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Holy Hyped: we tried the TikTok bowl method for curly hair

For our new Holy Hyped series, we’re testing out some of the most-hyped curly hair techniques to go viral on your feed. And we’re giving our honest opinion! First up, we have the bowl method. 

If you're on TikTok — and you have a head of gorgeous curls — chances are you've seen the bowl method on one of your scrolls. It went viral late last year, when curly-haired content creators like @curlyzia.xo and @jonathankmonroe tested out the method, with their videos clocking more than 20 million views a piece. If you haven't heard of the bowl method yet, don't worry, we’ll break it down for you! 

So, how does it work? 

The bowl method is fairly simple, plus it doesn't call for any special tools or products. Basically, it involves placing your wet hair into a bowl, applying curl cream, scrunching, dipping the hair into the water again, applying gel, and then using a diffuser to dry the curls. The aim of the game is to give yourself more defined, bouncy curls. A video put together by Eylül Doğan, our social media and content manager, can show you how it’s done:


So, the bowl offers a sort of "mold" for your curls, helping to define them and keep them bouncy and voluminous.  By allowing your curls to dry while nestled inside the bowl, they have less of a chance to fall flat or lose their shape. 

What did we think when we tried it out?

Is this unique method actually effective for curly hair, or is it another TikTok trend that's all hype? Let's dive in and find out!

Eylül approached the bowl method in her own unique way. Here’s how she did it. “I dunked my hair once before starting the styling routine to fully wet my hair, then I used the cream to activate the curls and moisturise my hair. I dunked my hair once more from the front and scrunched the curls, then I repeated these steps three times for the sides and front once more. After that, I used the gel to capture all the moisture and the curls,” says Eylül.

As you can imagine, the steps of the bowl method might take a bit more time than your usual wash day routine — but if you’ve got a bit of extra time, it can totally be worth it! Plus the technique has some surprising anti-frizz benefits. “I think the bowl method is definitely worth the time if you want frizz-free voluminous big curls, but since I have medium porosity hair, I can experience a similar outcome by just styling my hair dripping wet right after the shower,” says Eylül. 

But what about other porosity types? How will the bowl method work there? Well, there’s one hair type that might just love this method. “I believe the bowl method can be crucial for low porosity girlies whose hair struggles to absorb moisture and products since the method increases the moisture absorption,” says Eylül.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you pick the bowl that’s right for you! It’s a small matter, but an oh-so-important one. “As I have medium-length hair a bowl that can cover all my lengths was fine to use but I would totally recommend using a bigger and wider bowl because narrow bowls make it harder to dunk your head in,” says Eylül.

What are some of the drawbacks of this method?

There are a few potential downsides to the bowl method. As we mentioned before, it can all come down to the bowl size. It can be tricky to find a bowl that's the right size and shape for your head and hair. If the bowl is too small, it might not provide enough support for your curls, while a bowl that's too large might not provide enough structure to define your curls.

Additionally, the bowl method may not work as well for certain hair types or textures. If your hair is particularly thick or heavy, it might be quite challenging to get all of your curls into the bowl and maintain their shape throughout the drying process.

Should you try it on your curls?

Well, it all comes down to your hair type, personal preference, and openness to experiment with new techniques. If you're looking for a fun way to style your curls and want to give the bowl method a try, go for it! Just make sure to use a bowl that's the right size and shape for your hair and be prepared to adjust your technique as needed to get your desired results.

Also, this approach may not work on certain types of hair, so keep that in mind (plus there are plenty of other techniques to try, which we will look at in future Holy Hype stories). Holy Curls founder Badria Ahmed says that some curl patterns might just need a little more hydration. “For high porosity or with thick, tighter hair textures, the hair will need something that seals the cuticle. So, the hair would need a routine that gives them more hydration than the bowl method,” says Badria.

On the other hand, if you're a bit unsure about trying the bowl method or don't think it's the right fit for your hair, that's totally fine! There are plenty of other tried-and-true techniques for styling your beautiful curls, from plopping to diffusing to air-drying. The key is to find the method that works best for you and your hair, and to have fun experimenting along the way.

Final thoughts...

In the end, while the bowl method may not be the right fit for everyone, it can be a great way to create more defined and voluminous curls. Just make sure to choose a bowl that's the right size and shape for your hair, and be prepared to adjust your technique as needed. And most importantly, have fun and embrace your gorgeous curls, no matter how you choose to style them!

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