For those of you with curly hair, let me start by saying – I understand your struggle. I regularly hear how beautiful my curls are, and how many girls with naturally straight or wavy hair would “kill for curls” but the reality is, they only feel that way because they don’t have naturally curly hair. Most girls pick up valuable lessons along the way, but it has taken me roughly 6 years to finally learn the best ways to manage my mane. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars and at least a thousand hours trying to tame the curls and their best friend, frizz.
While in high school, my best friend also had curly hair. Her hair was full and thick with perfect curls that could make any Pantene model a little insecure. To say I was jealous is an understatement. My curls are often partnered with frizz, partly because of my hair washing schedule and, partly because the love I have for my hair straightener that reaches almost four hundred and ten degrees. I have tried almost every frizz fighting cream and heavy strength hair spray on the market and finally, I have found my perfect collection of hair products (for now.)
I know it is very damaging for my luscious locks, however, I cannot even attempt to look presentable if my hair isn’t washed. I shampoo my hair once or twice a week and condition it in the shower almost everyday. I found that my hair is less likely to suffer from breakage if I use a wide tooth comb while the conditioner sits in my hair. As I am aware of the unhealthy amount of cleanliness my hair tolerates, I refuse to use a blow dryer, unless I plan on straightening my hair after my shower. I prefer to keep my unhealthy hair habits to a minimum, which is why I also do not use a hair tie or braid my hair when wet. I’ve read mixed reviews about braiding wet hair but my mother swears against tying hair up when wet. I, too, have noticed my hair is more likely to experience breakage after being unraveled from a damp bun. I also experience massive amounts of breakage when my curls are attacked by my straightener. I am not one to use a heat protectant because, lets face it; a straightener is literally burning your hair. How much can you really protect your hair from over three hundred degrees? I also am not a fan of the texture of my hair after using heat protectant products, or the fact that my straightener is lightly coated in sometimes sticky, foul, burnt smelling residue. Aside from saving money on the product itself, I am also saving by not having to replace my sticky, straightener every sixth months because it constantly smells of burning chemicals. In the past two years, I have significantly cut down on my use of heating tools. I limit their use to winter time, not only because I have no need to fight frizz caused by humidity, but also to keep my hair from drying out from the freezing air.
I will admit that am in love with naturally curly hair, despite the many struggles of actually living with it. From the fizziness and knots, to the limited cooperating hair accessories and not actually knowing its true length, there is nothing more I love than having naturally curly hair. Here are my top five favorite products that make living with curls a little easier.
This is one of the first products I discovered, that helped make managing my curls so much easier. I am a very big fan of leave-in conditioners, they keep hair soft and easy to manage. After lightly towel drying my hair, I flip is over and massage the cream throughout my locks from root to tip. Some days I can get away with only using this product, solely to control my frizz. It keeps my curls light and smelling sweet all day long. Another bonus of this is, if I’m in a quick rush to shower but still need to do my hair, the leave-in conditioner acts as regular conditioner when my hair is wet which makes combing through it much easier on my roots and the comb. I use this product all year-long, it controls frizz brought on humidity, and fights off the dryness brought on by extremely cold winds. Also, affordably priced, you can buy a two pack from Walmart for under $6!
2. Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil for Hair, Body & Face
This is a newer product in my hair care lineup, however, I am already in love with it. To be completely honest, I only bought it because it was on sale and my hair dried up very quickly when I switched from warm San Diego nights to freezing Freeland mornings. Plus, I figured I was getting way more for my buck considering – HAIR, BODY, AND FACE. I normally put this product on while getting ready, as I let my hair air-dry. I begin by spritzing once into the palm of my hand and rubbing my hands together. I then run my hands from root to tip, upward as if I am placing my hair in a ponytail. (I also very lightly apply it to my face which adds a very nice glow.) I have only been using this product for about two months but I can already see a huge difference in my hair’s appearance. Not only do I kill my hair with heating tools, but several times a year, hair-dye as well. For those of you who also dye your hair, you will understand what I mean when I say, a few weeks after dying hair, it loses a little bit of it’s shine. Now, this may just happen to my hair, but using this product has totally eliminated that as a problem weeks after dying my hair. The color seems to stay just as shiny and rich five weeks after it’s been dyed as it did five days after. Some of you ladies may be put off by the word ‘oil’ however, this is a dry oil, which keeps your hands, skin, and hair from feeling and looking greasy. I am a firm believer that the creators of Garnier Fructis products know a thing or two about hair, whether it is wavy, curly, thick, or thin.
