Ask Design Mom — Curly Hair

March 16, 2010

Ask Design Mom Question:
I have to know about your hair! I have naturally curly hair as well and I NEED to know what products you use in your hair. (Shampoo, Conditioner, Gel or Mousse… seems so personal but all of these things affect the result.) I have wasted tons of money on so many products and they all give different results. Also, do you air dry or diffuse? Thanks, Missy

Design Mom Answer:
Here’s the basic process that works for me: In the shower, I shampoo lightly and then heavily condition and let the conditioner soak in for a few minutes while I’m soaping up. I’m fairly relaxed about products — something luxurious from the salon is always a treat, but I’m equally satisfied with a variety of drugstore brands. Right now, my favorite is Infusium because the conditioner is really thick.

After the shower, I gently(!) towel dry my hair. I don’t run my fingers through it or brush or comb it — the key is to not separate the curls. Next, I fill my palm with a mix of leave-in conditioner and hair gel — again, I’m not too particular about brands — and work the combo through my hair. (Note: don’t brush or comb or pull your fingers through your hair to work in the product, just kind of moosh/scrunch it in everywhere.)

Then I let my hair air-dry till it’s about 75% dry — while I put on my makeup and get dressed. Finally I flip my head upside down and use a hair-dryer with a diffuser to finish drying the roots. Diffusing with my hair upside down gives more lift at the roots so the curls don’t look like they’re dragging.

Last two tips: 1) I only get my hair fully wet every 3rd or 4th day. For showers during non-shampoo days, I just pull it up into a bun so it doesn’t get wet. 2) At hair appointments, I make sure to keep my layers trimmed — especially around my face. Otherwise the curls get too heavy and my hair forms a gigantic triangle.

And that’s it. The book Curly Girl helped me quite a bit in how I approach my hair. I don’t follow all of its guidelines, but it’s definitely a great place to start if you’re frustrated with your curls (or your child’s curls). In fact, if you like it, you could totally give a copy to your hairdresser.

What about you Fellow Curly Girls? Do you have any favorite haircare products or haircare tips?

Images of curly haired peeps from Bumble & Bumble.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Kirtsy
  • StumbleUpon

{ 78 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Monica March 16, 2010 at 11:11 am

I use a smoothing balm in my hair when it's wetand then let it air dry. I also take some of the pieces in the front and twist around my finger so atleast those face framing curls look nice. My hair is straighter at the roots and curlier underneath so this really helps. I like the MOP brand curly hair products, especially the next day curl revive spray since I also only wash every few days.

Reply

2 Ali March 16, 2010 at 11:21 am

My sister and I both have naturally curly hair and get asked the same question. How do we do it? Our secret is mousse and air dry. And you are right about no combs or finger seperating. Just scrunch. The brands we like are Herbal Essence and Garnier. yup!The cheap stuff. Also, if you have a good hairdresser layering is key (to avoid the dreaded triangle hair!)

Reply

3 Jaime March 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

I am Curly Girl all the say — no shampoo or silicones for me! I use Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee and Kinky-Curly Curling Custard. Only Suave Naturals conditioner for washing and conditioning.

Occasionally, I will use the Suave Naturals or Clarifying shampoo if I feel extra dirty :)

I can't live without my diffuser.

Reply

4 Jolena March 16, 2010 at 11:39 am

I love TRESemme's curl boost mousse and air drying. I have super thick hair, so diffusing is just annoying because it takes forever. I usually comb my hair before I put the mousse in and scrunch it, but I'll have to try not doing that and see what happens. The great thing about curls is they do something different and interesting every day. Roll with it! All the straight-haired girls wish their hair would do that!

Reply

5 Nancy March 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

Mousse for curly hair (and sometimes some creamy leave in conditioner) and diffuser are my choices :)

Reply

6 Anne March 16, 2010 at 11:54 am

Using volumizer at my roots changed my life. OK, not really, but it does keep away the dreaded triangle look.

Reply

7 kaitlin March 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm

i'm with ya on the fact that i don't wash it every day…every 3 or 4 days works for me. and even then i don't use shampoo unless it feels extra gross.

i just use regular drug store gel, herbal essence, and put it in when its wet.

my hair is CRAZY curly, like black girl curly and so i haven't cut it in years. i'm too scared! i once cut off just a LITTLE bit but a little bit makes such a huge difference because of the weight difference! that's my problem, is the hair cut. haven't figured out how to master that yet!

