All About the Bowl Method for Curly Hair

Bowl Method for Curly, Wavy, and Coily Hair

From dance moves to fashion tips, TikTok has made a big impact on the style world. The curly hair community is one of the best places to browse tips, tricks, hacks, and ideas. The latest curly hair styling trend to transcend TikTok and make it into hair care blogs, vlogs, and homes around the world is the bowl method for curly hair. This unique method is simple and can be achieved with products already in your shower. With the much-talked-about frizz-free results, it's no wonder the viral bowl method is #trending.

But is this curly hair hack more than a passing trend? Our experts took a deep dive into the science behind TikTok and explored the why behind the wow factor. We've put together a complete guide on what the technique entails, why so many beauty gurus swear by it, what we love about the bowl method for curly hair, and what we could live without when it comes to our curly hair routine.

What Exactly Is the Bowl Method?

There's a lot of buzz about the bowl method being a game-changer for curly hair. Claims of maintaining frizz-free curls straight out of the shower to strengthening your curl pattern with extra hydration for a more defined shape abound. But what exactly is the bowl method for curly hair and is it really all it's cracked up to be?

Simply put, the bowl method is exactly what it sounds like. You wash your hair as you normally would, apply shampoo and conditioner, follow with leave-in conditioner and curl cream, then brush out your lovely locks with a wet brush. Here's where the fun begins! Fill a bowl with cool water. Dunk the ends of your hair into the bowl, lift, squeeze the product back into the bowl and repeat this process several times. TikTok creator Zia recommends four cycles to achieve frizz-free, vibrant results. Zia uses the bowl method to "reduce frizz, hydrate curls, dilute and distribute [the] product, and help with curl clumps." If you're looking for a quicker option, others recommend dunking each side twice to give your hair the extra boost of moisture it's been craving.

The bowl method works well for all curly hair types as well as wavy hair types. Think of the bowl method as a variation on a DIY hair mask. Rather than losing all that conditioner and product through lack of absorption, the bowl method provides your hair with a unique deep conditioning treatment that you can do at home.

Woman curling hair using cosmetics products, doing curly style treatment on hair

Why Is the Bowl Method So Effective?

The idea of dunking your head in the water to achieve perfect curls might sound like some sort of ancient spell, but there's nothing mysterious about this magical remedy. The bowl method works by increasing moisture absorption. This is particularly effective for low porosity hair that struggles to absorb moisture and product. Experts have found that diluting the bowl is the most effective part of the process when it comes to enhancing volume and curl definition. The dilution step ensures the product is evenly distributed through your hair. This is especially important if your curls are thick and dense.

In addition to boosting volume and shine, keeping the hair wet longer combats the post-shower frizz. The bowl method for curly hair gives your curls more contact time with the product. This allows the hair shaft to seal and lock in those amazing nutrients. If you find yourself using lots of products to maintain your gorgeous curls, the bowl method for curly hair is definitely worth a shot. 

But Does It Really Work?

Now for the question everyone has been waiting for. Does the bowl method for curly hair really work?

Like all hair techniques, the method works if you work it. Take a closer look at what we love about the bowl method for curly hair before trying out the trend.

What We Love About the Bowl Method

  • Fights Frizz and Flyaways. 

    The votes are in and the bowl method for curly hair is great for smoothing your lovely locks without the need for heat straightening or chemical treatments. The bowl method is the perfect companion to a low-heat lifestyle.

  • Gives Your Hair an Extra Boost.

    This technique not only fights frizz effectively but the formula delivers shine and volume too! Great for sculpting, styling, and naturally enhancing your curls.

  • Simple and Easy to Implement. 

    You don't need to be a beauty guru to catch this trend and there's no risk of a mishap ruining your hair.

  • Great for Wavy and Curly Hair. 

    Any curl pattern can benefit from the bowl method.

  • Budget Friendly. 

    You won't need to invest in special products or styling tools to try out this method.

  • Color Friendly.

    In the following, the bowl method for curly hair is safe for color-treated hair.

  • Works with Your Extensions. 

    This gentle method can be used on locs, braids, twists, and more!

  • Great for Seasonal Curly Hair Care Needs.

     Looking for a way to combat winter dryness for curly hair? You're in luck! The bowl method for curly hair is a simple, but effective way to meet your hair's seasonal needs. We recommend adjusting the number of cycles you do depending on the season. For instance, you may want to do two dips in the summer and four in the winter to maximize shine and reduce excess oil build-up.

There's a lot to love about the bowl method for curly hair! With so many healthy hair benefits, it's easy to see how this styling hack has soared in popularity.

Woman spraying conditioner on Curly Hair

Are There Any Downsides to Implementing the Bowl Method in Your Daily Curl Care Routine?

Perfection is a myth as they say and the same holds true for hair hacks and "miracle" beauty routines. While there are plenty of reasons why this technique is so popular, there are also a few notable downsides to consider before committing to the bowl method.

What We Don't Love About the Bowl Method for Curly Hair

  • Time Consuming.

    The bowl method can easily take 10-15 minutes of extra time. If you're in a rush, this may not be the best everyday hair hack for you.

  • Messy. 

    Dunking your curls in a bowl of water after each shower isn't the neatest way to style. In fact, it can be quite messy and leave a small flood on the bathroom counter. We recommend putting towels down before giving this technique a try.

  • Not for Straight Hair.

    If you're looking for a way to restore shine and softness to straight hair, this technique isn't for you. In fact, those who have tried it with fine, straight locks report that the method made their hair oily and flat.

  • Don't Forget to Brush. 

    While the bowl method is a fairly simple technique, there are a few guidelines you'll want to follow to make your curls truly shine. Brushing any tangles out beforehand is essential. Remember to squeeze out your hair after each dip to remove any clumps from your curls. Because the process is fairly involved, it can often seem like a big undertaking.

  • Doesn't Travel Well.

    As much as we love adding this technique to our summer curl care routine, the bowl method isn't one that travels well. It's clunky, a bit messy, and not a styling hack that's easily suited to hotels. We recommend leaving the bowl method at home when it comes time for summer vacation. Try a few of our other favorite curl care techniques for travel and summertime instead.

  • A Good Technique is Only as Good as Its Products.

    While the bowl method itself is a great way to seal in nutrients, the foundation of the technique is the products themselves. If the products you're using aren't curly hair approved, then the results may be less than stunning too. It's important to invest in high-quality curly hair products beforehand so you can rest assured that your method is backed by the best formulas for your hair type.

beautify woman with coily hair

Finding the right technique for your curls is an exciting journey. With new trends popping up every day, there's always something big on the horizon when it comes to natural hair care. The TikTok famous bowl method for curly hair is our current favorite new home haircare hack. Simple, yet effective, this technique unlocks your hair's potential by providing a deeply nourishing treatment. Best of all, there's no need to book a salon appointment for this trend. Everything you need to capture your own TikTok famous moment is already in the comfort of your home. The best beauty hacks are low maintenance, budget-friendly, and deliver fabulous results.

Have you given the bowl method for curly hair a try? Let us know your thoughts on the good, the bad, and the trendy. Happy styling!