You may have seen ubiquitous praise on TikTok for the viral bowl method, which many people say is the secret to styling frizz-free curls. But unlike a lot of viral hacks, this one isn’t a quick fix. It’s pretty time-consuming and definitely not for the impatient among us. 

TikTokers who have attempted the technique follow a similar method. They wash their hair with shampoo and conditioner, apply leave-in conditioner and curl cream, and brush through. They then dunk the front of their hair into a bowl of water, lift their head up, and squeeze the product back into a bowl. They repeat this process over and over on both sides. 

A TikTok creator who goes by the mononymous name of Zia demonstrated the bowl method in a video, promising in a caption that this tedious process supposedly can “reduce frizz, hydrate curls, dilute and distribute [the] product, and help with curl clumps.” Many creators on the clock app tend to dunk around two times per side, but Zia tells Allure that she goes through four rounds of it to get the job done. 

Despite the fact that this process adds several more minutes to your hair routine, TikTokers Jonathan Monroe and Kimberly Díaz believe that it’s worth putting in the extra time. Monroe says that anyone who uses lots of products to control frizz and maintain their hair’s moisture should definitely give this technique a try. 

“I find the diluting part of the bowl method really helps provide volume and curl,” he explains. Díaz finds this method to work well among both curly and wavy hair types, especially when it comes to “moisturizing curls in those winter months.”  

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Even though many of the clock app’s creators are satisfied with the bowl method’s results, two dermatologists and a cosmetic chemist remain divided on whether or not it lives up to its claims. Corey L. Hartman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist based in Birmingham, Alabama, says there “isn’t any science” behind this method, but acknowledges that it most likely “increases hydration and probably helps with curls.” 

Cosmetic chemist Ginger King agrees with Hartman and thinks there isn’t “a very scientific way to prove the claims.” She says that the bowl method may help with curl clumps, but it wouldn’t be ideal to do the bowl method every day. “You would get a lot of buildup,” King explains. 

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