Reply

8 Monica March 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I use a smoothing balm in my hair when it's wetand then let it air dry. I also take some of the pieces in the front and twist around my finger so atleast those face framing curls look nice. My hair is straighter at the roots and curlier underneath so this really helps. I like the MOP brand curly hair products, especially the next day curl revive spray since I also only wash every few days.

Reply

9 channing March 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

One of the best tips for curly hair – when you're gently pat-drying your hair just out of the shower, use an old t-shirt rather than a towel. MUCH less friction means MUCH less frizz.

And if you're using product, you can scrunch it in before squishing with the t-shirt. works great.

Reply

10 Ali March 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

My sister and I both have naturally curly hair and get asked the same question. How do we do it? Our secret is mousse and air dry. And you are right about no combs or finger seperating. Just scrunch. The brands we like are Herbal Essence and Garnier. yup!The cheap stuff. Also, if you have a good hairdresser layering is key (to avoid the dreaded triangle hair!)

Reply

11 Erica March 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I use moussse and the air dry/upside-down dry to give it some volume. I tried to not brush my hair after my shower but it made my hair frizzier! So first thing I do when I'm done with the shower is to brush my hair with a soaking wet brush. I spritz my hair the days I don't wash it because it gets flat from sleep.

Reply

12 Jaime March 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I am Curly Girl all the say — no shampoo or silicones for me! I use Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee and Kinky-Curly Curling Custard. Only Suave Naturals conditioner for washing and conditioning.

Occasionally, I will use the Suave Naturals or Clarifying shampoo if I feel extra dirty :)

I can't live without my diffuser.

Reply

13 Jolena March 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm

I love TRESemme's curl boost mousse and air drying. I have super thick hair, so diffusing is just annoying because it takes forever. I usually comb my hair before I put the mousse in and scrunch it, but I'll have to try not doing that and see what happens. The great thing about curls is they do something different and interesting every day. Roll with it! All the straight-haired girls wish their hair would do that!

Reply

14 Nancy March 16, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Mousse for curly hair (and sometimes some creamy leave in conditioner) and diffuser are my choices :)

Reply

15 Anne March 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Using volumizer at my roots changed my life. OK, not really, but it does keep away the dreaded triangle look.

Reply

16 kaitlin March 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm

i'm with ya on the fact that i don't wash it every day…every 3 or 4 days works for me. and even then i don't use shampoo unless it feels extra gross.

i just use regular drug store gel, herbal essence, and put it in when its wet.

my hair is CRAZY curly, like black girl curly and so i haven't cut it in years. i'm too scared! i once cut off just a LITTLE bit but a little bit makes such a huge difference because of the weight difference! that's my problem, is the hair cut. haven't figured out how to master that yet!

Reply

17 Cyn March 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I wash my hair once a week, but condition whenever I'm in the shower with Mint 365 from Whole Foods. For styling, I use a wide tooth comb and put on Beyond the Zone Noodle Head Noodle Head Curling Cream, then air dry.

Reply

18 channing March 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm

One of the best tips for curly hair – when you're gently pat-drying your hair just out of the shower, use an old t-shirt rather than a towel. MUCH less friction means MUCH less frizz.

And if you're using product, you can scrunch it in before squishing with the t-shirt. works great.

Reply

19 Erica March 16, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I use moussse and the air dry/upside-down dry to give it some volume. I tried to not brush my hair after my shower but it made my hair frizzier! So first thing I do when I'm done with the shower is to brush my hair with a soaking wet brush. I spritz my hair the days I don't wash it because it gets flat from sleep.

Reply

20 Design Mom March 16, 2010 at 1:28 pm

So many great ideas! I'm taking notes.

Reply

21 Anonymous March 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I've read the Curly Girl book too and thought it provided some good advice (don't shampoo every day). Ouidad.com also provides some advice. I once received their ouidad haircut. I thought it was kind of expensive for the cut (~$70), though the stylist did provide good tips as to how to obtain a defined curl. However, the curls looked "wet" eventhough my hair was dry, which I didn't like so much. How much does everyone else typically spend on a haircut?

Reply

22 LinnieBell March 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Triangle hair! I hate when that happens! My most favorite curl product is Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancing Lotion…I always have some on hand and have used it for years. Love it.

Reply

23 adrienne breaux March 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Curly hair unite! My life changed the day I discovered volumizing moose. I use that almost exclusively when I get out of the shower, scrunch while my hair is drying, and then use a thin anti-frizz cream to top it all off. And I never shampoo, like ever. Conditioner only every few days or so. Whoo!

