As most of you may have noticed, I have curly hair. Growing up curly with no one to teach me what to do was hardly easy. It’s taken me years to figure out how to take care of my curls and I want to share with you my Curly Hair Styling tips and Favorite Products.
I’ve met a lot of hair products in my day and they are NOT all created equal! When picking out hair products you really have to know your hair. Is it thick or thin? Is it Dry or is it damaged? It is frizzy or is it poofy? Is it curly or is it wavy? Are you looking to define your curls, just hold them in place, or both? Knowing the answer to all of these questions will help you pick out the right product and figure out how much of it to use. So, pay attention when you picking out your products. Read the labels for what kind of hair care the products are for. It’s also important to remember that when styling your hair, it’s all trial and error.
How much product should I use?
When it comes to hair care products you should always read the instructions but keep in mind that it’s only a recommendation. Usually a styling product’s usage can be tweaked to your liking. Start by using the suggested amount then increase or decrease from there.
Using too much product can do multiple negative things for your curls. First, if you use too much and it’s near your roots you can weigh your hair down. That will cause your curls higher up to flatten out while the curls near the end of your hair retain their volume but also be a bit frizzy or poofy. Thus, giving you the ever so infamous triangle head. Second, if your curls aren’t weighed down they may look greasy instead of the, intended, shiny. Nobody wants to rock that look!
What is the best way to apply my product?
When using a gel, cream, or mousse the product instructions usually tell you to add a small amount into the palm of your hand. Instead, put the product on the end of your fingertips and lightly coat the insides of your fingers with it. Why? Because when you are putting the product into your hair you mostly run the hair between your fingers to get maximum coverage. When you only put the product on the palms of your hands most of the product ends up on the top and bottom sides of your hair making it appear greasy because that amount of product was intended for all of the hair in between as well.
As a curly-haired girl make sure that after applying your product you define your curls. Most of us have the kind of waves or curls that have a mind of their own and will reappear after a shower or styling but you can never have curls that look too good. For this, sprunching will be your new best friend. If you don’t know, sprunching is a gentle squeezing motion. To sprunch start from the ends, grab a small handful of hair and push upward while squeezing ever so slightly. repeat all around your head.
*Side note* I find that if you sprunch again after your hair is dry it separates your hairs a little and adds some volume. Especially if you only re-sprunch at the roots.
Hand application VS spray application
Products that have to be applied via your hands are awesome products. I have many and use them on occasion but let’s admit they aren’t always convenient. I personally don’t like the feeling of having styling gel or hair cream all over my hands. I prefer to use a spray gel. Now spray gels come in a couple of different formulas. There’s the kind that is exactly the same as a tube or tub of gel which is thick and goopy then there’s the “spray gel” that is thinner and has a liquid consistency. I recommend going with the spray gel that is thinner. Why? Because anything you spray into your hair you want it to spray in an even mist. With the thicker gel, no matter what you do, it will not spray in a smooth even mist. It’s going to come out in more of a stream causing parts of your hair to have globs of product in it. It’s also quicker and easier. I like my hair to look like I put a ton of time into it without actually having to do so.
My personal favorite spray gel is the Herbal Essence Tousle Me Softly Tousling Spray Gel. It’s insanely inexpensive (around $3) and widely available. I typically purchase mine at Walmart. Just spray it evenly all over your hair then sprunch away. You can either blow dry for a little more volume or let your hair air dry. When you’re done you’ll have nicely defined curls and your hair will feel soft and natural.
Shampoo and Conditioner
In my experience, I have never found that using any shampoo or conditioner that claims to be for curly hair, voluminous curls, or defined curls is any help whatsoever. With that, I choose to use products for all hair types. When I purchase shampoo and conditioner I use anything that will focus on anti breakage, softness and shine, and protection against heat damage.
When it comes to choosing what brand to use, I’m not that picky. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to use quality products but it’s not always in my budget. For the longest time I just used whatever I could find locally. My favorite being TresEmme Anti Breakage or I believe now they call it breakage defense. They have different formulas for all types of hair and you really get a lot of bang for your buck. It usually costs about $3.49 -$4.49 a bottle but it’s enormous. It’s twice the size of almost everything else at the store and it will last about 3 months (with daily usage,which is what I do). If you only wash your hair a couple of times a week, well, sheesh, they could probably last you the better part of a year! I linked it here from Target but, as with most everything else I use, it’s widely available. I’m sure you can find it at your favorite store.
