The long and short of it is that many people buy hair products from other countries as Malaysian retailers don't usually carry items for those born with naturally curly hair, but now you can obtain CGM-certified products from our Malaysian Instagram curl family!

If you’re not familiar with the term ‘CGM’, let’s quickly fill you in on that. CGM stands for the Curly Girl Method, a natural hair routine that promises to bring out the best in your curls. Hairstylist and curl expert, Lorraine Massey created the approach in 2007 and outlines it in her now-famous book, Curly Girl: The Handbook.

In essence, CGM is a hair-care strategy that substitutes harmful habits with nourishing products that are free from sulphates, silicones and parabens, resulting in a healthy curly-hair regimen. What this method does is prohibit the use of toxic chemicals and shampoos as well as heat treatments and other harmful methods that are damaging for curly hair. However, you can substitute them with gentler conditioners, hair treatments and styling products.

Photography: Pouriya Kafaei/Unsplash

If you’re blessed with curly hair, chances are that you know all too well how difficult it can be to maintain it. Unlike straight and wavy hair, curly hair comes with its own set of challenges, including an increased risk of breakage, frizz and dryness, apart from choosing the best products to combat these issues.

While growing up, there wasn’t a lot of knowledge on curly hair that was being shared or the mediated portrayal of women or men with defined curls, so we struggled with taking care of our locks. The overall opinion associated with curly hair was that it was deemed untidy, grimy and difficult to manage – but it was often left at that. People abroad (oh, lucky ones!) have access to a wide range of curl products that made it easier for them to care for their textured hair, but the same cannot be said for us Malaysians.

As a curly-haired girl myself, I know how real the struggle is, which was why I’ve done some digging to find out more about the best CGM-approved goods out there and where you can get them from online and shipped to your doorstep. What’s even better? We’ve got our very own local curly girls to also give you some advice on how to keep your mane smooth, frizz-free and intact while exuding a healthy and gorgeous look overall!

1. Browny.Locks

Browny.Locks is a Malaysia-based curl cream that has been specially formulated for all the curlies out there, which was founded by Naveesyaah Kumar, 24, a part-time model, social media influencer, former Miss Universe Malaysia contestant, marketing executive for Lorna Jane Malaysia and founder of BrownyLocks – talk about an all-rounder!

Naveesyaah revealed that she had spent years researching different curly hair products from around the world before coming up with her own concoction and giving them to a local chemist to create her dream product. The ingredients were thoroughly looked into to determine which ones would work best for curly hair and she personally tested the samples on her hair to see how they performed, which took around eight months. Naveesyaah’s goal is to introduce products that are suitable for all varieties of curly hair in Malaysia and at affordable prices too. In April 2021, the ‘Browny Locks Curl Cream' –a vegan product that’s free from mineral oil, parabens, petroleum, phthalates and sulphates – was introduced to the market.

On the one must-have item for those with curly hair, Naveesyaah suggests, “A hairstyling cream because right after a hair wash, that’s the first thing you’ll need to apply to style your hair and make sure that your curls look defined!”

For details, click here.

2. Curly Bouncy Malaysia

Yasvenaa Nagendrarao, 23, was inspired to begin this journey last year when her sister, Dee, went bald while she chose to go for a major chop as she was having a lot of problems with her hair due to all of the straightening treatments that it had been exposed to. The sisters chose to embrace their curly hair during MCO 1.0 but had a difficult time finding curl-friendly products in Malaysia.

This sparked the need and opportunity for Yasvenaa to create Curly Bouncy Malaysia on Instagram, which received lots of positive feedback from her fellow curlies. As her page grew to offer free consultations and advice to its customers, Yasvenaa started importing hair products and in barely a year, Curly Bouncy Malaysia has garnered over 3,000 followers. When asked about the one must-have item for those with curly hair, Yasvenaa mentions, “A leave-in conditioner; it’s a total game-changer in my opinion cos well-hydrated curls = happy, bouncy curls!”

Currently, Curly Bouncy Malaysia carries 12 brands such as As I Am, Aunt Jackie’s, Bounce Curl, Cantu, Curls Blueberry Bliss, Curlsmith, Flora & Curl, Giovanni, Not Your Mother's, Shea Moisture, Treluxe and Tropic Isle Living. Yasveena selects only a few items from each brand based on her customers’ feedback and product quality. As the purchases are made directly from the respective brands, you can be guaranteed of the products' authenticity. Most of the brands are headquartered in the UK and US, and shipping takes about three weeks from the point of origin.

For details, click here.

3. Quirky Curls Malaysia

Savithry Shanmugam, 23, pursued her curly hair adventure in order to assist her fellow curlies in embracing their mane while working in a pharmacy. Growing up, she used to be addressed by names such as MaggiNenas and Brush, among others. This led her to discover that there were many more people who were unaware of the charm of curly hair and the difficulty in finding genuine curly girl-approved products locally.

Savithry then began researching CGM-approved brands and with the support of her partner, she was able to be a part of this beautiful journey. As the founder of Quirky Curls Malaysia, her main goal is to inspire more curly girls to embrace their natural hair, build confidence in themselves and emphasise that curly-haired girls should value their natural hair as much as their appearance because it’s part of their identity – and not everyone is blessed with lovely curls!

On the one must-have item for those with curly hair, Savithry suggests, “A deep conditioner; it's like a multi-purpose product that you can use as a conditioner, masque or leave-in conditioner. It'll help to restore and provide moisture if you have very dry and frizzy hair!” To get your hands on genuine UK and US products such as Aussie, As I Am, Camille Rose, Cantu, Flora & Curl, Garnier, Giovanni, Not Your Mother's, Noughty, Shea Moisture and Tropic Isle Living, drop Quirky Curls Malaysia a DM on Instagram.

For details, click here.

Featured image: Aiony Haust/Unsplash

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