3. Samy Salon Systems Curl Constructor Activating Mousse
This mouse is also fairly new in my hair care lineup. One of the main reasons I purchased this product was because, toward the bottom of the can it reads, “alcohol free, controls frizz, shapes, & holds curls,” key words being : alcohol free. I noticed hair mousse that contains alcohol, tend to make fighting frizz harder. I previously was using alcohol free whipped mousse that was unfortunately discontinued (sad face) and had spent weeks looking for something to take its place in my lineup. Again. I have not used this product for very long, however, my curls reacted very well to this mousse. I absolutely cannot stand crunchy or hard curls, but this product stays true to its word. I can run my fingers through it, tie it up, let it back down, whip my hair back and forth, and my curls remain full, soft, and frizz free! This is definitely a product that will stay in my haircare lineup, especially since my curls appear to be fuller than usual when I use this product. It doesn’t leave much of a scent in your hair either, so if that is something you look for in your hair styling products, I would definitely recommend this mousse.
4. Suave Professionals Flexible Control Curl Mousse
I know I already have a mousse in my hair care lineup, however some days I like to switch things up. Since my senior year of high school, I have been using this brand of mousse. The display has slightly changed, as well as the fact that this mousse is not referred to as whipped mousse, however it will always be a number one curly haircare go to. Although it is not identified as whipped mousse, it has the same texture and same effect on my curls as whipped mousse. True to its label as well, this mousse is “zero crunch,” meaning it doesn’t leave your curls hard or stiff all day. It also does not contain any alcohol, and instead has a Humidity Defense Complex which makes fighting frizz in the summer heat so much easier. Although both mousse products are extremely similar, they also have their differences. This mousse leaves my curls spiraled and bouncy all day long, no matter what activities I partake in. I apply both brands of mousse in the same fashion: when my hair is closer to dry than damp, I flip it over and scrunch my hair from tips to root. I then flip it and define my part. After that, I apply a little more product to the hair on the back of my head and near my face. These two areas tend to have the most frizz when my hair is completely dry, so I tend to add just a little bit more mousse there than the rest of my hair. The can may look new, but the product is just as good as it has always been.
5. Aussie Mega Hairspray Finish
I’d like to assume that almost every person that has ever used hairspray, has used Aussie hairspray at least once. If it’s not known for its unique and sweet smell, it is identified as one of the best and strongest holding hairspray. I have used Aussie hairspray since the day I started buying my own hair products. I normally apply this product to my hair last, when it is close to dry yet still a little damp. I then flip my hair once or twice and shake my hair a bit to keep it from setting flat on my head. By doing so, it lowers the amount of hard or crunchy curls and keeps the hair from becoming stiff while still controlling frizz and my hair style. I often buy the hairspray with the least amount of hold, because I don’t like stiff curls. Not only do I use this when my hair is naturally curly, but also when I use a curling iron or a wand. This keeps my curls from falling out throughout the day and even keeps my hair from getting stiff when it’s already dry.
Those are my top five curly hair care products. I don’t use all five in my hair everyday, however I like to be able to switch up the products I use from day-to-day so my hair doesn’t get too much of one particular product. I once used only one mousse for an entire year, which lead to my frizz becoming immune to its control. Another problem I faced with my old mousse was the amount of build-up my roots would hold after only two days! I have yet to experience any problems of build-up with the products I use now. The only product I use daily is Garnier Fructis’ leave-in conditioner, it has helped me to tame my frizz over the past five years without fail.
As a side note I would also to like to acknowledge that at least once a week, I give my hair a complete break. I don’t wash it or add any product to it. Just as wounds need air, I believe hair does too. Wetting and adding product to my hair seven days a week is not only unnecessary but can also make my strands feel a little weighed down. Even my hair deserves a break sometimes.
I’m extremely grateful for discovering these products on my curly hair care journey. It may have taken a few years to find some, but what fun would curly hair be if it wasn’t a little bit of a challenge?
If you too have curly hair and have found your magic product, feel free to comment what it is below! I love trying out new products on my curls. I think it is worth going through all the bad ones, just to find the few amazing ones that actually work miracles for curly (and sometimes naturally frizzy) hair.