Recently, since my budget allows for it, I have been trying other brands. Currently I am using a new brand of shampoo and conditioner from my absolute favorite company, Head Kandy. They are amazing! Customer service is off the chain and the owner is so funny and so kind and incredibly generous. I HIGHLY recommend you check them out. The company has only been around for about 3 years. I have been a die-hard fan of their hair straightening appliances and they just released a wet line. It consists of shampoo, conditioner, a leave-in conditioning spray/heat protectant, and an argan oil (better known as Squad Goals). The leave in conditioning spray is awesome all by itself because it doubles as a heat protectant. So, when I straighten my hair it’s one less product that I have to use. Hair WIN! I’m all about less being more when it comes to my hair.
They have so many other products and accessories that you should check out too! I haven’t used the oil yet because I have one already. The other three products, though… They are incredible! They are absolutely salon quality products for a great price. Each one is $16 and worth every penny. They have amino keratin in them and they leave your hair feeling so healthy and soft. Not to mention it smells so, so, so good!
Another product I really love is the TresEmme Perfectly Undone Ultra Brushable hold hairspray. Most of the time I don’t use hairspray but when I am pinning my bangs back I like them to hold their shape. In which case I will cave and use some. But I like that this hairspray has a good hold without being gritty after it dries. Even if I accidentally use too much it doesn’t feel heavy. Again, it’s really affordable. You guys know me and my frugality.
*UPDATE* Tresemme may have discontinued the perfectly undone line. I have not been able to find this anywhere in store or online. BUT… should I need to find something similar to use, I would search around for something with similar properties like how strong is the hold? The stronger the hold the more gritty and unnatural your hair is going to feel when it is in. Search for something that is a 1 or a 2 versus anything stronger. It all depends what you are looking for, With most all hairspray you wont see it but the stronger the hold the more you are going to feel the product in your hair.
Last but not least is argan oil. There are dozens of brands of argan oil out there and some are better than others. For maximum results with argan oil, you’ll want to make sure that it says 100% argan oil. Some companies will mix it with other ingredients (such as the brand I am sharing) and dilute it’s capabilities. Also, if you can, purchase argan oil that comes in a dark bottle as light tends to degrade the product over time. The brand I have been using is by OGX. It comes in a small bottle and cost around $7.99. It’s a little pricier than what I am used to but a little goes a long way so even though it comes in a small package it’s going to last you a good, long while. I purchased mine from my local Walgreen’s but OGX is carried at tons of retailers.
Argan oil is a great product especially for very dry hair. You’re probably scared of oil if you’ve never used it because you think it will make your hair greasy. It won’t if you don’t use too much. With this product the key is to remember that way less is way more! It seriously depends on how thick or thin your hair is or if you have a lot of hair. For me, a person with thin hair but a lot of it at shoulder length, I use about a dime sized amount (in total) for my entire head. I carefully spread it through my hair so as to get an even application. I like to put it in when my hair is still wet and when it dries it is so stinkin’ soft. Some people who have very dry or brittle hair will apply it to their hair when it’s dry to help add moisture.
Air dry or Blow dry?
How do you know if you should let your hair dry on its own or use a blow dryer? Honestly, it’s completely up to you. The important thing to know is that each method will yield different results. On top of that, your hair type will vary those results. For me, it depends on the time of year. In the warmer months, I tend to air dry. I like my hair to dry on its own when possible because my curls are more defines an even. In the winter, I like to use my blow dryer because when I leave for work before the sun rises it’s extremely cold outside. Leaving the house with wet hair just makes it worse. While blow drying my hair isn’t my favorite method I do like that it gives me some volume that would’t have been there naturally. All in all, either way will get the job done. Toy around with your hair and see which way you like the best. If you do use a blow dryer make sure to use a heat protectant to seal your hair from breakage and use a diffuser attachment so you don’t lose your curls.
Every person’s hair is different. Products that work well for one person may not work for another. In that case you just have to keep looking until you find what works for you. That’s what I had to do. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s like trying to find a hidden treasure. Whether you’re here to find new tips to tame your mane or are new to the curl world, I hope that my Curly Hair Styling Tips and Favorite Products help.