-adrienne
http://wearegoodkin.com/

Reply

24 Cyn March 16, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I wash my hair once a week, but condition whenever I'm in the shower with Mint 365 from Whole Foods. For styling, I use a wide tooth comb and put on Beyond the Zone Noodle Head Noodle Head Curling Cream, then air dry.

Reply

25 Design Mom March 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm

So many great ideas! I'm taking notes.

Reply

26 Anonymous March 16, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I've read the Curly Girl book too and thought it provided some good advice (don't shampoo every day). Ouidad.com also provides some advice. I once received their ouidad haircut. I thought it was kind of expensive for the cut (~$70), though the stylist did provide good tips as to how to obtain a defined curl. However, the curls looked "wet" eventhough my hair was dry, which I didn't like so much. How much does everyone else typically spend on a haircut?

Reply

27 Autumn March 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Mousse leaves mine too fluffy with no control. Gel leaves it too crunchy. I swear by Curls Rock. (I think its product #5, shampoo is 1, conditioner 2, etc.) Blue container. AWESOME results. I've used it for 10 years and will probably never change. A little goes a long way. Recently discovered that buying it on amazon.com is cheaper if you buy in bulk. (Normally $14 per bottle, 30% off when you buy 4 or more.)

Oh, and I comb when wet and always diffuse. I've heard that microfiber towels help the shape of the curls (cotton breaks the hair strand.)

Reply

28 LinnieBell March 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Triangle hair! I hate when that happens! My most favorite curl product is Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancing Lotion…I always have some on hand and have used it for years. Love it.

Reply

29 adrienne breaux March 16, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Curly hair unite! My life changed the day I discovered volumizing moose. I use that almost exclusively when I get out of the shower, scrunch while my hair is drying, and then use a thin anti-frizz cream to top it all off. And I never shampoo, like ever. Conditioner only every few days or so. Whoo!

-adrienne
http://wearegoodkin.com/

Reply

30 andrea.d March 16, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Aah, these tips are great! As the pin-straight-haired mama of a curly-haired girl, I'm still on the steep part of the learning curve. We generally only shampoo when her hair is filthy with food or mud or something (she's 2) and have been having good luck with the Cynthia Sylvia Stout from Lush. We just buy the tiny bottle and it lasts a good long while. I'll have to try out some of the conditioners listed here since we haven't found the perfect one yet. I've noticed her hair looks the best after being left to air-dry after her bath, so of course it looks great at night before bed but is a birds nest by morning. Any tips on reviving the curls on day 2 (or 3)?

Reply

31 Autumn March 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Mousse leaves mine too fluffy with no control. Gel leaves it too crunchy. I swear by Curls Rock. (I think its product #5, shampoo is 1, conditioner 2, etc.) Blue container. AWESOME results. I've used it for 10 years and will probably never change. A little goes a long way. Recently discovered that buying it on amazon.com is cheaper if you buy in bulk. (Normally $14 per bottle, 30% off when you buy 4 or more.)

Oh, and I comb when wet and always diffuse. I've heard that microfiber towels help the shape of the curls (cotton breaks the hair strand.)

Reply

32 Shelly March 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm

I too am struggling to find a stylist that can really cut curly hair. Actually, my hair is very wavy. If I let it air dry it is just a big ball of frizz but w/ the help of Nioxin Silk Elixir (the best leave in conditioner I've ever found), Curls Rock & my trusty diffuser it looks presentable. Questions: 1) How do you avoid the 2nd day frizz on top? and 2) If anyone lives near Denver and has a recommendation for a stylist, I'd be forever grateful. We moved about a year ago and I'm yet to find someone.

Reply

33 andrea.d March 16, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Aah, these tips are great! As the pin-straight-haired mama of a curly-haired girl, I'm still on the steep part of the learning curve. We generally only shampoo when her hair is filthy with food or mud or something (she's 2) and have been having good luck with the Cynthia Sylvia Stout from Lush. We just buy the tiny bottle and it lasts a good long while. I'll have to try out some of the conditioners listed here since we haven't found the perfect one yet. I've noticed her hair looks the best after being left to air-dry after her bath, so of course it looks great at night before bed but is a birds nest by morning. Any tips on reviving the curls on day 2 (or 3)?

Reply

34 Monkey Business March 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm

After generations of women with identical pin-straight thin hair – my daughter shocked us all with beautiful spiral curls!
I have found using conditioner both in the tub and leave in conditioner after are a big help. I also keep a spray bottle of water handy and in the mornings I spray her hair until it is pretty damp and the curls spring back and lose their frizz. When it is too cold for that, we go ponytails and braids!
Thanks for the tips!

