‘Bowl method’ for curly hair has gone viral on TikTok – we tried it out

TikTok is a veritable treasure trove of useful tips and tricks across all walks of life, but especially when it comes to beauty tricks, from a £ 2 fairy hair makeup to designer perfume jerks.

One of the latest styling techniques to go viral on the video sharing app is the “bowl method” for curly hair, which involves dipping the strands in water and rubbing them to create defined wisps of curls.

The initial video that sparked the viral trend was created by @ curlyzia.xo, who shared how she uses the method to create hydrated and defined curls.

The clip has now been viewed more than 14 million times, with curls everywhere now putting the innovative style hack to the test and sharing their results. So how exactly does it work, we hear you ask?

User TikTok @ curlyzia.xo has collected over 14 million views on one of his bowl method videos

How does the bowl method for curly hair work?

After shampooing and conditioner, apply curl cream to clean, wet hair. Then, using a bowl large enough to “soak” all of your hair, soak the curls in warm water and scrunch them, letting the excess water fall back into the bowl.

This dunk-n-scrunch process is repeated four times, reusing the same water, to encourage the hair to really absorb moisture. Then apply a product with a good seal, such as a gel or a mousse.

“Applying products to wet hair creates the smoothest curls,” explains Lizzie Carter, founder of Only Curls. “The bowl method helps create amazing wisps of curls and forces more water into the hair for more hydration.”

“Some of the product you apply will be rinsed off in the process, but as it goes back to the bowl you reuse, some of it will reapply to your hair,” he adds. “The water will also help the product absorb better into the hair resulting in extra hydration.”

The bowl method involves "soak and nibble" curls four times after applying a cream product
The bowl method involves the curls being “soaked and wrinkled” four times after applying a cream product

Anyone can try the bowl method for curly hair, but it’s especially useful for those hair types that really need moisture. that’s how OK! ‘ Beauty writer Lucy got along well when she tried it …

Lucia says:

In a story that is as old as time, I started taking care of my hair a lot more in isolation and my curly pattern was really revived. So I was curious to see if the bowl method could make them more bouncy and more defined, as so many TikTokers have experienced.

After washing my hair I untangled and applied the cream to the wet curls – using Kristin Ess Moisturizing Curl Cream, £ 8 here. Then I dipped my head in the bowl of hot water and scrunched, repeating the process four times, before applying my current favorite sealing product. Bumble and Bumble mousse, £ 25 here, to my curls and spreading them dry.

So … does it work? I personally didn’t find the results from my first attempt to be more defined than my styling regimen usually gets – if anything they were flatter – so I’m not sure if it’s worth it to me.

Lucy Abbersteen
Lucy actually found that her hair was flatter and less defined after trying the viral method

I also noticed that my curls looked their best after just a “mash and wrinkle” and repeating the process actually seemed to make my hair look less defined.

But that’s not to say the method doesn’t work – there are seemingly endless TikTok videos of hedgehogs loving the improved results the bowl method gets to them.

OK!Kelby’s digital director is a huge fan and regularly uses the method to enhance the definition of curls after she untangles her hair.

Each curly head is different, so the best way to find out if it works right for you is to just try it out!

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