doesn’t necessarily work for the next even if you’re hair is similar.

  10. A says:

    I love her method. I do it a bit differently for ME because I wanted to use less time on my hair. The more you do this the better and better curls define.

    Let me tell you about my hair:
    Temples 4a, top of head 3b, crown and back 3c, hairline behind ears 3b. Density normal, strands are Medium mostly, quite a bit of fine and some coarse strands. My hair curled up 1st wash is at shoulers & straight is 3 in above bra strap.

    My modded tightly curly method:

    Wash scalp w/ Olive Oil Aloe creamy shampoo. My hair feels looser and less tangly/matted @ roots when I wash once per week.
    I put my hair in two halves.
    Then I get extra virgin olive and put a nickle size amt in each sect. On both sides and then take a LITTLE more and evenly massage it to roots.

    Finally, I take my Aussie Moist conditioner an smooth quarter size amounts down each section and detangle and finger comb as needed. Once it looks smooth, defined, and separated, I allow it to air dry.

    Another trick is I dont drench my hair… It works against me.

  11. Edith Gethers says:

    I have used Teri’s method and after and it left my I am not impressed. I left the conditioner in my hair dry and my curls were deformed. Alot of the conditioners come with alot alcohol. I do not recommend this method at all.

  12. Edith Gethers says:

    Sorry, I meant to say that after I left the conditioner in my hair, in the morning my hair was dry and a mess!

  13. Alisha says:

    I found a way to use this method but i do something different I deep treat the conditioner and wash it out leaving the tiniest bit out ( yes I know kinda contradicts) but than I use a thick hair cream like miss.jessies and sometimes with this curl goddess gel or any type of light gel. I than follow the rest of the steps of definingn

  14. patricia ford says:

    I love styling my 4 (some number) hair with conditioners more than gels b/c sometimes I need a break from the gels…condish only is my go to repair/moisturize product…the condish must be totally natural….organic or it will destroy my pattern in the long run

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