Reply

35 Azúcar March 16, 2010 at 4:37 pm

I spend about $50 w/tip for my curly cuts. I've paid less, and always been unhappy with the results. Go to someone who knows curly hair.

I use a curl cream or curl spray gel as soon as I get out of the shower. I don't towel dry, a t-shirt works better. And then? LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE. Don't touch it until it's almost dry. Usually about 1.5 hours. A little diffuser helps with lift, or when the hair is wet, use duck bill clips to encourage volume at the crown by pinning the curls higher. I love the Garnier brand, it's cheap, but it really works well for my curls. I use the curl cream, the spray gel, and their shine pomade.

After my hair is almost dry I use a shine pomade all over to reduce frizz and give hair a little volume. Day two is even better. Dampen or re-wet hair, re-spray with spray gel, and let dry. Finish with pomade. Same thing with the 3rd day. My hair needs to be redampened to reset the curl.

I only shampoo it every 3-4 days. I comb it in the shower and then wash out the comb marks so that the curl clumps properly and doesn't turn me into Slash from Guns and Roses.

The more you mess around with your hair when it's wet the more frizzy it will get.

Reply

36 Shelly March 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I too am struggling to find a stylist that can really cut curly hair. Actually, my hair is very wavy. If I let it air dry it is just a big ball of frizz but w/ the help of Nioxin Silk Elixir (the best leave in conditioner I've ever found), Curls Rock & my trusty diffuser it looks presentable. Questions: 1) How do you avoid the 2nd day frizz on top? and 2) If anyone lives near Denver and has a recommendation for a stylist, I'd be forever grateful. We moved about a year ago and I'm yet to find someone.

Reply

37 Monkey Business March 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

After generations of women with identical pin-straight thin hair – my daughter shocked us all with beautiful spiral curls!
I have found using conditioner both in the tub and leave in conditioner after are a big help. I also keep a spray bottle of water handy and in the mornings I spray her hair until it is pretty damp and the curls spring back and lose their frizz. When it is too cold for that, we go ponytails and braids!
Thanks for the tips!

Reply

38 Azúcar March 16, 2010 at 5:37 pm

I spend about $50 w/tip for my curly cuts. I've paid less, and always been unhappy with the results. Go to someone who knows curly hair.

I use a curl cream or curl spray gel as soon as I get out of the shower. I don't towel dry, a t-shirt works better. And then? LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE. Don't touch it until it's almost dry. Usually about 1.5 hours. A little diffuser helps with lift, or when the hair is wet, use duck bill clips to encourage volume at the crown by pinning the curls higher. I love the Garnier brand, it's cheap, but it really works well for my curls. I use the curl cream, the spray gel, and their shine pomade.

After my hair is almost dry I use a shine pomade all over to reduce frizz and give hair a little volume. Day two is even better. Dampen or re-wet hair, re-spray with spray gel, and let dry. Finish with pomade. Same thing with the 3rd day. My hair needs to be redampened to reset the curl.

I only shampoo it every 3-4 days. I comb it in the shower and then wash out the comb marks so that the curl clumps properly and doesn't turn me into Slash from Guns and Roses.

The more you mess around with your hair when it's wet the more frizzy it will get.

Reply

39 Bri (like the cheese) March 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I am NOT curly. I'm mildly wavy with pin-straight top layer. I have to flat iron my hair because it won't hold a curl for ANYTHING no matter what I try. EXCEPT for when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had amazing curly hair for a glorious 9 months, one week, and 5 days, but who's counting. Anyway, now SHE has the glorious curly hair. Right now, it forms amazing golden ringlets with no help other than Johnson's tangle-free baby shampoo for curly hair. But I can appreciate all the suggestions because I can see what we will be up against when the little one reaches her teen years!!

Reply

40 samantha bobo March 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm

i am so grateful for reading your blog today! i have curly hair. i was born in the south which has the perfect humidity for my golden locks. huge hair, perfect spirals-the only benefit to 99% humidity! cut to moving to denver and having another baby, it's limp and lifeless. thank you, thank you, thank you to you an ALL the extra comments. i can't wait to try all the great tips

Reply

41 Bri (like the cheese) March 16, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I am NOT curly. I'm mildly wavy with pin-straight top layer. I have to flat iron my hair because it won't hold a curl for ANYTHING no matter what I try. EXCEPT for when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had amazing curly hair for a glorious 9 months, one week, and 5 days, but who's counting. Anyway, now SHE has the glorious curly hair. Right now, it forms amazing golden ringlets with no help other than Johnson's tangle-free baby shampoo for curly hair. But I can appreciate all the suggestions because I can see what we will be up against when the little one reaches her teen years!!

