Raise your hand if you’ve ever considered using a mixing bowl to style your curls.
Yeah didn’t think so.
But it is a legit way to not only get curly hair that looks exquisitely lush and all but to also save water.
Plus it helps you save money on the sometimes pricey styling products you need to style your hair.
Even better the curly girl bowl method for clumping hair helps with another frustration – lack of curl clumps. (Of course if your hair is more wavy than curly you may want to check out our article on how to get wavy hair to clump. But I digress.)
Best of all it solves one of the biggest problems plaguing curly hair. Lack of hydration.
So what’s not to like?
Yeah but. If you’ve been out of the loop you may be wondering …
What is the bowl method?
Good question. Let me lay it out for you real quick.
After applying leave-in you squish to condish your soaking wet hair that’s flipped upside down over a bowl. This catches any conditioner water squeezed out. Dip your strands back into that water repeatedly. Dunking as often as needed while scrunching until your clumps are smooth and slippery as seaweed.
You might look at it this way.
This routine takes squish to condish to a whole new level. Even for wavy hair.
It helps to insure your curls or waves are super saturated with water and product. Which as you know is a great way to get big, bodacious curls.
Tip: Don’t expect to see a huge amount of excess water in the bowl. But you should get enough to totally saturate your already dripping wet hair while working the product deeply into your strands.
Now some keep the same water they used to catch the leave in conditioner to catch any styling gel squished out too.
Others dump the first catchings containing the leave in and start fresh with gel water. Usually spraying more water on their hair to keep it drenched.
There are no hard and fast rules here. Other than water is the key to getting supremely hydrated hair. So don’t be shy.
Tip: It’s usually best to use a plastic bow that’s bigger than your head.
Basically this is nothing more than a way to infuse your curls with product and water. While recycling the product.
You’re also insuring the product is distributed thoroughly throughout your hair.
This results in maximum hydration, luscious, juicy clumps and amazing curl definition.
Q: How Exactly Did You Do The Bowl Method?
The bowl method simplified comes down to this.
After each product used in your routine is applied you want to…
- Scrunch and squish to condish over your bowl catching what water is squeezed out
- Dip your hair into the water caught in the plastic bowl
- Scrunch some more
- Re dunk into the product water as often as necessary (or the number of times you find it takes to get good results)
- Apply the next product in your styling routine and repeat
Some dunk over and over again as many as 10-12 times.
For others two or three seems to suffice.
Others still say they continue with dunking and scrunching until there is next to no water left in the bowl.
You’ll know it’s going well when you have chunky clumpage that feels silky smooth. Kinda slippery. Maybe even a bit on the slimy side.
That’s a sign your hair is like totally hydrated. With water and product driven deep into each and every strand. Which is just what you want.
It should also signal that a good curly hair day straight ahead.
Tip: Don’t forget the back of your head. You want to scrunch it while flipping your hair from side to side.
This side to side trick is needed to keep the hair on the back of your head from being stuck back there. Plastered to your head if you will.
Plus all this scrunching helps to encourage curl shrinkage.
Did I mention this technique works well with both curly and wavy hair types?
Now to help demonstrate all that here’s a video. It walks you through the process using leave in conditioner and hair gels.
The video clip ends with a before and after shot of the clumping she was able to achieve with this method that’s not be missed.
Maybe this is why so many are obsessed with doing this?
Curly Girl Bowl Method: 5 Reasons Why So Many Swear By It
This method has the potential be a game changer for your curls.
Just don’t get all excited and expect this to solve all the issues you’ve got with your curls or waves.
At least not without playing around with the number of times you scrunch and dunk your head into the bowl. You know to get to the optimal routine for your hair.
Still that’s not to say there aren’t many reasons to be excited about this stuff.
So here may be five reasons why so many swear by the curly girl bowl method.
Maximum Hydration For Thirsty Curls
Numero Uno. You have to love anything that offers to better hydrate those sometimes dry curls of yours, no?
It shouldn’t be surprising that thirsty curls want to absorb that product water.
Think of this bowl method is as extreme squish to condish. Taking what is already an intensive hydration routine to the next level.
Less Product Going Down the Drain
We both know some of the products suggested by magazines, YouTubers or web sites aren’t exactly cheap. So the cost of those big blobs you’re applying can add up fast.
Not to mention the heartbreak of watching perfectly good product get rinsed down the drain before its time.
So don’t underestimate the value you get from the lack of product waste here.
Catching product that would otherwise circle the drain too soon lets you get the most goodie out of every styling product application.
That saves you money. It also gives you great looking hair for less.
Leaves You With Volume to Spare
Curls lack for volume? This may be the fix for that. Because anytime you style with your hair upside down you’re just setting the stage for all sorts of volume.
Isn’t that every curly girl’s dream? Bigger clumps?
When curls are drenched in water and coated with gel it’s just plain easier to get ones that are bigger. Dare I say best ever?
Sure maybe not the first time. But once you figure out the optimal routine you this may well be the case.
More Defined Curls
Once you learn how to clump epic, more defined curls are a piece of cake. That pretty much just happen.
More curl definition usually means less frizz too.
Oh and did I mention more shine?
Foolproof Path to Less Frizz?
As I just said anytime you get better hydrated curls you should expect to see less frizz.
The key for that outcome is no strand left behind. Cause if each hair is treated to a heavy infusion of water, conditioner and gel the frizz should be a much smaller problem.
In part because it often rears its ugly head in parched strands to begin with.
Q: How do you get your hair in the back to fall normally after styling upside down
Q: How do you get your hair in the back to fall normally after styling upside down
Okay so you style your mane upside down for volume. But it can come at a cost to the hair at the back of your head. Those forgotten strands can end up looking kinda weird. Wonky. So avoiding this is a valid concern.
Now to fix any hair in the back that may be plastered to your head in the upside down position try this.
Tilt your head back and swing your hair from side to side. You don’t want to go all crazy. A gentle swaying back and forth should work to induce the hair in the back to fall back in place like it would normally.
Some will take this a step further by squishing it some while it’s hanging to the side. Focusing their attention on the hair in the back.
Q: Do you start with water in the bowl?
Some do. Some do not.
Most feel the amount of excess conditioner water caught in the bowl is sufficient.
Plus there’s a drawback to starting with five or six cups of cold water in your bowl. That is you’re further diluting your leave-in conditioner or other styling products. Which is probably not what you want.
So honestly just catching what’s already dripping from your hair should suffice.
Q: Doesn’t this take a lot of work and time?
I hear you.
Seems like a lot of work.
Besides there ain’t no one got time for another long and involved process for dealing with curly hair. Or curls that tend to be high maintenance anyway.
Trust me. This isn’t meant to be some time consuming product application process.
I know “powerdomi”, who some credit with inventing this squish to condish bowl method, says it takes her no more than three minutes max.
That includes applying leave in conditioner to her sopping wet wavy hair. Squishing that in. Then dunking her strands in the conditioner water she caught. And scrunching some more.
Followed by gel application and squishing that in. Dunking and repeating several times as well.
So, no. This is not meant to be some drawn out routine.
If you’re interested her video on Instagram can be found if you search in Google for “powerdomi bowl method”.
But I’ve taken the liberty to link to her Instagram post. You’ll find it consists of five short video clips which explain what she does and why.
So that’s it.
Think maybe you should try it?
What have you got to lose?
Who knows you may become a life-long convert.
While telling anyone who will listen that you’ve never had curls like this before. All because you squeezed your super wet hair loaded with gel into a bowl.
Hey! Don’t forget to follow our curly hair Pinterest board. Following us means you’ll never miss a single awesome hack, tip or trick for making your swirling strands look curly-fabulous.