Every naturally curly haired person knows the perpetual struggle to find the best products or “Holy Grail” for their coils. The journey can be frustrating, exhausting and expensive. With frizz as our arch nemesis, followed by his goons; knots & dryness. I have been an active participant in the search for the “fountain of curls.” To those of you paying compliments to our bouncy ringlets; you have NO IDEA the amount of tears it has taken to get them this way.
In current times, the amounts of natural/curly hair products are limitless. Long ago, the problem was that there were barely any products available to help tame the mane. Nowadays, the problem is choosing the right ones to suite your personal curl pattern and needs. Do you shop by item or by collection? Do you shampoo, pre-poo or co-wash? Conditioner or Deep conditioner, etc… This can be as overwhelming, as not having any products.
I have been a member of the natural hair community for over four years. The experience has made it easier to know the kind of products my hair will like and react positively to. Sometimes it can be as simple as reading the ingredients on the label. Not to say that I don’t encounter a few setbacks now and again. Case in point: Recently, a good friend of mine gifted me some products that she found worked perfectly on her tresses. We had always been convinced we were curl twins, with almost the same exact pattern. She wanted to share her new and exciting find with me. Sadly, the products were not effective for me and made me look as puffy as a cloud. She had good intentions (Thanks M)!
I have drawn up a curly girl’s guide for getting your hair to play nice, which I call Karen’s Guide to Curls and Coils:
- Pre-poo: The process before cleansing. This is a good time to apply your perfect hair oil to both scalp and shaft. This provides much needed moisture to our thirsty curls. Favorites: Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Tea Tree Oil.
- Shampoo: Many shampoos now are sulfate and paraben free, making them Curly Hair Friendly. Personally, I prefer Co-Washing. Co-washing is a clarifying conditioner, used to both wash and condition, without the harshness of shampoo. Shampoo tends to strip the hair of natural oils our hair produces. Favorites: As I Am Co-Wash, Matrix Biolage Cleansing Conditioner, Jasön Pure Natural Restorative Biotin Shampoo.
- Conditioner: I look for conditioners with great slippage. This helps with the detangling process. Use a wide tooth comb. Favorites: Curls Coconut Sublime Conditioner, Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner.
- Deep Conditioning: MOST IMPORTANT PROCESS. Deep conditioning is a necessity for textured and curly hair. Curls and coils are very fragile. Deep conditioning helps to strengthen the hair shaft. It helps mend split ends and promote hair growth. I recommend deep conditioning once a week. You’ll see the difference immediately. Favorites: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner (YES, again), Mielle Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner, Soultanicals Curl Elastic Deep Conditioner, Silicon Mix Deep Conditioner
- DO NOT TOWEL DRY! Use a t-shirt. This limits the amount of frizz production.
- Leave-In Conditioner: Apply a good leave in conditioner throughout your hair. Favorites: Ouidad Moisture Lock
- Oil: Apply a light oil to seal the conditioner and avoid moisture. I prefer a light silicon based oil, as anything to thick can weigh my hair down.
- Favorite: Fantasia IC Hair Polish with Olive Oil Moisturizing.
- Cream/Styler: Use your favorite curl styler. Favorites: Curls Berry Bliss Gel, DevaCurl Super Cream Coconut Curl Styler, Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic Curl Stimulator
- Diffuser or Air Dry: I like a combination of the two. First I air dry for about an hour (if I got that kind of time), then I use my diffuser. I prefer the bouncy, voluminous results from the diffuser. Air drying leaves my hair a bit limp. With air drying, I use a hair pick to create the definition I get with the diffuser.
- NO TOUCHING! This is hard, I know, but your hands only create more frizzy results. We are trying to avoid that at all cost.
- Nighttime Routine: I like to wear my hair up in a pineapple style (gather all your hair high above your head towards the front, tie once with a band or scrunchy). Sleep with a silk or satin pillow. This helps to avoid breakage or snags.
- Refresh: To revive your curls, use a spritz bottle filled with water, your favorite conditioner and a small drop of oil. Run a dime size amount of Leave-In Conditioner through your hair.
- Cutting your ends regularly is important, as well as taking multi-vitamins.
Natural/Curly hair is beautiful, but it does take time and patience to find the formula that provides the results you want. At times, it can be frustrating, but there are many protective styles you can try as an alternative. These styles involve low manipulation and can really help. Youtube is a haven for videos and tutorials on protective styles. Give it a try. And don’t give up! It is so well worth it.
*I am grateful for my family and friends who read and support my blog and all my posts. Blessings to you all!
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