Reply

42 samantha bobo March 16, 2010 at 7:47 pm

i am so grateful for reading your blog today! i have curly hair. i was born in the south which has the perfect humidity for my golden locks. huge hair, perfect spirals-the only benefit to 99% humidity! cut to moving to denver and having another baby, it's limp and lifeless. thank you, thank you, thank you to you an ALL the extra comments. i can't wait to try all the great tips

Reply

43 meg @ fairfieldcountychild.com March 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm

usually i blow out my naturally curly hair to make it more wavy than curly. i wish i could embrace the curly hair look but i feel like it just doesn't work for me, except in the summer when i can let it dry naturally and i'm all tan and going for that beachy look. one product i really am liking for both the curly and wavy look is BUMBLE & BUMBLE powder (essentially a dry shampoo). it comes in colors to match any haircolor and it let's me go days without washing. bonus – it also adds tons of volume at the roots. it's a little sticky but i don't mind http://www.bumbleandbumble.com/product/spp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CAT72&PRODUCT_ID=177
thanks for the great post and ideas from all of you!

Reply

44 meg @ fairfieldcountychild.com March 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm

usually i blow out my naturally curly hair to make it more wavy than curly. i wish i could embrace the curly hair look but i feel like it just doesn't work for me, except in the summer when i can let it dry naturally and i'm all tan and going for that beachy look. one product i really am liking for both the curly and wavy look is BUMBLE & BUMBLE powder (essentially a dry shampoo). it comes in colors to match any haircolor and it let's me go days without washing. bonus – it also adds tons of volume at the roots. it's a little sticky but i don't mind http://www.bumbleandbumble.com/product/spp.tmpl?CATEGORY_ID=CAT72&PRODUCT;_ID=177
thanks for the great post and ideas from all of you!

Reply

45 David and Kirby March 16, 2010 at 9:49 pm

I have curly girl hair and Bumble and Bumble's curl girl curling cream changed my hair's life! It's the best stuff ever. (Note:not the styling cream, but the curling cream! it comes in two types, one for thick hair (mine) and one for thinner curls!) Find the one that works for you, it's amazing stuff, both here in NC and there in CO!

Reply

46 David and Kirby March 16, 2010 at 10:49 pm

I have curly girl hair and Bumble and Bumble's curl girl curling cream changed my hair's life! It's the best stuff ever. (Note:not the styling cream, but the curling cream! it comes in two types, one for thick hair (mine) and one for thinner curls!) Find the one that works for you, it's amazing stuff, both here in NC and there in CO!

Reply

47 Tauni March 17, 2010 at 12:23 am

After years of purchasing super expensive products for use on my moisture deprived curls (I live in Utah), I purchased a "cheap" product to use in a pinch while on vacation. The product was Garnier Fructis – Curl Sculpting Cream. Now, I never use anything else. I work it through my hair after the shower and just air dry…it's a dream.

Reply

48 Tauni March 17, 2010 at 1:23 am

After years of purchasing super expensive products for use on my moisture deprived curls (I live in Utah), I purchased a "cheap" product to use in a pinch while on vacation. The product was Garnier Fructis – Curl Sculpting Cream. Now, I never use anything else. I work it through my hair after the shower and just air dry…it's a dream.

Reply

49 Anonymous March 17, 2010 at 2:14 am

I have super curly hair. And I am a hair dresser. A tip for cutting: Since curly hair shrinks. Instead of a hair cut just request getting the tips tooken off. Also I find if the the hair dresser cuts it shorter in the crown, you will have amazing volume. I tend to stay away from layers through out my over all style. Instead I prefer the hair to be twisted and cut into with the scissors just on random piece all over my head. Avoid getting to close to the roots though.
Have never payed more then $30 for a h/c.(live in small town) Don't be scared to tell your hairdresser how you want your hair cut. It all about the consultation:) MH

Reply

50 Anonymous March 17, 2010 at 3:14 am

I have super curly hair. And I am a hair dresser. A tip for cutting: Since curly hair shrinks. Instead of a hair cut just request getting the tips tooken off. Also I find if the the hair dresser cuts it shorter in the crown, you will have amazing volume. I tend to stay away from layers through out my over all style. Instead I prefer the hair to be twisted and cut into with the scissors just on random piece all over my head. Avoid getting to close to the roots though.
Have never payed more then $30 for a h/c.(live in small town) Don't be scared to tell your hairdresser how you want your hair cut. It all about the consultation:) MH

