I’m starting this list because as a born and bred Curly Top, I know first hand what a struggle it can be to figure out how to manage/become comfortable with your hair (and do so on a budget). So, please feel free to add, reblog, and share with the curly heads you love (Please don’t delete the source.)
1- Kiss sulfates goodbye.
I didn’t even know sulfates were a thing until it was brought to my attention. Basically, they are chemicals inside many of the shampoos and hair products that you know and love, ie; Aussie, Suave, Garnier, etc.
A couple of the biggest problem-causing sulfates are called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, they promote bacteria, reduce proteins, and basically leave your hair covered in a thick layer of wax that sucks all of the natural oils out of your hair. I have been sulfate free for about a year now, and anytime I am forced to use a shampoo with sulfates in it, I can immediately tell the difference in the texture of my hair. As someone who will never spend a dime over the necessary price for beauty products, I’ve compiled a small list of my favorite Sulfate free or low sulfate products that you can find just about anywhere and that will not break the bank:
-L’Oreal Paris EverCurl This was the first product I tried after making the switch and I love it. It averages about $10 at places like Walmart and it lasts a while. They have a bunch of different options in this line like gel, style milk, etc. It’s cheap and it smells REALLY GOOD!
-Shea Moisture My favorite is their Coconut Hibiscus line, where they also offer several different types of products. This is probably my favorite out of everything that I’ve used (I’m partial to the Curl and Style Milk and the Hold and Shine Moisture Mist.) They also have a wonderful set of Shampoo and Conditioner, each product also averaging about $10.
-Miss Jessie’s This one is a little more expensive, each bottle averaging around $22, but it’s definitely worth the money. I love the Pillow Soft Curls product, but right now I’m working my way through a bottle of Multi Cultural Curls and it’s great, though not my favorite.
-Suave Professionals Now, I know that I mentioned Suave earlier in the ‘bad list’, however, they have a line of Keratin Infused shampoos that are really low in sulfates AND in price! I usually never buy the shampoos and conditioners from the lines listed above, because it’s a lot of money for a little bit of product, and, let’s face it, in a Curly Haired’s world, there’s no such thing as ‘Family Size’! I can usually hit up Walmart or CVS and get a giant bottle of both this shampoo and conditioner and pay around $9 TOTAL! THAT, my friends, is a deal!
2- Find a good oil.
I’m partial to a salon quality Argan oil, but you can use whatever suits you best depending on your type of curl. You’re probably going to pay a little more for the oil than you would some of your other products, but at a couple of pumps a few times a week, one bottle can last months.
3- Develop a solid after-shower routine.
This was a hard one for me to figure out, but once I got the hang of it, what used to be an hour long process now only takes about 15 minutes. Each routine will vary from person to person depending on your curls/resources/etc., but here is mine:
-First of all, I never wash out all of my conditioner. I don’t walk out of the shower with my hair still sudsy, but I leave just enough in that it makes the next 15-20 minutes a smoother process.
-I start by squeezing all of the excess water out of my hair, (honestly, I’ve learned that my life post-shower is so much easier if I just stand on a towel) making sure that it’s still pretty damp, but not dripping down your shoulders. It’s a fine line.
-Then, I rub a little bit of whatever curl milk I’m planning on using later into my hair (I only just learned this about a month ago and it has SAVED MY LIFE!) this seriously makes the whole brushing your hair out thing eight billion times easier. I know that people say you’re not supposed to brush your hair when it’s wet, but most of those people have board-straight hair and no actual valid opinions. You can brush curly hair when wet, or not at all. There is no in-between.
-Brush it out. I start from the ends and work your way up to avoid as much breakage as possible.
-Now I add my oil. A few pumps of Argan into my palm, and I make sure to rub it all over my hands so no matter how I touch my hair, the oil is making contact. Try to avoid the roots, just because you have your own natural oils living there and they get kind of angry (greasy) when you invite other people in. I’ve found the easiest method in doing this is to start at the highest point you plan on putting the oil, and then twisting your hair into sort of a faux-pony tail, it spreads evenly and you don’t have to worry about your hair tangling again.
-Flip and scrunch! Put however much curl milk you feel necessary into your palms, flip your hair and get to work! I like to start in my biggest problem area, which is the base of my neck. I put a little more product there than I do anywhere else because it dries out so quickly. Once I’m done, I flip my hair back and scrunch up the curls on the crown of my head a little more, just because I have an issue getting a lot of volume up there.
4- Satin pillow cases are expensive.
It’s true. I know everyone says that the way to keep moisture locked into your hair is to sleep on satin pillow cases, but they’re expensive and my head slides around. No bueno. So, I’ve found a loophole! The messy bun! It’s a life saver, really. I usually wash my hair before bed, so when I’m done putting the products in, I flip my hair over again, collect it all into a bun at the very top of my head and tie it off (I use scrunchies. They don’t leave those annoying hair-tie lines in your hair). Make sure you’re not tying it too tight though, or else it could ruin the curls and you’ll wake up with a frizzy head. This locks in the moisture and protects your curls from those pesky cotton pillow cases.
5- Stop hurting your hair!!
It’s okay. We’ve all done it. Spent hours in the bathroom with a fan and a flat iron trying to look like Megan Fox. (and proceeded to sweat out all of that hard work in a matter of hours). Stop it. Throw out the flat iron, the curling rod you use after the flat iron to get those pretty beach waves, and the hair dryer- YES! I said the hair dryer. Even with a diffuser, you’re causing unnecessary damage to those beautiful curls of yours! Be nice to your hair!
Biotin. I’m not kidding. It keeps your hair long, curly and most of all- Healthy! It’s cheap at any Walmart or drug store and as a bonus, it helps out your hair and skin too!
That’s all I’ve got for now. If I think of some others, I’ll come back and add them, but if you have any opinions or tips that I didn’t mention here, PLEASE add them! Let’s have a discussion, learn and GROW together! (See what I did there?)
My TOP hair products for short curly hair! As of 3/21/2016
My hair type: I have a good mixed of 3c (around the front of my hairline) 3a (at the crown of my head) & 3b every where else. It’s thick and gets VERY dry so..
I look for conditioners that will HYDRATE, add MOISTURE, & SHINE.
1: carols daughter black vanilla conditioner. I love this product cause #1 it smells AMAZING, and everytime I wear it, I’m complimented on great smelling hair. Too much of any conditioner will make it feel hard but this one leaves my hair feeling great!
2. Olive oil mousse- really suppose to be used for roller sets/twist outs things to that nature … But I use it as a conditioner/styler and it’s amazing , but I’m a lil heavy handed which can leave my hair just a taddd bit crunchy 😬..
3. Shea moisture curl & shine- is my handy dandy conditioner. Can never go wrong with this one. Love that it’s sulfate free, so that’s one less ingredient drying out my already dry hair .
TIPS FOR TAKING CARE OF CURLY HAIR THAT MY HAIR STYLIST SISTER HAS TAUGHT ME
1. NEVER wash your hair everyday. Go at least on day without washing your hair. It makes a HUGE difference. If you are someone who has to shower every day because you work out or other things, take your shower without wetting your hair and instead use DRY SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER. WHY: the natural oils in your hair come from the scalp. With straight or wavy hair the oil can easily travel down the hair shaft with no problem. Curly hair however is full of kinks and twists that make it harder for the oils to reach the ends of your hair. Thats why curly hair does not get greasy as easily. MOISTURE HELPS AVOID FRIZZ!!!
2. DO NOT USE SHAMPOOS AND CONDITIONERS WITH ALCOHOL OR SULFATES!!!!!! This can go for everyone. They dry out your hair and can actually damage it. That Garnier Fructise that smells so good? Yeah, no. It sucks. Dont use it. AND NEVER EVER EVER USE PANTENE!!
3. IF YOU STRAIGHTEN YOUR HAIR USE HEAT PROTECTION SPRAY!!! Cannot stress that enough. Damaged hair cannot be saved and must be cut off. If you can avoid straightening then do it, wear natural hair 90% of the time. With these tips youll be able to!! IF YOU MUST STRAIGHTEN YOUR HAIR: wash it before you do because you’ll want to go 3-4 days before washing it again. This will allow your hair to heal and restore natural oils. The night before you wash it apply leave in conditoner or some moisturizing oil and sleep with it in. This will help heal the hair and keep it soft and smooth.
4. HAIRSTYLES: you can wear your hair down a lot. Curls wont always look good after sleeping on them so you may want to put it up on the days you dont wash it. I braid my hair a lot on days i dont wash it. I also use the half up hair style a lot. And since my curls arent too tight and kinky i can wear a ponytail. But for a longer looking pony tail i use a banana clip.
5. THERE ARE REALLY GOOD PRODUCTS OUT THERE FOR CURLY HAIR. The best are Redken, Deva Curl, and Pureology. Redken and Pureology are amazing too if your hair is color treated at all. Buy shampoos and conditioner for curly hair. Or one can be just moisturizing. I use pureology curl complete conditioner, A deva curl hair scrunch gel, and a pureology split end salve (a leave in conditioner) they work wonders. I also use redken Diamond Oil. This stuff is amazing but expensive. I get a good price because of my sister.
BUT. if you cant afford those there are cheaper options available at cvs or the grocery store. CHEAPER OPTIONS include Organics and Nexxus. These are more expensive than other options but they are much cheaper than salon quality products with similar effects. both these brands offer leave in conditioners and oils for your hair. I personally use Organics Coconut Milk shampoo because it is very moisturizing. Nexxus Ultimate Moisture conditioner is amazing as well.
6. DONT USE TOO MUCH CONDITIONER! if you have curly hair you do need a decent amount. However using too much can make even your hair look and feel greasy or crusty. Use just enough to get you by. Conditioner is your best friend. Dont abuse it.
7. Get regular hair cuts. At least every 3 months. You can just get a trim but getting rid of split ends can save you from potentially going bald!
8. Finally, LOVE YOUR HAIR!! its gorgeous! Take this advice from one curly girl and use it to work MIRACLES!