I have curly hair, but you might not know that when first meeting or looking at me. Up until a couple of years ago, I didn’t know the best way to care for my hair or the best products to use, so I always hated the way my hair looked. I felt like a drowned poodle.
For reference, here I am when I was living in Scotland 5 years ago, giving you full Merida vibes.
Soon I started straightening it more and more, then using a wand to create waves, because I felt that was more socially accepted as beautiful. Even TV and movies characters with curly hair are portrayed as spazzy, eccentric, and wild. I thought to look professional and put together meant having sleek, styled hair.
Luckily, a curly hair movement has begun and I recently began the journey of finding the right hair care routine that gives my curls new life. Here’s what has worked for me so far!
Products and Tools:
- Kenra Shampoo and Conditioner
- L’Oreal Heat Protectant
- Tresemme Mouse and Hairspray
- OGX Moroccan Oil
- Wide Tooth Comb
- No Pull Hair Ties
Day 1 Routine:
When I plan on wearing my hair naturally curly (basically every day from June to September due to humidity) I shower in the morning and use my Kenra shampoo and condition. Any sulfate and phthalate free products are great for curly hair. My shampoo isn’t specifically formulated for curly hair, but it has helped my curls stay tighter and less frizzy than drugstore options that say they cater to drier, curlier hair.
After shampooing, I put on conditioner, comb through my hair with a very wide tooth comb, and then twist and clip my hair up for the rest of my shower routine. This way the conditioner sets in without dripping off my back or getting wet and rinsing out too soon. Then I do a light rinse and put my hair up in a microfiber hair towel, which I highly recommend trying, no matter your hair type.
Now, this is crucial: I only comb my hair in the shower. When I get ready to put in my hair products I simply do as Willow Smith taught me – I whip my hair back and forth. I do this to break up the solid slab of wet hair without having to recomb it and pull out the curls. Then I will squeeze and scrunch my hair with the microfiber towel to get out an excess water.
The rest is pretty simple. I spray on the heat protectant spray, then put about a half dollar size of mousse into the hair while scrunching it to create the curl pattern. Then I snap my diffuser head onto my hairdryer and let it do the rest of the work for me.
Finally, once dry, I rub a little OGX Moroccan oil into my hands and work that through my hair, which might feel a little crunchy from the mousse. This softens the curls, tames the frizz and adds some volume. Add a bit of hairspray where needed and you are on your way.
Hot diffuser tip: Don’t bounce the hair dryer up and down. Pick a section of hair and scrunch with the diffuser from ends to roots and hold it there for 15 seconds. Keep doing this with sections of hair until 80-90 percent dry. This helps form and hold curls better and reduces frizz.
Day 2 Routine:
If you are like me, it’s a hassle to wash your hair every day, especially with all the work that goes into it (see above). When I want to refresh my curls for the second day, I take a small squirt bottle of water and dampen my hair until its saturated but not dripping. If needed, I’ll run a comb through it quickly and then re-scrunch with my microfiber towel. Depending on time, I will either air dry or use my diffuser. Finally, like day 1, I will finish with some hair oil and a bit of hairspray.
A lot of times, I will wear my hair in a top knot/messy bun, or do a half bun look on the second day. My hair tends to be a bit frizzier on day 2 too, so the Moroccan oil works wonders.
To keep my curls from frizzing or pulling out during the night, I put my hair into a very loose ponytail with a Scrunchie on top of my head.
What’s Your Curly Hair Routine Look Like?
Let me know some of your favorite curly hair products in the comments! I, like many girls, hated my curly hair growing up and am finally at a place where I appreciate the natural beauty and versatility of my hair. I learned that finding the right products with the right ingredients is key to achieving the hair you want and I am always looking for suggestions!