Reply

51 tharon000 March 17, 2010 at 8:13 am

All I have to say is, Moroccanoil! It is the best stuff ever! Not the shampoo and conditioner – just the "oil" and curl cream. It seems expensive when you look at the price (and the term "oil" sounds scary, I know) but one bottle of each lasts me over a year. My hair is finer, and tends to be curlier on top, straighter underneath. Have moved from NY to Montana and am still looking for a good hairstylist 4 years later…

Reply

52 tharon000 March 17, 2010 at 9:13 am

All I have to say is, Moroccanoil! It is the best stuff ever! Not the shampoo and conditioner – just the "oil" and curl cream. It seems expensive when you look at the price (and the term "oil" sounds scary, I know) but one bottle of each lasts me over a year. My hair is finer, and tends to be curlier on top, straighter underneath. Have moved from NY to Montana and am still looking for a good hairstylist 4 years later…

Reply

53 Katharine March 17, 2010 at 10:05 am

I use DevaCurl AnGell and plop with a microfiber towel. After 15 mins in the towel I use a diffuser til my hair is about 75% dry. And the key is NOT to touch it! I add Set It Free in the summer since Houston is so humid! It also helps to have a stylist that knows what she is doing!!!! Naturallycurly.com has a list a stylist that actually know how to cut curly hair….DRY CUT!!!!

Reply

54 MarshelleP March 17, 2010 at 11:01 am

So many types of curls, so many different products and methods that work. I loved the Curly Girl book, and using the author's products, DevaCare "shampoo," conditioner, and gel, has made me love my curls. But everyone seems to love different products. Oh, and I NEVER rinse out the conditioner. My super-frizzy curls need the extra weight.

Finding a stylist is an entirely other issue. If you'll forgive mentioning another site, there is a salon finder on naturallycurly.com. (I'm not affiliated with the site, just a reader.) I found THE BEST stylist in my area by reading through reviews.

Just be sure to follow the regular process of scheduling a consultation first–I had my hair cut by a different recommended stylist on the site, and she was awful. Then I got smart, found the 2 or 3 stylists with the most gushing reviews, set up consultations, and have literally never, ever been happier with a cut! I didn't know you COULD walk out of the salon liking your hair–I was so used to crying about another bad haircut on the way home!

Reply

55 Katharine March 17, 2010 at 11:05 am

I use DevaCurl AnGell and plop with a microfiber towel. After 15 mins in the towel I use a diffuser til my hair is about 75% dry. And the key is NOT to touch it! I add Set It Free in the summer since Houston is so humid! It also helps to have a stylist that knows what she is doing!!!! Naturallycurly.com has a list a stylist that actually know how to cut curly hair….DRY CUT!!!!

Reply

56 Liz March 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Who is your stylist? I’m in Houston, too and after 4 years I’ve still not found someone who gets me the results I want with my curly hair.

Reply

57 Miss Tiff March 17, 2010 at 11:36 am

Conditioner and leave-in is key for me and my curls. I use to relax it straight, now I lurvvvve my curlies and reading about fellow curlies. Thanks for the book tip.

Reply

58 Cheryl March 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

Talk about bad haircuts… I once went to a very cheap salon (you know… $12 for a haircut). The lady was confused when my hair wasn't curling (like it was when I walked into the salon). I told her I usually use a diffuser. She took a diffuser and started grinding it into my roots. Eventually she handed me the dryer… and there I was standing in the middle of the hair salon, drying my own hair!!!

Reply

59 MarshelleP March 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm

So many types of curls, so many different products and methods that work. I loved the Curly Girl book, and using the author's products, DevaCare "shampoo," conditioner, and gel, has made me love my curls. But everyone seems to love different products. Oh, and I NEVER rinse out the conditioner. My super-frizzy curls need the extra weight.

Finding a stylist is an entirely other issue. If you'll forgive mentioning another site, there is a salon finder on naturallycurly.com. (I'm not affiliated with the site, just a reader.) I found THE BEST stylist in my area by reading through reviews.

Just be sure to follow the regular process of scheduling a consultation first–I had my hair cut by a different recommended stylist on the site, and she was awful. Then I got smart, found the 2 or 3 stylists with the most gushing reviews, set up consultations, and have literally never, ever been happier with a cut! I didn't know you COULD walk out of the salon liking your hair–I was so used to crying about another bad haircut on the way home!

Reply

60 Miss Tiff March 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Conditioner and leave-in is key for me and my curls. I use to relax it straight, now I lurvvvve my curlies and reading about fellow curlies. Thanks for the book tip.

Reply

61 Kelly March 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm

First, for Andrea D., straight-haired mom to a curly: for 2nd (or 3rd) day hair, just wet/spray it with a water bottle…don't soak it, but just get it wet enough to style the curls by hand. Finger comb, or scrunch up a bit w/ a little bit of product. I had (still have) very curly, thick hair as a child and my mom & grandma BRUSHED it daily. ARGH. And since that was a mess, they opted to cut it very short for years. Oh the horrors, documented in years of school pictures.

My hair is very, very thick — my stylists says it's the thickest, or close to, that they've ever encountered. I don't do diffusers, the last thing I need is more volume. Just getting back on board w/ the "Curly Girl" system, which means no silicones, dimethicones, etc. in my products. Those are hard to find, as most products intended for curlies contain some type of silicones. We'll see…

Reply

62 Cheryl March 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Talk about bad haircuts… I once went to a very cheap salon (you know… $12 for a haircut). The lady was confused when my hair wasn't curling (like it was when I walked into the salon). I told her I usually use a diffuser. She took a diffuser and started grinding it into my roots. Eventually she handed me the dryer… and there I was standing in the middle of the hair salon, drying my own hair!!!

Reply

63 Kelly March 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm

First, for Andrea D., straight-haired mom to a curly: for 2nd (or 3rd) day hair, just wet/spray it with a water bottle…don't soak it, but just get it wet enough to style the curls by hand. Finger comb, or scrunch up a bit w/ a little bit of product. I had (still have) very curly, thick hair as a child and my mom & grandma BRUSHED it daily. ARGH. And since that was a mess, they opted to cut it very short for years. Oh the horrors, documented in years of school pictures.

My hair is very, very thick — my stylists says it's the thickest, or close to, that they've ever encountered. I don't do diffusers, the last thing I need is more volume. Just getting back on board w/ the "Curly Girl" system, which means no silicones, dimethicones, etc. in my products. Those are hard to find, as most products intended for curlies contain some type of silicones. We'll see…

Reply

64 Anonymous March 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm

i used to use mousse – nothing fancy, just cheap. but i found i was so dependent on it and also became dependent on a diffuser – otherwise air drying was too flat. and i couldn't get my curls right without mousse and a diffuser. which is especially frustrating when you travel and sometimes get stuck.

last fall, i switched to deva curl. i use their shampoo and conditioner and follow up with either the angell or the set it free spray. i have found i am less dependent on using a diffuser – sometimes i air dry and the curls turn out just as well (but a microfiber towel is a must!). i also find i am less dependent on using an after product – i use the gel or spray but not nearly as much as i used to use when i used mousse. and on occasion, i have gone without either and my hair was manageable!

i also use their heaven in hair treatment whenever i need an extra boost – and it truly is like heaven in hair.

i have heard good things about curlisto. it was on my list to try but i have been so happy with deva curl that i haven't felt the need to try it yet.

Reply

65 Anonymous March 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

i used to use mousse – nothing fancy, just cheap. but i found i was so dependent on it and also became dependent on a diffuser – otherwise air drying was too flat. and i couldn't get my curls right without mousse and a diffuser. which is especially frustrating when you travel and sometimes get stuck.

last fall, i switched to deva curl. i use their shampoo and conditioner and follow up with either the angell or the set it free spray. i have found i am less dependent on using a diffuser – sometimes i air dry and the curls turn out just as well (but a microfiber towel is a must!). i also find i am less dependent on using an after product – i use the gel or spray but not nearly as much as i used to use when i used mousse. and on occasion, i have gone without either and my hair was manageable!

i also use their heaven in hair treatment whenever i need an extra boost – and it truly is like heaven in hair.

i have heard good things about curlisto. it was on my list to try but i have been so happy with deva curl that i haven't felt the need to try it yet.

Reply

66 Allison March 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I'm bookmarking this post – my daughter inherited curly hair from her father (I just have wispy straight hair) and we went through a long period where getting out "dreadlocks" took us almost a half hour — a very painful half hour — each morning. And I have no idea what to tell her when she gets older and wants more style – so thanks!!

Reply

67 Lissy March 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I love Aveda products…their Be Curly range is great but I also use their Brilliance range too…especially the pomades…

Reply

68 Julie March 25, 2010 at 5:25 am

Good blog advice, here…thanks. There is a product for curly hair called Mixed Chicks. You won’t find it at big chains like Walmart or Target, but you will find it at salons and beauty supply stores that know what good curly hair products are. Here is the website: http://www.mixedchicks.net . They will control your curls for sure.

Reply

69 Marlena August 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I’ve done all of the above. I have very, very curly hair and my current regimen involves washing, spraying with Davines De-stress, two pumps of Tigi’s Curls Rock, and then an all-over of Davines Oil/No Oil. I then finish getting ready for the day and about 20 minutes later blow dry with a diffuser. I think my hair looks great – soft, shiny and defninition of curls, too.

Reply

70 Julie October 13, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I can NOT thank you enough for this post! You truly have gorgeous curls, and I’m glad someone asked how you tame them. I’m going to give this a go tomorrow. I have very curly hair, and would love to wear it down (nope, never and I mean never wear it down curly, only straight)….
Cheers!

Reply

71 Bettijo @ Paging Supermom October 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I love the book Curly Girl — it totally helped me when I read it about 6 or 7 years ago, and the author now has a line of curl car products called DevaCurl — I LOVE their conditioner and their Angell hair gel.

I also try to avoid shampoo altogether like she suggests in the book and instead rinse my hair with an apple cider vinegar rinse that I make myself. It works wonders for de-greasing and re-enlivening my hair.

I was wondering if you ever comb out your curls? Mine get so ratted so I usually do a comb out in the shower after conditioning to de-tangle, but your curls definitely look better then mine so I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be combing. But if not, how do you mange the tangles??

Reply

72 Holly Reed November 9, 2010 at 8:41 am

You might try MopTop products. They’re awesome! http://www.moptophair.com/

Reply

73 Cheryl November 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm

i live in the philippines and it is humid hot here. its sunny all the time. what i do is just use Sunsilk or Pantene for curly hair and it works just ok. i only finger-comb my hair once, when its still wet, then i put on Vitresse Hair Polish and i tie it into a bun since air drying makes my hair extra frizzy and poofy. but tying your hair when wet also causes hair fall and that’s been a problem for me nowadays. do you have any ideas on what i should do to make my hair un-frizzy in this tropical country? and to lessen the hair fall? i’m afraid i won’t have any hair left when i get older :) ideas is much appreciated. :)

Reply

74 Pamela March 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

that’s it? really? that’s all i had to do to go from blah, half curled pyramid-shaped hair to – soft, curl envious hair?! oh where has this post been all my life. read this a couple of hours ago, tried the “methods” and now looking curly fab. ;) i am embracing the curl, no more wasted hours of straightening. Thx!

Reply

75 Ellie February 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I have naturally curly hair too – very close to your colour. I wash it every 3-4 days (otherwise it gets too dry). After washing I give it a really good brushing. Then I use mousse and let it air dry. I havent tried hair gel and conditioner, I must give that a go and see how it works. On the days when I don’t wash it, I wet it a little with my fingertips just to refresh the curls. On bad hair days, I tie it up. I used to fight against my curls for years but I am so glad to have them now!!!

Reply

76 blair/wise craft June 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I was my curly hair every 2 days or so (my curls are fine, but I have lots of hair, so waiting too long between washings weighs it down). I dry with a t-shirt, no towel. I don’t own a brush or comb, but I use Deva Curl products and have been exceptionally happy with this line. They hold my curls, prevent any frizz, and I don’t need any spray to keep my hair looking good. They have great videos on their website, and I do the tiny duck clips at the roots to add lift to my crown as they recommend, it really works.

Reply

77 Cat June 29, 2012 at 10:43 am

I do very much the opposite of what design Mom says, I was told by several of my hair stylist friends to comb the product I use through my hair, it used to be Aquage gel, it is now Redken curl perfecting cream. You want to distribute the product evenly, that is why combing it through is so important. I don’t “towel dry” my hair at all erally. I wrap a towel around it for about 2 minutes (wetter hair is better), the more you “mess” with curly hair the frizzier it becomes. I then comb it out, and then comb product through. I then scrunch a few times with my damp towel and let it air dry. Almost always comes out frizz free and with defined curls. Product choice is trial and error, I’ve used expensive and less expensive and it just ALL depends on your hair type, including HOW to style YOUR hair. ALL curly hair responds differently to different products and ways of styling. Good luck to you : )

Reply

78 Lyssann July 3, 2012 at 8:08 am

Coming late to the party, but I have curly hair and can’t seem to get away from washing it every day. Otherwise I seem to be a big grease ball. Does anyone else have this problem? What about bed head?

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: